The Dead Disk Blues, part 3

The relief I’m feeling right now is almost indescribable. I’ve got my data back!

It wasn’t as a result of sticking the hard disk in the fridge for the afternoon, as suggested by The Register. Nor did I have to shell out £1040, as quoted by The Data Clinic, who specialise in recovering data from this particular batch of Fujitsu drives. (Mine was a MPG3409AT, 40GB.)

No, the (free!) fix came courtesy of a very kind Australian gentleman, who had posted a message on a newsgroup thread discussing this very problem. He had also suffered from a disk failure. But when he was in touch with Fujitsu Australia, they sent him a piece of software they use internally for recovering these drives. It’s a bootable disk with a rescue program on it. He forwarded it to me, I ran it, and…my PC recognized the disk again.

But not for very long, though. I’ve just spent the last two hours or so racing against the clock to get all of my data off of the disk before it died on me again. The rescue program had worked once, but I had no intention of relying on it to work a second time!

But yes, I was able to grab everything I thought I had lost: most importantly the photos we’d taken and downloaded onto the disk in the last two months. To celebrate, below is one of the pictures we thought we’d lost. It’s one of Alex looking moody on our day trip to Glasgow two weeks ago. It’s a beautiful photo, and I am simply filled with joy that we still have it.

Alex on the train to Glasgow, looking out of the window.

To my benefactor in Australia, “thank you” doesn’t say it strongly enough, but it’s all I can do on a simple web page. Thank you!

See also:

43 Replies to “The Dead Disk Blues, part 3”

  1. Be careful what drives you buy – drive reliabilty has gone down the tubes over the last few years. Instead of fixing the problems, drive makers are lowering the warrenty periods to 1 year.

    I recently had a drive at work start to fail (the Maxtor “double-beep of death”). I managed to get my data off, but the drive is sitting on a shelf, never to be trusted again.

    Before they went under Micropolis drives were the worst. I don’t know anyone who had one that did not have it fail.

    All this leads to two rules for purchasing a drive (supplied by a coworker, but very true):

    Rule #1: Don’t by a drive made by a company whose name starts with “m”.
    Rule #2: Fujitsu starts with m.

    Since Quantum is owned by Maxstor, that rules them out too. Current winners seem to be Western Digital and IBM.

    Best of luck,


  2. Hi, I am working on the same model of HD and was wondering if you still had the recovery program around. If you could forward it to me, my life would be a great deal easier.


  3. Sounds like that bit of software was really handy in your recovery. I’m in exactly the same situation now and was wandering if you could post the name of the software you used.

  4. My God, thank you so much for letting me know your story! My MPG3409AT is giving me exactly the same disaster! Can I have a copy of files on that magic boot disk (win2000) please?


  5. I’m wondering (a) if that program works on other types of hard drives/situations and (b) why not just post the link to the app in the original article? oh…and (c) shouldn’t we be speaking out against the manufacturer in some form, it sounds like it’s happened to quite a few folks who own that particular model…

    I have a similar partitioning scheme as far as having one partition for the OS/programs and one for data (the one I care about) …unfortunately I tried to use Partition Magic 8 to merge those two partitions together (for extra free space) and ended up losing 90% of my data in the process…after talking with some other users who have tried the product, I would suggest staying far far away from this (and other disk tinkering progs) unless you have a recent backup

  6. I tested the program with a much older Fujitsu drive (a 1GB M1636TAU), and it didn’t recognize the drive. I suspect that the app is tuned to work with modern Fujitsu drives, possibly relying on a certain generation of controller chips present on the drive’s logic board.

    I haven’t posted a link to the program, because as far as I can tell, the only people who have it are Fujitsu and specialist data recovery companies. This program is *not* commercially available software. The only reason I have a copy is because I was lucky enough to find someone who had been given a copy by Fujitsu themselves.

    As for speaking out against Fujitsu for making a batch of faulty drives, well, that’s already taking place. There’s a class action lawsuit pending in the US against Fujitsu for exactly this matter. If you search Google for “fujitsu class action ( you’ll find numerous pages from law firms participating in the case, and details on how to join the list of defendants.

    I agree with your advice to be careful with software like disk partitioning tools. But this Fujitsu utility is something you would only ever use in an emergency. I wasn’t willing to pay over £1000 for a data recovery company to get my data back, so it was a case of taking a chance with this tool, or losing my data forever. It was an easy decision to make 🙂

  7. Hi,

    Can you not just post the name of the software? Then I will have something to work with… Maybe even get Fujitsu to send it to me 🙂

  8. Hi Martin,

    I’m another person out of luck with one of these fujitsu drives. Would you be able to email me a copy, pretty please?!


  9. Hi Martin, I am having the same problem with this model of disk, whose owner is a friend of mine and would love his data recovered… I have not been able to bring it back to life again, and it lies on my table now. Would you be so kind to email me a copy of the rescue disk?

    Thanks in advance.

  10. Hiya.

    I now have two dead MPG harddrives. one has some critical information on it. (I keep reminding people to back up their data but do people listen?).

    Could you send the name of the file as the program name doesn’t come up on a search.



  11. martin, one way you can thank your benefactor is by sharing that file with the people who desperately need to recover their data. I also have pictures of my daughters I would like to retrieve from my fujitsu MPG3204AH drive.
    Please share with us. We are all eternally grateful.

  12. hi there,

    having the same problem like you all, i did a search on the internet and i found the following message on

    I’ve got the file which is named there by edonkey overnight. So, since there are about 20 GB of data on my mpg3409ah i’ll give it a try. Because there is some confusing partitioning (2 FAT, 3 ext2) on the harddisc i dont know whether it will work in the end. But i’m somewhat excited;-)

    For people having the mpg3204at-discs, may be the following link will be of interest to you:

    I think, it would be a good idea, if you will report about the success or the experience with the program. At last, fujitsu should attend to their duty and help people out of this problem
    and they should publish this programm as a last and cheap chance before using professional help.

    If it will work or not, really much thanks to “zycx” and “uart” from storagereview and the nice guy giving away this file by edonkey.

  13. Hi Martin! I too have lost my hard disk with all of my pictures and documnts. I’ve contacted a local computer store who say they might be able to fix it for $150, but if your program can fix it for free that would be even better! Can you send me a copy please?

  14. I found a copy of the tool. I visited and did a search for “”.

    Only one thread was found in a language I could not understand, but after reading through the thread, I found a link to the tool.

    One big problem though. The disk image for the tool creates a RAW formatted disk that none of the floppy drives I have access to can boot to or even read from.

    OH WELL! It was worth a try. Hopefully some of you will have better luck than I.

  15. The version of the tool I have is 2.0.2a, so this sounds like the same thing. The first time I tried it, I couldn’t boot from the disk, either. (I think the floppy may have been damaged…) But I tried using the program to create a second boot floppy, and it worked fine. Maybe give it another try?

  16. Could someone atleast tell me how to use that bloody link ‘cos EDonkey doesn’t seem to be finding anything, or could someone give me another link?

    Donkey needs to be killed for glue.

  17. So, now that I’ve got it, how do I use it?

    I am wondering how I can use the recovery tool to
    back up/copy the failed Fujitsu 20 GB HD
    (MPG3204AT) to a FOLDER on a new Maxtor 80 GB
    HD. (Yeah, I know – Maxtor begins with an “M”)

    The “manual” was not very forthcoming about
    how to do this. Also I wonder about the two-step
    process in the manual. What was the first step
    (section 5) all about? Then you do what’s in
    section 6 to copy. But the manual (section 6)
    makes it look like you have to do an image clone
    to the exact same type of drive. I don’t want
    to do that. Instead, I just want to copy all the
    files to a separate “recovery” folder on my new
    drive. Does the recovery tool not allow me to
    do this?

    Can somebody please illuminate the “manual” and
    tell me, step-by-step, how to actually copy
    recovered data to a folder on a new (different
    manufacturer’s) drive?

    (Assume I have got as far as creating the bootable

    Thanks and regards,


  18. That FFDR tool from MHDDSOFTWARE: is it REALLY
    US$1,790.00 or was that meant to be US$17.90?

    After all, $1,790.00 is about three times more
    than what those blood-sucking data recovery
    “services” charge to recover a 20 GB HDD!

    Has anyone tried it?



  19. WOW did not think it would happen too me, September 20th my drive kicked the bucket just like you guys here, Well I tried the recovery tools some of you have posted and no luck, I tried all the things people said would work, no luck, but the I called Fujitsu support today, and They gave me a link on there site too go too, well it tells me that all of these dead drives are under a 3 year warrenty starting 3 months after manufacture date, sure that dont get your things back, but Fujitsu has 2 options, New drive with a 90 day warrenty, or they will cut you a cheque for what you paid for the drive, hummm thats a tough choice, $90 or a drive with only a 90 day warrenty… Well my $90 cheque is in the mail, I will post a message when I get it, well my 40 gig drive aint worth $90 anymore, so I think I might get a 60 gig or maybe even an 80 gig…. cant wait for that cheque…

  20. Got same shit problem,I have 2 fujitsu drivers,both of them wont even spin up.

    I will try some of your tricks,and hopefully they will work.

    Thanks guys

  21. Thanks a lot 4 the file frankly. Finally ive been able to recover my files about 2 months after my drive fucked up! By the way you dont need to follow the manual to recover your data coz wot i did was to switch of my pc after it said that the drive had been recovered, then re connect both drives with one as master and the other as slave and restart the pc and instead of leaving in the disk i took it out and booted up into windows where i copied only the essential files. The drive still works but ive disconnected it now.

  22. I did exactly the same as Chesty, just connected the failed drive as a slave once it had been recovered. All files on the failed drive could be accessed and copied through Windows – quite a relief!

    Has anyone carried on using the failed drive once it has been recovered? Or is this considered to be much too risky?

  23. I wouldn’t continue to run with a recovered drive. The fault is not *permanently* fixed by the Fujitsu recovery program. The underlying problem is still there, and is highly likely to emerge again.

  24. pls..pls…pls…forward me the file to recover the data of my fujitsu drive..its an MPG3204AT..It’s got all my little girls photos on it which i would really like to restore if possible….Thanks

  25. Tahir – just click on the link to the .zip file about 10 posts back – it takes you directly to the download site.

  26. Hi guys,
    My greatest thanks for sorting this nice recovery tool out. I kept my dead MPG3204AT-EU already half year and tested all possible recovery tricks on it (freezing, changing PCB, tested on 5 different PC-s, even opened up the disk etc) without any success.
    But thanks to you I got this recoveryfloppy and managed to copy all my 15GB data from that broken disk!!!!
    Again, THANK YOU!!!

  27. G’day I had the same prob with my Fujitsu 40GB MPG3409AT till a mate of mine hooked me up with a “Seagate Extra Value CD” I don’t know where he got it but it works a treat. I’ve never had a problem with the drive since the program on the CD was called disk manager so i’d say searching for a download on seagate disk manager would probobly fix you lads up ta

    if you dont have any luck post here and if i remember to come back ill hassle seagate to let me release the disk image

    Laters lil Gibbo

    Frankly’s link did the trick for me!
    Huge sigh of relief.

    Managed to revive my mpg3409ah, and backup all data.

    Is anybody still using their drive after recovery? Did it ever go down again? Did the utility fix it again? What DID the utility actually fix? How can people justify charging £400 to do this?

  29. I used the drive after recovery for about a month but it failed again. It recovered itself after cooling down without needing to re-run the utility. Maybe it would run for longer if it was better cooled, but sod that – way too risky. I’ve now backed up all my data and bought a new drive.

  30. Ok. I tried that tool but it seems to break in the middle of loading… floppy does a strange eek eek eek and then nothing happens anymore. I can eventually press enter and then it loads for yet few more seconds. On the screen it says to wait but nothing really happens, no license shows up so i can accept it and proceed to recovery.

    I tried as many as 5 different floppies, all error-free and they all fail same way. Does anyone know what to do next?

    Also, the drive i got (40GB MPG serie) shows up in bios as “33333333333333” or something, even though it doesn’t work properly it locks booting process thus i had to try a trick like i power it on right after floppy starts to boot or it won’t allow me to at all.

    Please help, i would really appreciate this.

  31. And I thought my Filipino Comrades in Arms made a faulty mistake in assembling my very own super faulty MPG3204AT drive…

    If that were true, it would have been a serious blow to my patriotic ego…

    GUNdam Fujitsu for stamping /Made In The Philippines/ on stupid MPG3????? HDD’s…

    Now if those class action suits had a way for putting us Filipino customers in the loop…

    Anyway, gonna try everything we’ve got, right?
    — MadameRoiLorelai

    — If that’s their future, they’re HISTORY.

  32. HungryEye,

    Possible problem is that the utility is only supposed to work with drives that power up but aren’t recognised by the BIOS. That might mean it won’t work with your drive.

    Maybe worth re-downloading the utility and going for it again – you never know.

  33. Mechanical error??
    Same problem – MPG3202AT disk not recognised by BIOS.

    On boot the disc produces an abnormal acoustic Eek Eek noice… I downloaded the RecoverToolV202A.exe – however the manual states that the software can not help with abnormal conditions such as the above mentioned noice.

    My disc came from an IBM Netvista 2179-86G – so I strongly advice people with the same maschine to start backing up their system before breakdown.

    Any solutions to help with the Eek Eek problem and recover the data will be very much appriciated!

  34. Thank you guys for all your help in this forum.
    I finally managed to recover my MPG3409AH disk with the RecoverToolv202A.exe, so that I could copy all of its data to my new Samsung drive.

    And I’m also interested in answers to the questions ‘Bear’ raised.

    However, THANK YOU!

  35. Swell: thank you for your reply. Just wanted to state that drive used to be completely mute in BIOS for some months. I pick it up from the shelf after about 60 days and now it says that “3333333333” stuff. Also, as stated in the manual for this software – if drive isn’t suitable for fix the program will tell you about it. It doesn’t do a jack in my case, just freezes before I can even reach the license part.

    Fidschi: dude, would you like to share your copy of the tool? Seems like mine is fux0red for some mean reason, even if it was an archive that seems to have no crc errors. I’m dying to recover my damn 40GB, just same as yours.

    Or anyone else that recovered his/her drive using this tool.. please help to get me the copy that works or link to working copy.

    Thank you so much!

  36. THANK YOU VERY MUCH Frankly on 9 Sep 2003 at 19:34
    for you link.
    It helps me great!!!


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