How to get an old HDD going again

I have just had a problem which made me completely desperate. I have this 160GB WD internal HDD, about 5 years old, which suddenly stopped working. I examined it and found that the drive is not spinning. What I did was, I found another drive, similar to this one, and swapped the circuit board at the back. I reconnected the drive, and this time I found the drive actually spinning inside. I held it close to my ears and could hear the disc spinning. But after a few seconds it stopped. I tried a few times, and everytime the same thing happened. It would work for about ten seconds, and then stop. But during these ten seconds I could hear a certain ‘clicking sound’ from inside. Four or five clicking sounds at regular intervals. All this withinn the ten seconds.What exactly is wrong? Is there anything at all I can do about it? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks .

You could do a cold test put it in a freezer bag for a hour and try to hook it up with a external usb hdd cable system rather then attaching it onto the controller to better test if the drive is recoverable. If either of these helps doesn’t work then your drive is basically bricked. And one other advice never swap the board as you don’t know what is exactly is different form one board to another and it could possible damage the hdd from any future recovery.

Unlike CC I’d freeze it overnight and have a external enclosure ready to pop it into. As soon as I had it in the enclosure I’d try to get all the data that I could off of it.
I’ll have to completely agree with CC, you should have never changed out the circuit board.

The OP should be warned that the hard drive freezing technique only works some of the time. If the circuit board switched is from the same model hard drive theoretically it should work.

[QUOTE=yojimbo197;2692346]The OP should be warned that the hard drive freezing technique only works some of the time. If the circuit board switched is from the same model hard drive theoretically it should work.[/QUOTE]

Yes, but is it the same revision there could alot of factors one should consider before doing so could damage the drive more thus the data loss becomes greater.

THanks for the advice. I did not do the freezing yet. Thought I will do it after searching for and finding another option, if any.
I wanted to add a few more details. The original drive was WD1600GB AABS(Caviar), and the replacement board was from WD160GB AAJS(Caviar Blue). Is it compatible?
After fixing the new board, I could hear the disc spinning(something which did not happen before). Upon listening, I could hear a certain clicking sound for a few times. It sounded like something trying to move, but something else is holding it back. Like a metal part falling back after being pulled by a spring. Something like that.

Clicking…also called the click of death. The noise is from the head actuator.

The board has to be from the same type of drive. Often times it isn’t enough to be from the same type, but also has to have the same firmware.

Unless the information on the drive is irreplaceable, you’re at an end point. If the information [B]has[/B] to be recovered, put the original board back in and send the drive off to a professional data recovery service and expect to pay many hundreds of dollars to retrieve anything.

My drive-recovery experts say, “There is no compatible board - there are exactly the same board, or nothing.”

On the positive side, there’s a chance your drive was dead before you made the switch but I’d certainly reinstall the correct original board before considering the debated “Freezing Technique” or the expense of retrieving the data.

Those data-retrieval places usually hope to find the exact same model, or they give up. There’s no way to remove platters onto new head-assemblies without disk-surface damage (I think they call that “relegation”) - so it’s “find the same circuit board and hope no Click Of Death exists, or nothing.”

I examined the boards and found that they were not at all the same - they only looked the same. I have instructed a few friends of mine to find tha same model, so I am waiting for one to turn up. I will post back when I gei one.

Problem solved. Found a matching board from a repair shop, made the switch, and the drive worked well. I was able to retrieve everything that I thought I had lost. Big relief.
The drive cost me 800 Rupees( a little more than 10 Dollars), that’s all. And I learned a lesson to back up all important data.
Thanks everyone for your valuable time and suggestions. Much appreciated.