Every type of hard disk failure can be associated with unique coding system. Every code has a description for breakdown and testing procedure. If you are familiar with basics of technicality associated with diagnosis, analysis and rectification processes, you will be able to correlate all these parameters. You can come across generic error codes which are applicable to all brands of hard disks and specific codes related to each brand like HP, Seagate, and western digital as well as other established hard disk making companies.
For example you could consider the error coding system of Seagate Company. They have an 8 digit coding system like C5C898A2 for failed drive detection, 8078002a for bad clusters and sectors etc. The company has developed a tool for HDD failure diagnosis named Sea-Tools. Initially it was meant for DOS based systems only. Subsequent updates have made it adaptable for Windows based systems also.
Disk Diagnostic Tools from Seagate
The Sea diagnostic tool from Seagate can test all types of HDD drives including SCSI, SATA, PATA and other types. You can also run diagnosis of external drives like portable HDD, CD drive, USB and FIREWIRE drives. Once you have installed the software, double click to open the menu. You can find plenty of tools for multiple types of disk diagnosis.
- Short-Drive-Self-Test: – This is a specific type of test run by Sea tools for short time between 20 and 90 seconds. It us useful for scanning any sudden surges in power supply, spikes, voltage fluctuations etc. You can choose to “time” this scan between convenient intervals.
- Long-Drive-Self-Test: – This is a comprehensive diagnostic mode which takes more than 4 to 5 hours for completion. All the sectors are completely checked by the system for logical errors and physical damages. You can run this test for both internal and external drives. Sea diagnostic tool has the option for “sector repair” in case of external drives. When the tool discovers bad sectors within the drive, it keeps count of them. Sea Tool keeps track of two types of bad sectors, namely file sector and folder sector. File sectors are recovered and data is restored directly, while folder sector links to files and sub folders are recreated before restoring them. The tool initially tries to restore the files and folders in bad sectors to unused good sectors within the same drive. If this is not possible, then it displays an error message. Then you need to connect a secondary rescue disk and back up the restored data into that drive.
- Meta Data Restore Tools: – Meta Data is related to file allocation tables, links to files and folders in the disk drive. The HDD read-write head uses this information to track files and sub folders links. Disk failure can cause damages to Meta data, making it impossible to access files and folders. When Sea tools repair these links, they need to be mirrored onto the rescue disk in order to restore them along with the files and sub folders.
- Encrypted Data Restore Tools: – Full-Disk-Encryption (FDE) type of drive stores data in encrypted format. Usually the complete disk is protected with a password. When such a disk gets corrupt and fails, data recovery process takes more time compared to normal disk recovery. Sea Tools offer utilities for recovering data from such disks also. Note-Book disk drives with “FDE” in the disk-label name belong to this category. Sea Tools can recover FDE passwords along with encrypted data onto another rescue disk from the corrupt source disk.
- Deleted Files and Folders recovery Tools: – Sea Tools offer recovery of accidentally / intentionally deleted files and folders from SATA, IDE, SAS, SCSI and PATA types of disk drives. Files and folders deleted from Windows /Linux /Mac systems still retain their Meta data links unless these links get overwritten. When you run Sea tools on such disks and specify the file and folder names (You can also use wildcards like *?) the tool searches for meta-links related such names and restores the deleted data.
Hard Disk Data Recovery from HP Systems
HP systems support SATA and IDE drives to great extent apart from SAS and PATA to certain levels. Though Windows is the most commonly found OS among HP systems, it is not uncommon to come across Linux, UNIX and Novell Netware OS (usually Netware servers have Novell OS while clients work on Windows OS). You can have a complete client server environment within your organization with HP servers and clients. HP servers normally run on Windows 2012 /2008 server OS, while the clients work on Windows 8/7 OS.
- Server Disk Failure: – Most commonly observed forms of disk failure among servers are related to RAID. Some of them are actuator failure, controller malfunction, RAID configuration corruption, motor damage, component failure, spike damages, vibration damage etc. When mechanical devices fail, it may not be possible to recover data through data restoration software alone. You need dedicated hardware devices for doing this job.
- 3-D Data recovery: – One of the best known methods of recovering data from mechanically damaged drives is called 3-D data recovery. It consists of 3 stages, namely Drive-restoration, disk-imaging and data-salvaging. Hardware tools like platter exchange, head exchange, magnet fixing, motor fixing, and HDD component alignment tools are used restore the drive and its components in the first stage. The second stage involves mirroring of data from failed disk onto another “good disk” as it is. All the data from repaired sectors get mirrored into the target disk. Data from unrepaired sectors in the source disk may get mirrored partially. This process completes the second stage. In the third stage you need to use a data recovery software tool for regrouping and repairing files. Make sure that you select a tool that can fix MBR errors also. It is always better to let the system perform a complete scan before fixing the files. Auto repair and data recovery tools provide best of solutions for maximum data recovery.