This 4TB My Passport drive was shipped in from sunny Burbank in Southern California. The reported issue with the drive is that the data was not accessible to the user on any computer. When plugged in, the computer would not recognize the drive at all, or would ask if they wanted to format the drive for use. This drive had important data on it, so formatting for use was out of the question. If you have important data on a drive and your computer asks you if you would like to format the drive, always say no!
The first step with a drive like this is to diagnose it for any hardware-based issues. In this case the drive tested as good as far as heads reading properly and sectors responding as they should. The next step is to prepare the drive in the PC-3000 for imaging, then image the drive fully. You always want to work with an image of the drive when you start doing a logical recovery.
Once the drive was fully imaged I used DE (data extractor) to check if the folder structure would come back. While folder structure did show up, the folders themselves were either showing up as empty, or the data inside would not open. This is a classic symptom of partition corruption, so I continued on to one of my favorite logical recovery tools, UFS Explorer Professional Recovery. At $700 it is an expensive piece of software. But given the success rate I have seen on partition corruption and other logical recovery projects, I do recommend it if you are serious about offering logical recovery services.
Utilizing UFS, I was able to recover folder structure as well as usable files! All the files the customer needed were present and working properly. I moved all the recovered data onto a new external drive and shipped it out to the happy customer.
If you have a My Passport or other external drive with important data needing recovery services, please reach out to discuss your project! If you want to start by filling out my data recovery quote form, that is an easy way to get some initial information to help you decide how you want to move forward.