The details below are from a data recovery enquiry from a client with a typical WD hard drive problem.
I live in Bristol and I bought a new 2TB WD external harddrive a few months back, and it’s been fine until the other day where I decided to copy over a terrabyte of music program files (properllerhead Reason) from a Seagate NTFS harddrive to it. The transfer started fine, and was going to take 6 hours, so I left it alone. Then at some point I had to move the Macbook Pro, so carefully did so with the harddrives sat on top of it so they weren’t moved unncessarily. I will mention that I’ve had some issues with the Seagate drive, but as you’ll see from what I’m going to tell you it seems unlikely that it has caused the problem itself. Anyone, hours later when I figured the transfer would be complete I see an error message along the lines of ‘such and such a file couldn’t be copied because of a read error’. So the transfer was cancelled. All the files before that one had copied. Now I try to look at my WD hardrdrives contents and weird things start happening – I can’t access or open files, even though they are listed. I try to unmount the disk – it won’t. I check and shut all apps and programs that might be using it, to no avail (including shutting some hidden processes in activity monitor). It still won’t eject. I turn my mac off and on again. Now the harddisk shows up, but folders are greyed out, and I can’t even open them. Checking the ‘my info’ data on the drive shows that it’s full of all my data still…but for some reason something odd is going on with the drive. I also then notice a strange sound coming from the drive, that was not there before this happened. A regular ‘blip’ type sound – not a click, but a sharp, quick buzz sound, at regular though fairly spaced intervals every few seconds – i.e not quick clicking, or buzzing. It blips intermittently like this for a while as it trys and mostly fails to read data (some files open, and can be copied…but most can’t). Then the sound eventually stops, as if the drive gave up. It’s mounted, I can see the data, but 90% of it shows an error message (-36) when I try and copy it to back it up. This is hugely important data to me, as a musician – this is all my work for months. I never expected to get a problem with such a new harddrive, so haven’t backed up what I’d saved to it for the last three months. Which is a lot of stuff.
Just to reiterate – it mounts, slowly, makes an intermittent blip sound for a minute or two, then stops. The data shows up (although oddly not all the time – sometimes folders are missing), but is largely inaccessible. I managed to start a copy of a large amount of the data I consider the most important to another drive, but the ‘time remaining’ seemed ridiculous, as if the drive is now massively slow, and within a minute or two I got the ‘read error‘ messaage that meant the transfer stopped. Checking the destination folder, a few files had successfully copied. I have zero idea what’s going on here. There’s a chance I may have dropped the drive last week, but I can’t quite recall. I do seem to remember that happening, but can’t quite recall. It would of only been a minor knock.
Like I said, this is hugely important data to me. And it would seem like it’s all there, but there appears to be a physical problem with the disk. Looking online, maybe a stuck head. But it’s strange how it can sometimes read the data, but not copy it or open all of it. I’m wanting to use a data recovery service in Bristol