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trying to save data off a failing hard drive

Discussion in 'Apple Desktop Hardware/Software' started by Saggas, Dec 9, 2018 at 9:58 AM.

  1. Saggas

    Saggas Member

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    helping a mate out who hasn't backed up.. in.. god I don't know how long.
    basically a mac mini has a failing hard drive.. machine will boot and will run for maybe 2-3 mins sometimes longer.. before the hard drive starts clicking very loudly.
    ive copied off a bit of data, but wondering if there is a way to clone the hard drive or something?
    I tried to set up time machine a couple of times with an external hard drive.. but both times it just starts locking up.
    any thoughts? rip the drive out put it into a caddy and back it up? My only issue is (as ive never done this with a mac hard drive) will the data be readable when plugged in as an external.

    any thoughts would be appreciated at this stage
     
  2. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    That "click of death" is not good.....

    Does he know what's on it, and is it organised? If so, focus on getting off the most important stuff first, because you may not have many opportunities before it carks it for good. Make every attempt count, don't keep trying things.

    If the data are important, send it to the data recovery place and don't keep trying.

    The major disc manufacturers have cloning software you can download. The length of time you're getting the thing to "work" doesn't sound long enough for a clone to work.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Saggas

    Saggas Member

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    thanks for the response man...
    yeah very true I dare say its only got hours maybe days left.

    looking at what data is on there, mostly personal photos and downloaded media. It might even be easier for me to grab all the photos for him, and redownload the media at another time.
     
  4. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    Definitely. Forget anything replaceable. Grab whatever else you can.
     
  5. Myne_h

    Myne_h Member

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    Get a caddy.

    Copy it from a different machine.

    Being cooler can help. People often use ziploc bag and freezers to get an extra few minutes out of a drive.

    If you have a bar fridge, it's not ridiculous to put it in there for the hour or so you need.

    That said, if you can get a directory listing (assuming a windows machine with a hpfs driver)

    From the drive root: Dir /s /b *.* > c:\drive.txt will create a text file you can search through.
    When that's done, turn it off.

    Since you have to assume you only have limited time, get the small files first. Docs, photos - things that can't be replaced.
    Find those folders, and the rest of it won't really be missed.

    If you get those off, then you can try a full disk copy.
     
  6. CAPT-Irrelevant

    CAPT-Irrelevant Member

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    I've come across this idea before. The suggestion was to put the HDD into a freezer, and the claim was the freezing of the reader head(?) would cause the material to expand which should assist in re-aligning the reader head to the disk platter.

    I've not tried it myself, but I do have disk platter HDD that I would like to get to, but the partition is labelled "RAW" and I don't want to format it, despite knowing there can be some small chance that software can find the data.

    Any credibility on this? Is this what you were referring to Myne_h ?

    To be clear - My issue is not specific to Apple/mac OS.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018 at 5:03 PM
  7. miicah

    miicah Member

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    How important is the data? Ideally you would get a data recovery place to fix it for you and it sounds like it would just be a matter of replacing the read heads as it seems you still have access to the data? (ie not corrupted)
     
  8. asho444

    asho444 Member

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    Freezing does actually work half the time, I had no idea the science behind but was suggested and worked for a couple of hard drives that have been clicking! Also try booting into Linux and copying off, I generally have more luck in there then windows, tho being Mac I don't even know if it would work with windows :confused:
     
  9. fredhoon

    fredhoon Member

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    Depending of the FS and if you're using Windows, try Unstoppable Copier. It can be set to copy partial files and skip read errors (and/or come back to those blocks when everything else is done). If the drive dies after a few minutes you can resume the remaining files after the next time the drive is cycled through the freezer.
     
  10. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    This bloke has some info about clicking and also mentions when freezing might work
     

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