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"Gibberish" files on external Western Digital 500GB HDD

By adventuretom
Feb 28, 2012
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  1. My 500gb hdd is about 2 years old, which I realize is about the average lifespan of a WD harddrive. Up until now, it had only given me similar problems very sparingly and would be fixed with a quick restart. Now, after multiple restarts, it looks like the problem is potentially permanent.

    Here are some examples of what happens:
    i.imgur.com/1h9Dc jpg
    I have only used about 200GB on the HDD

    i.imgur.com/SYBrN jpg
    The content of the HDD and what happens when I try to open a folder

    On other PCs (well I tried it on an iMac), the harddrive is read, but no files show up. I scanned it with what I believe was called Partition Recovery however no problems were found. I'm hoping someone on here can help me salvage it, if not I'll just have to no longer trust WD :(

    Other information that might be useful:
    Windows Vista 64-bit
    Problem seemed to have started after I began sharing it over network (not sure if this was a coincidence)
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,539   +301

    Have you tested it with a hard drive diagnostic utility like SeaTools?

    I'd consider checking for a firmware update on the drive and applying that. I think I've seen something similar like that happen with a dead hard drive but I can't exactly remember. So it might be worth waiting for someone else to respond before going ahead with the firmware update. I don't entirely know how those work and I wonder if updating the firmware may make recovery impossible (if it ever was possible to begin with).

    Hiren's Boot CD has some pretty good recovery tools and I had some good luck recovering files off a drive when I booted into Mini XP mode with the CD. I had to try several utilities before I had any luck, and when I did find one that was able to recover it took a really long time, much longer than it would just copying files.
  3. adventuretom

    adventuretom TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I'm running these now and it seems to be passing all of them. I'm not sure if that's good news or bad news honestly.



    I'll admit that's a pretty intimidating list... I'll look more into it if everything else proves unhelpful.


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