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Thread: Did Your Hard Drive Die?

  1. #1
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    Did Your Hard Drive Die?

    So your hard drive crashed, we know you have all of your valuable data backed up. If not shame on you. So what can you do now? Well if it was clicking or grinding you are pretty much up the creek with no paddle unless you want to spend big bucks with a recovery company that charges about $100.00 a gig. There is an extreme chance of getting the drive to work by applying adverse temperatures to it. You can wrap the drive in a moisture proof bag with the IDE and power cables hanging out of the bag and put it in the freezer for 24 hours. Then you can reinstall it into your computer and if this works you better be ready to backup or transfer your files fast before it heats up. But on the same note you can also do the reverse. Put your HD into your home oven and set the oven at about 100 degrees for about 30 minutes. When you take it out be prepared to install the cables and insulate the HD quickly, install in the computer, and if this works you better be ready to backup or transfer your files fast before it cool down. The idea of this is to expand or shrink the shaft or bearing in the HD to reduce the friction.

    Next option is that the HD is still working. You can put the HD into another computer as a slave drive and back your data up.
    Ok, so you formatted the wrong drive a lost all of your data. There are different programs out there that can recover you data even after a format.( As long as you have not overwritten the files on the drive, such as trying to reload Windows.)
    My favorite is GetDataBack for Fat or NTFS. It can be found here (http://www.downseek.com/directory/104.asp). And if you do find your files, do not save them to the same drive that you are restoring from! And some more: Commercial recovery software list.

    R-Studio http://www.r-tt.com

    Disk Commander http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/ diskcommander.asp

    File Rescue 2.5 http://www.file-rescue.com

    GetDataBack for FAT GetDataBack for NTFS http://www.runtime.org

    Norton Utilities/SystemWorks http://www.symantec.com

    Undelete http://www.executive.com/consumer/undelete/undelete.asp

    Hard Drive Mechanic

    http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/6.html
    http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/downloads2.htm

    Back2Life http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/57588.html

    DFSee/ http://www.dfsee.com

    Fast File Recovery http://savemyfiles.com/fastfile.htm

    Undelete 3.0 http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/ productdetail.asp?product_id=309884

    Active UNERASER http://www.uneraser.com/undelete.htm

    File Scavenge http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm

    File Restore http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/ filerestore.asp

    File Recover 2000 / http://www.filerecover.com

    Undelete http://www.quantumsoft.co.uk/undelete.stm

    Fast File Undelete http://www.dtidata.com/products_ff_undelete.asp

    Data Recovery http://www.dtidata.com

    For NTFS http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm


    Last edited by Baddog on 01-17-2004 at 06:19 AM
    Last edited by Baddog; 03-04-2004 at 09:58 AM.
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  2. #2
    Extreme Member! BipolarBill's Avatar
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    Darn - this thread is stuck! I...can't...move it (grunting)!
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  3. #3
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    A good read on data recovery.


    http://www.bcentral.com/articles/enbysk/130.asp

    Also I found alot of interesting reads doing a Google search with "hard drive data trade center"
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    Member stevedownunder's Avatar
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    Re: Did Your Hard Drive Die?

    My favorite is GetDataBack for Fat or NTFS. It can be found here (http://www.downseek.com/download/4273.asp).

    Link no longer works, well for me anyway

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    Member stevedownunder's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    Thanks I updated my link too.
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  7. #7
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    File Recovery From A CD

    http://www.runtime.org/peb.htm


    The most compelling benefit of BartPE is that you can run our data recovery software on the effected computer without interfering with the hard drive you want to recover data from. Remember, if you want to recover data you must not write anything to the effected drive, leaving you in trouble if the drive in question was the system (C drive. With a bootable CD-ROM and our plugins you can recover your data without installing a new operating system.
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  8. #8
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    A interesting read here>>

    I have a maxtor 36gig 7200rpm hard drive. Its 4+ years old. It had been giving me problems for the past 6 months, it would sometimes not be recognize the hard drive at boot, and sometimes it would. When it wouldn't see it, the hard drive would beep, sometimes. After waiting much too long to replace this storage drive, I finally started my process of ordering a 3ware 9500s with 8 Western Digital 120 gig hard drives. And 2 Hot swap 3ware drive bays that hold 4 drives each in 3 spots of a typical 5.25 inch drive area.

    Anyway, after realizing that the WRONG 3ware 9500s controller was ordered, I had to refuse the package so I would get a full refund to purchase the correct product. Now I await with no way to order the proper one, untill they return my money to my account.

    So curious as to how to make this hard drive work, I start messing with it while hooked up to a USB external drive bay, the kind that you can get from taking apart a external USB cdrom.

    After noticing that the drive spins up, and even makes the clicking noise of the 'i guess' initilization of it, I take note that the mechanics of the drive are intact. Even the electronics by the sound and the view of the circuit board. So thinking it was a connector issue, I push on the IDE connector area to see if anything happens. The hard drive makes the noise like it was accessed for data. And all of a sudden the hard drive is accessable in windows. As soon as I take my hand off pushing the connector a certain way the hard drive gives me a I/O error when accessing it.

    SO, ive established that somehow the signals are not getting thru due to faulty connections. I try another IDE cable, nothing. I then guess that its probably the ide connector on the hard drive side, so I chose to unscrew the circuit board from the drive to see If there are bad solder joints on the underside of the board.

    There are no bad solder joints. Puzzled I scraped the connectors that connect the board to the hard drive (the circuit board just sits on the connectors like a spring. And the connectors are permanently mounted on the metal case of the harddrive.)

    So after rescrewing the circuit board to the hard drive enclosure, I try again to get the hard drive to work. Nothing, so I push down on the connector, only to see again that the hard drive is again accessable. So now I am getting desperate, so i just guessed that mabee the problem isn't the IDE connector, because it was inspected to and found fine (if ide connectors were THAT sensitive, then all hard drives would fail.)

    So I came to the conclusion that the problem is somewhere in the circuit board, or right at the connectors where the circuit board touches the connectors on the metal enclosure for the platter. I just guessed at mabee the pressure of the connector is causing some part of the circuit board to be seperated, so i unscrewed the circuit board at every screw just enough so that the circuit board will not lift, but loose enough that if you were to unscrew any screw, it would lift off the circuit board.
    I then made sure that the screws that were RIGHT around the connector going into the internal parts of the hard drive(not the ide connector) were just a TINY bit more snug than all the other screws.
    I did this loosening and tightening of the screws all while the hard drive was on and running so i could hear when windows was able to access the hard drive by a clear distinct clicking of the hard drive. (this is only possible using IDE to USB, since USB is a HOT SWAP interface, if you did this using IDE only, you would prolly crash windows, or ruin your IDE controller/motherboard.
    I found the sweet spot of the circuit board if you will.
    I recovered 35 gigabytes of otherwise totally lost data.

    I would only recommend this type of investigation to users who either don't care enough about the data to PAY some recovery place HUGE amounts of money to order a replacement circuit board from the manufacturer to get your data back.

    YOU could also order a replacement circuit board and install it yourself with most likely 100% successfull results. Unless your hard drive motor is dead, or the head has crashed into the platter, or the head actuator is not moving the head, then chances are your problem is most likely a fixable circuit issue.
    IF you can find a WORKING identical hard drive, you could try and switch the working circuit board with the supposedly bad one and see if you can recover the data, then put the working circuit board back on the good drive. Keep the parts incase the working hard drive motor goes bad(data not recoverable most likely), then you can put the good circuit board back on your other hard drive that had a dead circuit and then you again still have a working hard drive.

    Obviously the sound of a hard drive is a good indication of whats wrong with it.
    PAY ATTENTION TO THE SOUNDS YOUR HARD DRIVES MAKES!
    Listen to your WORKING NEW hard drives, get to know them, make them your friend. Listen to them all the way from turn on thru initilization, to writing and reading data. That way if they ever die, you can listen to them again to determine if they sound different.

    #1. If your hard drive is making a really high pitched squeeling or scraping sound, most likely the head has crashed into the platter and is dragging across the platter. This is the most severe of all conditions, most likely your hard drive wouldn't even be recoverable at a specialist. (mabee with clean room head replacement, and even then the electrodynamics of a magnetic head acutally touching the surface of a magnetic sensitive platter is just nuts, the static electricity of metal on metal would most likely create a magnetic field just from the kinetic energy of friction.

    #2. If your hard drive dosen't spin, but you can hear it initialize, clicking, or even mabee it makes a buzzing sound, or it jerks a bit when your first turn it on.. Then chances are the motor has died. The electronics that drive the motor could also be the problem here. Still if you care about the data, and are willing to pay, it still most likely is recoverable. If you would like to recover it, I would say at best, buy a replacement circuit board and hope the motor is good.

    #3. If the hard drive spins up but dosen't make ANY clicking sounds at ANY point of the drive turn on or initilization, or when windows trying to see it. Then chances are the Head actuator is dead, or stuck. I suppose you could try to see if the arm is stuck by tipping the hard drive on the side so its on its edge and SLAMMING IT DOWN ON ITS EDGE. NOT TOO HARD START OUT EASY AND GET HARDER AFTER DETERMINING IT DIDN'T WORK. LOL sounds crazy i know.
    DON'T DO THIS IF YOU CARE ABOUT IT(unless you are going to throw it away). ALSO DON'T DO THIS WHILE ITS ON, at first.
    Try slamming it down on all 4 ends on the hard drive (NOT THE FLAT SIDES, you will make the head hit the platter, causing a condition #1.
    If that didn't work and it still spins, but doesn't click at all, you could try one more thing, while its ON and running, try the slamming technique on all 4 sides to see if you can jar it into working. To do this while its on and running, will require a semi long power connector on it and a semi long data cable. HARD SOILD THUMPS are better than tapping it or banging it with something cause you don't wanna create reverberating vibrations.

    #4. IN ALL CASES, the issue could be a circuit board. Does windows see the drive but give you an error? Does your BIOS see the drive upon bootup? If both of these are no for you, then good chances are its your ciruit board is bad. OR like in my case, my CONNECTOR that went from the ciruit board to the METAL DRIVE CASE was pushing too hard on the circuit board, causing some kinda circuit within the board to be seperated. Upon loosening the screws holding the ciruit board the the metal drive case, it fixed the problem and I recovered all of the data on the hard drive. (a few times I had to re tinker with the screws, because the drive kept dropping out)
    but all my data was verified to be CRC correct after all this. Im still amazed.

    Most of all, DON'T GIVE UP!


    Please add more options, and solutions people!


    Later...
    Q.E.D.

    P.S. I am going to try to make the hard drive permanently fixed by installing plastic washers under the screws nearest to the connector(that does into the hard drive) hoping that the higher stand off will help stop the stress that the connector is causeing. Obviously im not going to put sensitive data back on this hard drive. Mabee just use it as a swap drive or something,

    http://forums.storagereview.net/inde...0&#entry174901
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  9. #9
    Member mrpickles's Avatar
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    if your hard drive is POWER dead

    Here's a good read if your Hard Drive is (Power Dead) and bios would never see it. Meaning you would need to swap exact same pcb/power supply.

    http://www.deadharddrive.com/
    Also check the FAQ & Other Stories link there too!
    Edit: YES IT WORKS!!!
    http://www.sysopt.com/forum/showthre...hreadid=167964


    Non-Power dead hard drive try this FREE data Recovery Tool
    http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm
    Last edited by mrpickles; 09-02-2004 at 09:47 AM.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    If you are looking fo a company to do your data recovery, there are some good links here>>>>http://www.datarecoverylinks.com/
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  11. #11
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    Why do you guys cling onto hd so for long and only upgrade when its about to die? I'd would already replaced it years ago.
    Best to upgrade 1-2 years as it get cheaper, faster, quieter and more reliable.
    Using hd as a backup media is a disaster! Never know when this thing is going to screw up and take everything along with it so backup the sucker onto DVD-R, +R etc..
    Whatever is most convenient for ya, don't be a lazy coach potato and you'll be glad that you did all this hard work or is it just time consuming? not hard work

    Chow!

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member Comage's Avatar
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    Well for one thing, the definition of "cheaper" varies.

    What might be cheap to you, may be costly to others. Even if it's < $1.00 per gigabyte, a 250GB drive will still be costly to some.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member ShadeZeRO's Avatar
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    odd question, when you hit recovery on the program you showed us...does it scan or does it replace the files????? I want to find files on the hard drive i restored on, and recover to a USB flash drive....could i do that?

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member Baddog's Avatar
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    It recovers files to a location (Drive) you choose. DO NOT SAVE TO THE DRIVE YOU ARE RECOVERING.
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  15. #15
    i have accidentley formated my c: drive and didnt backup my documents. i have now installed windows agen (didnt notice i didnt backup) does this mean i wont be able to get my documents back. as i may have wrote over them?
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