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Hard Disk died, I am so screwed. Please help!

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December 15, 2007 3:33:28 AM

I have an old Dell, a few years old and I took out the 80 GB Seagate Harddrive that it came with and put it in a new PC that I built. The moment I hit the power button the PC turns off and would not start up until I took out that Dell Hard drive. I then proceeded to put the HD back into the dell and now the power light flashes yellow and it will not start up.

What has happened? Did the disk completely die? If so I am so screwed. I had important files on that disk. I had no idea it would blow just by putting it into another computer.

Does Dell make their parts fail if you tamper with them by putting them in a different machine?

Any ideas? Please help.

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December 15, 2007 4:11:09 AM

I wonder if those guys at Best Buy can do some data recovery?
December 15, 2007 4:29:37 AM

What you should do is get an external usb enclosure (make sure you get the interface of your hard drive) and plug it into another computer and see what happens. You may also try software data recovery, my favorite is GetDataBack. I highly doubt the noobs at "Geek Squad" have a real data recovery center. The only places I am familiar with are DriveSavers and Ontrack data recovery. Good luck.
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December 15, 2007 5:11:55 AM

Do you have another hard drive with the OS in your new PC? Did you set the jumper settings correctly?

What are the specs of your new build?

I agree with paq. These geek Squad can truely fix ANY problem you have. All they do is replace every single part inside your computer completely reformat and charge you about 300% markup and everything.
December 15, 2007 5:18:46 AM

arson said:
Does Dell make their parts fail if you tamper with them by putting them in a different machine?
They don't do that. I have a Dell Dim4400 from Feb 2002 that Im still using 24/7 as our home network file server and internet gateway and I've had the 40GB HD in and out quite a few times for one reason or another.

I'm not sure paq7512's external enclosure will help you out. I use a BYTECC USB 2.0 External Enclosure which is nice because it will handle IDE or SATA type HDs. But then I had an extra working HD to use to begin with.

How are the jumpers set on your 80GB HD? Master or Cable Select? Did you change the jumper and forget to change it back?

December 15, 2007 5:36:15 AM

There is a trick of putting the drive in a plastic bag and putting it in your freezer for about 30 mins and then trying it again. Maybe another option, if he has a version of LIVE linux that he can run from cd, perhaps he may be able to get his files that way. I have a disk called PC wizard that has the linux OS on it and is supposed to give me that capability. Though thankfully I haven't had to test it that far yet.
December 15, 2007 9:43:41 AM

Data recovery costs lots of money, if what you have on that HD is worth more than $1K to you then get the drive recovery people a call.
You can try the freezer thing and an external box, but you may just need to go buy a new HD and the Software you want to make your computer work.
Good Luck
December 15, 2007 10:25:52 AM

My friend did this and it worked for him.....
Find an identicle hard drive, it has to be the exact same!
Change out the board on the bottom of the drive being carefull with the flexible connectors and static.
Since the failure is most likely electronics related this would be your cheapest fix before having to get the pros involved.
December 15, 2007 10:38:58 AM

Depending on your problem, it seems that you may have to try out Johnnyq1233's solution. If any PC that you put this hard drive wigs out when you are sure you have the correct jumper settings, then you will most likely have to replace the board on the hard drive. If you have a knocking or grinding hard drive, then try ohiou_grad _06's solution. I personally have had my wife's laptop hard drive start to fail and I bought an external hard drive enclosure with USB connection and used a live linux distro to recover all but one of the important files that she needed. Linux always seems to recover files way better than any windows solution. Knoppix or Live SUSE or Kubuntu or Ubuntu are nice and easy distro's to use among others as well.
December 15, 2007 10:46:27 AM

i certainly hope you are able to retrieve your data. here is one explanation for what may have happened.

during the winter months, when the air is cold and DRY, static electricity can be a problem, even if you did not see a spark when you were moving your hard drive.

in the future, get yourself an anti static wrist strap, touch the case before you touch the components, always shut down and unplug the items you are working with unless you need them to be on for some reason, don't work in a room with carpets, get yourself a nice ultrasonic humidifier set for 60% humidity to reduce static.

Lastly, 20/20 hindsight I know, but set up an automatic data backup of some sort to a device on your local network (or better yet, to a device not physically located at the same place in case of a fire). Anyone know of anything easy? I use a Net-Stor network storage device that also doubles as a mini-server of sorts but it sounds like an aircraft at take-off so I can not in good conscience recommend it to anyone (at the time I got it, I did not know how loud it would be, and the price was right at $19 after the MIRs).
December 15, 2007 10:58:38 AM

Thanks for all the help. Just to clarify on what happened. I took old Dell hard drive out and put into a new computer - AMD 64Bit 3200+, 2gb ram, ATI 1600xt and a Western Digital 80gb Serial hard drive already set as master (the HD in the new PC did not have a little black cover thingy in the jumper). I did not mess with the jumper settings of the old Dell, hoping that it would automatically become a slave. (its jumper settings are as follows :|:::

Once I plugged the drive in, the computer would not even power up. The PSU didnt even turn over at all.

So I put it back into my Dell and the exact response happens....nothing. Except a yellow flashing HD light. And my new PC starts back up just fine.

So I decided to take the HD out and start it up. The Dell started fine without the HD. So I boldly decided to plug the hard drive in while it was on. The moment the power connector was on the hard drive it immediately cut off.

OKay, I am going to look into this hard drive enclosure idea. I never heard of it. Can I purchase it at Best Buy?

Thanks everyone. If I can't recover this disk I am in a world of pain. Hind sight is 20/20. I just should of backed it up before doing anything to it.
December 15, 2007 11:01:51 AM

BY THE WAY

The jumper settings on the Dell HD are set as :|:::

The straight line being the black cover. The HD in my new computer doesn't have a cover at all, ::::

Also, do they even make this HD anymore? Its an IDE Seagate 80gb. What other specifications would I need to know to look for an identical type if I decided to replace the board on the HD?

Also, someone recommended taking out the battery in the Dell mobo for 10 minutes and put it back. Would that really help?

I am going to Best Buy as soon as they open to see if they have and HD enclosures. I will keep you posted if it works!
December 15, 2007 11:50:05 AM

FYI- Here are the jumper settings for Seagate.
http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/u5_family_1...
Here are the jumper settings for Maxtor.
http://www.seagate.com/images/support/en/us/mxo_ata_jum...
Since the drive you removed from the Dell is set to Cable Select, the BIOS in the Dell is most likely not detecting it correctly now that you have removed it. You will likely have to reset it in the BIOS to be detected correctly. To install 2 drives on the same ribbon cable, one has to be jumpered as master, the other as slave. Cable select will work in some systems, but I have never myself had much luck with this setting. I have always just jumpered my drives to slave or master.
You can try rejumpering the seagate to slave, your drive in the new system to master, and see if that works. Hopefully your "hot switch" attempt did not kill the drive, but be prepared, you may have toasted it.
December 15, 2007 1:35:26 PM

Also, one thing I find very very helpful for myself. I currently am running 2 hard drives, so a lot of times like before I plan to do anything that may require a reformat I will back up my important documents onto my secondary drive.

So just for future reference, might be something you want to think about. That way, ever happens again, replace your main drive, install everything, and all your good stuff is still on drive #2.
December 15, 2007 2:02:44 PM

It's hard to beat a USB Flash drive for backing up important files. 4GB for about $30. Solid state and portable.

And OS backups to DVDs are a good option. DVDs for data backups as well. For the really important and un-replaceable data files (family pictures, videos, etc) an off site backup (DVDs to a family member) are a really good idea.

December 15, 2007 2:35:19 PM

Quote:
So I boldly decided to plug the hard drive in while it was on.

LoL - that hard disk is probably toasted now! A very dumb thing to do. :pt1cable: 
You should be able to hookup that HD on any PC, either internally (as master on its own controller, or slaved to DVD, or as master with DVD slave) or maybe externally, as some have suggested, via USB.
Note: SATA drives have no master/slave relationship and therefore no jumpers. Seagate SATAs do have a jumper - but it is to select SATA1 mode with no NCQ (for older mobo controllers).
Anyway, take the IDE HD to your local computer professional and ask him "is this dead?"
It can easily be determined whether the drive is deceased, or simply the victim of hardware misconfiguration.
If dead, maybe the HD electronics could be easily repaired. Pprobably cost you ~$100 bucks, but your data will still be right there like nothing happened :D 
If, however, you have had a serious failure ie. mechanical (platters and head) your files are officially history.
I suspect, like somebody already said, the new computer choked on the old HD and would not start due to misconfiguration. Then when returned to the original rig, the HD was not properly re-detected in BIOS.
So if you haven't roasted the electronics (see very dumb, above) you could still be fine.
Re: the Freezer trick
Moisture ie. condensation is the enemy! An icy cold HD will immediately condense moisture inside, all over the platters/heads, when brought into a warm moist environment (buddy's 60% humidity, right?)
So let's save that trick as a 'last resort' guys, it's a desperate plan...
Regards
December 15, 2007 9:56:56 PM

I tried the external hard drive enclosure and it just shut it down and would not power up. I took it to someone and they said it is toast.

The last thing would be to buy another identical hard drive and replace the chip with it.

Thanks for all the help guys. Luckily, it didnt turn out to be a complete failure and loss. I was able to recover alot of files from various places, email, online hosts, cds, etc.

I guess I lost about 20-30% of my stuff.
December 15, 2007 10:41:19 PM

arson said:

What has happened? Did the disk completely die? If so I am so screwed. I had important files on that disk. I had no idea it would blow just by putting it into another computer.



I guess you learned your lesson for not backing up your files.
!