External hard drive nearly dead

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by mysterytramp, Nov 16, 2015.

  1. mysterytramp macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #1
    My son has an external hard drive (Maxtor 750 GB) that is very near death.

    It has three partitions: a Time Machine backup, a partition devoted to his music library, and a partition devoted to his movie library. We have DVDs for all the movies. Nearly all the music files should be either available for re-download from iTunes or from the original CDs. So luckily, most of the data should be recoverable through other means. However, I'd like to recover the drive just in case there's data that doesn't exist anywhere else.

    He uses an old Mac mini with Snow Leopard. I have a newer (but still old) Mac mini running Mountain Lion.

    Connected to either Mac, the Finder says it cannot repair the backup. The music library doesn't appear on the desktop at all. The movie library partition appears and the files are listed, but attempts to copy the movies off the drive have been unsuccessful. Shortly after the start of the first copy, it appears that the operation times out.

    Disk Utility can neither verify nor repair the partitions.

    I have tried Drive Genius and Data Rescue on the drive with no success.

    I found a utility called Disk Drill, which seems to be the only software to recognize that the music library partition exists. Still, it hasn't been able to repair the drive.

    First, any thoughts on recovering this?

    Second, I've seen that some utilities can recover data after a drive has been reformatted. I'm wondering if at this point it makes sense to reformat the drive so it operates correctly then try to recover whatever data I can.

    Any suggestions welcome.

    mt
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    One app you didn't mention was DiskWarrior, which rebuilds a partition's directory. It has saved me several times but just as many times wasn't able to help.

    You're unable to copy even a single movie?

    Remember that crude data recovery of files will, in most (or all) cases, not recover the name of the file.
     
  3. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #3
    Can't copy a single file. I checked error messages with Console and saw a series of timeout messages shortly after the copy started.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Disk Drill -does not- "repair" disks.

    It -can- recover files from a damaged disk, but you'll need ANOTHER drive to serve as the "scratch drive" to which the recovered files are copied.

    It sounds like the drive might be having mechanical (hardware related) problems.
    In that case, NO software-based solution will get the data back.
    There are data recovery firms that can do this (often by disassembling the drives in clean rooms), but be aware that they are VERY expensive. By "very expensive" we're talking thousands of dollars.

    I suggest you get a replacement drive for your son RIGHT AWAY, and try to use Disk Drill to salvage whatever you can from the bad drive to the replacement.

    A personal experience:
    I, too, once had a drive partition filled with mp3 files that "went bad" on me.
    I was able to get them back by:
    1. RE-initializing the bad drive into one partition, then...
    2. Using DataRescue (similar to Disk Drill) to recover the mp3 files to another "scratch" drive.
    This worked, but many of the file names were lost, because the bad drive's directory was wiped out with the re-initialization...
     
  5. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #5
    It sounds like your re-initialize/recover experience is what I was contemplating. Thanks.
     
  6. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #6
    Willing to try steve gibson GRC spinright tool?
     
  7. mysterytramp thread starter macrumors 65816

    mysterytramp

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    This drive is really toast. One partition refuses to unmount. Here's the likely error from the console:

    11/17/15 9:12:47.029 PM diskmanagementd[365]: unmount blocked by dissenter PID=34 (/System/Library/Frameworks/CoreServices.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/Metadata.framework/Versions/A/Support/mds) status=0x0000c010 log=unknown message=(null)


    I checked Activity Monitor and there's no process with PID=34.
     

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