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Hard Drive Repair?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Joe D, May 22, 2006.

  1. Joe D

    Joe D Guest

    Can a hard drive be repaired? Mine will not spin. Not sure if it is the motor or the little circuit board. Had a friend suggest putting the drive in a freezer for a couple of hours. He said he had done this a few times in the past to recover data. Something about weak components heating up. It will start up for a couple of minutes sometimes but then stop. I can hear something "click" when it does start. Have not tried the freezer trick yet.
    Not to sound too stupid, but if I can get it to spin how do I transfer the data to a new drive? I noticed the ribbon cable has a Master and Slave plug.
    Yeah, I know I am stupid for not backing up data. That won't happen again.
     
  2. RaiderRodney

    RaiderRodney Just Win Baby

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    It is dead :( Repairing or a data recovery service would be very expensive. Freezer trick might make it possible to get your data though. DO you have another drive on hand? If so just hook the bad one in as slave and the other as master and try to transfer the data (just be sure your jumpers on both hard drives are set to CS - Cable Select). Or you could pick up one of the USB to IDE adapters and do it. Good luck...I know it sucks :(
     

  3. metallic

    metallic

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    There are two basic components in a hard drive that are used to store and retrieve data: the platter and the read/write head. The platter is actually a thin, circular sheet of metal that is actually used to store data. The read/write head is the part that actually spins around the surface of the platter and reads and writes data to and from it. The read/write head spins around the platter at an extremely high speed, around 7200 RPM during heavy hard drive activity. That clicking noise you are hearing is probably the read/write head colliding with the platter, causing permanent damage to the platter and resulting in data loss. The longer you run this hard drive, the more damage you will cause.

    You can try freezing the hard drive overnight like your friend suggested. This will probably buy you a little time when you try to recover files off the hard drive. I don't know why this works, it's just a technique that I've used in the past with moderate success. There's also some software out there that can help with the process.
    GetDataBack for NTFS is a piece of software that I've used in the past. It's probably one of the cheaper solutions out there at $79. Other software that I've used is considerably more expensive, into the hundreds of dollars range.

    If you take the drive to one of the local computer shops, they can possibly do some very limited data recovery on the hard drive. When I was working for the computer repair side of the company I work for now over the summer, I think we charged somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 for this service. There are also commercial data recovery services out there which could almost definately retrieve your data. You are probably looking at around $400 to $1,300 if you go that route.

    If you want to try to recover it yourself, your best bet is to get a second hard drive to install Windows on and to boot off of. I'd recommend setting the jumper on this drive to master instead of cable select. For your old drive, I'd recommend jumpering it to slave instead of cable select. Once you do get the system booted, I'd recommend that you first copy all the files that are the most important to you off of the drive as quickly as possible. You will probably get some errors from Windows when trying to copy some or most of these files stating that Windows couldnt find or read them. If this happens and you are in the middle of copying multiple files, this error message will also abort the file copy. You'll have to skip this file and try to copy the rest of the files that you were trying to copy.

    If the amount of clicking that you hear coming from the drive is relatively sporadic, I would also try running GetDataBack for NTFS on the drive after copying the files that I can off of it. If the only real reason that you can't recover a file is because the filesystem has been damaged instead of the actual area of the hard disk that the file is stored on, then there is a chance that it can be recovered using GetDataBack for NTFS. You can download the demo version of GetDataBack for NTFS and do the actual scan of the hard drive without having to spend a penny. In order to copy the files off the drive, however, you will need to purchase a license for $79. This is really a $79 gamble since even if GetDataBack for NTFS says it can recover the file, that area of the hard drive may be damaged to the point where you cannot copy the file. But even if the gamble fails, you can still use the software later down the road if you accidentally delete a file that you didnt intend to.

    Sorry for the long post but hopefully I gave you an idea of what you are up against and what kind of options you do have to get at least some of your data off of the dying hard drive.
     
  4. NetNinja

    NetNinja Always Faithful

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    Last ditch effort is to find one of those used PC Shops and see if you can find the same make and model of your HD and swap out the eletronics board.

    There is like only 4 screws and a tiny ribbon cable you have to pull apart.

    I was able to salvage a customer of mines HD but I got very very lucky finding the same make and model # ( The model number is very important).

    It's a long shot but worth a try.
     
  5. metallic

    metallic

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    We had to do that for an old hard drive in which the controller on the hard drive got fried. It took us over a week to find a duplicate hard drive. But I think you missed the part about the hard drive making a clicking sound. It's not the controller.
     
  6. Joe D

    Joe D Guest

    It is not clicking when it is spinning. More of a click when it starts. I found a Seagate on sale at Best Buy that I will pick up today. 120G 7,200 rpm for $59.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  7. Hailstorm

    Hailstorm Boom Shacka

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    Been there done that. If the replacement of the board doesn't fix it. And you must have the info on the drive no matter what. Send it out to have it done. If you just want to try it out. Then try it. I can say, I have not seen to many actually work after the swap. And those that did, didn't last long at all. If it works. Get your info off of it as fast as possible.

    Oh, if your gonna try to do open it up. Use your bathroom. Turn on the shower on hot and get it steamy. You cannot have dust in the housing at all. Just a FYI