Dead Hard Drive

vbimport

#1

I have a Seagate 1TB hard drive which has 200GB of very important data on it, I have been quoted $400-$700 USD to repair the drive.

The drive doesn’t even spin up it just seems totally dead no noise etc, is there any way I can begin repairing it myself I just need these files asap. Can anyone recommend any training documents on the internet??


#2

Hi :slight_smile:
Welcome on board.
Have heard of folk putting in freezer/next to airing cupboard.
No idea if either work.
But if desperate… :wink:


#3

Well depends on whats dead, if it’s the electronics board you might be able to find or buy a new one and it might work again. If it’s the platters or motor or something like that your pretty much screwed and maybe freezing or whatever MIGHT help.
I have several old SCSI drives that I accidentally managed to reverse power on and it killed the control boards so now they don’t work. If I ever mange to find the same board in working condition I could swap it out and get the data from them as I don’t think anything else got fried…Good luck.


#4

The freezer trick is worth a try and I’ve helped recover data off two failed hard disks before just by popping them in the freezer.

To prevent condensation, place the hard disk in an external HDD case before putting in the freezer. When removed from the freezer, wrap the case a towel to absorb any condensation that forms and connect to the PC. With one failed hard disk (a Toshiba model), it took a few minutes before it would spin up, but then died again by the time it reached room temperature, just long enough to recover the critical files the owner was after. With the other HDD (an Hitachi), it would only operate while frozen, but by operating it with a laptop and leads to the HDD in the freezer, I was able to make a full image of it.

Another trick I’ve seen work once before is rotate the drive with it connected. So with the HDD in an external case, before trying the freezer trick, power on the HDD and try briskly rotating the case clockwise/anti-clockwise to feel if the HDD spins up. This trick only worked once for me on a HDD that would not spin up, but once spun using this trick, it would work fine until powered down, in which case it would only spin up again with this sudden rotation.

For the electronics board swap Dartman suggests, you would need to find an identical match from roughly the same time you bought your HDD. For example, the first Hitachi 1TB had 5 platters, where as the more recent 1TB model has just 3 platters. But again, this may only work if the platters, spindle and heads are in working order.


#5

There’s one thing you should consider: If there’s something wrong with the heads or platters of your harddrive, all your attempts at trying to recover the data yourself, may further damage your drive and reduce the chance of a professional recovery service being able to recover your data later.

Welcome to the forum! :slight_smile:


#6

Thank you everyone for all your ideas or suggestions, i googled for hours then found a reasonably priced online data recovery training course at http://www.hdd-recoverytraining.com/PCB-Repair-Data-Recovery.php I have emailed the owner and explained my situation he agreed to give me 20% off the pcb repair data recovery course. This may be the way to go then if it happens again I will have the knowledge for future repairs. I’ll make my payment after I get paid tomorrow then let you know how it goes.

I mentioned the freezing suggestion in my email to him and he advised me against that saying it was a myth that has only worked for a lucky few.
At least the training is only half the price of my lowest recovery estimate :slight_smile: lets hope the training is written in laymans terms.


#7

Just a quick update before I close this post, I finished the PCB training as per my previous post, the course was easy to follow, learned lots of new info. Take my advice if you want to take one of the courses email the tutor first you may get a discount too.

My problem was quick to fix I just needed to replace a fuse, now I have my data back I even fixed a friends Hard Drive with the same fuse problem which he kindly paid me $100 for, I’m now doing the online data recovery course offered by Eddie Lewis at http://www.hdd-recoverytraining.com/Physical-Data-Recovery.php, just never know when that knowledge will be useful and my Brother has even offered me money to fix his hard drive too.

Thank you all for your tips and tricks


#8

[QUOTE=COD_warrior;2500207]Thank you everyone for all your ideas or suggestions, i googled for hours then found a reasonably priced online data recovery training course at http://www.hdd-recoverytraining.com/PCB-Repair-Data-Recovery.php I have emailed the owner and explained my situation he agreed to give me 20% off the pcb repair data recovery course. This may be the way to go then if it happens again I will have the knowledge for future repairs. I’ll make my payment after I get paid tomorrow then let you know how it goes.

I mentioned the freezing suggestion in my email to him and he advised me against that saying it was a myth that has only worked for a lucky few.
At least the training is only half the price of my lowest recovery estimate :slight_smile: lets hope the training is written in laymans terms.[/QUOTE]

I have a WD 60Gb IDE 3.5" drive that I can DEMONSTRATE this effect with
It’s got 55Gb of MP3 files that are only accessable until the drive reaches room temperature.

If kept COLD )Drive in three layers of ZipLoc bag and surrounded with other bags filled with ICE the drive will work until the ice melts.

Myth? No, Truth.

But only works on a SPECIFIC TYPE of failure.

then again I’ve got 40Gb Maxtor that does EXACTLY the same thing.

AD


#9

[QUOTE=COD_warrior;2500207]I mentioned the freezing suggestion in my email to him and he advised me against that saying it was a myth that has only worked for a lucky few.[/quote] So not a complete myth then? :slight_smile:

At least the training is only half the price of my lowest recovery estimate :slight_smile: lets hope the training is written in laymans terms.
Well, if it trains you how to recover pcbs i guess that’s ok, but i don’t think it will help you recover any data from broken platters. You just need special equipment for that kind of stuff. Dust free zones, etc.

Also makes you think. When you think you have destroyed the data, it’s not really destroyed. There are companies that can recover almost any data from any disk as long as its platters are not shredded in tiny little pieces.


#10

At the risk of pointing out what SHOULD be obvious at this point (but may not be) any data worth "recovering"
is FAR better “protected” by keeping multiple copies on OTHER hard drives.

It’s not so much a matter of “if” a hard drive fails as it is “when”, it will, trust me, they ALL will fail…

a new BARE drive is FAR cheaper than the cheapest recovery.

My big thing is audio files and frankly I have atleast FOUR copies of EVERYTHING
and two of those copies are on “inactive” drives that are physically removed from my computer
And that doesn’t count optical backups

And it isn’t so much the data that’s important because I have the parent source CD’s that it all came from…
what I’m considering is the time spent extracting, compressing and tagging those 20,000 files.

It’s the meta data and the time spent creating it.

It’s nothing I can’t replace, but it represents in aggregate somewhere in the neighborhood of three
months of my life… Compared to that another (or two or three) $70 HDD’s is dirt cheap.

There is NO data except my e-mail archives and browser favorites on my boot drive, but even that is backed up DAILY (every morning after I download my overnight e-mail) to a flash drive (actually three 2gb stick drives that are colored red, yellow and Blue used in rotation)

My OS drive is backed up any time I change anything, and my boot setup is run on TWO 80Gb
Seagate Drives in Raid1, but I still keep a seperate backup…
My Backup is on a WD drive that in the year I’ve had it from NEW has been run less than three
hours in aggregate WHEN (not “if”) one of the seagates fails I’ll immediately clone my OS to
another formatted but otherwise “virgin” WD-80Gb drive and switch to a pair of WD’s in Raid1

“data” is data but if your OS drive crashes without a backup you get to spend an hour (minimum)
on the phone with Microsoft getting it “verified”…

What is your time worth?

However much time you spend protecting your data it’ll be far cheaper than “Recovery” or “Reconstruction”.

You have (hopefully) learned a valuble lesson that it is important to protect your data…

So even if you don’t recover it, you will probably take exhaustive steps to prevent future "disasters"
It’s not at all about being paranoid, it’s about being paranoid enough…

AD


#11

Not mean to be a smart ass about it, but currently the popular site Lifehacker.com has a nice article on how to store a borked drive in your freezer. Might be well worth the read.

For more information follow this link that Lifehacker derived their post from.

Of course the best method for protecting important data is to have a backup, or even better, a complete disaster recovery plan. Most companies have a motto regarding data that indeed says “Someday, Murphy will fall of your back and destroy every important piece of information you have. What did you do to protect that information from him?”

Also nice: My browser tab for this thread reads : “Dead Hard Drive - Club” :slight_smile:


#12

As I see it the recent (last few years) there is tendency of people getting large drives, 1tb, 1.5tb and 2tb drives and then “putting all their eggs in one basket” so to speak, then when that basket gets kicked over and trampled…

there is only a [I]small[/I] possibility that [I]two[/I] seperate hard drives holding the [I]same[/I] data will fail [I]at the same time[/I] causing a loss of data.

And if ONE fails the only thing you should be concerned with is getting another drive immediatly.

no ammount of scrambling after the fact makes up for a lack of preparedness

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