HDD: BIOS recognizes it. Not Windows.

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kanamaster

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For an unknown reason, suddenly two or three days ago my external Western Digital Caviar is not detected by Windows any more. I have tried using other PC's that I have at home but it's always the same.
So, I tried attaching it as a primary slave and when the POST comes I can see the disk is there, with its model and capacity. But then when Windows (7) begins loading, it will remain for ages in that first stage when the four colorful parts of the Windows logo get together and start shining. Windows stays there and can't load further. I have extremely valuable information in that disk (250 GB, two partitions). Any ideas please? Is there any way I can recover the information I have there? Thanks in advance.
 

crjdriver

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If you have already attempted to connect the drive as an internal drive and that failed, your only option would be to take it to a shop that does data recovery. This is NOT cheap; prices start at $125 or so for a simple recovery then go up from there. In your case, a simple recovery does not seem possible since you have attempted that already.
I have extremely valuable information in that disk
Data you do not backup is data you do not care about. All drives fail; it is only a question of when your drive will fail.
 

kanamaster

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Thanks for your answer. Just wanted to say that the deffective hard drive is precisely the one I used for keeping my backups. I would really like to be told about two or three good software I coud use for trying the data recovery. Could one of these be the "Hiren's Boot CD"?
 

crjdriver

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Hirens boot cd is illegal and no advise about it is going to be given here. If the drive contains backups, then it is a no brainer; just install a new drive and copy the original files. A backup is just that a second copy of data/work files.

As for data recovery, I use O&O disk recovery. It is not free however it does a good job. If you have already attempted to connect the drive as an internal drive
I tried attaching it as a primary slave
and that failed, I doubt data recovery software is going to be of any use.
 

kanamaster

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Even if the BIOS does recognizes the HDD with the right model and right storage capacity?
 

crjdriver

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I think you would have more luck with a linux live boot cd. I use gpart for secure erasing of drives. You can also use this to mount/copy data files.

I still do not see what the problem is; you posted it is a backup drive. Just install a new drive and copy the original files back over. FWIW external drives are more problem prone than internals. This is for a few reasons;
1 The extra interface
2 Externals run too warm. Unless the external has its own cooling fan, you are asking for failure by running it continuously. I have a very old external on my desk that is switched ON to make backup copies of files then OFF. It is a least 6yrs old and still working fine.
 

kanamaster

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Thanks again for your answer and help. Maybe I didn't express myself right when I said it was a "backup dirve". In fact it is the drive where I use to store files which through the years I have created, found and/or downloaded, and which are of special importance for me: family pictures, special interest films, all my favorite music, documents and so on. That's why --and the same as you do-- I also turn this external HDD on only when I want to storage something in particular, or when for any reason I need to access it. But normaly, it is also off.
Anyway, I will try with any of the software you have suggest me, and even with "the other you didn't suggest me".
Thanks again and I'll post results if there are any.
 

crjdriver

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BTW this is why we stress backups so much. With an image backup of your drive, it takes all of 10~15min to install a new drive and restore the image; done.
 

kanamaster

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I have an image backup of "C", which I regularly update after cleaning, defragmenting and so on. Unfortunately the failure happened with another drive as I told you, the one I used to occasionally store and access, from which --unfortunately again-- I didn't have a second copy.
But making an update, a fatal one, I have to say that the defective disk finaly stopped turning a copuple of minutes ago. Now it is literally dead and there's nothing else to do appart from using it to iron your clothes due to the extremely hot it gets in some points on one of the sides. That was all about the disk. Thanks a lot anyway for your ideas and help. You can close this thread, please.
 

crjdriver

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You can still recover data from the drive however it will need to be done in a shop and the cost can run $500 or more. It just depends on how much the info is worth to you.
 
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