No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
Forum rules
When asking for technical support:
- Search for posts on the same topic before posting a new question.
- Give clear, specific information in the title of your post.
- Include as many details as you can, MOST POSTS WILL GET ONLY ONE OR TWO ANSWERS.
- Post a follow up with a "Thank you" or "This worked!"
- When you learn something, use that knowledge to HELP ANOTHER USER LATER.
Before posting, please read https://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.pdf
Post Reply
Message
Author
addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#1 Post by addiefreyja » 06 Aug 2019, 17:28

Hi all:

First, I'm generally a novice when it comes to computing beyond the basic, everyday use of Mac and Windows systems. Second, I don't have a lot of hope for recovering lost data ... but here goes my story anyway ...

I have an old laptop HD that I put in an enclosure a number of years ago and treated as my backup drive, mainly for years of digital camera images but also for other files and documents.

About three years ago, I was using the drive with my MacBook when the USB cord came undone from the end of the enclosure. Over time, I suppose the plug on the side of the enclosure became worn, and it is really loose these days. Unsurprisingly, when I went to reconnect and access the drive, it was no longer recognized/mounted by my Mac. This HD occasionally shows up in Disk Utility as a greyed-out drive, but sometimes it doesn't register there at all. Same goes for diskutil in Terminal. Typically, I get a pop-up window that says the drive cannot be read, and it gives me the option to initialize (does nothing), ignore or format.

When I run testdisk, the drive does show up every time. However, it appears there is no recognized file system.

When this all happened, I was able to run a number of data recovery programs on the drive (or on an image of it, perhaps) -- including photorec, Stellar products, and others -- and I did recover a fair bit of data, but many, many of the photos and videos could not be opened. The files are there, and those files are full of data (and are the expected size -- several megabytes for my photos and sometimes hundreds of megabytes for videos I'd taken), but they won't open as images/movies.

Recently, I started puttering around in Linux a bit -- not enough to really know what I'm doing, but I've learned a few commands here and there. I started thinking about my old drive and wondered about trying again, maybe this time in Linux, but otherwise on my Mac.

I expect that the drive is well and truly dead -- but there's plenty of data on it still, obviously, and short of taking it to a professional, I'm wondering if there's anything I can try, or if perhaps you all would be willing to look at some of the messages I get in testdisk/Terminal to help me understand what I'm faced with. I can post whatever info is needed here.

Thank you!

Sponsored links

User avatar
cgrenier
Site Admin
Posts: 4925
Joined: 18 Feb 2012, 15:08
Location: Le Perreux Sur Marne, France
Contact:

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#2 Post by cgrenier » 07 Aug 2019, 10:17

All the jpg files recovered by PhotoRec should be valid. Can you check ? Big files like videos may be fragmented, so it's not unusual to have video that can only be partially displayed or none at all.

Can you check the SMART status of your disk ? If they are bad sectors, you must use another disk to store your data.

addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#3 Post by addiefreyja » 08 Aug 2019, 19:24

It's been a couple of years since I ran PhotoRec on the drive. I will try it again and see what happens. I've also used a few other programs to salvage items, but as I recall, each time a majority of files were unreadable. If I open the files in a text editor, there's data there, and as I said, the files are the expected size, but no program will open them.

SMART status is listed as "not supported."

I have no interest in continuing to use the drive for storage. I just want to get as much off of it as I can intact, or repair/replace the file system, if that's even possible (I'm assuming it is not). Again, I assume the drive is dead; I'm just trying to salvage as much as I can, because the photos and videos, in particular, are irreplaceable memories.

recuperation
Posts: 284
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#4 Post by recuperation » 08 Aug 2019, 19:49

What is the manufacturer and model of the drive in question?

addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#5 Post by addiefreyja » 11 Aug 2019, 20:20

Apologies for the delayed response ...

It's a Western Digital Scorpio WD1600BEVE. 160 GB.

recuperation
Posts: 284
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#6 Post by recuperation » 11 Aug 2019, 21:19

That drive should support SMART.

The lack of support could be caused by the chipset of the enclosure.
You could try a dockingstation instead.

Which program do you use to read SMART parameters?
If it's smartmontools, there is the -d switch:
https://linux.die.net/man/8/smartctl
Try out -d sat, -d sat,12, -d sat,16 and -d usbjmicron

addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#7 Post by addiefreyja » 11 Aug 2019, 21:30

I will take a look at that when I get home tonight. I'm not super confident in my abilities to investigate this, but I will give it a shot.

I assumed maybe the SMART status was listed as not supported because the drive was bad.

addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#8 Post by addiefreyja » 11 Aug 2019, 22:39

Using smartctl, I get the same result:

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Smartctl open device: /dev/disk2s1 failed: Operation not supported by device
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

recuperation
Posts: 284
Joined: 04 Jan 2019, 09:48
Location: Hannover, Deutschland (Germany, Allemagne)

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#9 Post by recuperation » 12 Aug 2019, 18:08

Did you try out another connection to your computer, like a dockingstation p.e.?
You might as well put it into a laptop and boot Knoppix from DC/DVD/USB stick and run smartctl from there.

addiefreyja
Posts: 6
Joined: 06 Aug 2019, 17:13

Re: No file system found on external HD after accidental cord disconnection

#10 Post by addiefreyja » 15 Aug 2019, 02:45

I will look into a docking station. I don't have a second laptop to install the drive in. It's actually an old Windows laptop drive that I put in an enclosure.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest