"Read error" - clue for heads or platters fail?

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Island
Posts: 1
Joined: 23 Apr 2019, 13:22

"Read error" - clue for heads or platters fail?

#1 Post by Island » 23 Apr 2019, 14:55

Testdisk is reporting "read error" from a Seagate 1TB sata 3.5 inch disc drive. The disc contains all the emails and documents for several years for an elderly man (this had been his backup; his primary storage has been lost when his laptop went for repair, he thought his backup would be ok, only to find it now gives 'read error' when he needs the data). He is happy to replace the disk, but would really like to have all his emails and documents (and photos). Previous posts [A] suggest that, even if data recovery might be possible, it will be necessary to contact a data recovery company. Because I have some background in electronics, and have several old drives of varying capacity, I wondered whether I might be able to swap the platters from this failed drive and insert them in another drive (I have Seagate, or WD, various capacities).

I've included below [B] some log outputs from linux dmesg, and from testdisk. May I ask two questions?

1 It would be useful to know whether the failure is either the platter assembly, or the head seeking and reading mechanism. Are there any other clues I can extract from the drive to confirm things such as platter rotation, timing recovery signal, seek error, data error (testdisc is /not/ reporting a CRC error), or something else? I tried running smartctl but it complained that the drive was not present. (The faulty drive is attached via a slot-in external sata peripheral connected over usb to a Samsung notebook. Testdisk sees the drive.) Does anybody know of any other low-level utilities for linux that I could use to check the various drive diagnostic and status signals?

2 Has anybody else on the forum tried to dismantle and move components between drives?

Extracts from the logs are given below.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Since I'm new to the forum (but have used testdisk a few times in the past) I'd like to add my thanks to CG security for testdisk in the first place, and for keeping it up to date.

regards, Island

[A] Other relevant posts; they more or less say the drive will be unusable, and might need to be sent to a specialist company.

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8240&p=26541&hilit= ... ror#p26541
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8231&p=26512&hilit= ... ror#p26512

[B] Log extracts:

From dmesg

[346695.641295] Buffer I/O error on dev sdb, logical block 293641, async page read
[346696.257103] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[346696.257117] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
[346696.257130] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
[346696.257137] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 23 d8 78 00 00 08 00
[346696.257142] print_req_error: critical medium error, dev sdb, sector 2349176
[346696.257153] Buffer I/O error on dev sdb, logical block 293647, async page read
[346696.857069] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[346696.857080] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
[346696.857088] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
[346696.857098] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 23 e0 00 00 00 08 00
[346696.857104] print_req_error: critical medium error, dev sdb, sector 2351104
[346696.857116] Buffer I/O error on dev sdb, logical block 293888, async page read
[346697.464070] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
[346697.464083] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
[346697.464098] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
[346697.464106] sd 4:0:0:0: [sdb] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 23 d8 20 00 00 08 00
[346697.464110] print_req_error: critical medium error, dev sdb, sector 2349088
... etc

From testdisk log

Command line: TestDisk

TestDisk 7.0, Data Recovery Utility, April 2015
Christophe GRENIER <grenier@cgsecurity.org>
http://www.cgsecurity.org
OS: Linux, kernel 4.15.6-300.fc27.i686 (#1 SMP Mon Feb 26 19:24:11 UTC 2018) i686
Compiler: GCC 7.1
Compilation date: 2017-08-05T00:23:02
ext2fs lib: 1.43.5, ntfs lib: libntfs-3g, reiserfs lib: none, ewf lib: 20140608, curses lib: ncurses 6.0
[... for www privacy, removed details on main internal sda; remainder of log is for the external 1TB Seagate ...]
Partition table type default to Intel
Disk /dev/sdb - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - ST310005 28AS
Partition table type: Intel

Analyse Disk /dev/sdb - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 953869 64 32
Current partition structure:

Partition: Read error

search_part()
Disk /dev/sdb - 1000 GB / 931 GiB - CHS 953869 64 32
file_pread(5,16,buffer,32(0/1/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,48(0/1/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,95(0/2/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,111(0/3/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,158(0/4/31)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,2080(1/1/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,51(0/1/20)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,98(0/3/3)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,119(0/3/24)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,169(0/5/10)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,2082(1/1/3)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,16,buffer,63(0/1/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,79(0/2/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,126(0/3/31)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,142(0/4/15)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,189(0/5/30)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,2111(1/1/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,16,buffer,512(0/16/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,528(0/16/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,575(0/17/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,591(0/18/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,638(0/19/31)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,2560(1/16/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,16,buffer,544(0/17/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,560(0/17/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,607(0/18/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,623(0/19/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,670(0/20/31)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,2592(1/17/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,16,buffer,1008(0/31/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,1024(0/32/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,1071(0/33/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,1087(0/33/32)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,1134(0/35/15)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,3056(1/31/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,13,buffer,1074(0/33/19)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,8,buffer,1150(0/35/31)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,11,buffer,1197(0/37/14)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,2,buffer,3119(1/33/16)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,16,buffer,2048(1/0/1)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,2064(1/0/17)) read err: Input/output error
file_pread(5,3,buffer,2111(1/1/32)) read err: Input/output error
[... etc]
Search for partition aborted

Results

interface_write()

No partition found or selected for recovery
simulate write!

write_mbr_i386: starting...
file_pread(5,1,buffer,0(0/0/1)) read err: Input/output error

Partition: Read error
Store new MBR code
write_all_log_i386: starting...
No extended partition


[Then repeated the disk and partition search, with same results.]

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cgrenier
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Re: "Read error" - clue for heads or platters fail?

#2 Post by cgrenier » 25 Apr 2019, 06:04

Is the disk making some unusual noise ? Stuck head (no rotation is possible) or damaged heads (rotation but the head is unable to find the sector to read from) may be the problem.
Can you plug the disk directly via SATA ? Maybe you will have more information this way.

recuperation
Posts: 182
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: "Read error" - clue for heads or platters fail?

#3 Post by recuperation » 25 Apr 2019, 08:03

Based upon your description you are just guessing what's wrong instead of diagnosing.
I think it's irresponsible to put the old man's data at risk.
I strongly disrecommend fooling around with the harddrive and reducing the chance of a professional to restore the lost data.

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