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Hard Drive Repair

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1 Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:52 pm

AGEsAces

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This could be under technical...but since it's broken I'll aim for repair.

I have a 500Gb Harddrive which seems to have died.

It's an external drive, with about 400Gb of data on it.

When I plug it into any PC (have tried 3 now) through a USB port, the computer sees it as a USB item, then just stops and it won't register on the drives list.

I tried changing the box to a SATA box...but that did the same thing.

Anyone out there know how to fix a harddrive? without losing the data?

The harddrive itself means little to me...but the 400Gb of data I'd like to retrieve (well, most of it).

If anyone can help, let me know. I've exhausted my geek-knowledge...now I'm calling on the Geek Squad to help (not the Best Buy one Wink).

http://www.photage.ca

2 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:04 pm

JT Estoban

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Have you extracted the actual hard drive from it's case? (I'm assuming since you said it was an external, that it came inside some kind of enclosure?)

I have a co-worker who's done some HDD recovery and data recovery. It really depends on where the problem is...if it's the circuit board, you could find a like unit somewhere...and borrow the circuit board, put it on your FUBAR'd drive, power it up, extract your data, do a format and then junk the drive.

Your not hearing any mechanical clicks....?

If not, I'd suspect something on the board.

To do this though, unfortunately you really need to have the "exact" same board from the exact same drive.


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3 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:28 pm

AGEsAces

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Yeah, I read about that procedure...not really possible unless someone here has the same unit.

I do hear the drive fire up (spin) but then it stops.

http://www.photage.ca

4 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:37 pm

Deank

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I am assuming you have tried it on other computers already right?


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5 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:42 pm

AGEsAces

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oh...and to answer the other question...yes...changed the case (that's how I switched it from USB to SATA)

And yes, tried it on 3 different computers.

http://www.photage.ca

6 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:44 pm

grumpy old man

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Have ya tried hitting it with a hammer?


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7 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:46 pm

JT Estoban

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This might sound stupid, and I didn't believe it either when I first heard it/tried it, but after it worked the first time...it's something I try regularly in these situations.

Normally if someone told you to take your hard drive and stick it in the freezer, you'd scoff and tell them to quick screwing you around.....give it a try. Put the drive in the freezer (just the drive) and leave it for about an hour until the entire unit is cold, but not frozen. Then, once it's at that stage, take the drive over to your PC and plug it in, power on the PC and see if it fully powers up.

As it was explained to me, sometimes the drives won't power up due to a faulty temperature sensor (high heat = turn the drive off so you save your data by not "letting the smoke out")

Plus, it won't hurt the drive or the data on the platers, so you've got nothing to lose!


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8 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:48 pm

AGEsAces

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grumpy old man wrote:Have ya tried hitting it with a hammer?

that didn't work either Sad

http://www.photage.ca

9 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:49 pm

AGEsAces

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JT Estoban wrote:This might sound stupid, and I didn't believe it either when I first heard it/tried it, but after it worked the first time...it's something I try regularly in these situations.

Normally if someone told you to take your hard drive and stick it in the freezer, you'd scoff and tell them to quick screwing you around.....give it a try. Put the drive in the freezer (just the drive) and leave it for about an hour until the entire unit is cold, but not frozen. Then, once it's at that stage, take the drive over to your PC and plug it in, power on the PC and see if it fully powers up.

As it was explained to me, sometimes the drives won't power up due to a faulty temperature sensor (high heat = turn the drive off so you save your data by not "letting the smoke out")

Plus, it won't hurt the drive or the data on the platers, so you've got nothing to lose!

i heard that somewhere...but hadn't tried it yet.
i suppose it's worth a shot...though everything i stick in the freezer lately seems to get freezer burn....and tastes awful when i remove it Sad

http://www.photage.ca

10 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:51 pm

Deank

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PRO TIP!

dont eat the hard drive


and yeah cold works. and does "jostling" it while it is start up.

what brand/model is it AA?


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11 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:53 pm

SMW

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I can't speak for the current crop of drives, but I've (seriously) fixed a number of SCSI drives (some 20+ years old) by removing them from the computer and giving them a good smack with the palm of my hand. Solves a stiction problem 90% of the time. Something to consider.

Incidentally, the freezer trick mentioned above DOES work. it also works on seemingly dead laptop batteries, just make sure it's in a ziplock bag.



Last edited by SMW on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:55 pm; edited 1 time in total


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12 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:55 pm

AGEsAces

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well...it's a Western Digital (not sure the model right now)

I bought it though as an external drive with the brand MaxStor on it.

When it first went down, I did some searches and found out it's common with the MaxStor brand, so figured it must be software/firmware, but can't find patches/updates anywhere for it.

The fact that I plug it in and the drive spins, and the computer chimes it sees new hardware makes me believe it still may be software...but I haven't found any way to fix that problem yet.

I'll try the freezer thing tonight though...see if that works.

http://www.photage.ca

13 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:59 pm

Deank

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purchased 2 christmases ago?

I think thats the one I purchased for my mom. So.. if need be....


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14 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:01 pm

JT Estoban

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It's a Western Digital hard drive inside a Maxtor enclosure?

Maxtor (now owned by Seagate) had a huge issue with a run or line of drives last year. The firmware was faulty and the drives, regardless would brick themselves. Seagate finally released a firmware fix for select model with select serial numbers. This sounds like it may be related if the drive itself is a Maxtor or Seagate branded drive.


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15 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:27 pm

AGEsAces

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yeah...2 christmases ago...from FutureShop I believe.
Boxing Day Sale.

I know for sure it's a WD drive...it's at home so I can't confirm the rest.
The new case for it is a NexTor case...which allows either USB or SATA connections (and came with a SATA plug for a slot)

I read about the firmware issues...but can't find the update/patch...and if i can't get the computer to recognize the drive...how do i get the firmware to install? Sad

http://www.photage.ca

16 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:43 pm

Deank

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AGEsAces wrote:yeah...2 christmases ago...from FutureShop I believe.
Boxing Day Sale.

I know for sure it's a WD drive...it's at home so I can't confirm the rest.
The new case for it is a NexTor case...which allows either USB or SATA connections (and came with a SATA plug for a slot)

I read about the firmware issues...but can't find the update/patch...and if i can't get the computer to recognize the drive...how do i get the firmware to install?

yeah pretty positive I bought my mom the same one then. I will check tonight.. and if need be ... well we can get it and play.


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17 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:17 pm

AGEsAces

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Deank wrote:yeah pretty positive I bought my mom the same one then. I will check tonight.. and if need be ... well we can get it and play.

cool...then maybe you can take that monitor off my hands finally Wink.

http://www.photage.ca

18 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:26 pm

Deank

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heh... I keep freakin forgetting!


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19 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:46 pm

JT Estoban

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AGEsAces wrote:
I know for sure it's a WD drive...it's at home so I can't confirm the rest.
The new case for it is a NexTor case...which allows either USB or SATA connections (and came with a SATA plug for a slot)

I read about the firmware issues...but can't find the update/patch...and if i can't get the computer to recognize the drive...how do i get the firmware to install? Sad

If it's the same as the Seagate issues, basically there is nothing wrong with the drive, the heads are locked. I believe they send you a software tool along with the firmware so you can install/update it.

FWIW - Western Digital "green" drives have known "issues"... the "black" drives are more reliable.

for more technical info read: http://www.silentpcreview.com/Terabyte_Drive_Fix

It's a little dated, but the issues still remain the same. If I can, I'll try and find a few more links in my work email next week.

Good luck, let me know how it turns out!


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20 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 22, 2010 1:46 pm

JT Estoban

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Any news on the drive?

I've been sick pretty well all week, so this is my first chance to find out what happened!


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21 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 22, 2010 3:11 pm

grumpy old man

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Welcome back. I think I had what you had (assume anywho) last month. For 3 or 4 days I never once looked at the 'putor.


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22 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Fri Jan 22, 2010 5:39 pm

AGEsAces

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going to try it tonight...been too busy to do it this week...and afraid if i do it when i'm busy, that i'll freeze the drive too long Smile)

http://www.photage.ca

23 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:04 pm

JT Estoban

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grumpy old man wrote:Welcome back. I think I had what you had (assume anywho) last month. For 3 or 4 days I never once looked at the 'putor.

Ugh...it's a dog of a cold that's taking advantage of the abnormal temperatures....or my immune system takes a nap every time it warms up in the middle of winter!


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24 Re: Hard Drive Repair on Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:11 pm

JT Estoban

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AGEsAces wrote:going to try it tonight...been too busy to do it this week...and afraid if i do it when i'm busy, that i'll freeze the drive too long Smile)

No worries....

I've got two drives on my "to maybe fix" pile....neither of them contain any vital or critical data...kinda small too (250 gig) ....and I don't really have any space issues at the moment. Based on how my drives failed, they are probably junk. Their is a slight chance one of them could be used if the drive is formatted without the bad sectors included....but it's just one more step closer to being junk anyway.

Plus newer, bigger, faster..better...blah blah blah, drives are available!

Data recovery feels like a dogs breakfast looks at the best of times!


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