Western Digital External Hard Drives.

How to use TestDisk to recover lost partition
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Posts: 1
Joined: 29 May 2015, 19:23

Western Digital External Hard Drives.

#1 Post by IHATEWD »

I have found over the years that western digital like to save partition info into some sort of chip located in the controller card portion of the device and not physically on their drives. I have found that the actual hard drive itself will stay in tact a lot longer than that controller does.. "pre-planned obsolescence?". So every time i have an external hard drive come to me as Dead on Arrival.. I pull the drive from it's shell and try to hook it up.. I get the same problem every time. All the files are there and can be found but it finds no partition to recover. In your opinion what is the fastest way to get all the files off the drive structurally correct? i know your program can rebuild partitions.. What if the partition table was never located on the drive?

Posts: 3
Joined: 01 Jun 2015, 03:08

Re: Western Digital External Hard Drives.

#2 Post by DrChiron »

I just used TESTDISK to recover about 1GB of TV Shows off of a Seagate 1 GB drive.
Aside: This model HDD stores a number of unspecified parameters on a chip such that vendors offering replacement PCB modules require your "dead" PCB in order to copy those settings to the PCB they send you!

The recent download of TESTDISK 7.0 I downloaded for that recovery seems to have been released a little too early as ofttimes when using cursor left, the display loses track of the text row that it had been on and makes a mess of the display. In general it is good to remember that "q" or "Q" backs you out one level so you can try again without the mess.

Yes, it is true that PhotoRec(over) can be used to recover all types of files (the new GUI version, qPhotoRec, I only tried briefly but as yet I have no opinion about). I think they are read-only versions of TESTDISK with some changes reflecting the limited scope of use.

Do NOT WRITE ANY changes to the drive before you have recovered ALL FILES you want/need/crave before doing so. I trashed a 2.5TB partition of a 4TB HGST drive that way and was forced to recover files without the original filenames (only extensions) and sizes. BTW: What I did wrong destroyed the MFT, hence the above situation.

I'm sure if you looked/searched this forum you will find the steps leading to recovery of your files. When done you may like to try your hand at repairing your filesystem before realizing that a plain old reformat is so much easier.