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Thread: I have here one very dead laptop hard drive? Anybody got any ideas?

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    I have here one very dead laptop hard drive? Anybody got any ideas?

    Hi,

    I have here a friend's laptop hard drive, which to summarise is dead. It make very loud clunking noises and I suspect has become physically damaged.

    There is probably up to 20GB of data on there which is desperately wanting recovery, and up to 40GB if possible.

    What I was wondering is if anybody here is able to recover the drive for free if you're feeling nice or little. The person who's drive it is, is a student and with that obviously doesn't have the £1k that some places ask for to try and recover it.

    Please help him!

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    seal it in a plastic bag
    then put it in the freezer overnight

    then get the data off it quickly
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    your signature; "bad advice is worse than no advice at all..." makes me slightly hesitant

    But I think I'm going to do it, would appreciate it if somebody else would confirm this idea first though please.

    Would this stand any risk of making it worse?

    Thanks,

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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    http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=49736

    http://www.pcreview.co.uk/articles/H...ta_Recovery/4/

    http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sho...php?t=17458085

    http://www.hypertony.co.uk/hardware/crashedhdd1.htm

    Read the above links and make your own decision. My sig is based on 14 years of Pc owning experienace , but I'll let you make up your own mind.

    As a HEXUS admin If I didn't think it would help , I wouldn't have posted.
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    I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that, I was trying to make a joke about it, not say that I didn't trust you.

    It sounds good, will try it, and if no luck, will send it off to www.easyrecovery.co.uk

    Sorry about that,

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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    Ok, not being read by USB after a night in the freezer, would love to send it off, but £250 seems far too much and he cannot afford that.

    This drive is full of A-level work and loads of other important stuff, is there anything that can be done?

    Thank you,

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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    try using a different machine to read it ?
    is it recognised by windows at all ?

    if you can get an identical drive , then you can attempt to swap the electronics over , if its a duff controller board. ( this is one of the thnigs the data recovery guys do ) - they would as a last resort , phsycially swap the platters over , but to do this needs a clean room environment.

    Ultimatly its what the Data is worth to your friend. If it was several thousands of pounds of research etc or work that had no backup , then £250 is a bargain.

    Now is also a good time to carve "I will take backups of important data" into yoru friends arms with a blunt object. If you are not worried abotu loosing data then by all means dont back it up its not like DVD writers / Cd writers etc are hard to get hold of or expensive.

    Sometimes it takes a loss like this to make people realise how important backups are.
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    £250 is pretty good for the potential work involved - if the drive is hysically damaged (ie the heads are sticking or the platter motor knacked, or the heads have collided with the platters) then you are looking at a rebuild in a clean room, or some other advenced techniques to recover the data - non of which is a trivial task...

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    Well I'm lucky - no my friend is lucky

    Another day in the freezer and hey presto, it's working. Still making loud noises, but all 50gigs is copied over usb to another computer now so we're safe. I did not realise that a few days as a dead hard drive and it could actually recover, and I have not idea how the logic of that works - anybody able to enlighten me?

    Thanks guys!

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    The Magic HD fairy was clearly smiling upon you

    Actually , go out and buy a lottery ticket , you are clearly on a roll !
    my Virtualisation Blog http://jfvi.co.uk Virtualisation Podcast http://vsoup.net

  11. #11
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Terrific news! Don't forget to devise a backup strategy!!! (Thinking hard about doing that himself!) On a related note, I don't know how you organise your disk, but creating a separate partition that contains data only makes backing up data a lot simpler, as it is all on one virtual drive. Keeping user data in one folder is similar, but somehow (for me anyway) other files somehow appear in other places! It takes some time to configure applications (for example address books, e mail folders etc shoul;d all be stored on the user partition so that they are backed up too). You need to think about how much data you can afford to lose between backups - a month, week, days worth, and set your backup strategy appropriately.

    As for how the freezer technique works, I can only offer one suggestion.. if a bearing is seizing up, differential contraction of the various components caused by the cold frees up the bearings sufficiently to get them operating again, (or perhaps the lubricant used in the bearings becomes more effective at lower temperatures) Whatever, glad you were successful!

    Just googled the frezer trick, and the consensus seems to be that contraction of the mechanical parts frees the platter spindle. Some people have found that heating the drive with a hair drier works (thinning what remaining lubricant there is), tapping the drive with a mallet (again frees the spindle) or even removing the platter cover and physically giving the platters a nudge to overcome the stiction. The last two really sound like methods of last resort to me!
    Last edited by peterb; 14-09-2005 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Bit more info!!!

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    That's very interesting about how it works, thanks.

    About backing up, I do it myself keeping everything important in 3 places, backing up every few days staggering between my two back up sources because of how much I would lose if something were to come up. Just losing a week's worth of things is quite scary and could really mess things up, and I'm also pretty certain that this is going to be a good lesson for anybody who knew about it here that backing up is well worth it!

    The hard drive belonged to a school friend. Although he did have two partitions on the drive, one for OS and apps, and the other for storage, because the actual drive died rather than corrupting the OS partition, it was still appearing impossible.

    Everybody happy at this end now though

    ShMeE
    Current: Shuttle SX58J3, i7 950, Corsair 16GB, 2x 1.5TB, XFX 6850 1GB, 3x Samsung 23" 1920x1080, 5760x1080 = AWESOME!

    Laptop: Vaio Z (13.3")
    Hexus Trust ¦ Shmee150.co.uk (Supercar Blog)

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