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Need serious help recovering hard drive (click of death)

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Nephilim, Dec 31, 2004.


  1. Nephilim

    Nephilim
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    I've never had a computer problem make me sick... today I lost an 80 gig hard drive with my entire photography portfolio on it... the -day- I plugged in a new 250 gig external drive to back it up.

    I have 5 years worth of photography on the drive... priceless pictures of the first 2 years of my relationship with Joy, all of my professional portfolio, and pictures of friends and family (some now dead) I can't believe the drive died the -day- I was about to back it up.

    It is an 80 gig western digital caviar drive, partitioned into 4 disks, all NTFS. The drive now clicks when trying to seek on the platters. I tried to access it in the orignal computer, and in an external enclosure. Both cause the click of death. I didn't push my luck for fear of further damaging the drive.

    What are my options? I don't really have the money to pay $1000 for a data recovery specialist... but I'll scrape the money together to save these photos. Some of them are absolutely priceless to me... I don't want to lose pictures of those first few months with Joy.

    Help me out guys.

    ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1 ;1
     

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  2. NetNinja

    NetNinja
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    your only other option is to find an exact replacement of the Hard Drive.

    Swap out the motherboard on the back of the HD.

    I have done this a couple of times already and have resurected dead Hard Drives.


    So get the model# and start doing a google search.

    Also check Ebay.

    Good Luck.

    PM me the model number and I'll help you search.

    Is this it?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=3666&item=3482345869&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V

    Email the guy hopefully he can send you some pictures of the backside of his hard Drives. I bet he'll have a replacement for you.
     

  3. Nephilim

    Nephilim
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    Here is more info on the drive:

    WD Caviar WD800
    S/N WMA8C1862492

    Model: WD800BB - 3232CAA0



    I smoked a pipe of cavendish and had a snifter of congac, so I'm a little less freaking out over the whole thing... but I'm still pretty heart sick at the thought of losing all those pictures. I'm such a ****ing retard for not backing them up sooner.

    So tell me more about this whole swapping of the chip on the back.
     
  4. NetNinja

    NetNinja
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    Ok I think I found one.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-102&DEPA=0

    I have the right model number but sometimes it's a little difficult to get the right revision number.

    Sometimes Hard Drive manufactures update the electronics boards or update the controller chips on the controller cards.

    If you take a look at this picture I have uploaded you will notice that the back of the hard drives have computer/controller cards. Usually all it takes to remove these boards is a torx head driver and some tweezers to remove the orange ribbon cable attached to the controller boards.
    Then do the same to the new hard drive you just bought and take that card and install it on the bad Hard Drive.
    Once you get the bad hard drive booted,(hopefully) start making backups.
    When you are done remove the card place it back on the new Hard Drive you just bought and throw the old bad hard drive away.

    If you have any computer stores arround your area that deal in used parts and such you may be able to rummage arround and see if you can get an exact match.

    Don't let them touch your broken drive. There are to many shade tree PC mechanics out there who can screw up a mustard sandwhich.






    [​IMG]
     
  5. NetNinja

    NetNinja
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    Ok I think I found one.

    http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=22-144-102&DEPA=0

    I have the right model number but sometimes it's a little difficult to get the right revision number.

    Sometimes Hard Drive manufactures update the electronics boards or update the controller chips on the controller cards.

    If you take a look at this picture I have uploaded you will notice that the back of the hard drives have computer/controller cards. Usually all it takes to remove these boards is a torx head driver and some tweezers to remove the orange ribbon cable attached to the controller boards.
    Then all you do it take the new Hard Drive and remove the good controller card. It's just a remove and replace operation.

    If you have any computer stores arround your area that deal in used parts and such you may be able to rummage arround and see if you can get an exact match.

    Don't let them touch your broken drive. There are to many shade tree PC mechanics out there who can screw up a mustard sandwhich.


    Oh try anyone of these guys. Email them and ask then if they have an exact match
    http://search.ebay.com/WD800BB_W0QQfromZR40QQsojsZ1







    [​IMG]
     
  6. bigtinva

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    This may sound goofy but, have you tried removing the drive and placing it a ziplock bag and put in the freezer for a while (2-3 hours)? This may get the drive working long enough to back up your data.

    Read this. One of many links that I found.
     
  7. fastvfr

    fastvfr
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    Did it appear to fail as SOON as you attached the second, larger drive?

    If so, then the likelihood that it is toast is one in a thousand...check the jumper settings on the rear of the drive.

    Either set them both to CS or have the one on the end position set to MA and the HDD on the moddle connector set to SL.

    Good luck!
     
  8. Nephilim

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    I didn't put the new hard drive in the actual tower... (therefore the master/slave jumpers weren't a big deal) I put it in an external enclosure, so windows just detected it like any plug and play USB mass storage device. (although it is interesting to note that my desktop insisted on assigning a drive letter to it... and my laptop just auto detects it and gives it the first available letter.)

    I tried putting the drive in question in the external enclosure to save it... and thats when I was really able to hear how loud the click of death is. :(


    Netninja: is the soldering going to be super delicate on this job? I don't want to **** it up worse if I have to send it to a data repair specialist.
     
  9. bytelevel

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    I second the freezing trick. I know it sounds bizzare, but here's how it's been explained to me:

    When you have a head crash, the reading arm of the harddisk plants itself into the surface of the platter and gets stuck. Freezing the drive reduces the dimensions, allowing it to free itself.

    I've been told you do not have long once the drive is frozen, so I would immediately boot it and attempt to recover the data. It might not work, but I think it's worth a shot.

    I don't know much about data recovery and I've never swapped the circuit boards on a disk, but I thought the click of death was caused by the motor in the disk. Why would swapping the boards help if the motor is at fault?
     
  10. Anon1

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    I agree. I do not think that a board swap would be relevant to a "click-of-death" symptom.

    I would certainly try the freezer method and have a PC standing by with a very quick DOS-based cloning application at the ready. Norton Ghost when run from its boot disk will have you cloning that drive in about a minute from removal from freezer. It also is relativly fast at the clone process compared to other apps.
     
  11. NetNinja

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    Like I have posted before in this thread.

    I have resurected Hard Drives form the click of death due to bad controller cards.

    Has it worked all the time? No.

    Nephilim: There is no soldering involved. It's a simple remove and replace operation.
     
  12. cnemikeman

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    Another vote for the 'freezer' trick........... better to recover some than none at all......
     
  13. SamBuca

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    While the freezing nonsense never worked for me, I do know that replacing the PCB on the drive WILL result in total loss unless you're VERY handy with electronics.

    Pay a professional before you lose your data for good.
     
  14. MikeG22

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    Try this place:
    http://www.adv-data.com/

    I've sent a number of drives from work to them and they've always been able to recover all my data. Even in advanced raid 5 arrays with mulitple disk failures. For normal IDE drives I think they are actually pretty cheap. My buddy was in nearly the exact same situation and I think it was like 100 bucks. Anyhow, they do a free diagnostic if you send them the drive, will tell you for sure if they can get the data off, the price and they have a no data/no pay guarentee. Hard to beat.

    I have seen the freezer trick work. Just be careful, the more times you try to boot off it the more problems you can create so be aware of that, might be better not to mess around and let a pro take care of it.
     
  15. southparkaddict

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    Just my .02, here. I supervise an IT help desk (we're primarily a Dell shop, for the record). At least once a week, we get a PC back with a "dead" hard drive. The freezer trick (30-45 min) works. If the freeze doesn't work, the drive is DOA. If the drive is DOA, your only option is a data recovery specialist. But, check around ...not everyone is as expensive as drivesavers.com ...we've had a few hard drives recovered for just a few hundred bucks. It also depends on what's "critical" to you. Obviously, the pix of the deceased relatives are number one, followed by your photography collection. Prioritize the files after that.

    I hope this helps ...if not, sorry :(
     
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