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Another HDD & Lost DATA Nightmare..

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June 17, 2011 6:01:10 PM

I've recently lost all my data on a 80 gig Hitachi HD with bad sector, and the only available solution was a special recovery lab.. however

I've learned my lesson since then, and when i had all my old data stored safe and sound along with the new data on a SATA Western Digital (WD3200AAJS), i thought it was time for "backup" and the day before i bought an external drive i moved the PC in order to reach the wifi range, and it happened again... the case was open, HD fell down,, so long data,, i tried to hook the HD back again but the bios wouldn't recognize it, it makes two click sound then stops,, although sometimes the Bios reads it as "IDE Drive []" instead of "IDE Drive [WD3200AAJS]. i hooked it as slave now but no software would detect it, i guess the power couldn't reach the palettes,,

Some of my colleges recommended the "freezer" method but the last time i checked that was the desperate cure for bad sectors "clickin' sound of death" which hasn't worked for me the first time whatsoever,,,

As i wrote in the previous post, all my data are beyond important, but this hdd thing keeps on happenin' to me, and this is the third time.
I won't be able to effort a recovery lab for the time bein', and i'm aware that HD hardware maintenance equipments require a fortune, so i guess the alternative solutions are very limited if which exist,,,

As a computer technician that's as far as i could go, Hard Drives are a fragile myth,,but i hope i could get help from anyone who went through the same dilemma or has any good idea about it,,

Much appreciated,,,
a b G Storage
June 17, 2011 6:32:14 PM

did you run CHKDSK from the command prompt to try and fix the bad sectors on the drive that fell if you can access it at all.

Go to www.Piriform.com and download Recuva to recover lost data to see if you can save any data. This is a free program.
June 17, 2011 9:24:05 PM

I would if the computer detected the drive, but it didn't, it's not really about recovering data for now as it's about making the HD work first...

So my mission is to make the bios recognize the drive so that i could have access to it, then i'll maybe try bootable Spinrite to recover data...
Related resources
a b G Storage
June 18, 2011 12:37:39 AM

1) The only program that worked on my damaged hard drive was one from EASUS (disk recovery wizard?) I got a free or "free" version of the program.

2) I use Acronis True Image to backup the entire C-Drive. There's a free version (if you have a Western Digital drive installed). I bought the full version. It's $50 or $80 for three copies (maybe split the cost with friends?).

It's also a good idea to check your System Memory using Memtest. Sometimes you can get corrupted software because your RAM has issues. http://www.memtest.org/

Steps:
1) Purchase a backup hard drive such as a 2TB Western Digital GREEN
2) Run MEMTEST overnight (note, if it's on USB or CD/DVD you may need to change the boot order in your BIOS. If it's on DVD, for example, boot first to DVD, then second to the hard drive with Windows.)
3) Install the new hard drive. (May need to use "Disk Management" part of Windows to recognize and add the hard drive.)
4) If not formatted yet but it's installed, run "CHECKDISK"; check BOTH options. A 2TB drive takes a long time (over 10 hours?) to verify. It's critical to do this step and build a bad sector table before installing any data.
5) BACKUP your Windows drive (C-Drive) to this new drive. Windows 7 has it's own "Image" creation software but it's very basic. It can not restore an image if you move the folder to any other folder (it must be ROOT on a drive).
6) use additional software such as "Synchbackse" free edition to automatically copy specific folders, such as "Documents" folder and possibly the folder containing your e-mail data (if you know where it is). I have Syncbackse set to DAILY mirror my "Documents" folder. I have Acronis TI set to weekly backups; Acronis TI takes 15 minutes to backup although it would be much faster with "Verify" turned off (speed of backup is mostly dependent on the hard drive speed but some varies on CPU speed and your compression settings).

*You should write down, on paper, how to recover/restore from different situations so that you know you have the basics covered.

**Your e-mail server settings can be modified to change how long it takes to delete the e-mail. Default is to delete the e-mail once it's been downloaded to a local program such as Outlook or Mail Live. I changed this so that it takes two weeks. If I have a corrupted hard drive, I can RESTORE Windows, then redownload any e-mail I've lost between my last BACKUP of Windows and the date of restoration (many people make WEEKLY backups of the C-Drive).
a b G Storage
June 18, 2011 1:47:56 AM

Another trick, especially with the "click of death" is to swap out the controller board on the harddrive itself. Make sure you backup whatever is readable on the driver BEFORE you attempt this, but I have seen this fix similiar issues in the past.
a c 271 G Storage
June 18, 2011 8:02:26 AM

Just to confirm, does the "clicking" occur after the drive spins up? Or are you hearing a soft sound that would suggest that the motor is seized or the heads are stuck to the platters?
June 18, 2011 1:17:37 PM

It doesn't spin at all, it just clicks twice then sounds like the heads are stuck, then bios reads it as "blank" no further actions, the drive doesn't even heat up a bit, the problem is that the situation is a 100% hardware,, no soft would help unless the bios recognizes it first..
June 20, 2011 12:29:49 AM

fzabkar said:
If the drive is not spinning up, but is trying to, then you probably have a stiction fault (heads stuck to platters), or a seized spindle motor.

See this thread, but heed the warnings:
http://forums.seagate.com/t5/FreeAgent-Products/Seagate...


Great Posts, thanks..
I tried the shock technique and i managed to make it spin for about 2 or 3 seconds during boot then it started clickin' again,some times the bios doesn't read it at all, sometimes it does but never displays the HD model, therefore it doesn't appear on OS neither disk manager or bootable softwares such as Spinrite,

i also found some other techniques,,
The clean room/head swap technique is pretty risky, (you never know if the room is clean enough),, and once some dust got it, bye bye data...
I'm still doin' some researches hopin' to find a final solution to recover the very important data..it's about 7 years of work..
Thank you again for the thread, i'm still gonna give it some shocks and freeze it overnight then i'll post the result...

PS/ this is the sound the HD makes : http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php (the first sound - Western Digital desktop drive with bad heads clunking.)


a b G Storage
June 27, 2011 5:22:10 AM

I would still try the controller card before anything else. It is easy and reversible even if its probably not the issue. Once you expose the platters, you are going to make the recovery exponentionally more difficult.
a c 271 G Storage
June 27, 2011 6:11:48 AM

If the drive is clicking after spinning up, then it is not a candidate for "percussive maintenance". Hitting the drive is an absolute last resort, and only if it is suffering from stiction. Otherwise you will only do more damage.

BTW, some WD models use one of the cover screws to hold the head stack in place. If you merely remove and replace the cover on one of these, even in a clean room, then you will disturb the head stack alignment and turn your drive into a paperweight.
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