I have now three dead hard drives from which I want to recover data (FYI all of them are WD drives). They all died by the infamous click of death. I've heard that one can temporarily revive them by storing them in the freezer for a while. So my plan is to freeze them down and immediately copy the data from them onto a healthy hard drive. My question is what is faster and better; copy the files or copy the partitions using Norton Ghost, FOG or similar software (that use raw data copy)? I want to move the data as quickly as possible before the hard drive fails again.
The thing is that sequential read (which I believe is what is done when raw copying the partitions) ought to be much faster than a random read (when copying the files one by one in Windows). The disadvantage however (my guess) is that if a raw copy is interrupted by a hard drive failure the half made clone will be unreadable while at least the copied files will be intact. I found the following list of hard drive cloning software:
But how can I be sure that it is the circuitry board that is malfunctioning? Are WD drives known for having failing circuitry boards?
I know that when a hard drive starts to click-of-death the reason is that it is starting to have problems reading off the surface of the disks. Even though the symptoms are obvious, the cause of this can be anything from bad platters, worn heads to failing driver circuitry. I have now no less than three WD hard drives in this condition and I strongly suspect that more is to come. So I believe that the most sensible thing I can do is to temporarily revive them and quickly copy the data into a new big healthy hard drive. But if there is a known manufacturing weakness in the circuitry of WD hard drives I'm all for replacing the boards.