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Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 Issue

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I purchased a Seagate Barracuda 500 GB 7200.11 with SD15 firmware around 4 years back still under warranty. The HDD was divided into 4 partitions. I used Windows XP Professional x86 with no issues, suddenly in Oct 2012 the Comp was not booting up, tried to repair XP using the Installation CD but no use, The HDD then was not getting detected. I was worried as I have important family data and photos on the drive. Contacted seagate who suggested a firmware upgrade without loss of data. After nearly 3 weeks got the HDD back, put it back in the comp with the cables and powered on, I tried loading XP again and it was not going through..it showed me the 4 partitions which showed as totally free which should not be the case as I had data on it.
XP was always loaded on the C drive which was dedicated for the OS only, I am worried now whats to be done ...did I lose my family data stored on the other partions 'D' 'E' 'F' ......the XP installation cound not go ahead as it gave some error stating that Hard Disk is not available or something and installation has to quit.

I tried to connect the HDD through USB to my Laptop which shows the partitions. When I try to access the C drive it says in order to use it I need to format it, since it was the OS partition, I went ahead to format which did not happen and populated an error saying unexpected error ....partition not able to format ...please retry.....

Appreciate any expert advice on this matter. the HDD is still under warranty till September 2013.



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    The Finder

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What you report is VERY strange :w00t: (possibly in India after sale service is much better than anywhere else :unsure: ) .
It would be the first case ever reported of Seagate:
  • offering itself for a firmware upgrade
  • offering itself for a firmware upgrade without data loss

Experiences reported on this forum are that:
  • Seagate may offer itself to replace the disk drive (with NO guarantee whatsoever about data)
  • Seagate telling the user to upgrade himself/herself the firmware (if the drive is not bricked)
  • Seagate telling to contact i365 (their data recovery "branch") and i365 offering itself - on a case by case basis - to recover the data for free or against the payment or a rather high amount of money

In any case, whatever Seagate (or whomever acting as Seagate representative) did to that drive, you did your best to lessen the probabilities of ANY data recovery from it.
What do you want to do now?

  • contact again Seagate (or i365) and ask them to attempt recovering the data
  • attempt a DIY recover

In both cases, if I were you, and if the disk is not in BSY or LBA0 state, I would first try to have a forensic sound image of the drive (you will need a new drive slightly larger than the original one, typcally a 640 or 750 Gb one).

The Forum is full of examples on how to make such an image, a couple ones:


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