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External Hard Drive not working

Last response: in Storage
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January 25, 2013 8:51:16 PM

Hello,

I have an external Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 (500 GB), and it has stopped working.

Here's the story:

One time I checked on it and found out it had shut down. When I disconnected it / reconnected it, it made a series of beeps and shut down.

So I opened it and found out that there was a little burn spot on the the little ribbon cable inside.

I decided to buy a SATA / USB adapter so I could use internal drives as external ones and so I could retrieve the data safely from it.

But the same happened when I removed the drive from it's cover and used it like an internal drive with the SATA / USB adapter. It didn't wanna power up after many beeps.

I can provide screenshots.

Thank you very much.
a c 326 G Storage
January 25, 2013 9:52:57 PM

Screenshots would be nice, especially if you could show us the component side of the HDD PCB.
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January 26, 2013 9:38:08 AM


Included in the images :

- The external hard drive cover
- The ribbon cable with a spot burn
- The hard drive closed
- The hard drive uncovered
- The hard drive printed circuit board x2
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a c 326 G Storage
January 26, 2013 8:38:15 PM

By removing the cover, you have introduced contaminants which may result in a head crash when the drive spins up (I can see a speck of dust at about 7 o'clock near the outer edge of the platter). However, you may be lucky and the air turbulence may blow the dust into the air filter.

Assuming that the heads are parked in the landing zone, it could be that the spindle motor is seized. It's too late for caution now, but try rotating the platters anticlockwise (without touching them). They must rotate in the direction that the head stack is pointing.

I have taken the liberty of reposting direct links to your photos:

http://imageshack.us/a/img94/1556/img20130125205616.jpg (Iomega enclosure)
http://imageshack.us/a/img221/2065/img20130125205633.jp... (IDE ribbon)
http://imageshack.us/a/img163/1865/img20130125210334.jp... (HDD label)
http://imageshack.us/a/img594/279/img20130125231302.jpg (HDD inside)
http://imageshack.us/a/img713/940/img20130125232403.jpg (HDD PCB)
http://imageshack.us/a/img189/5103/img20130125232416.jp... (HDD PCB)
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January 28, 2013 9:26:45 PM

fzabkar said:
By removing the cover, you have introduced contaminants which may result in a head crash when the drive spins up (I can see a speck of dust at about 7 o'clock near the outer edge of the platter). However, you may be lucky and the air turbulence may blow the dust into the air filter.

Assuming that the heads are parked in the landing zone, it could be that the spindle motor is seized. It's too late for caution now, but try rotating the platters anticlockwise (without touching them). They must rotate in the direction that the head stack is pointing.

I have taken the liberty of reposting direct links to your photos:

http://imageshack.us/a/img94/1556/img20130125205616.jpg (Iomega enclosure)
http://imageshack.us/a/img221/2065/img20130125205633.jp... (IDE ribbon)
http://imageshack.us/a/img163/1865/img20130125210334.jp... (HDD label)
http://imageshack.us/a/img594/279/img20130125231302.jpg (HDD inside)
http://imageshack.us/a/img713/940/img20130125232403.jpg (HDD PCB)
http://imageshack.us/a/img189/5103/img20130125232416.jp... (HDD PCB)


How do I safely remove the dust over the top platter ?

How do I rotate the platters anticlockwise without touching them ? From their side ?

Thank you

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January 28, 2013 9:37:49 PM

Also, are the screws exact position over the HDD cover important to respect for the HDD to function ? And if so, how do I find which screw goes where after they have been scrambled ? I have noticed a little microdot dug at the top side of each screw. I wonder if it does give any clue of it's position on the cover or maybe of its tightness ?
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a c 326 G Storage
January 30, 2013 12:16:29 AM

I'm not a data recovery professional, so I would probably ignore my own advice. In fact the last time I performed internal surgery on a hard drive was more than 20 years ago. In those days they were 250kg monsters attached to mainframe computers, so things have changed a lot.

You need to decide whether your data are valuable and whether you are prepared to pay for professional recovery. If not, then my advice would be to obtain a can of "air duster" of the kind used by photographers to clean camera lenses. Do not shake the can (in case it contains moisture), and test the spray beforehand to ensure that the air is dry. Then blow the dust off the disc in a radial direction toward the outside of the platter.

I would use surgical gloves, or the clear plastic gloves that are bundled with women's hair colouring, to gently rotate the platter by turning the aluminium hub. The platters should rotate freely without too much effort.

As for the microdots, I have never noticed them before. I know that in certain older WD models (BB and JB ?) the head stack alignment is disturbed when you remove the associated cover screw, but I haven't heard of anything like this in Seagate drives.

One thing that I used to do in my day when powering up a drive for the first time after a head crash was to disable the voice coil. This would prevent the heads from loading and would allow the drive to spin for as long as needed until the air turbulence had cleared out any remaining debris that I may have overlooked during my cleanup. I don't know whether the professionals bother doing this, but ISTM that it would be advisable in your case. One simple way to disable the voice coil would be to place a business card between the PCB and the HDA connector. Hopefully the drive will remain spinning in the absence of a track servo signal.
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January 30, 2013 9:11:20 PM

As far as the data is concerned, it is quite valuable to me as I have no backup of it.

How much does a professional recovery cost ?

I hope that you are right about the microdots not being an issue on Seagate because I have no clue on how to restablish the head stack alignment if it happens to get disturbed.

Anyway I will try to find a can of air duster, some clear plastic gloves and a business card. Hopefully, won't be too hard.

Will do that and report ASAP.
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a c 326 G Storage
January 30, 2013 10:22:56 PM

The following company offers fixed price data recovery for US$800 plus parts:
http://myharddrivedied.com

The proprietor is Scott Moulton who is arguably the best known person in the DR business. In fact he teaches other professionals. When shopping for quotes, I would use the above figure as your upper limit. No doubt you will find cheaper quotes, especially if you are prepared to ship across borders. For example, I have seen prices as low as US$340 for head swaps (in the EU).

BTW, I have no association with Scott Moulton or his company.

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January 31, 2013 6:17:34 AM

I don't doubt that Scott Moulton is definitely a good respectable person, but US$800 is definitely out of my range. Plus the data contained in the hard drive is not worth that much on my opinion.

That's why I feel more like trying to repair it myself, but I still need your skills and experience to help me do so.

The tools are on their way, I will report ASAP.
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January 31, 2013 7:21:36 AM

I have found these 100% cotton gloves for hair coloration : http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B007GH64BO
And an air duster here : http://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00067EBKW

Are they suitable in your opinion?

Also, I didn't fully understand your last paragraph about the voice coil and how to disable it

Quote:
One thing that I used to do in my day when powering up a drive for the first time after a head crash was to disable the voice coil. This would prevent the heads from loading and would allow the drive to spin for as long as needed until the air turbulence had cleared out any remaining debris that I may have overlooked during my cleanup. I don't know whether the professionals bother doing this, but ISTM that it would be advisable in your case. One simple way to disable the voice coil would be to place a business card between the PCB and the HDA connector. Hopefully the drive will remain spinning in the absence of a track servo signal.


Would you mind explaining it to me again ?
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February 1, 2013 11:00:22 AM

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/img20130201133... ( c02 airduster for fragile electronics I got )
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/17/img201302011343... ( 100% cotton gloves for haircoloration )
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/822/img20130201134... ( hdd inside with no dust now )

I got the tools, but the platters refuse to rotate in the direction the head stack is pointing (didn't try the other direction).

I managed to blow the dust out as you can see on the new picture.

What to do next ?
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March 8, 2013 9:00:23 AM

Please someone ?
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!