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Hard Drive is not spinning up/powering up

Last response: in Storage
November 26, 2003 9:46:46 PM

This is on a Mac OS X system. My two year old Maxtor 60gig drive, residing in an external firewire enclosure, is not spinning when powered up.

You can't hear the familiar whine when you switch the power on. And, of course, the Mac is not seeing/recognizing the drive.

I've tried the power down and unplug cables trick. Tried new cables. Tried removing the IDE drive and using a different enclosure. But no luck :( 

Data recovery companies are quoting $1000- $1600 to recover data, which is a little steep for me right now.

Any suggestions on other things to try?

November 27, 2003 11:58:18 AM

if you know what U are doing, I would rip the HDD out & try different power & datecable connections... prob a SATA or PATA interface on the HDD & a std 4pin powerplug anyway...

Trust me I know what I'm doing... ooops, grab the cat...
November 27, 2003 6:06:13 PM

I've tried inserting the bare drive into a second/different enclosure.

And I've also tried it using my Wiebetech drive dock (allows you to just plug in an IDE drive into the dock and then connect it via firewire).

Still no luck. Drive won't spin up when you turn the power on.

The drive definitely has NOT been dropped. I run 4 banks of power conditioners in my studio so I doubt it was a power spike. And this particular drive has just been sitting on the shelf, unplugged, for at least three months. It's a two year old backup drive that holds a lot of old music I'd hate to lose...

Is there anything else that a non-technical person can try? Short of paying over $1K for data recovery?

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November 27, 2003 6:56:44 PM

You can try several things. First, check if there is an LED under the drive that lights up when you plug the drive in. This should indicate if power is getting to the drive. You can also check if power is getting to the drive motor by attaching a multimeter to the rotor pins. If not the circuit board under the drive may be damaged. Inspect it for damage / loose chips etc. It is possible to solder them back in if they are loose. Alternatively, you can replace the circuit board with one from an identical drive, if you have one.

If the drive has been idle for a long time it could be that the mechanisms have become jammed. You could try to free it up by rotating it with a sharp twisting motion. Or a tap on the table with the left hand side uppermost. Failing that, seal the drive in a bag and put it in the freezer for a few hours. When it has cooled plug it in and see if it will spin up.

As final and desperate measure and if you are sure that it is a physical problem, take the top of your hard disk and see what is stuck inside. Do the platters turn freely? Will the actuator arm move? It may be that just freeing up these components by hand will let your drive spin up one time, hopefully enough for you to recover the data.

<A HREF="" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
November 27, 2003 7:15:13 PM

Thank you very much for the tips!

I'll try after we're done with Turkey for the day :) 
October 27, 2011 3:02:31 AM

My hard drive bricked a few days ago and since I am an idiot, I did not have a backup. I investigated on the net and discovered that the problem was perhaps related to the PCB (printed circuit board) on my hard drive and that if I could replace it, I might have a perfectly functional hard drive. So I searched and discoverd an incredible website:

This website offers you PCBs for only $40. Amazingly, I was able to match up my Seagate hard drive's PCB to one they had on the site and ordered it. I waited, hoping and praying that this would resolve the issue. It arrived today, I carefully took off the old PCB, swapped on the new one and plugged in my hard drive... IT SPUN! I am in the process of backing it up and I will replace it ASAP, but this magical trick actually worked. Please do not give up or even pay some data recovery site thousands of dollars before you try this PCB swap. I am forever indebted to PCB Solution.