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Reviwing a dead HD HELP NEEDED, (software options??)

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January 23, 2007 10:33:30 PM

Hi, I have a not working Western Digital Caviar 80GB HD which started to make noize for a while(a while ago, and now I decided to "revive it), after freezing it (without succes it was dead, and the ticking-noiz still persisted) i decided to swap its "circuitry"(the one on the botom side) with another WD Caviar 80 GB HD, this atleast alowed me to recognize the hd in the system, and I tried to boot up from it to repaire it with a Windows xp cd, the "repair", and "install" parts of the windows setup faild,

but I atleast got some info that there is a problem with the partmgr.sys file, and I also got a blue screan which stated this: PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, I got also some info that the C:/ partition in on the hd was unaccessable

Does anyone know If there is a way to "revive" the HD?
so atleast I would be able to use it later on (maby not necessarly as a primary drive, since it was faulty, but atleast for some tv recording on it), so I could atleast format the hard drive?

Is there some software which I could use that would fix this issue, it would be great if it would be some bootable one, since I got the HD to partially respond(without the noise, using the switched circuitry)

Thank You for any thoughts on thuis matter.
January 24, 2007 2:01:57 AM

Run WD's diagnostic; then post back with the results.
January 24, 2007 2:11:10 AM

where do i get that from? , the main site? ill check it out, thx
Related resources
January 24, 2007 2:20:16 AM

ok i found one but that one was a floppy "version" ...and i didnt install a floppy drive on my pc :(  , are there any ones bootable from a cd?

thx
January 24, 2007 1:05:14 PM

WD's site is oddly designed. There is a Boot-able CD and Windows version to run similar diags on the drive. But you can always download VFD (Virtual Floppy Drive) and make a Nero or whatever boot-able cd. All you would need to do is switch directories to run the app.
January 24, 2007 5:10:40 PM

ok thx, ill check it out, i did just put the case back to gether, after using the nonresponsive hd with the switched circuitry, and I used Spin Rite v6.0 , unfortunetly that software was not working, the only thing I learned from this atempt was that the "first sector was unreadable", and thats it :cry:  , ill check out the WD site for the mentioned software, thx, ill post some new info when ill get a chance to get teh software and use it.
January 26, 2007 3:46:28 PM

Please excuse me for asking this in your thread, but I have a similar problem, and I'd like to try whatever I can before I give up on my IBM "Deathstar" GXP drives. I think I have three of them that have developed the click of death, and your suggestion of patching the guts with parts from a good drive to read the disks is very intriguing to say the least.

I'd like to see some pictures of what you did if you documented it, and if not, maybe you could elaborate. I know that if I sent these drives to a data recovery house _they_ could somehow manage to recover my pictures and graphic files (programs I could care less about)... it's just always been such a mystery with regard to how do they do this? And doesn't it cost a small fortune anyway? Seems like with so many drives going south, there's a business opportunity for someone to go at this a little more agressively with regard to price. Any entepreneurs out there?

My drives don't show up in the BIOS, and I have tried different cables, different PSs... so if the drive is now a doorstop, why not crack it open and try to replace the bad part so I can at least pull those family pictures off. I tell ya'... I now hate/love digital cameras. With film I always had the dumb negatives, plus I could scan a picture. With jpgs... you're at the mercy of the storage device. And yeah... I know I should've archived to CD :( .
January 26, 2007 5:49:29 PM

hi, sometimes the sircuitry is just bad(sometimes there is some overvoltage that might damage the hd sircuit) and replasing the board helpes, as in my case it does, with the old hd as it was it made lots of noise, when replaced i could boot partialy to the bios, and there was no nize, but unfortunetly the 1st sector of the hd was unreadable, and because of this i couldnt even format it, ill try to get some more info:the error reports as mentioned by someone here before, but i doubt that ill be able to retreieve any data, but atleast I just want to be able to use teh hd for some tv recording (just bought a new tv tuner, and i prefare to just keep the tv recording on a separate hd, and the main os on a separate on as well. So far i would have to say that the circuit replacement helped a bit, but not much, btw also puting a hd in a freezer might sometimes help for that minimum 4 hours or so, but that depends of the nature of the crash, there are many sites online dedicated to hd revival, and all i got from them didnt work much for me :cry: 

I thought that maby someone knew some software that would be able to repair this issue, so far I tried the windows xp boot disk to repair , or install new os, without luck, HDD regenerator, and SpinRite v6.0, and it was all a waste of time (and $$) :cry:  , I was thinking of maby geting soem other software , but im begining to doubt that it l help :cry: 
January 26, 2007 6:26:16 PM

I would recommend simply recovering whatever data yuo can from the drive. I have had very good luck with RStudio from http://www.r-tt.com/ as it can perform a direct image from the drive, then analyze it later to recover files.

Your hardware swap is a good idea to get a totally dead drive running, but I wouldn't bother trying to repair install XP or anything... again, take an image and don't try to play too much with the hardware. Besides which, it's possible (likey) that the drive hardware will not work 100% on the new circuitry, since any "tuning" done along the way is stored in the circuitry, and this is obviously lost when you swap them around. For this reason, only swap hardware if the circuitry has failed, and it's the only way to get the drive spinning again... then, take an image and dump the drive.

Same thing goes with illuminatirex's situation. I don't think the COD (click of death) is a problem with the circuitry, and it's actually a problem with the servo inside... so unless you swap that, you are not going to fix much of anything. Whatever the problem is, take an image, and then recover what you can, and dump the drive... don't waste your time "fixing" it, because you will not be able to.
January 26, 2007 6:51:29 PM

If you need to use a recovery service FrontLine Data Recovery will be 25-75% cheaper than most others. You can reach Douglas a 1-866-279-2985. I think his web site is www.frontlinedatarecovery.com but it's not up yet. He is just starting his company up after working for other for 15 years. So he will give you a better price.

If sector 1 is damaged it is the MBR, If you need your data send it out to a recovery service before you damage it with a recovery utility. Then the cost will go up.

Just tell Douglas the Blue68f100 sent you.
January 26, 2007 7:17:50 PM

Schwinn...

Since I can't "see" the drive in the BIOS, nor can I access it in windows, would this RStudio product be able to make an image of the data? I don't want any program files, just basically all my image files and maybe some graphics files.

Mike
January 26, 2007 7:20:54 PM

If it's not seeing anything, the electronics has failed. swap the original back in if you swapped.
January 27, 2007 1:18:36 AM

hi, actualy the servo works fine with the swaped circuit, but fails (clicks) with the old circuit, and i got info that the 1st sector is the reason...any ways to fix it?
January 27, 2007 1:32:58 AM

First sector is where the MBR resides. This is probably the most important part of the HD, followed with the dir tables. It tells the computer what format the hd is and any partition info. The computer reads it first.

If you must have the data, contact Douglas at Frontline, he can help you out. He has all of the tools need to strip the data off.
January 27, 2007 1:37:02 AM

i just wanted to get teh hd working is it possible? i dont care much about the data but it would be ok to have it retrieved
January 27, 2007 2:07:12 AM

You have a media Problem, every time you start the drive the more damage is done. Once it gets to a point it will fail a head, then you will be looking a $2000+ for recovery.

So quit trying to read the drive till you deside what you are going to do.

It possiable it can be recovery for 200-500 depending on how much damage has been done. Douglas will be 25-75% cheaper that the others.
January 30, 2007 11:13:56 AM

Quote:
Schwinn...

Since I can't "see" the drive in the BIOS, nor can I access it in windows, would this RStudio product be able to make an image of the data? I don't want any program files, just basically all my image files and maybe some graphics files.

Mike
No, if you can't see the drive at all, then RStudio won't be able to do anything with it.

However, if the MBR is toast, I believe RStudio can still recover data. The way I use it, it basically scans the ENTIRE drive, regardless of drive format, and creates an image of it. Once you have the image file, you can then have RStudio "interpret" what it sees, based on what you tell it (ie, tell it you have a FAT/NTFS drive, so that it doesn't "improperly detect" ext3 folders and such. Once this scan "interpretation" is done on the image, it will show you whatever directory structure it can infer, but more importantly, it can give you access to files based on their type (ie, all JPEGs, all Word Documents, etc). From those folders, you can then, see what's real, and what's not... and go from there.

If the MBR is toast, then you will still see the remaining folder structure, it's just that without the MBR you cannot know what the folder names were, so RStudio gives you a "Folder$1231" type name. You might just find all your data intact in one of these types of folders, as I often find it this way on dead drives.

Note that due to this scanning method, RStudio will also provide you with all deleted files along the way, as well... so if you look only for all JPEG files, you'll likely get a lot of internet temp-files as well. Just be aware of that. I often filter most of these out by size, since most people have digicams that take images larger than about 100k... while web-graphics are often smaller.
February 1, 2007 5:23:42 AM

R studio sounds kinda like dd_rescue/ddrescue/dd. Knoppix LiveCD comes with ddrescue (not sure why they don't include dd_rescue) so you can try that instead of paying for R Studio and/or Spinrite though you'll have to quickly read up on some guides to figure out what to do command line wise (if you aren't used to nix commands.) There are also some tools available on the Ultimate Boot CD that you might want to try. I highly recommend having copies of both UBCD and Knoppix around somewhere for everyone That being said, Spinrite does offer a 30 day money back guarantee so you can recover that money spent.

For data recovery services, it's quite hard to choose one since it's hard to say the quality and the like - not too many reviews out there on that type of stuff. There are some larger known ones and some hard drive manufacturers do offer recovery services as well (such as Seagate.)

Back to the first post, if you aren't concerned with the data -that- much, you are better off buying a new drive rather than trying to get that one working even if it is from ebay on the cheap.
February 1, 2007 11:57:08 AM

The only issue I see with ddrescue is that it only recovers the data from the drive... if the drive is particularly messed up, then what? RStudio provides a "scan" for the image which can then interpret the data, and recover actual files.

Sure, ddrescue can be used to recover good files one by one, but with RStudio, you can usually get some sort of tree structure information as well, so you can pull out your My Documents folder (even if it's not called "My Documents" anymore, due to corruption) and get all your different file types in one shot. Of course, you can also recover all the *.doc or whatever as well... ddrescue doesn't appear to provide this "next step" of the recovery?
February 1, 2007 12:26:32 PM

Kudo's to you.

The first thing I would have done is exactly what you ended up doing, replacing the controller board. It sounds like one of three things may have happened.

1.) You found a controller board with a different revision that the one you were swapping with.

2.) Physical damage was done to the platters.

3.) Your MBR just got corrupt when the drive died.

I'm heavily leaning towards the latter.

If this is the case its an easy fix. There is plenty of applications out there that can repair the MBR or even wipe it dry.

Since I'm posting at work, I dont have access to my software and I can not remember the name of the software on my disk with all my disaster recovery crap on it.

If the problem is what I think is the most likely... its an easy fix once you know what your doing. If I had a nickle every time I've had to recover stuff off hard drives... well... I'd have enough money for lunch =)

Let me know how you make out.
!