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Aghhh! Need Bad HDD Help/Advice

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Wulfenite, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    I was working on my Dell nb this morning when it locked up hard. I did a hard reboot and got the drive failed error right afer the inital bios check screen.

    I call the mfgr's tech support (seagate), and they had me down load their seatool for dos onto a CD and boot off of that to check the drive. I did that but the program froze during the "searching for drives" portion of the boot up. It never got to the actual test. The drive makes some humming and clicking noises for a while why it tries to boot, but then it quits.

    The tech said that the drive was dead. The though they might be able to recover data, but that prices for that start at about $700 and run up to $3k. He said that since its not even seeing the drive, the DIY recovery options are not an option. The data on there is not worth that kind of expensdature, but there is some stuff there that would be nice to have.

    Right now the drive is in the freezer. Figured I might as well try that trick. Is there any way to determine if its a mechanical failure or an electronics failure? I've read that you can sometimes switch the circuit boards in an identical drive and get the thing working again. It would be worth spendign 80 bucks on another drive if that was possible and likely to work. Does that trick even apply to the 2.5 inch notebook drives?
  2. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    I just re=read my thread title. I need GOOD advice for a bad HDD.

  3. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? Millennium Member CLM

    Feb 24, 1999
    So, first off, the obligatory reminder to everyone to back up. Drives go bad on zero notice, and when they go, you're in a tough spot.

    I haven't tried the 'swap the board' bit with a 2.5 drive - just taking a quick look at photos of Seagate 2.5 drives on the web, it looks theoretically possible, but that's always a tough call - you might end up with a fix, one dead drive, or potentially two dead drives if whatever is wrong kills the second board also. Based on the limited info, where you're hearing it search and sweep, and getting an immediate fail,makes a failure on the electronic side, or in the drive cable, seem somewhat more likely - typical behavior for a platter or head failure is that it can see the drive, but not pull any data.

    Freezer trick works surprisingly often, so that's a good one. Important to note that it usually only works ONCE, and not for long - so if you get the thing to boot, have a CLEAR and WRITTEN plan for what you're going to copy, and in what order. Prioritize!

    Good luck! And don't forget to back up!
  4. Wulfenite

    Wulfenite The King

    Freezer trick didnt work.

    I pulled the bad drive out and put it into an encluosure. And plugged it into another system. No dice. It didnt evey start to see the drive. I put the old original (not the new one that went bad) drive from the laptop back in and it booted right up. So the problem is definately on the drive side, not the pooter side.

    I guess I'll go buy another, and spend a couple days setting it up. Joy Joy. I could get a free drive from Seagate since this one is less than a year old. But then I'd have to let go of it which I dislike for privacy reasons. And if I hang on to it I retain the ability to change my mind at some future time about attempting recovery of the data.