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Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
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Dead hard drive

April 13th, 2017, 18:00

Hi everyone,

Today, I was watching a youtube video on my laptop, minding my own business, and I leaned on my laptop, with my chin in my palm, and elbow on my laptop, meaning that quite a bit of pressure was being exerted on my laptop. I happened to lean just where the hard drive was, and I immediately heard a funny noise, and I think it then stopped (I'm afraid I can't exactly remember what happened at the exact moment). It then started making a very bad-sounding noise, over and over and over again, which I've uploaded a short recording of at http://www.mediafire.com/file/ymn3k65fi ... ce_007.m4a, because I couldn't seem to attach it here for some reason (the loud click at the start of the recording is me turning on the power supply that I was using to power the hard drive to take the recording, and you can also hear the power supply fan in the background, obviously just ignore that, also you may need to turn the volume up :)). At the moment it happened, I tried clicking start but the start menu wouldn't load, and then windows blue-screened, and my laptop attempted to restart, but there was no boot media, and the hard drive was still making this noise. I tried inserting the windows installation disk, but it couldn't detect the hard drive. So I took the laptop apart, took the hard drive out and tried powering it with a separate power supply from a different computer (which is how I did the recording), and obviously the exact same thing happened, except it stopped entirely after making the noise a few times, so it's clear that the hard drive isn't working at all.

I have a backup of all of my important stuff thankfully, but there are a few less important things that aren't on the backup, so it would be nice to have as much data as possible recovered. I'm just wondering, judging by the sound and that it was caused by excessive pressure, does it sound like something that could be fixed? I don't exactly trust myself with repairing this hard drive and recovering data off it, so I'd probably get someone who knows what they're doing to do it, but I'm wondering if it sounds possible, or if I should just forget it, discard it and buy a new hard drive? Help would be appreciated :)

Re: Dead hard drive

April 13th, 2017, 21:43

Stiction or seized motor
Send it to pcimage.co.uk

Re: Dead hard drive

April 13th, 2017, 21:57

I hope you have not "tried everything" yet :)
Many data recovery specialists recommend -- if affordable, if possible -- cloning the problem HD onto a target HD via a one-pass/no-repetitive-read-attempts operation. The target clone is put away in a safe place, in case more drastic measures are needed. Then, proceed with booting usb/dvd-residing utilities in the attempt to recover the data not backed up.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 14th, 2017, 2:23

RolandJS wrote:I hope you have not "tried everything" yet :)
Many data recovery specialists recommend -- if affordable, if possible -- cloning the problem HD onto a target HD via a one-pass/no-repetitive-read-attempts operation. The target clone is put away in a safe place, in case more drastic measures are needed. Then, proceed with booting usb/dvd-residing utilities in the attempt to recover the data not backed up.


That'snot feasible in this case, the drive has stiction.
I agree with jermy.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 14th, 2017, 7:37

Thanks everyone. My assumption is that once the data is recovered, I should get it off the hard drive as soon as possible and onto a new one, because bad sectors would probably render the old hard drive a problem to use?

Re: Dead hard drive

April 14th, 2017, 9:58

Adam, you're correct, if a HD bad sector is rising, slowly or fast, HD is becoming less and less reliable.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 14th, 2017, 13:37

RolandJS wrote:Adam, you're correct, if a HD bad sector is rising, slowly or fast, HD is becoming less and less reliable.
OK, thanks. I've looked into new hard drives and I've decided to get a Seagate ST1000LX015 FireCuda hybrid drive (the old one was a Western Digital WD10JPVX-00JC3T0), and the idle wattage of the new one is actually smaller, but whereas the read/write wattage of the old one was apparently 1.4W, the read/write wattage of the new one is 1.6/1.7 W. I'm assuming that tiny difference doesn't matter at all, but I'd just like to check :). Does it matter?

Re: Dead hard drive

April 14th, 2017, 16:10

Others will have to answer your latest question set, I don't know the answers.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 19th, 2017, 8:54

I asked in a separate post on this forum and it doesn't seem to matter, and I've got the new one now and it seems fine! Thanks for the help everyone!

Re: Dead hard drive

April 19th, 2017, 15:17

If your dead drive is headed for the trash, apply some last ditch "percussive maintenance". This may free the stuck heads, but it may also destroy them and scratch the media.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 19th, 2017, 15:23

I've opened it up and the heads were indeed on the platters, but the strange thing was, they weren't stuck on there, they came off easily as though they weren't in contact with the platters. Anyway, I put it back together and tried it in my laptop, and it started spinning OK, not making the buzzing sound anymore, but then it started giving me the click of death over and over and over again, and my laptop couldn't boot from it, so yeah, I'll probably intentionally physically damage the platters to ensure my data can't be accessed, and throw it away. Thank God I have a backup or else I would have lost a lot of precious photos and videos

Re: Dead hard drive

April 19th, 2017, 16:34

You could sell the PCB on eBay.

Re: Dead hard drive

April 19th, 2017, 16:48

adampartridge wrote:I've opened it up and the heads were indeed on the platters, but the strange thing was, they weren't stuck on there, they came off easily as though they weren't in contact with the platters. Anyway, I put it back together and tried it in my laptop, and it started spinning OK, not making the buzzing sound anymore, but then it started giving me the click of death over and over and over again, and my laptop couldn't boot from it, so yeah, I'll probably intentionally physically damage the platters to ensure my data can't be accessed, and throw it away. Thank God I have a backup or else I would have lost a lot of precious photos and videos


If the arms came of the platter that easily, then probably the sliders have become detached and are inside the HDA somewhere, usually stuck to the underside of the lid.
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