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Toshiba MK2016GAP HDD2154 20GB Data Recovery Information


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These are some real problems experienced by MK2016GAP HDD2154 20GB and Toshiba hard drives in general that we see in our lab. We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. We see mostly failed drives in our lab and therefore we don't have complete statistics.

Initially only bad sectors were encountered when we rebooted the system. We performed a file system check but couldn't transfer our files to other devices. When we tried to reboot with a live CD and mount the hard drives, which unfortunately we had to do a couple of times and eventually one of the hard disks is gone. It gave wrong model name and 0MB size in the bias and cannot be mounted by any means. The other one is fine. But because of the raid 0 configuration, we cannot get our files.
Natalie A-M
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Toshiba is represented on HDD market with laptop and SCSI drives. Main problem with Toshiba drives so far is bad quality of bearings lubricant in some of the 2.5 inch families(most often GAS and GAX). We see this hard drive failure since 2007 with its peak later that year.
Typical symptoms are:

  • drive spins up with loud grinding/buzzing/rattling/whirring noise: , or in worst case it appears to be dead and doesn't spin up at all
  • drive is not found in BIOS
  • when holding it next to the ear you might hear slight ticking or scratching noise as if motor tries to spin up but cannot: .
If you attempt to boot up from such drive or read any data from it you would get "Primary Master Hard Disk Fail" or "No operating system found" or "USB Device malfunctioned" error or "S.M.A.R.T. Capable But Command Failed" or some other hard drive error on boot.
I'm sad to say the external hard drive was accidentally dropped off of an end table about one and a half feet high. Now when I try to connect it to my computer I can start to hear it spin, then it quietly clicks about 4 or 5 times, then stops spinning completely. The green power ring stays lit until I unplug it from the power supply, I can't turn it off by pressing the big front button. The computer won't recognize anything is plugged in, and I don't think the BIOS shows it either.
J-P.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

All this makes the data inaccessible and laptop usually fails to boot and user get "Hard drive not found" error. Normally data recovery companies would attempt swapping platters is such cases in order to retrieve data. This is one of the most difficult and therefore most expensive jobs in data recovery, but in our lab we have our own know-how technology that allows to deal with this problem without opening the drive and helps us keep prices much lower.

Another quite common symptom Toshiba drives have is clicking, knocking or sweeping sound. The drive spins up and the head starts clicking right away with a constant or intermittent sound: . This is a clear sign of a bad head and clean room combined with experience and equipment is essential here for successful data recovery.

There is one more problem that is typical for all manufactured hard drives: bad sectors. After some period of time magnetic media the platters are covered with starts to degrade and bad sectors appear.
Whenever the drive hits such unreadable bad sector it could start freezing, scratching, ticking and sometimes loud clicking: . This leads to further damage to the surface and causes more data loss. As soon as you start experiencing such symptoms while reading important files stop the drive immediately and send it to a data recovery lab. Any further attempts would just add up to the problems. In our lab we use special imaging hardware tools that are capable of reading raw sector data ignoring checksum check. That's usually the only way to retrieve as much data as possible from these LBAs.

The model number is Toshiba(MK2016GAP HDD2154 20GB). This drive was removed from an external drive and the actual drive enclosure was wrapped in some sort of bizarre EMI cage. I think - at this point - the problem is a stuck head. Originally, the HD would try to servo a couple times and then quit; in retrospect, the reserve area was probably damaged.
Sven J.
Aalborg, Danmark

head sticktion to the platter
Toshiba drives also share some common laptop drives problems. One of them is heads sticktion to the platter surface. Heads are normally parked on the parking ramp outside of the platters, but sometimes due to a hit or abnormal termination they fail to return to their regular parking position and are left on the surface. Immediately after the motor stops spinning they stick to the ideally smooth surface and it becomes impossible to release them without proper tools and experience. In this case hard drive appears to be dead and in order to retrieve data it needs to be opened in clean room. Don't attempt to open the drive by yourself - chances are you will damage the heads and the surface and this will make your data unrecoverable.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above with your Toshiba MK2016GAP HDD2154 20GB please feel free to contact us to get upfront quote on data recovery from your failed drive.

If you hear your Toshiba hard drive making some other unusual noises visit our Hard Drive Sounds page for more examples.

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