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JZG_Waltrip
03-28-2007, 06:09 AM
Hey guys,


Unfortunately, what I thought would never happen has occured. An old hard drive that I've had for years has apparently died. Unfortunately it was a simple 40GB ATA-100 drive with no redundancy built in. I never gave a second thought to backing up the stuff that was on it because it has been so reliable all these years.

It's not showing up on my computer and it's making a clicking noise in incriments. I think it might be the boot sector (whatever that is). I have since disconnected the power to the hard drive to avoid destroying it more.

The most important items on that hard drive included my entire photo library of my deployment to Iraq. I would hate to lose those pictures because they chronicle a year of my life in that place. If nothing else, I've learned that backing up onto DVD-Rs every now and then isn't a bad thing!

Is there ANY way to recover information from a hard drive that is no longer operating? It went from one day to the next, from working to not working.

JZG_Waltrip
03-28-2007, 06:09 AM
Hey guys,


Unfortunately, what I thought would never happen has occured. An old hard drive that I've had for years has apparently died. Unfortunately it was a simple 40GB ATA-100 drive with no redundancy built in. I never gave a second thought to backing up the stuff that was on it because it has been so reliable all these years.

It's not showing up on my computer and it's making a clicking noise in incriments. I think it might be the boot sector (whatever that is). I have since disconnected the power to the hard drive to avoid destroying it more.

The most important items on that hard drive included my entire photo library of my deployment to Iraq. I would hate to lose those pictures because they chronicle a year of my life in that place. If nothing else, I've learned that backing up onto DVD-Rs every now and then isn't a bad thing!

Is there ANY way to recover information from a hard drive that is no longer operating? It went from one day to the next, from working to not working.

EiZ0N
03-28-2007, 06:11 AM
You could pay some good money to have the data retrieved.

Failing that, your best bet is to try plugging it in again, and hope that it works for long enough for you to get the data off. This risks destroying the data on the disk, of course.

Chris0382
03-28-2007, 06:24 AM
Apart from the above you can install a second HD and load your OS on it and try to access you faulty drive via the new drives OS.

After this, get Acronis True Image Home and 2 HD's (one with the OS on it) and save images of each drive to the other. Takes 10-15 mins instead of hours like yesteryear.

BBB_Hyperion
03-28-2007, 06:28 AM
When the head is scrapping over the surface any additional movement destroys data. Most data can be restored there are some repairlabs out but it costs a fortune. Sometimes a simple soft kick on the hdd in high of the hdd heads and in its direction of movement can under lucky circumstances "repair" it for some time on the other hand when you dont want to risk further data loss it might not be a good idea. There are several clicking events on hdds when it is click --- click ---- click etc its a heads positioning problem mostly or defect sector. When it is click and then nothing mostly hdd head hangs. When you can use dust free environment you could look into the hdd and check if the surface is scratched. In general extracting discs and built in another identical disk might work. But might be a little too complicated and dangerous task.

JRJacobs
03-28-2007, 06:47 AM
Hyperion is correct.
I've fixed numerous issues like this over the years.
based on my experience you have only about a 25% chance of recovery but here's what i do.
with the power off, connect the old HDD to a new HDD IDE cable. make sure the slave/master setting is correct.
have a boot disk with disk imaging software such as ghost ready to go.
with the power still off (here's the iffy part) take a rubber mallet and on the underside strike once firmly at the boss of the hard drive, (the boss is the bottom end of the spindle)
insert you imaging boot disk and power up the computer.
if it works it works only once, so be ready to copy old to new.
note if the drive does not show up in the BIOS it will not show up to ghost.
good luck
p.s. i worked for an engineering firm that had this happen in a remote office that wasn't running their back-up and 100s of thousands of dollars was at stake. a 40GB HDD recovery (clean room, disassembly, read each platter, etc.) cost $11k so even if prices have come down i suspect you couldn't afford it.

zoinks_
03-28-2007, 06:51 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by BBB_Hyperion:
There are several clicking events on hdds when it is click --- click ---- click etc its a heads positioning problem mostly or defect sector. When it is click and then nothing mostly hdd head hangs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

this happens when the heads can't read the servo pattern...a non-user section of the platters that tells the head positioning. servo patterns are written to the drive in production on a servo writer.

the clicking you are hearing may be the actuator arm hitting the stops (posts that limit the arm from moving beyond the platters).


a head crash sounds like disk brakes on a car when there is no more pad left. a grinding sound. the heads will become powder and contaminate everything inside.


take it to someone who is knowledable and they can listen to it.

zoinks_
03-28-2007, 07:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JRJacobs:

with the power still off (here's the iffy part) take a rubber mallet and on the underside strike once firmly at the boss of the hard </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

iffy is right. i was taught to hit the side of the drive so you don't cause a head slap.

WholeHawg
03-28-2007, 10:12 AM
Yeah I wouldn't hit the HD just yet. There is a solution that I have used in the past that may sound strange but sometimes it works.

Remove the HD and place it in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The cold will sometimes cause the HD to work again for a short period of time, long enough to get the data hopefully.

http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=2006110111270170

FoolTrottel
03-28-2007, 10:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Remove the HD and place it in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator overnight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's what I would try first too!
(Have tried it before, w/o success though, oh, and w/o plastic bag http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif)

Worf101
03-28-2007, 10:42 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by FoolTrottel:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Remove the HD and place it in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator overnight. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
That's what I would try first too!
(Have tried it before, w/o success though, oh, and w/o plastic bag http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/halo.gif) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I couldn't do it. My knuckleheaded son would break his teeth out thinking it's a giant Ice Cream Samich!!!

Da Worfster

weaselwagon1
03-28-2007, 12:38 PM
NO FREEZER!What about condensation inside the drive when you take it out and it thaws?short circuit!

weaselwagon1
03-28-2007, 12:41 PM
Try Runtime softwares GEDATABACK.I downloaded a free trial,ran it and it showed what i had on the drive even thought the os was fried,i spent like 60 bucks to get the key from them but it was worth it.The great thing was that the trial allowed me to see if there was anything left at all on the drive before i spent money on the program