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View Full Version : Hard Drive Died. Need important info from Drive.


TacFan
02-28-2010, 10:11 AM
So my mom owns a business and 3 months after she purchased her brand new PC, the hard drive in it died. Dell came out and replaced her hard drive. However, all her client information is on the dead hard drive.

She took it to Geek Squad (I know she didn't consult me) and they couldn't help transfer the data since the drive is dead. They told her it would be $1600 for recovery. SCREW that. I put it iny machine to collaborate her story and sure enough the drive isn't recognized, it does not turn on.

I'm trying to fix it for her, do you guys have any ideas ? Thanks

1859sharps
02-28-2010, 10:13 AM
if the drive is dead, you won't be able to help. you will have to spend the money for a recovery service.

I would also suggest spending some money on a backup system of some kind.

TacFan
02-28-2010, 10:16 AM
I wish she would have informed me of her setup from the beginning. I've read things online of people freezing the hard drive overnight and one guy even bought an identical drive and replaced the logics board.

KaHuNaZ
02-28-2010, 10:28 AM
My aunt had the same thing happen to hers except she wanted her pic and video. my cousin had ordered a replacement pcb and had it sent to me. I replaced the board and the drive worked long enough to copy the drive over to my hdd. The drive stopped working again a few days later.

AJAX22
02-28-2010, 10:52 AM
Pack it along with some desicates in a ziplock bag, put it in the freezer overnight...

Then hook it back up, turn it on, and see if it works... (if it does. immediatly copy the data)

sometimes cold will allow temporary resurection of the drive.

TacFan
02-28-2010, 11:42 AM
Pack it along with some desicates in a ziplock bag, put it in the freezer overnight...

Then hook it back up, turn it on, and see if it works... (if it does. immediatly copy the data)

sometimes cold will allow temporary resurection of the drive.

ok, i'll give it a try, thanks

TonyM
02-28-2010, 4:03 PM
Another option that I have used in the past with success:

It's possible the PCB on the drive is the problem. If you can get another drive that is the same make and model, you can swap the PCB from the new drive onto the old one. I've done this a couple times courtesy of the Fry's "easy loan" 30 day return policy.

juicemansam
02-28-2010, 5:36 PM
Geek Squad sucks. Don't trust them for anything. As others have mentioned, try getting a replacement PCB, either directly from the factory or buying an identical hard drive. If the drive does spin up for some reason with the original PCB, you can always used the old pkzip and do a zero-compression backup. Every time pkzip encounters an unreadable sector it'll as you to retry and as long as you continue to retry (as long as needed) it'll eventually read the information. I had to use pkzip because the standard copy/xcopy gives up too easily and most, if not all, GUI-based programs give up just as easily.

Telperion
02-28-2010, 5:37 PM
If you try the "freezer trick", work quickly. The condensation will kill the drive, and the clock starts running the moment you remove it from the freezer.

choprzrul
02-28-2010, 5:59 PM
I have used SpinRite to recover multiple harddrives. Caveat is that it will cost you to buy it and there is a chance that it will be unable to read your harddrive. I have a computer on the bench right now that had your situation. Tried connecting it to my test platform and it was unreadable. Used SpinRite and now I can see it. The Windows installation is hosed, but I can get the data.

PM me if you want me to work on it. No charge if no success.

TacFan
02-28-2010, 7:45 PM
yeah looks like freezer trick didn't work :chris:

JDay
02-28-2010, 10:35 PM
[QUOTE=TacFan;3881423]They told her it would be $1600 for recovery. SCREW that. I put it iny machine to collaborate her story and sure enough the drive isn't recognized, it does not turn on.
/QUOTE]

Sounds about right. You see the way they recover data is by sending the drive to a place like OnTrack Data Recovery. What they then do is get the exact same model drive, take both into a clean room, then switch the platters. Once they do that they will put your data onto a set of DVD's and send you the DVD's and the repaired drive. It may be cheaper if you contact OnTrack yourself but it wont be much cheaper. Since its client info she should just bite the bullet. Let this be a lesson to her to make a weekly backup at minimum. HP sells home servers for $350 and up that automate this for you (will even make a daily backup) and you can easily upgrade the storage on them. They also take up very little space and are low power.

http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16859105503&cm_re=mediasmart_server-_-59-105-503-_-Product

JDay
02-28-2010, 10:37 PM
Pack it along with some desicates in a ziplock bag, put it in the freezer overnight...

Then hook it back up, turn it on, and see if it works... (if it does. immediatly copy the data)

sometimes cold will allow temporary resurection of the drive.

This only works when one of the arms gets warped. It also stops working again once the drive heats up (often before windows boots).

JDay
02-28-2010, 10:41 PM
yeah looks like freezer trick didn't work :chris:

You're gonna have to send it in for work, most likely the servo is dead or you had an actual head crash. If a head crashed and you keep turning it on that platter will be destroyed and the data on that platter with it.

TonyM
03-01-2010, 4:59 AM
note to self: never buy one of those discounted "returned" shrink-wrapped hard drives from Fry's. :eek:

Yes, that's the #1 rule to remember when shopping at Fry's.

chiefcrash
03-01-2010, 9:51 AM
2 pieces of software that have helped me recover data from "dead" hard drives:

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm
http://www.dposoft.net/#b_hddhid

if you search around, you should be able to find some free versions of these apps. YMMV

Blade
03-02-2010, 4:08 PM
First determin if the HD motor is even spinning. If it is not spinning then it doesnt matter what software you use or anything. Think of a HD like those old LP record players, you have the record player spinning the table, the record you want to play and the needle that reads the track. If the record isn't spinning, it doesnt matter what you do to it. If the motor is broke then you will have to open it up, remove the platters and place them in an identical HD in a dust free sealed envirnment (see youtube). Check the manufacturer web site for known issues with this HD and if there is a firmware update. Do the firmware update if possible. If the motor works then place it in the freezer for 15 minutes! NOT overnight, give it a swift bang on the side of the HD against a soft surface to shake the PARKED needle loose. Plug it in and have a go, make sure it is set to master or slave accordingly (CS is ok).

Nessal
03-11-2010, 7:06 PM
Yup, we had hard drive die in one of our servers. We lost 4 years worth of accounting information. The guys that work in IT are complete RETARDS and never had a mirror drive. We had to send the hard drive out to get the data recovered. It costed us over 1k.

Mute
03-11-2010, 8:07 PM
Haven't these guys heard of backups and archives? How the hell do you work in IT and not do both of the above for four years? That's grossly negligent.

bigmike82
03-12-2010, 11:16 AM
"That's grossly negligent. "
Not if the business refused to pay for it.

gmbrdilos
03-12-2010, 3:31 PM
could be a corrupted boot record. If that is the case, you can repair it with GParted.

fairfaxjim
03-13-2010, 5:24 PM
Another option that I have used in the past with success:

It's possible the PCB on the drive is the problem. If you can get another drive that is the same make and model, you can swap the PCB from the new drive onto the old one. I've done this a couple times courtesy of the Fry's "easy loan" 30 day return policy.

note to self: never buy one of those discounted "returned" shrink-wrapped hard drives from Fry's. :eek:

Yes, that's the #1 rule to remember when shopping at Fry's.

NEVER buy anything returned at Fry's!

fairfaxjim
03-13-2010, 5:28 PM
I doubt this will be the case, but if it is a Seagate drive, do some research on their bios problems, Barracuda drives I believe. They don't publicize it, but there are some drives they will give you free data recovery on because it has a bug in the boot bios that will lock up the drive under certain conditions.

I had one and after pressuring the tech support people, they gave me a free I360 recovery tag and they fixed the drive and returned it with data intact for $0.00. It later crashed again, but I had a fresh backup by then. Seagate drives suck!

Good luck.

cedricxerxes
03-13-2010, 7:02 PM
If the above suggestions fail, you could send it to DriveSavers (www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com).

Recovered data for my father-in-law, but very expensive.

6172crew
03-13-2010, 9:19 PM
If it will spin up one more time you can use a little devise I have that transferred everything to the new in about 15 minutes. Like I said, you would have to be able to spool it up one more time though...good luck.

http://www.apricorn.com/product_detail.php?type=reg&id=1023

V8toytruck
03-14-2010, 1:09 PM
$1k isn't bad...a coworker didn't backup her laptop drives and all her kids photos were in there

Total cost came out to $3k to recover the data.

As a photographer with tons and tons of raw files backup along with off site back up is important and cheap insurance.

Corbin Dallas
03-14-2010, 9:15 PM
So my mom owns a business and 3 months after she purchased her brand new PC, the hard drive in it died. Dell came out and replaced her hard drive. However, all her client information is on the dead hard drive.

She took it to Geek Squad (I know she didn't consult me) and they couldn't help transfer the data since the drive is dead. They told her it would be $1600 for recovery. SCREW that. I put it iny machine to collaborate her story and sure enough the drive isn't recognized, it does not turn on.

I'm trying to fix it for her, do you guys have any ideas ? Thanks

If you're in the San Diego area I may be able to help.

TacFan
03-14-2010, 9:18 PM
hey guys, thanks for all the options, help, etc.
I took it to work where the IT guys tried to retrieve the data with software. Since the drive didn't even spin, those software ones don't really work well. My mom decided that the data did not justify the expense and we had to send the bad drive back to dell. Thanks again for everyone's help and PMs.

winxp_man
03-17-2010, 9:11 PM
i have found a place that will recover my drive for about 450 + - i will look for info and post it here..... my drive that crashed is about 120 GB that might also make a difference.