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URGENT - How to rescue a dead hard drive?

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  • Hard Drives
  • HD
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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June 1, 2007 1:17:38 PM

I have a BIG dilemma. My external 200GB Maxtor HD (connecting via USB) died after I moved to a new apartment. It must had been shock damage. I used it for back-ups, so now they're all gone. The hard drive starts to spin, and stops, spins again, and stops. When I put my ear next to it, I hear some clicking, and the spinning sound sounds like dentist's drill.

How can I rescue the hard drive FBI forensics-style? How all those HD Recovery companies retrieve data? What tools do they use?

PLEASE HELP

More about : urgent rescue dead hard drive

June 1, 2007 1:56:20 PM

Sounds like the click of death to me; and that's bad.
June 1, 2007 2:11:27 PM

Quote:
I have a BIG dilemma. My external 200GB Maxtor HD (connecting via USB) died after I moved to a new apartment. It must had been shock damage. I used it for back-ups, so now they're all gone. The hard drive starts to spin, and stops, spins again, and stops. When I put my ear next to it, I hear some clicking, and the spinning sound sounds like dentist's drill.

How can I rescue the hard drive FBI forensics-style? How all those HD Recovery companies retrieve data? What tools do they use?

PLEASE HELP


If the data is essential then don't try yourself. Go to a data recovery place now rather than trying yourself and making it worse.
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June 1, 2007 2:40:58 PM

Well, I don't think it has too much of "essential" data anyway. I would say 95% of it are downloaded software, games, 70GB of tutorials, certification books, etc.

Downloading of all of it back will take a long long time. So I was just wondering if there is a forensic way to get my stuff back.
June 1, 2007 2:44:35 PM

As a last ditch attempt, you could try putting it in a freezer, then powering up.

Believe it or not, this can actually make dead hard drives work again for a short period of time (but not for very long).
June 1, 2007 2:57:47 PM

Beat me to it - I was going to say put in the freezer too.
June 1, 2007 3:33:10 PM

while the "freezer trick" is considered by many to be unproven I doubt it can hurt if proper precautions are taken. the drive needs to be kept dry, a ziplock bag should help with this, you could even put it in an ice bath while you're trying to see if freezing it worked.

the logic behind freezing it is that a chip that malfunctions due to heat may be kept cool long enough to retrieve data from the drive.

most likely when the drive suffered "shock damage" a circuit board connection got damaged or misaligned. if you had another drive same as the damaged one it might be possible to move the circuit board from the good drive to the bad one and retrieve your data. this theory has not been widely proven either but it's worth a try.
June 1, 2007 4:25:03 PM

Ah Maxtor hard drives - known for there reliability - no i think that out of 10 maxtor hard disk that i bought - yes 10 went wrong - before seagate bought them but ill never buy maxtor again and yes over here in old blighty maxtor hard disk drive is what i replace the most.

Oh joy , u could try the freezer bit but put it in a plastic bag.....

or tapping it with a screw driver slightly to knock the heads in to place

if all else fails keep doors open with it as a constant reminder to buy Maxtor............
June 1, 2007 5:43:19 PM

For data recovering/repair of failing drives, try spinrite at http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm.

I don't know if it works with usb drives so you may have to open the usb enclosure, remove the HD and connect it directly to your mobo.

If that doesn't work, I'd say you're hosed, unless you're willing to pay $1500 to a proper data recovery company.

Good luck. :) 

For the record, the only drive I've ever had fail was a quantum drive. It blew a chip on the controller card so spinrite wasn't even an option.
March 3, 2009 5:44:32 PM

You are all a bunch of ignorant idiots........ starting with you and I cannot believe you are dispensing this kind of advice......

If you knew anything about how a hard drive works, you would never say that...

What I recommed is that you use the ice path and the freezer trick on your heads then see if anything changes....


I would say good luck, but that will not help you guys....
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blunc said:
while the "freezer trick" is considered by many to be unproven I doubt it can hurt if proper precautions are taken. the drive needs to be kept dry, a ziplock bag should help with this, you could even put it in an ice bath while you're trying to see if freezing it worked.

the logic behind freezing it is that a chip that malfunctions due to heat may be kept cool long enough to retrieve data from the drive.

most likely when the drive suffered "shock damage" a circuit board connection got damaged or misaligned. if you had another drive same as the damaged one it might be possible to move the circuit board from the good drive to the bad one and retrieve your data. this theory has not been widely proven either but it's worth a try.

!