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i have an internal hard drive in a windows machine that started to go on me. i haven't noticed it clicking or making the typical hardware failure noises, instead it wouldn't respond or have read errors. i disabled it in windows and later a device would randomly appear and it would have the wrong ID name. it wouldn't see it as a 'maxtor xxxxx' it might come up as a 'ghxtod xxavx' or some other weird combination. i have since pulled the drive so it's not sitting on all day.
so is the problem a hardware problem, or more likely something with the mbr boot record or anything that i can fix with say...TestDisk, Super Grub Loader or PhotoRec...or any other reccomendations? the weird identification of the drive is what is throwing me off on this one.
I would have to say hardware - I had that same thing happen on a drive, but did not care about the data - was regularly backed up - but it is most likely the controller chip set on the hdd stuffed... but could be something on your motherboard, so try it in another machine first, but the drives specs, such as manufacturer is not on the platters where mbr, etc are stored, but stored in the chips on the drive
I hate to sound like an advertisement but perhaps you've heard of Spinrite. I listen to Security Now with Steve Gibson who created Spinrite and people email him all the time with praise for how Spinrite helps data recovery in situations like yours. Even hardware problems - I know that seems impossible but I swear people have emailed him saying their hard drive was making noise or the wiper kept on smacking up against the side of the hard drive and Spinrite found a way to set it back to normal. If anything, post your info on GRC forums and see if anyone can advise you if Spinrite is a good idea. There is a cost for the Spinrite image, but it seems to be worth it.
I'll also say that your description of the problem sounds like a hardware issue.
And I second spinrite as a possible solution. If there is data on that drive you need to get, spinrite is hands down your best chance of getting it. If the only issue is to restore the drive to a functional state, then spinrite, at $89, might not be justified given what new drives cost.
However, once you have spinrite you will have it for whenever you need it. It has saved my bacon on any number of occasions over the years.
thank you all. i ended up being able to recover everything i needed to. threw it into an external enclosure, testdisk said the partition was fine so i booted into windose and copied things over to another drive. (i'm not proficient enough on terminal commands to do it through the linux based boot disk i was on) my music and pictures are now safe!
i had forgotten about GRC, they definately have some useful stuff on there! i had it already bookmarked on the ubuntu machine i'm on now. i had mainly looked there at their security items, not so much at spinrite.