External hard drive not appearing in explorer

Discussion in 'Computer Memory and Hard Drives' started by TheStroyer, Oct 9, 2018.

  1. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I have an external hard drive that suddenly stopped appearing in windows explorer. I tried plugging it into other usb ports or other pc's but it wont show up. When plugging it into a linux pc it seems like the problem is that the drive won't properly respond to reads. The computer isn't even able to read the file system, let alone to mount it. The drive doesn't make any weird noises and I can feel it spinning.
    Is there something I can do to recover the data from this drive?
     
  2. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Member

    Messages:
    48
    Basically it shows up in Linux but not Windows. but you can't mount it? What type of file system is it? Some filesystems can't be opened in Linux without dependencies such as NTFS-3G.
     
  3. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I can't mount the drive on linux or windows. I think the reason the drive doesn't show up in windows is because it can't mount it. It does show up in the unmount tab in windows.
    I'm not sure what file system it is a samsung S2 portable which is to my knowledge never reformatted.
    This is the output dmesg (in linux) gives when I plug the drive in: https://pastebin.com/rXdNSgkA
    From that output it seems like the drive only gives zeros on read.
     
  4. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    And the command "mount /dev/sdc" gives the error "wrong fs type, bad option, bad superblock on /dev/sdc, missing codepage or helper program, or other error."
    Also, lsblk -fs detects no file system on the drive.
     
  5. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Member

    Messages:
    48
    "fsck" and/or a "badblocks -svn" on the drive that's getting placed on /dev/sdc just for the sake of it all. If you really do have a bad sector, block, or whatever.

    Still having issues then.
    "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdc bs=512 count=1" (Change bs and count to whatever fits your drive and time restraints. [BS * Count]=Size)
    Not sure but if you have a activity light on the driver see if anything is happening when cleaning out the partition tables.

    Depending on your distro and/or how you installed Linux via the possible GUI installer you may need to get some packages for "fat" formats. You can also use something like gnome-disk-utility or gparted, but I'm doing everything via terminal.
    "mkfs.vfat -F32 /dev/sdc"
    (Edit: FYI you can change formats here. I just went with fat since you're using Windows as well).

    After that if it doesn't mount. Make a temp mounting point to mount the device to.
    "mkdir /mnt/usb" (Change usb to whatever you want it to be named obviously).
    "mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb"

    If you still have no ability to mount it try using "partprobe /dev/sdc" to see if the system can see any partition changes.

    All else fails then it could be a bad cable, interface between the drive and usb connection, or even the drive itself. At that point you could try taking it out of the enclosed casing if not under warranty. Otherwise you might want to get a replacement.
     
  6. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    fsck /dev/sdc gives:
    fsck from util-linux 2.32.1
    e2fsck 1.44.4 (18-Aug-2018)
    fsck.ext2: Input/output error while trying to open /dev/sdc

    The superblock could not be read or does not describe a valid ext2/ext3/ext4
    filesystem. If the device is valid and it really contains an ext2/ext3/ext4
    filesystem (and not swap or ufs or something else), then the superblock
    is corrupt, and you might try running e2fsck with an alternate superblock:
    e2fsck -b 8193 <device>
    or
    e2fsck -b 32768 <device>​
    badblocks -svn /dev/sdc gives only lines like this
    500.00% done, 0:52 elapsed. (26/0/0 errors)​

    I didn't dare to do the dd command yet, because it seemed kinda destructive.
    I want to make sure you understand that I don't care about using the hard drive. I just want to get the data off it.
    And which file system do you think the hard drive has at the moment (what is common for external hard drives)?

    I tried a few different cables, but I think the replacement cables are only for charging and not for carrying data. If you think there a high chance it's the cable's fault, let met know and I'll try to get a new cable.
     
  7. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Member

    Messages:
    48
    That is 26 badblocks then and possibly more if canceled during the scan. Once it actually finishes it would output something like this.
    Code:
    done                                            
    Pass completed, 26 bad blocks found. (26/0/0 errors)
    
    Okay, if you're trying to get something off this drive then don't do it or format it.

    It depends on how the drives are marketed. Such as, "Supports Mac" and other branded logos on the box. Which leads them to using a filesystem that is supported by multiple OS's. However, looking into Samsung S2 drives and a PDF posted up by Seagate/Samsung.
    Source

    The cable itself is doubtful, but it's possible. They don't last forever and some break overtime. I would assume it's the drive or controller over a cable in most all instances.


    -----
    Edit: As mentioned before in my first reply. To open NTFS in Linux you would need the dependencies such as NTFS-3g. Then just mount using a command like this, "mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sdc1 /mnt/usb" (This is if the filesystem isn't completely borked).
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
    TheStroyer likes this.
  8. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    The badblocks command got stuck so that's why I just gave you that output.
    Sorry I forgot about the ntfs-3g package. I installed it and the mount command gives the error
    Error reading bootsector: Input/output error
    Failed to mount '/dev/sdc': Input/output error
    NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a
    SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows
    then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very
    important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate
    it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g.
    /dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation
    for more details.
    Do you have any hope that the data will come off the drive without screwing open the actual drive (because that would need a cleanroom).
     
  9. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Member

    Messages:
    48
    If you can't mount it in Windows, Linux, and badblocks can give you errors there isn't much hope than opening it up via data recovery. If they can even pull it off.
     
    TheStroyer likes this.
  10. TheStroyer

    TheStroyer New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Fair enough. I'll consider this hard drive officially dead (maybe I'll even try screwing it open anyway, just for fun).
    Thanks for providing me with your knowledge and time!
     
  11. UnholyVision

    UnholyVision Member

    Messages:
    48
    Well that would be the most logical step to open it up and try it internally. As I was saying about it not likely being the cable and probably the controller or drive itself. it could just be the controller chip between that converts USB to SATA 3 or 6 and SATA power. Though it's probably is the drive, but nonetheless, it's worth a try.
     

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