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Last post Author Topic: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]  (Read 16598 times)

superboyac

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hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« on: March 20, 2006, 07:24:14 PM »
Hi everyone, this is a problem I have had for over a year now.  Last year, my 80GB IBM deskstar (aka Deathstar) drive stopped spinning.  I had all mp3's on that drive and a lot of them are fairly rare, and I'll never get them back.  I was devastated.

There were no clonking noises or anything, the hard drive just stopped spinning.  A week before, while the computer was on, the hard stopped spinning, but once I rebooted it was ok.  I should have taken it as a warning and transferred my files, but I was lazy and stupid so I didn't.

I've looked at data recovery services and they are all expensive.  I'm trying to keep the cost under $200 if possible.  I've already spend $75 buying an identical hard drive.  I switched the circuit board under the drive with the new one, and I plugged it in.  The hard drive spins, but the computer will not recognize that the drive exists.  So, now I don't know what to do.  When switching the boards, someone told me that not only do I have to make sure that the two drives are the exact same model, but the part number and factory number, etc., have to be the same also.  Well, I know that the model number and all that is the same, but there is one part number that is different.  So maybe that's the problem.

If anyone has other suggestions on what I can do, please let me know.  Would it be possible to somehow open the drive and transfer the heads to the working drive, or is that way too risky for an amateur like me to do?  Is there any way to get the old drive with the switched circuit board to be recognized on the computer?

Thanks.  Help!

lanux128

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2006, 07:50:37 PM »
sorry about the problem... but you can try using SpinRite.

tinyvillager

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2006, 09:03:46 PM »

 When it comes to the drive not being recognized,their are several things that can cause this.
The first thing that will stop you cold is that itty bitty little jumper you'll find next to where you
plug your cables into on the back of your drive,learn how to set that.Second try getting into
your bios,personally i get into mine by pressing the Del button while the machine is booting,i'm
not in front of your machine so it's hard for me to say what you should fiddle with but their are
settings in there that can cause your drive not to be recognized.But in my humble opinion try
messing with jumpers on the back of your drive.


Rover

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2006, 09:11:43 PM »
Is it not spinning becuase the circuits are gone or becuase the motor is gone?  The way to tell is to see if it appears in the BIOS.  No drive in the BIOS probably means the circuits are toasted.  Your kind of SOL if thats the case.  A bad motor can sometime be fixed by .... Freezing the drive.  I'm not kidding.  This is a one-time, back it up now and picth the drive when done solution, that SOMETIMES works. 

Put the drive in the freezer for a day or so.
Get everything set up so you can copy your data off the drive. (have the case open, connectors ready, jumpers set.)
Take the drive out of the freezer, and plug it in.
Boot your system and immediately start copying if you can see the files.
Copy until you're done.

Chances are good the bad drive will never work again after you do this, so make it a last resort.

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superboyac

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2006, 11:52:27 PM »
Well, I'm pretty sure the problem I have is the circuit board on the drive, it must have got fried somehow.  The reason why I'm convinced of that is because when I put the new circuit board on the broken drive, the drive spins right up, no problem.  But the problem then is that the computer doesn't recognize the drive.  That being said, I don't think there's a physical motor problem, so I shouldn't have to resort to the whole freezing thing.

I can't use Spinrite, because the drive won't be detected.

I tried changing the jumpers from master to slave to cable select, but nothing works, and I tried going into the BIOS and it doesn't see the drive in there either.  I also tried putting it on a completely different IDE cable by disconnecting my dvd and cd drive, but the computer still can't detect it.

Is it that big a deal that the hard drive's part number is different, even though it's the exact same model hard drive with the same year and other information printed on the drive?

Rover

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2006, 12:33:38 AM »
It might be a big deal about the part number.  It might work if you had the exact same drive to try swapping PCB's with.  I actually did that once, but it was with 40 MB MFM drive in the 80's.  :-[
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Carol Haynes

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2006, 05:02:33 AM »
If you contact the drive manufacturer they mey be able to supply you with a cheap/reconditioned matching drive to attempt to swap over the innards and offer advice on how to get it recognised. They may even be prepared to do it for you (for a price).

If you manage to swap the innards and get it running back it up immediately and scrap it - you can't work in a sterile dust free environment so the reliability of the cobbled drive will be pretty low!

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2006, 09:09:08 AM »
Try getting a new PCB, sounds like the way to go. If you make it work, make sure to copy over your data as quickly as you can, because the drive probably won't live for long. Keep a fan blowing at the drive while doing the data copy, low temperatures help prolonging life...
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Hirudin

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006, 07:08:55 AM »
I did the PCB swap once successfully. It was with 2 40gb Deathstars that I bought at the same time. Both drives broke within a couple months of each other. I think the frankenstien drive is still working in my old TiVo! As far as getting IBM (now Hitachi I think) to give you a PCB, good luck. When my drive first broke I called them and inquired about swapping the PCBs, they told me there was no chance of it working. That was a couple years ago though.

Do the 2 PCBs look the same? Compare each chip if you have time. Here's an idea, scan each one and lay the 2 images on top of each other.
Seems like if every chip is the same it should work. If they are the exact same, and it doesn't work, it may not be worth-it to keep trying to make it work.

Even though it doesn't sound like you'll need the freezer trick, I'll throw this idea out anyway... When you take the drive out of the freezer, plug the IDE cable in, stick it into a zip-lock, and stick the drive between 2 blocks of dry ice. I bet something like has been tried before, so search around before trying it. Another thing that might be worth trying is to somehow seal the drive in a ziplock or something with the IDE cable sticking out (maybe cover the whole thing in clay/grease/rubber cement). Submerge the drive in a large container of water and freeze the whole thing (I wonder if there would be a danger of crushing the drive from the pressure of the ice?). Then hook the block of ice + HDD to your comp and copy until *something* breaks.
If you wanna get really crazy; maybe you could get some mineral oil (which is supposidly non-conductive), submerge the drive in that, freeze it (does oil freeze easily?) then copy to your heart's content.

... later ...

Actually come to think of it, the mineral oil wouldn't have to be frozen to keep the HDD cool, it would still be <32ยบ, that should keep it cool enough until you get your data off. Make sure to plug the air hole before dunking it though.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2006, 07:21:14 AM by Hirudin »

superboyac

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2006, 10:09:42 AM »
I can't stomach to do the freezer or the mineral oil thing.  I'd rather just save the drive until I had enough money to have it professionally done.  And I don't think that's really the problem, because the drive does spin when I put the new pcb in it.

The pcb I got are exactly the same, I think.  That's part of the reason why I got it.  but I'll take a closer look to see if every little chip is in exactly the same place.  I'm hoping it's just a jumper issue, but I'm just dreaming, because I've double checked that like a zillion times.

f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2006, 08:41:53 AM »
Mineral oil is a bad idea, harddrives are NOT vacuum sealed. Freezer works, but should only be done when the drive shows up in the BIOS (etc., PCB works)... because once you've frozen the drive, it's a matter of time before it dies. It can be valuable when you have a really quirky drive which you *have* to rescue data from, though :)
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Baseman

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2006, 11:37:34 AM »
I do a lot of GetBackData and use special programs...My advice is don't play around too much with the drive you bound to lose everything you have on it...Don't try over write, format or defrag or use on the internet you will not be able to recover any data...usually the companies who do Data recovery have set principals that if they don't recover anything you don't pay anything....If the Data is of great value and you are desperate then you should shop around and have it seen to...I unfortunetly live many miles away otherwise I could help you( For Free)
REMEMBER: You cannot back up on the same drive you recovering from...Even if the drive was working...You must back up onto a different harddrive...If you using Software to retrieve data, Do not install onto the same drive/Partition you recovering  Or Saving Data to...Bad Idea...You'll get Gibberish back...Just take out your damaged hard drive and connect your drive as a Slave...Recommend a clean (Not Damaged and  Virus Free) or new harddrive...Set as master Run software from a CD... You'll pick up the two drives...It'll will give you the Hard drive options of either lost HDD, partitions or folders Deleted folders/lost folders ect to restore...Set your options and save onto the  master drive 
GetBackData...Security Awareness...Beta Tester
« Last Edit: March 25, 2006, 12:01:48 PM by Baseman »

f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2006, 01:11:38 PM »
Yup, Baseman speaks the truth. When doing recovery, I tend to use an imaging app to image the entire drive (or as much of it as I can), instead of restoring individual files. It's faster as well as less stressful for the drive (you get a linear start-to-end instead of a lot of head movement). Once you have the image file, you can start recovering files from it...

the key points are: grabbing image file instead of imaging file should be less stressful for the damaged drive, and once that's done you can restore files from the image. NEVER EVER do any kind of in-place "rescue".
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Cavalcader

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2006, 12:21:30 AM »
I can't use Spinrite, because the drive won't be detected.
Actually, SpinRite goes directly to the hardware (boots directly into a custom environment) so you've got a chance -- but it's probably still better to pay a pro company to do it since that's what they do every day. Sorry to hear about the hassle, though!
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f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2006, 04:40:58 AM »
SpinRite... fancy ascii graphics and a lot of buzzwords. And that's about it.
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superboyac

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2006, 10:04:41 AM »
SpinRite... fancy ascii graphics and a lot of buzzwords. And that's about it.

Whoa!  I've always heard good things about SpinRite.  f0dder, what do you recommend instead of spinrite, the HDD Life, or something else?  Or maybe you feel none of these softwares are all that great, I'd be interested to know.

f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2006, 04:19:45 PM »
Well. I've never been much of a fan of Gibson, there's too much hype and buzzwords and too little factual information (one thing I'll have to credit him for, though, he's VERY good at selling himself.)

I don't doubt spinrite can do some tricks, but it's not the end-all-be-all. And I'm afraid that in some situations it could be outright dangerous to use; it puts a lot of stress on your drive, so if you have a read/write head whose arm is about to collapse, spinrite could be very unsafe.

But hey, it's ascii graphics does look cute :)
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superboyac

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2006, 07:36:54 PM »
f0dder, what do you recommend for drive analysis or repair?  Or is there no reliable way to do something like that?  I'd be interested to know.

f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2006, 08:29:22 PM »
Well... for "analysis", I depend on what SMART monitoring. There is no such thing as a repair. If drive realloc sectors go up, and/or drive starts making strange noises, it's full-backup time, followed by a "lowlevel" format with the drive vendor's own tool. That can *sometimes* fix problems, I've had a few cases where software faults produced hardware-fault symptoms: http://www.asmcommun...ex.php?topic=17926.0 .

I don't believe in "repair" other than that - if the "lowlevel" format doesn't fix your problem, it's not fixable. And be careful that the format doesn't just use spare sectors for reallocation. Once that happens, the drive should be considered trash, and only used for unimportant things.

As for recovery, GetDataBack from www.runtime.org hasn't failed me yet. It's crap slow and a bit ugly, but it does decent data recovery.
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Darwin

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2006, 10:01:34 PM »
Hmmm.... I've been running SpinRite on a test drive for over a week! For about three days I thought nothing was happening, but it seems to be going painfully slowly through the sectors, bit by bit. I'll let you all know how it turns out. It's a trashed notebook drive - 40 GB TravelStar. I'm beginning to suspect the fodder is on to something, though...

As for Superboyac's problem, I note this from the GetDataBack website: "Recover even when Windows doesn't recognize the drive - GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows. It can likewise be used even if all directory information - not just the root directory- is missing."

Looks like it would be worth a closer look.
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f0dder

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2006, 12:51:32 AM »
As for Superboyac's problem, I note this from the GetDataBack website: "Recover even when Windows doesn't recognize the drive - GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows. It can likewise be used even if all directory information - not just the root directory- is missing."

Looks like it would be worth a closer look.

It certainly is. Note that the drive has to be visible in BIOS an in "computer management" - otherwise it's likely a drive/driver issue. But windows doesn't have to "recognize" it, ie, even if the filesystem information is badly trashed, GetDataBack can work it's magic. I don't know if it's the best, but it's the best of the few I've tried, and it gave ~99% recovery when I had the ATi driver issues mentioned in the post above.
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Hirudin

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2006, 07:57:18 AM »
I'm personally not a big fan of GetDataBack. It may recover the data, but it sucks at recovering the directories. The few times I've used it, it'll find the names of a few folders, but the rest is stuck into folders with names like "10493," "10494," "10495" etc. Oh, and it's $80, which is a little expensive for me.

On the other hand, the free data recovery program "PC Inspector: File Recovery" seems to do just as good a job with the data/files, it just sorts them into correctly named directories. And, did I mention it's free?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 07:59:27 AM by Hirudin »

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2006, 12:23:46 PM »
the free data recovery program "PC Inspector: File Recovery" seems to do just as good a job with the data/files
Very nice! Thanks for the link.  :Thmbsup:
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superboyac

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2006, 02:38:46 AM »
So here's an update on my problem, I hope someone can help me with it:

I got an identical IBM 80GB hard drive from ebay (however, different P/N and different MLC, but everything else is the same).  I switched the circuit boards and I plugged my old dead hard drive back in the machine.  It spins now!  However, the BIOS can't detect the drive.  So I tried everything, different IDE cables, switching from cable select to master/slave configuration, but the BIOS can't detect the drive.

So, I switch the circuit board back to their own drives, and I take the new ebay drive, and plug it in, and the the bios can't detect it either!  Is it possible the ebay drive is bad also?  I hope not.

I take the drive back out and put in my normal slave drive, and the computer boots up fine, like usual.  I take my normal slave drive out and put the new ebay drive in it's place, and the bios can't detect it again.  It also gives a "boot failure" error, as if the boot sequence is all screwed up.

I don't know what else to do.  Next time I have some time, I'm going to stick the drive in another computer all by itself and see what happens.  Otherwise, I'd like to ask if any of you know someone who will recover the data for $200 or under.  If not, I just have to wait until I can spare the money.

Thanks.

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Re: hard drive resurrection [I'm desperate!]
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2006, 04:46:15 AM »
Did you try the ebay drive *before* doing the PCB transplant?
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