I moved my external WD20EARS drive (2TB) into my box and wanted to use it as my primary HDD.
First I didn’t realize that installing Ubuntu 10.04.2 on it with the (default) of 63 sectors per track geometry would yield slowdowns whenever a 4k block would cross a 4k physical sector.
I reinitialized the drive (with fdisk) specifying a geometry that leads to 4k aligned blocks, i.e. sectors per track = 48 and also heads = 248, just in case…
I then created my partiton table entries for /boot, /, swap and /home, just as I saw fit.
Everything went (very) well and now I could access the drive with ~50MB/s, copying all my data from my old 1TB (Hitachi) drive.
Now at some point I hit a brick wall when writing to the WD20EARS. It looks like a sector range at around sector # 260’000’000 on my /home partition was physically damaged. Whenever some program would write to that range, the drive reacted erroneously and finally went offline - literally. It wouldn’t read or write any sector or accept any command at all. I had to hard reset the system 2 or 3 times while I was trying to find out what was going wrong.
Now for the bad part: The drive isn’t even recognized at power up anymore, except for some rare cases and after a long delay (~30 seconds to 1 minute). Even if it is finally detected, I can’t boot from it or access it in any way.
Currently I’m running the Ubuntu 10.04.2 live CD and running Virtualbox to create a (Free)DOS partition where I will be trying to install the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic für DOS on. I intend to copy that virtual drive to an 8GB USB stick and try to run it from there.
My question: Has anyone else experienced such desastrous behaviour of a WD20EARS drive? What would you suggest for the case that somebody doesn’t have 100rds of $ to spend for professional data recovery?
Any hints and suggestions are welcome!