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Hard Drive physically damaged... options?

Last response: in Storage
December 17, 2004 5:21:25 PM

I went to a few different places with my hard drive and they told me different things. Some said that the drive could be fixed, some said all hope was lost and that a data-recovery center is my only option. I've asked about it on different forums (off-topic, non-computer forums), but it looks like everyone here has a good idea of what they are talking about :) 

My computer stopped being able to read my second hard drive one day. It would still show up in "my computer" and I could click on it, but it couldn't read anything on it.

So I took it out and low-and-behold... I see what appear to be melted wires. I think that they connect my motor to my logic board, but I am far from a computer expert so I could be wrong. Here are three pics of the hard drive and damage in question;

I've been told about and looked into data recovery centers but they are very expensive and I would only look into spending that kind of money as an absolute last resort. There is one located near me though, so I will likely go to talk to them in person when I get a chance just to see what they have to say.

Anyway, what I want to know is if I could have the motor, the four wires, and the logic board replaced instead? By replacing the parts that are damaged I figure that the drive should work and no data would be lost. I would of course quicly back it all up.

Someone I know who has an identical hard drive (same model, purchased around the same time... hopefully it is truely identical) is sending it to me so that I can get the right parts... but i don't want to bring it somewhere, have them take it apart and then lose all of my data if this is an extremely risky method. I need to be totally sure that something like that could be done.

I e-mailed a data-recovery place to ask them about such a thing, but he didn't get too detailed in his answer because they do after-all charge for evaluation. He said that it can be done but that it is possible to damage the disk.

So does anyone know if replacing the motor, wires, and board will be likely to workout for me? Is replacing the motor risky? May it be too close to the platters, or impossible to replace without coming dangerously close to the platters? Or maybe by looking at the pictures you can tell that it might not even be a problem with the motor that caused this? Are there other options out there?

Lastly, if I was to have this done I would bring it to a professional at a computer repair place or something... I wouldn't try and work on this thing myself.
December 18, 2004 4:48:42 PM


I'm only going to bump it this one time... don't worry
December 19, 2004 4:51:08 AM

That much of a replacement cannot be done by an end user. That would only be done by a data recovery place. The motor is directly connected to the platters and to even get at the mounts for the motor you would need to remove the platters. The best thing to do would be to drop those platters into a new hard drive but there is really no way an end user could pull out and put in drive platters w/o destroying the data on them.

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December 19, 2004 5:28:56 AM

thank you

I'm going to go to the date recovery place near me then so that they can answer my questions in person before I commit to anything.
December 19, 2004 6:42:06 AM

Risky, risky, risky!!!

It must be risky to take your motor, etc...
December 19, 2004 10:31:51 AM

You can replace the hard drive PCB fairly easily. But the motor is def a nono(what ever you do dont expose the platters to the air!). Does the hard drive still spin-up when you turn on the computer?
December 19, 2004 12:21:07 PM

no, it doesn't spin up... I don't think. It's unhooked right now. When I get home tonight I'm going to put it back in and see.
December 19, 2004 8:31:01 PM

If it doesnt spin up then it could be the motor that is screwed. Have you tried repairing the damaged connections to your motor(as shown in your photos) I couldnt really see in the pics how badly damaged they are?