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-   -   Can this harddrive be saved? not data recovery. Gparted doesn't want to work with it. (

keithostertag 02-19-2013 05:31 PM

Can this harddrive be saved? not data recovery. Gparted doesn't want to work with it.
Seems I've borked a harddrive by "hotplugging" it. It's a Seagate Momentus 7200 SATA drive. I had been using it in my new Intel-based box (NZXT H2) after having set the bios to enable the hot swap capable SATA HDD Dock. But I guess this drive didn't like that...

I now keep getting input/output errors when attempting to access the drive. Sometimes I will be able to get a directory listing in order to (for example) delete some files, then later discover that the files are still there. And I can't write to it at all. Most of the time the system won't even recognize the drive, but that's intermittent.

I thought I would just reformat the drive and start over. Sometimes Gparted shows the partition, but then when trying to access it Gparted changes its mind and says there's no partitions. But then it won't allow me to create any partitions- gives an error.

So I can't seem to use Gparted to repartition the drive. Is there something else I can do to salvage this drive? Maybe DD? I'm using Debian.

fsck doesn't work either.

Keith Ostertag

selfprogrammed 02-19-2013 06:46 PM

Hotplugging a drive using a connector that is not made for it runs the risk of connecting the data lines before the power. Momentarily, it supplies power to the drive through the data lines (not very well).
This draws excessive current through a low power signal line. Usually the transistor is damaged. The inputs are much more sensitive to damage from this than the outputs.
This usually damages both the drive and the interface card. You will need to check them both.

Use an old, expendable, but known working drive to check the interface.
If the interface is damaged, then do not use that port. If there are no spare drive interfaces then an new motherboard, or a separate drive interface card will be needed.

A drive that is working that flaky is usually irrecoverable.
It will never be reliable.
The tools you are considering are for data damage and formatting, they cannot deal with
physical interface damage.

A hotplug connector has longer pins for ground and power, so they get connected first.
You must have a special hotplug connector attached to the disk drive and a hotplug capable bay.
The software option just provides the OS code to recognize hotplugged hardware.

keithostertag 02-19-2013 06:56 PM

Hi, thanks for the detailed explanation.

I guess I had thought that since this SATA dock is specifically designed for hot plugging I could use any SATA drive. Are you saying I also would need to use a drive that has a special SATA drive/connector that is made especially for hot plugging? I wasn't aware of them.

And thanks for the confirmation that if the drive is somehow physically damaged then software tools won't fix that.

Keith Ostertag

selfprogrammed 02-19-2013 07:05 PM

I do not have any hotplug drives. There is special hardware in the stores and catalogs for hotplug setups. I have examined them and the longer power pins are one of the most notable features. As an Electrical Engineer I was designing computer interfaces and wondered how they got away with hotplugging anything without disabling the buffer drivers.

I have ruined a harddrive by plugging it in with power on. I think the interface died too.

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