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HDD Repair

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September 6, 2011 3:25:39 PM

Hello,
I've been carrying out pc repairs for a couple of years now, lately I have been coming across more and more HDDs that I cant seem to repair or recover data from. So much so I'm now doubting my own abilities to repair computers!
I'd like to know what steps other are taking to recover hard drives and get them working again.
I always aim to repair before replace, what steps would you use to get a drive working again. Which software do you use, and what sequence do you run this software in.
Regards,
Roy

More about : hdd repair

September 6, 2011 4:01:19 PM

rafoord said:
Hello,
I've been carrying out pc repairs for a couple of years now, lately I have been coming across more and more HDDs that I cant seem to repair or recover data from. So much so I'm now doubting my own abilities to repair computers!
I'd like to know what steps other are taking to recover hard drives and get them working again.
I always aim to repair before replace, what steps would you use to get a drive working again. Which software do you use, and what sequence do you run this software in.
Regards,
Roy



Repairing HDD's is pretty much impossible, usually by the time they fail the heads have crashed into the surface of the platters making recovery of data near impossible.

If you are able to power the HDD up still then using some free data recovery software may be able to salvage some info, but the emphasis is on may be able....

There is an old trick that has been known to temporarily work - use google to search for putting a hard drive in the freezer.
September 6, 2011 4:04:44 PM

With the price of HDDs these days it makes no sense to use a HDD after you have had it go bad ( Repair before Replace has it's uses but when dealing with important data reusing a defective drive is not a good time to use it ! - figure if the magnetic surface of the disk fails on one portion of the disk it is only a matter of time before the same happens to other portions and repairing the drive is just asking for problems)- It is not worth the headache worrying about the HDD once there is enough of a problem with bad sectors\etc. that the drive fails it is best to replace it with a new HDD and recover what you need to from the old HDD and then get rid of it ! redoing a low level format may get it working again for awhile but I'd not want to chance the loss of my data to a HDD that has already exhibited problems with the media. Figure a 1tb HDD can be purchased for around $50 so why even attempt to repair one that has failed ? (since the hourly cost of doing so is going to be more than the cost of replacement)

IF the person has data on the HDD that they do not have backed up then attempting recovery either using software or replacing the PCB with an identical one is sometimes worth the effort ( if they are willing to pay the cost of your time and parts even if you are not successful and are aware of the possibility that you will not be successful) but even then you'd never want to reuse that HDD in a system.

Best advice you can give them is to also purchase a second (external or internal) HDD and set up a backup routine to avoid problems in the future by always keeping a fairly recent backup of their important data for when the next HDD fails since the cost of this preventative measure is nominal compared to the cost of trying to recover it once it is lost.
Related resources
a c 310 G Storage
September 6, 2011 9:39:10 PM

If the problem is a board fault, then in most cases a straight board swap will not work. This is because each board has unique "adaptive" information that needs to be transferred to the donor. This is the case for current Seagate, Maxtor, WD, and Hitach drives. Older Maxtors (prior to Seagate's takeover) didn't have this issue. Samsungs also don't appear to be affected, although the boards must be a close match. Visit hddguru.com for more information.

I'm currently analysing several boards from different HDD manufacturers. My intention is to produce a series of articles like the following:
http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Barracuda-XT-Barracuda-Bar...

Another common problem which I encounter several times per week in various storage forums involves shorted protection diodes. In such cases there is usually a simple, no-cost DIY fix.

http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Barracuda-XT-Barracuda-Bar...
a c 119 G Storage
September 9, 2011 4:05:17 AM

Try ulysses35's approach of freezing the HDD overnight. And quickly connect it and retrieve the data before it warms up to room temperature. This approach is easy enough to try.
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