Help with Sata hard drives

I run a video production business in Staten Island, NY. I lost my entire business (along with half of my house and my car) due to Hurricane Sandy. In my business, I dealt with customer's old videos, pictures, and audio and transferring them to more modern formats. I had over $80,000 worth of equipment accumulated over 30 years and I am trying to rebuild but with lack of support from FEMA, SBA, and the insurance companies, I will have to start from the bottom up.

I had thousands of slides, pictures, and videos that were scanned and imported into my computers. I am trying to recover the information so I can have something to give back to some of my customers and wholesalers.

As soon as I got to my store, I ripped apart my computers and external hard drives. I wiped them down and had them sitting in rice for 2 weeks. I tried connecting one to my personal computer using my external hard drive casing. When that didn't work, I tried using my USB to Sata cable and that still didn't work.

I only tried two so far out of the seven that I have. One spins, one doesn't. All 7 hard drives are SATA.

Is there anything I can do? I don't mind disassembling my hard drive as I know there is a way to disassemble it and connect the inside of the hard drive using special peripherals. Or can I replace the motor inside the hard drive?

If there's any possibilities, please let me know. Thanks in advance for your help!

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  1. I would say you have little chance of getting any of the drives to work, first of all salt water is not good for electronics as it corrodes anything made of metal and inhibits rust.
    By opening a Hard drive case you will automatically destroy it unless it is done in a clean room 100% dust free environment. Sorry to here about your story, and I hope things get better for you, If you get up and running may I suggest you use some sort of Server or file storage service to avoid this problem in the future.
  2. weaselman,

    Thank you for your fast response!

    I know about the effects of salt water on electronics. Some of the screws are rusted but the connections and casing actually look fairly clean and rust free. If I were to arrange a clean room for myself in order to try opening the hard drive case, what would the steps be to fix it?

    One of the drives that I tested still spins. If it spins then does that mean it should work fine? If so then why would it not be recognized? Is there a way to plug it in externally and access it through the bios or a bios tool like the Hitachi tool? I don't mind trying unconventional methods or tools

    Thanks for the well wishes, I believe everything will work out eventually. It will take a lot of time but I will eventually get it done. I cannot afford to use servers and I had everything backed up on external hard drives and DVDs. Believe it or not, I cleaned and recovered all of my customer's DVDs! But the newest stuff was on my external hard drives. I had them wrapped in plastic and put on high shelves. I just never imagined the water would ever get that high!

    Thanks again for your help!
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