Do it yourself Data Recovery ?

My brothers hard drive is trashed. Mechanically/electronically I don't know. Ive tried evry software solution or trick I could find but drive cant be read or even found.
It's a 200 gig WD2000 ide ata100. I can get one on ebay for@ 50 bucks new. Can I swap the platters from the trashed drive to the new and recover his treasures with simply the correct screw drivers or do I need special tools. Sending the unit to Ontrack or some such place is not an option .....$$$$$.
Anybody know how to do this ? HELP ME JEBUZ !
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  1. I believe that once you dismantle your hdd and expose the platters to the air, your data will never be recoverable. Professional institutions do the recovery in a clean room. Unless you have a clean room, not even jebuz could save you.
  2. first, what software solutions have you tried?

    try Ontrack Easy Recovery Professional, i've used that several times and it works quite well.

    the next step would be another one i've used successfully. go ahead and purchase that identical drive and what you can do is swap the printed circuit boards that are on the drive. if you can get an identical drive the pcb's are very interchangeable and if the pcb is the problem it can be a quick fix. they're simple to remove and replace since all the connectors between the pcb and the hard drive itself are just press fit and not soldered directly.

    if THAT doesn't work, then chances are you're screwed. you could POSSIBLY attempt a platter swap, but once you do there's no turning back. also, if the drive has experienced a head crash, the read head hitting the platter surface and destroying it, there's not much you're going to be able to do.

    btw, you'll need very small hex bits to remove the platters. and of course, if nothing works, and you can't afford the several hundred if not thousands of dollars to send it to a professional place you can always use the platters as mirrors :)
  3. jaoreill is right data recovery service places use dust free rooms. Does the computer mount or see the drive kind of. If so you would try GetDataBack which works great. If not one time Spinrite worked for me and saved a hard drive that was giving errors.
  4. valis has good solutions. I have swapped PCB's on drives before, and they weren't even identical drives. One was a maxtor 250 and one was a 200gb. Go with what valis said for PCB, but try all the recovery software recommended by people here first.
  5. Dont do anything drastic yet such as open the drive.

    Describe to me what the drive does - does it spin up? Does it 'klunk' alot or what? I do alot of data recovery as a Tech (and its easy $$$ ;))
  6. use stellar! really good software!! i recovered 65 gb out of my 74 gb of the dead 80 gb samsung i had.its has a neat and easy interface.
    or if u are short on cash get testdisk its equally good.but the interface is a bit confusing.
  7. Thanks for all your input guys. The drive does not even show up in the bios. I downloaded software from Ontrack and Western Digital and even tried fdisk from a starup disk and all say no drive present. All it does is ! Didn't like the looks of the cable either so I tried 3 brand new ones I had lying around.....still nothing. I've been tempted to buy spinrite just cause I wanted it anyway but It seems it would probably also just say "no drive present", right?
    So if my only option is "surgery" with a 50 dollar doner drive I'll go for it. Wish I had some mechanical experiance taking them apart but Oh Well. The pcb swap shoundnt be a problem, I remember taking that off a dead drive before. I'm a little sweaty over possibly having to swap the platters though. I vaugely remember having difficulty dismembering
    the other parts of a dead drive.
    The clean room dust thing doesnt seem like a big deal to me. ( I hope)
    I just need it to work long enough to copy some data off it.
    Still hoping for an easy out :)
  8. Quote:
    "Sending the unit to Ontrack or some such place is not an option .....$$$$$."

    These days, it is becoming much more affordable for professional data recovery, $500, parts including, check it out.
    worth to give it a shot if there are some value data in your hard drive.

    Good Luck.
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