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 Post subject: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 7th, 2019, 18:34 
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Joined: August 7th, 2019, 17:51
Posts: 2
Location: Deutschland
Hi everyone!

A few days ago my Seagate ST3000DM001 started clicking (which I only noticed hours later). I still managed to save a few hundred of the 3000GB before the drive died completely. It still spins up and shows up as unformatted disk (Windows asking to initialize it which I did NOT) but absolutely no chance to access the drive under Windows or Linux. Any tools I tried just hang, time out or don't even recognize the drive.
Something I noticed which I couldn't find any info about is that one of the chips on the pcb gets freaking hot (too hot to touch) when the drive spins up and stays pretty hot while it's running. It dissipates enough power to head up the whole drive even if it's not enclosed. It definetly gets warmer than any of my other drives (including another ST3000DM001 from 2015).

Details on the disk:
Model: ST3000DM001 from 05/2012
PN: 9NY166-500
HW: CC4B

Now the remaining data is not important enough to pay for a professional recovery but still important enough for me wanting to try it myself. I mean, I lost already - it can only get better and I think I can learn quite a bit here. My experience? Rescued data from a few disks with bad sectors and some others that had been formatted (no big deal, I know), know how HDDs work, that probably one of the heads died (although I'm wondering why that chip (motor driver?) get's so hot...) and that I'll need my USB - TTL adapter. However I couldn't find out what to do next. Most threads from non-professionals stop at this point because people throw their drive away or pay someone for the recovery. Maybe I missed something?
My target: rescue as much data as possible. I don't want to rescue the drive itself so no problem if it's even more toast afterwards.

Thanks a lot for any help!
Max


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 Post subject: Re: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 10:15 
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Joined: November 22nd, 2017, 21:47
Posts: 241
Location: France
Hi,

Quote:
A few days ago my Seagate ST3000DM001 started clicking (which I only noticed hours later). I still managed to save a few hundred of the 3000GB before the drive died completely. It still spins up and shows up as unformatted disk (Windows asking to initialize it which I did NOT) but absolutely no chance to access the drive under Windows or Linux. Any tools I tried just hang, time out or don't even recognize the drive.
Something I noticed which I couldn't find any info about is that one of the chips on the pcb gets freaking hot (too hot to touch) when the drive spins up and stays pretty hot while it's running. It dissipates enough power to head up the whole drive even if it's not enclosed. It definetly gets warmer than any of my other drives (including another ST3000DM001 from 2015).

If anyone among the DR experts crowd cares to reply at this time of the year, they'll tell you, a bit grudgingly (because it gets asked quite often and the general reply is always in a nutshell “there's nath'n' ya can do”), that the Seagate “DM” range, and especially the infamous ST3000DM001, are dreaded even among data recovery experts, because of their general proneness to failure, their bad hardware / firmware design, their tendency to go very quickly from mild failure to total disaster, from what I could gather. And they'll probably tell you that there's nothing you can do with your good will and your TTL adapter, that it requires skills and tools you can't muster. And that you're already very lucky it lasted so long.

Meanwhile, I'd be interested by a technical explanation regarding that chip on the PCB getting so hot : is this a cause or a consequence ?

As a general advice : do check the SMART status of all your HDDs regularly. HD Sentinel is excellent for that purpose, with a constant background check and customizable warnings whenever a storage device starts to act up ever-so-slightly, or gets too hot. Doing so you could have caught the first signs of failure on this one and perhaps managed to recover most of its contents, as I did with my own ST3000DM001. (I have another one which is fine so far, but rarely used, and only has movies on it.)


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 Post subject: Re: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 13:08 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
Posts: 1925
Location: Providence, RI
abolibibelot wrote:
they'll tell you, a bit grudgingly (because it gets asked quite often and the general reply is always in a nutshell “there's nath'n' ya can do”)


And that's pretty much always the correct answer for any clicking drive. It's not that there aren't people willing to give advice, it's just that without proper equipment and training trying to DIY this has about the same success rate as DIY brain surgery. Sadly, had the OP gone to a data recovery company straight away when it started clicking, they'd have probably gotten back nearly all data and it likely would have cost $500 or less. But now that it's totally dead, it will probably be a lot more expensive.

No point checking S.M.A.R.T. now, it won't be able to report it.

As to that chip getting hot, it's probably the square motor controller chip. It's normal for it to get hot, but if it's getting really hot it could be a sign of a number of possible issues.

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 Post subject: Re: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 13:20 
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Joined: November 29th, 2006, 10:08
Posts: 7451
Location: UK
Does it click 11 times and spin down?

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 Post subject: Re: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 14:56 
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Joined: August 7th, 2019, 17:51
Posts: 2
Location: Deutschland
Hi,


Thanks for the replies!

Quote:
As a general advice : do check the SMART status of all your HDDs regularly. HD Sentinel is excellent for that purpose, with a constant background check and customizable warnings whenever a storage device starts to act up ever-so-slightly, or gets too hot. Doing so you could have caught the first signs of failure on this one and perhaps managed to recover most of its contents, as I did with my own ST3000DM001. (I have another one which is fine so far, but rarely used, and only has movies on it.)
This isn't my first drive that failed - but it's the first fail that I noticed too late. In the past few years I had three other drives failing, all of which I recovered before it became a total loss. Until now I only paid attention to suspicious signs like slow performance, damaged files or unusual noise. Having a software watch the SMART data is screamingly obvious; don't know why I haven't done that earlier. Thanks!

Quote:
Does it click 11 times and spin down?
Short answer: no, it doesn't click anymore. Long answer: Here's what I did until now. I had my PC running over night from wednesday to thursday. During the night it was transcoding about 50GB of video files from another disk to this one. In the morning I noticed that one drive was clicking (so no idea for how many hours it did that already). It was a perfectly regular clicking, about once a second. Although suspicious, I didn't realize how bad the drive was. The video files transcoded perfectly without errors, and my Seagate 8TB SMR Archive drive uses to click on some days, too, and has no issues. So I thought it could be windows messing something up and restarted (it's not the boot drive) which only helped for a few seconds. When I tried to access the disk it took seconds to load the directory. Okay, now even stupid me realized this drive is dying. I unmounted the file system which made it stop clicking (so it was indeed windows?) and with Runtime GetDataBack I started the recovery. It reported lots of unreadable sectors, affecting around 1000 files in the 400GB folder I could copy. Normally I just copy the whole drive but because this seemed worse than any drive that failed before I started with the most important data (which turned out to be a good idea).
At that point I had to leave because I wasn't at home over the weekend so I wanted to continue the recovery on my notebook. However I was unable to get access to it again. Cooling the disk didn't help, Linux didn't work - long story short: I couldn't get access to the drive anymore. It spins up, Windows recognizes it, and then it just hangs. If at all, disk manager shows it as offline. Back home it behaves the same on the PC where I recovered the 400GB.
During these tries I noticed how warm the disk was and that the heat comes from that one chip.

Quote:
Sadly, had the OP gone to a data recovery company straight away when it started clicking, they'd have probably gotten back nearly all data and it likely would have cost $500 or less.
As I said, there's no data on this disk that's worth $500. If there was, I wouldn't have touched the drive anymore after the first suspicious sign! There would be an up-to-date backup, too.
Instead I have a backup that's a few months old and I managed to recover the most important data before it died completely. I perfectly know that without a professional setup my means are very limited as are my chances for any recovery. So why not throw it away? Because I read that it may be possible to get again access to the drive using the serial port but as I said I couldn't find any reports about someone who actually tried it. For me this means that there's a chance to recover more of the data AND to improve my knowledge about recoveries without any risk.


Kind regards,
Max


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 Post subject: Re: Home recovery of an ST3000DM001
PostPosted: August 8th, 2019, 17:20 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
Posts: 2671
Location: Hungary
Without proper equipment you've got 99.99% chance of ruining the drive without recovering more than 5% from it. Waste of time IMO.
The reason pro's won't (and can't) help you in this situation is that we use equipment and procedures you have about no chance to acquire, you are left with very poor ways we would never use, neither recommend.
If you do not estimate the data worth at least 500 bucks, forget about it and move on. That's the sad and naked truth.

pepe

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