Data Recovery from a Toshiba DT01ACA100 with a Corrupted Translator

Your disk’s controller needs to know exactly your data is stored. When an application such as Microsoft Word or PhotoShop “calls up” for data such as text files or image files, the host system needs to find it quickly and easily.

Up until the mid-1990s, Cylinder-Head-Sector (CHS) was a widely used addressing scheme for electro-mechanical hard disks. This system mapped the physical geometry of the disk platters into a data addressing system. However, as disks got larger, this system became increasingly inefficient. (Officially, CHS could only handle addressing in disks less than 8GB in size).

Enter Logical Block Addressing (LBA). It simplified the addressing scheme by treating the disk as a linear array of blocks, which makes it easier to manage larger capacities with more complex geometries.

We recently encountered a disk issue where the disk’s User Area reported no data. Not even a single byte. Our diagnostics revealed that the disk-heads were in good condition and the number of bad sectors was within the normal range for a disk of its age. The user, a technician in a metal fabrication plant, was using the hard disk in a Lenovo PC on the factory floor to run Autodesk Fusion. Their plant experienced an unexpected power cut, and the Lenovo system was abruptly powered off just as a job was being sent to one of their CNC machines.  

In this context, the symptoms of the disk were unsurprising. Sudden power loss can cause LBA translators to become corrupt. This will often mean the User Area of the disk will now show up as having zero data.

The Solution

For this specific case, we used our PC-3000 equipment to read the 3.5” Toshiba S-ATA DT01ACA100 7200 rpm disk in PBA (Physical Block Address) mode. This mode is particularly effective for hard disks experiencing LBA translator corruption. By doing so, we could locate the NTFS metadata and successfully restore the user’s data. This included their .F3D (Autodesk Fusion) files, which were crucial for the uninterrupted operation of their workflow of this fabrication plant.

Drive Rescue Dublin offer a complete data recovery service for faulty, corrupt or clicking Toshiba hard disks such as Toshiba P300, Toshiba MK1001TRKB, Toshiba DT01ABA200 and Toshiba DT01ACA100