Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

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mr1992
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Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by mr1992 »

Hey there,

I've got a problem with my laptop's HDD (Seagate 1TB) refusing to mount on a hard drive reader. In my laptop, it's working just fine, it's dualboot (Windows 10/Linux 18 Cinnamon) but I've got an issue with Lenovo's hinges, making it impossible to use the machine (plus a connected stupid mistake of dropping it on the power cord which broke the power jack to some extent).

At any rate, I've removed it from my laptop, put it in a hard drive reader and connected it to a desktop computer (dual boot, using Linux 19.3 Cinnamon). Unfortunately, it's not recognised. "Disks" sees it's a 1TB drive (good start), but says "Partitioning Unkown (PMBR)"; GParted is similarly unhelpful, saying "/dev/sdc: unrecognised disk label". From System Information when it's running on my laptop, I've seen the partition table is GUID. Which I guess shouldn't be a problem; the file systems used are virtually the same on both machines.

sudo parted -l gave me this:

"Model: ATA TOSHIBA DT01ACA1 (scsi)
Disk /dev/sda: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: gpt
Disk Flags:

Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
1 1049kB 840MB 839MB ntfs Basic data partition hidden, diag
2 840MB 1113MB 273MB fat32 EFI system partition boot, esp
3 1113MB 1247MB 134MB Microsoft reserved partition msftres
4 1247MB 162GB 161GB ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
5 162GB 362GB 200GB ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
7 362GB 985GB 623GB ext4
6 985GB 1000GB 14,7GB ntfs Basic data partition hidden, diag


Error: /dev/sdc: unrecognised disk label
Model: ST1000LM 024 HN-M101MBB (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdc: 1000GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096B/4096B
Partition Table: unknown
Disk Flags:

"

fdisk -l gave me this:

"Disk /dev/sda: 931,5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 1E725148-83B4-4FC3-9844-58DDCED825B1

Device Start End Sectors Size Type
/dev/sda1 2048 1640447 1638400 800M Windows recovery environment
/dev/sda2 1640448 2172927 532480 260M EFI System
/dev/sda3 2172928 2435071 262144 128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sda4 2435072 317007871 314572800 150G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda5 317007872 707632871 390625000 186,3G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda6 1924739072 1953523711 28784640 13,7G Windows recovery environment
/dev/sda7 707633152 1924739071 1217105920 580,4G Linux filesystem

Partition table entries are not in disk order.


GPT PMBR size mismatch (1953525167 != 244190623) will be corrected by w(rite).
Disk /dev/sdc: 931,5 GiB, 1000204795904 bytes, 244190624 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 4096 = 4096 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x1341fe4b

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sdc1 1 1953525167 1953525167 7,3T ee GPT
"


and sfdisk this:

"Disk /dev/sda: 931,5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: 1E725148-83B4-4FC3-9844-58DDCED825B1

Device Start End Sectors Size Type
/dev/sda1 2048 1640447 1638400 800M Windows recovery environment
/dev/sda2 1640448 2172927 532480 260M EFI System
/dev/sda3 2172928 2435071 262144 128M Microsoft reserved
/dev/sda4 2435072 317007871 314572800 150G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda5 317007872 707632871 390625000 186,3G Microsoft basic data
/dev/sda6 1924739072 1953523711 28784640 13,7G Windows recovery environment
/dev/sda7 707633152 1924739071 1217105920 580,4G Linux filesystem

Partition table entries are not in disk order.


GPT PMBR size mismatch (1953525167 != 244190623) will be corrected by w(rite).
Disk /dev/sdc: 931,5 GiB, 1000204795904 bytes, 244190624 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 4096 = 4096 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x1341fe4b

"

Now, I'm a bit puzzled over what to do. Information I've so far encountered on the internet presumed the table to be corrupted; seeing that the drive works just fine when in the original machine, I wouldn't want to mess with it. Both Windows and Linux have been shut down properly (haven't used Windows in months, so that's definitely not an issue). I've tried running the disk in an older laptop, but I guess dual boot doesn't like that (no operating system found); it worked when it was a Linux-only hard drive. The reader itself works just fine as well with virtually any other drive. Any advice is greatly appreciated;

Thanks in advance :-)

Kadaitcha Man
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

mr1992 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:06 pm
I've seen the partition table is GUID. Which I guess shouldn't be a problem...
I suspect that's very much the wrong guess, especially with el-cheapo JMicron in the equation. The fact that the drive apparently works in the machine it came out of (assuming you didn't actually bork the drive yourself somehow) but doesn't work in the USB drive bay is possibly your get out of jail free clue. You might wish to connect that drive directly to the desktop's SATA connection and try to read it that way. Another option is to put the drive back in the machine it came out of and try to use a live session to backup important data.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

mr1992
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by mr1992 »

Thanks for your reply; I've tried having the hard drive read but I think Windows causes a problem there; also, I've had a stint recently getting this computer (VM60 iirc) to do dual boot and had to go for very specific settings (god-awful BIOS), making it impossible to use this hard drive.

What I don't get, though, is that it can read other hard drives just fine. At least, it did read a few when it was Windows only; what would be the difference there? I'm fairly sure I didn't bork it; I've actually checked in between whether I may have messed it up and it still booted up just fine. In the hope of making a better guess this time, this should mean it's not gone^^

Putting it back into the original machine to back things up is only possible if I can replace the power jack. Which I don't feel confident to do myself as of now. May I ask what exactly the problem is with JMicron and the table? Or why it refuses to work? Not that it's going to change much, but I don't understand enough of this to deduce it properly. Also, does JMicron mean it's used for the hard drive or the USB port; if the latter, could it be that when I ran the -l tests, it was plugged into the (probably inferior) port on the keyboard? It gave the same result in every other port, so that's not much of a difference.

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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

mr1992 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:34 pm
I've tried having the hard drive read but I think Windows causes a problem there; also ...
Only you know what that statement means. I'm sorry. and I'm not intending to be rude here either, I can't help you if you're not prepared to focus on the problem or are not prepared to provide proper details while I focus on trying to get a solution for you. I certainly can't decipher your statement beyond "it didn't work for me", whatever "it" actually was. Your best course of action might be to set that drive aside in a safe place and worry about it after you get your machine fixed.

Good luck.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

mr1992
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by mr1992 »

Messed that up in editing. Mea culpa, I apologise; what I meant is that I've tried the drive in another laptop and it didn't work (no operating system found); the desktop required a specific set-up with formatting, the details of which I cannot remember, but it was different from the machine it came from. I could give it a shot but I'm certain it fails; given that I'd spent ~6h last time messing around with the BIOS and everything (wouldn't see the grub loader if that's the right term), I'm not very hopeful it'd work. When I set it up on my machine, it was rather uncomplicated and straightforward. I'll see how the file systems compare (i,e, what the exact differences are) and if there are none, I'll give it a shot.

Regarding the rest: In more straightforward terms, the drive still works fine, I've kept checking in the other computer and it boots up and is usable. The question I'd raised at the end was what exactly the issue is; as you probably deduced, I'm not very knowlegeable of computers and simply google until I find a solution (or don't, then I ask on a forum).

I understood it has something to do with JMicron - I don't know what that is. What I wondered was whether that's referring to the hard drive or to the USB port. I was asking because I'd pasted the results from -l checks when the external drive reader was plugged into the keyboard's USB port, which I can imagine is a cheaper make than the ports used on the desktop computer itself. I simply wanted to understand what exactly the problem is, even if there's no solution apart from the ones you've suggested.

Hope I've expressed myself more clearly this time, again, apologies, should've phrased it better the first time 'round =), thanks again for your reply.

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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by Kadaitcha Man »

mr1992 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:32 pm
Messed that up in editing. Mea culpa, I apologise;
That's fine, don't worry about it. I really think that you need to set this drive aside and get the machine repaired before trying to get anything off that drive. You run risk of losing everything on that drive, and it seems, not that you've said so, that you don't have a backup. In this situation, your attempts to get at the data actually put it at higher risk.
what I meant is that I've tried the drive in another laptop and it didn't work (no operating system found);
Therein lies the problem. You don't want to boot from it, you run the risk of losing everything on that drive if you do. If this were my machine, I wouldn't be prepared to take that risk given it appears that you have no backup, and if you had a backup then none of this is necessary at all.

You want to boot from a full operating system or an operating system on a flash drive then attempt to mount that disk's partitions, but only those 3 where there is possibly user data, then, if that succeeds, you want to copy your important files from that drive. Specifically these partitions only:

Code: Select all

4 1247MB 162GB 161GB ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
5 162GB 362GB 200GB ntfs Basic data partition msftdata
7 362GB 985GB 623GB ext4
Now, you can try to plug your external drive caddy into either a linux or a windows machine. In either case, you only want to try mounting those partitions, first one partition, get your important files copied off it, then unmount it and try to mount then recover data from the next partition.

If you do this from linux, we may need to work out how best to manually mount those partitions, if you decide to proceed. My best advice is wait but it's your data.
It's pronounced kad-eye-cha, not kada-itcha.

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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by AndyMH »

Sounds like a duff sata to usb connector/cable. Don't know JMicron, but I've never had any problems with sabrent.
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mr1992
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by mr1992 »

Cheers, I didn't know I'd risk my data trying to run a different machine with it. Erm, yeah, so far, when I broke a laptop I've simply taken its hard drive, plugged it into a different machine and continued using it until I had time to set up the new laptop. Linux seemed to never have had any issues (got a ~5 year old drive lying around that still boots up fine, no matter what I plug it into). Wouldn't have thought it's that risky <.<
Now, you can try to plug your external drive caddy into either a linux or a windows machine. In either case, you only want to try mounting those partitions, first one partition, get your important files copied off it, then unmount it and try to mount then recover data from the next partition.
Just to clarify, should I have confused you, those partitions you've quoted are the desktop's partitions, not my laptop hard drive's. The latter's partitions don't show up anywhere; both should of course be set up the same.

Theoretically, if I were to try to force-mount the partitions, how would I do that seeing that programs either consider the table broken (and thus no data) or simply don't see any data on the drive? Not sure what I'm gonna do yet (issues of affordability/availability of repair, current lockdown, etc.), but I'd be curious how that'd work. I'd of course use the computer I currently use (Mint 19.3)

mr1992
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by mr1992 »

Did some more research; guess it's unfixable due to the SATA to USB reader (I think I now get what you initially meant) - the hard drive is probably too big to be read by it, even though it's only 1TB. That reader is ~7-8 years old, so perhaps that may explain things.

https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2433222

Question is, would a new(er)/different SATA reader remedy this issue? Presuming that is the case, I reckon it'd be a cheaper/quicker option than having my laptop fixed in, if this lockdown continues, weeks/months.

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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by deck_luck »

mr1992 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:06 pm
GPT PMBR size mismatch (1953525167 != 244190623) will be corrected by w(rite).
Disk /dev/sdc: 931,5 GiB, 1000204795904 bytes, 244190624 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 4096 = 4096 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x1341fe4b
I was under the impression desktop/laptop drives with 4096 bytes physical sectors are still using 512 bytes block sector emulation. Does your desktop computer have an available slot/SATA port? If so what does the sfdisk indicate using a direct SATA connection to your laptop drive?

As Kadaitcha Man described the JMicron USB to SATA bridge may be the culprit. Most retail USB to SATA bridges in your external drive caddies or external enclosures are JMicron. I was thinking maybe you have a very old USB to SATA bridge, and it does not correctly handle drives with 4096 bytes physical sectors and 512 bytes logical sector emulation.
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Re: Laptop HDD doesn't mount as external drive; unrecognised disk label issue

Post by AndyMH »

As indicated in my earlier post, not had any problems with my sabrent usb/sata adaptor. No problems with logical/physical sector mismatches. A 320GB HDD (have also had a 500GB drive plugged into it). Parted:

Code: Select all

Model: SABRENT  (scsi)
Disk /dev/sdd: 320GB
Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
Partition Table: msdos
Disk Flags: 
And it's not expensive.
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