My WD portable hard drive contains all my digital photographs (about 650 MB of them). When we plugged the drive into our new computer, a fault/error was detected – and it was suggested that we scan and repair the disk. (We did not.) Instead we used Macrium Reflect to try to clone the WD hard drive to a 2 TB Seagate portable hard drive. The cloning process failed and it then appeared that neither drive could be properly “seen” by Windows Explorer – for both drives, we were asked whether we wished to reformat the disk. (We did not.)
We fear that the original data has been completely lost, which is extremely distressing. We would like some professional help and would very much appreciate a call over the weekend to inform us whether you think you could find a solution. We are happy to deliver both drives to Warrington on Sunday, but getting them to Warrington during the week may be tricky.
Thanks for your question. This is a problem we are asked more or less every week. Fortunately it seems like you’ve done nothing wrong so far. You certainly want to avoid taking any action that will change the structure (“repair”) of the data on the hard drive. My thoughts are that you either have a slight file system corruption that is causing the data not to be read, but from experience, I think your hard drive probably has bad sectors. These are parts of the hard drive that have become unreadable and have gone “bad”. I’m not familiar with Macrium Reflect and I suggest you don’t use anything like that as it is software based. Using software to recover data from hard drives with bad sectors is asking for trouble and the problem is physical – and no software is able to fix a physical problem. Instead, bring the hard drive into the Data Clinic offices and we should be able to retrieve the information for you. Data Clinic’s closet branch to Warrington is in Bury, Greater Manchester, which is where the main recovery lab is based. You can find information and an address at http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/data-recovery-manchester/.