Recovering Bad Sectors On Western Digital Hard Drive

This hard drive with bad sectors came from a local neighbor here in Hutchinson, Kansas.  The customer reported that certain folders could not be accessed. They said if the folders were accessible (which was rare), then most of the files inside the folders would not open. They had tried many times to get the important data off the drive but were never able to get any of the data to transfer off the drive.

The data was important enough to warrant data recovery, and no backup was available with the data on it. The most important type of data reported was photos, with the pictures that were inside the folders that would not respond as the most important of all.

Western Digital Hard Drive Recovery

The reported symptoms (certain folders and data not accessible) could be caused by corruption, an operating system issue on the computer, a permissions issue, an issue with the drive itself, or some kind of malware. It is unlikely for this type of issue to be heads or other issues requiring internal parts replacement, but I needed to start with a diagnosis to be sure what the issue was.

Diagnosing the drive

After connecting the drive to my PC-3000, I ran a heads test which passed easily. This basically ruled out any issues with heads so I was able to move on. I then ran a reading test across the drive and found there were bad sectors throughout the drive. I went ahead and prepared the drive for recovery by turning off all features that could interfere with imaging the drive, then moved on to the next process.

Recovering bad sectors

With the PC-3000 Data Recovery Rig I am able to image as much as possible off a drive with this type of issue, but sometimes some sectors are just not recoverable. In this case, after multiple imaging passes, I was only able to recover 99% of the sectors on the drive. The final passes I attempted took a long time as they were designed to get back every sector possible. The other issue with this drive was corruption. Sometimes when a drive starts to fail it will cause files to not work properly even if fully recovered.

Picture recovery

Normally with 99% of sectors successfully recovered, I would expect to get about 98% of the photos back in total. But with this recovery, it ended up being successful for just over 60% of the important data, but some data was just not fully recoverable. Pictures were one of the more important file types I was recovering, and a picture with missing sectors generally has some kind of issue like artifacts, color issues, half the picture being cut off, etc.

Thankfully, the majority of the most important data was recoverable. The customer was pleased to get data back, even though it wasn’t all the data they were hoping for. Many of the pictures that were not fully recoverable were represented by other similar photos that were recoverable, so all in all they were pleased with the results.

Affordable data recovery options

Do you need help getting the data off your Western Digital drive? I offer Western Digital data recovery along with basically all other types of drives in-house here at my Kansas clean room lab. Nationwide service is available through our mail-in data recovery program. Just fill out our quick data recovery quote form to get started!

Drive info: Western Digital 2TB CAVIAR GREEN, MDL: WD20EARS-00S8B1, WWN: 50014EE2047BBA31, DATE 20 MAY 2010, DCM: HARCHT2AAB, DCX: 4016S3181

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