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Sat Oct 20, 2012, 01:34 PM

Should I reformat and re-use a hard drive after a logical failure?

I have an Iomega 1TB external hard drive that bricked on me (first cyclic redundancy errors, then eventually the computer would recognize the drive but read it as unformatted). I replaced it with a 1TB WD Caviar Black and was able to recover most of the data simply by unplugging the Iomega for a while, then, if I was lucky, it would function normally for a short while after I plugged it back in.

Now that I've recovered all of the important data, I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to reformat the Iomega and continue using it. I'll never trust it again, but I'm reluctant to throw away 1TB of storage, even if it's unreliable storage for unimportant stuff. Any advice?

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Reply Should I reformat and re-use a hard drive after a logical failure? (Original post)
deucemagnet Oct 2012 OP
PoliticAverse Oct 2012 #1
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #5
Fumesucker Oct 2012 #2
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #4
pokerfan Oct 2012 #3
gvstn Oct 2012 #6
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #9
hobbit709 Oct 2012 #7
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #8
discntnt_irny_srcsm Oct 2012 #10
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #11
deucemagnet Oct 2012 #12

Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 01:46 PM

1. Can you open the case and identify and remove the drive inside ? n/t

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 04:33 PM

5. I haven't tried that yet.

I think I'm going to give reformatting a shot. If it turns out to be a mechanical problem, the reformatting probably won't work and I'll have lost nothing.

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Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 02:41 PM

2. Try a low level format on it and then a regular format.

http://hddguru.com/software/HDD-LLF-Low-Level-Format-Tool/

I've successfully restored fairly thoroughly borked hard drives with this.

Be aware that on a terabyte drive it's going to take a while for the low level format, let it run overnight or something.

As long as you don't put data you can't afford to lose on it I see no problem.

ETA: You'll need to partition the drive after the LLF, this will do the partition and do the high level format too and a lot faster than the OS will.

Both of the utilities are free.

http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Hard-Disk-Utils/SwissKnife.shtml

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 04:30 PM

4. Thanks, I think I'll give it a shot.

I already have EASUS Partition Master and Paragon Partition Manager that I picked up on giveawayoftheday.com a while back. It looks like I finally have a use for them!

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Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 03:00 PM

3. Provided you back-up your data, why not?

FWIW, I don't trust any hard drive. Or flash drives for that matter. If it formats (which amounts to a test of sorts) and passes any further tests I throw at it, I would go ahead and use it. But always back up your data.

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Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 05:17 PM

6. I say go ahead and use it.

I've used old drives that I consider unreliable for an OS for years afterward as data drives. They seem to be fine.

A couple of thoughts are that I am not sure Easeus will do a low level format. I know Partition Wizard only does quick format. So if Easeus finishes up formatting too quickly you may want to use a different utility as others have mentioned.

The other thought is that it might be wise to create say 4 ~250gb partitions rather than one large 1tb partition. It may be less likely that four partitions will all come up RAW if there are problems later.

So one low level format to erase the whole HD. Then create four primary partitions. Then format those to NTFS using full format option. At least you would know that you are starting as fresh as possible.

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Response to gvstn (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:30 PM

9. Good advice, thanks.

I downloaded the low-level format tool that Fumesucker linked to. I like the multiple partition idea. If all goes well, I'll give it a go in the morning.

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Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 06:29 PM

7. 9 out 10 times it's not the drive, it's the interface between the drive and USB.

I've had external drives that the computer would not recognize. when I took them out of the case and connected them with my one size fits all adapter, not only was it recognized immediately but my drive utility would say there are no problems with the drive itself.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 07:04 PM

8. Thanks, I'll look into that as well.

If this low-level reformat doesn't work I'll get an adapter off tigerdirect and see how that goes.

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Response to deucemagnet (Reply #8)

Sat Oct 20, 2012, 10:28 PM

10. I would also advise...

...checking all of the cables then check the enclosure to ensure the cooling fan operates if it has one. Heat is one of the things that will kill a drive.

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Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 01:39 AM

11. Thanks.

I actually changed the cable and it seemed to be fixed before the same symptoms showed up again. Pisses me off because I probably trashed a perfectly good cable because of that.

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Response to deucemagnet (Original post)

Sun Oct 21, 2012, 11:30 PM

12. Update: The low level format did not work.

My dead drive just crashed the application. I opened up the case and found a Seagate Barracuda inside. These drives have a bad reputation for bricking, so I think I just might be thankful for the data I recovered and stick to WD drives from now on.

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