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Thread: Anyone know how to read a SATA drive that will not mount, but will spin up?

  1. #1

    Default Anyone know how to read a SATA drive that will not mount, but will spin up?

    Anyone here know any helpful DOS or Win utility that can read an unmounted SATA drive? Ghost 8.0 for DOS and FTK Imager both fail

    Scary to think of a situation where I can still spin up the drive and talk to its firmware, but FTK cannot read it...but that situation has happened.

    I don't usually care too much about HDs, but this one happens to have all of the samples I have made off my analog gear for doing techno tracker files for the last few years and I also lost all the work on my 3rd album....grrr.

    Oh, I am trying to get this drive to work on a borrowed XP, P4 4Ghz it needs to be software that works on XP SP3.

    Thank you.

  2. #2


    try downloading and running hirens boot cd, it comes with loads of disk diagnostic/repair/recovery tools, maybe one of them might work?

    The latest version of this cd is legal because it uses freeware tools (the licenced ones are gone ) If however you search the net, you might find a version with all the licenced software still in it.

  3. #3


    Is this forum the only diaper one I have ever been on with a decided lack of computer techs??? Are you all asleep? *cry*

    Maybe you could at least reply if you are IT and don't know the answer either. It would at least make me feel better about the problem ^_^;

    Oh and I did check out that disc, but nothing on it is trickxy enough.

  4. #4


    i use acronis true image these days when i need to clone a disk. it will do a raw copy, so maybe....

    i have also successfully recovered a mail database off a failed drive once, but diaper me if i can remember the software i used to do it... It was a boot cd environment with various tools pre-loaded, hmmm... hang on...
    found it. winternals recovery manager.

  5. #5


    If the drive won't spin at all, it could be a hardware issue. This would require technical support of a higher power.

    I've successfully swapped the motherboard on one of my drives, and will attempt to change the heads on another (as soon as I get a few drives to sacrifice in practicing to do the real head swap).

    There are video's on YouTube that can show examples of this.

    For what it is worth, if the material on the drive is very important, you can always send it off for recovery. Expensive, but maybe worth the expense depending on the data...

  6. #6


    It sounds to me like a faulty logic board. Unfortunately if the drive has a bad logic board, the only thing you can do is either contact the MFR of the drive to see if they are willing to sell you a replacement board, or send the drive off for data recovery... they would need to physically disassemble the drive to recover your data, and these services don't come cheap :/

  7. #7


    I have two sugestions for you:

    1. Boot from either a USB key (if your computer can do that) or from CD using a LiveUSB/CD found here. As sad as this sound, I actually manages to salvaged some guy's computer that way (it didn't want to boot from HDD or CD, but it booted fine from USB (I was actually able to access the files from his hard drive) and then it worked well after I reinstalled Windows... To this day I have no idea what was wrong :P), this might allow you to look at the files on your HDD and then transfer them to, say, a spare USB key or a USB HDD. This might not work, but at least its free (minus one rewritable DVD) to try. Just make sure not to actually install Linux, then there would be some data loss...

    2. Either find someone that owns or buy (should be under 50$) a SATA to USB cable. If the problem is on the motherboard this will work, and you will be able to transfer your data to another computer. If its a problem with your hard drive, tough, then its a loss of however much that cable cost.
    Last edited by Near; 08-Dec-2010 at 19:02. Reason: Double post

  8. #8


    I assume you have tried it on multiple machines?
    Also, has the drive been initialised before? If it is new, it will need to be initialized before it will even be noticed by an operating system. Though some of the utilities you mentioned should detect this.

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