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Thread: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

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    Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    I bought a new Samsung Spinpoint Eco 2TB drive a few months ago and all was going great until about 6 weeks ago when it just decided to stop working. It didn't crash, no grating or clicking noises, it just seems as though there's no power going to it to fire it up. I bought another identical drive in the hope I could swap the pcb over and it would work long enough for me to retrieve the data on (it has 1.5tb on it that I can't lose) but the new drive has different firmware (if that would indeed stop it) and it wouldn't work. I've been quoted £400 - £600 to get the data retrieved but I was wondering if there was anything I could try to get it to work before I go down this road of getting it done professionally and leaving me skint for well over a month or two especially with young kids and christmas coming.

    Any help is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance to anyone kind enough to help me.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Trying it in another PC might be a good start. Maybe give it a smack. It might have a stuck head or something so banging it against a desk could actually do something beneficial, and if not, I doubt it would make the retrieval process any different anyway. Other than that, I dunno. It's such a shame losing data. Hopefully you can get it back, and then try to make backups of stuff in the future. Hard disks are pretty cheap now so it's worth doing even though it's a nuisance. Luckily I only have about 50 gig worth of important stuff, and I have 4 hard disks, so I just have it backed up on to all 4 of those disks, and then I have an external 350 gig disk which doesn't have much on, so I have it on there too. All my programs and games and stuff I have on original DVD's and CD's, so it's just the work related data that I can't lose. So stick that on a removable disk and you're sorted.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Have heard of people cooling the hard drive in a freezer to get it to work temporarily - you need to seal it in a poly bag and ideally suck the air out of the bag to avoid condensation on the PCB.

    See Para 4

    Also worth checking through this.
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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    For the love of god, don't give the drive a smack or put it in the freezer - it *might* work as a last ditch shot to nothing when all else has failed, and it *might* also do irrecoverable damage, or push the recovery bill up from three to four figures.

    Only you can judge the value of the data, but if it's important enough for you to seriously consider shelling out for professional recovery, then honestly, the less you mess with the drive the better (don't even try to power it up again). Leave it to the pros, who have the necessary specialised tools and the expertise to use them - it's an expensive lesson about the value of backups, but I guess we've all taken chances at some time, and you just happened to get unlucky.
    Last edited by CaptainCrash; 16-09-2010 at 12:48 PM.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    If you've got a USB enclosure, try sticking it in that first. My Icyboxes must have more resilient controllers and often pick up malfunctioning drives that my SATA controllers won't. Certainly worth a try before the freezer trick (which is safe if you do it properly) and the smack of a table (which has worked for me the one time I tried it).

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    I'm with Captain Crash on this one. If iu are contemplating professional recovery - don't mess with it. However, trying it in a USB caddy IS worth while - fairly quick and unlikely to do any more damage - assuming that you haven't had a head crash (and unless the drive as been subected to shock, that is ublikely.

    It may alsio be woorth looking at the connectors. I've had an instance where teh ATA connector was cracked and made an intermittent connction - that finally failed. Again, a long shot, but worth a try.

    BTW, be VERY careful about who you go to for data recovery - there are one or two sharks/scam merchants out there.
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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCrash View Post
    For the love of god, don't give the drive a smack or put it in the freezer
    That's an over reaction.

    As long as it's not actually in use, you could chuck a hard disk at the wall and it would survive. If you read the specifications of most hard disks, they can cope with enormous g forces, even over 300 g's.

    As for temperature, it's the same in that respect too. Some conservatively say 0 degrees, but some say they will go as low as -40 Celsius which is lower than most house hold freezers will go. And that is their officially rated specifications. The freezer trick is well known and works for many people. You don't need to google it for long to find page after page of people talking about how it got their drive working again, long enough to copy off their important data. It can fail again, but if you are quick, you could recover your stuff.

    p.s. As gav said though, you have to do it properly, so if you do decide to do the freezer trick, it's worth researching it first. You have to put it in something so it doesn't get wet obviously, and it's also worth working out how long to freeze it for. Some people leave it in for as long as 12 hours, and some people even put it in an enclosure and then take a laptop to the freezer so that they can run it while it's actually still being frozen - because as it's temperature rises again it can fail again.
    Last edited by acrobat; 18-09-2010 at 07:56 PM.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    That's an over reaction.

    As long as it's not actually in use, you could chuck a hard disk at the wall and it would survive. If you read the specifications of most hard disks, they can cope with enormous g forces, even over 300 g's.
    Simply quoting the rated specs is a huge oversimplification - 300 Gs sounds a lot, and it is when talking about *sustained* acceleration, but in this situation the maximum acceleration will depend on the pulse duration (determined by the nature of the impact surface), as well as the initial velocity of the impact. An uncushioned HDD can easily experience a *momentary* acceleration of well over 300G simply by being dropped a couple of feet onto a hard surface - precisely the kind of sharp impact which *may* in some circumstances free up a stuck head assembly.

    You may be able to chuck a HDD at a wall and "it would survive", but it depends what you mean by "survive" in this context - some or all of the data may still be recoverable, but I certainly wouldn't bank on being able to simply plug it in and use it without any problems.

    As for the freezer trick, it seems to have acquired urban legend status, to the point where practically any forum thread discussing a HDD failure will sooner or later see someone piping up "put it in the freezer", regardless of the circumstances. I've seen *some* reported instances of where a failing HDD worked after being put in the freezer, but it'll take a lot to convince me that correlation==causation in all those cases, and that the drive didn't work *in spite* of being frozen rather than because of it. And again, there's the potential for further damage - even if you successfully avoid moisture contamination, the shrinking/expansion might cause new head misalignment problems, and the viscosity of the bearing fluid will be increased, putting more strain on the motor as it tries to spin the platters up.

    I wouldn't be presumptious enough to claim these methods can *never* work, but again, I'd see them as a shot to nothing to be considered only if all else had failed *and* you could ultimately stand the data loss. I'd definitely avoid them like the plague if I wanted to minimise a professional data recovery bill - as I said, don't even power the drive up again in this case, as every time you do so you risk making things worse and hitting yourself harder in the pocket.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    I certainly wouldn't recommend the smacking-the-disk-off-a-desk unless you didn't consider the data valuable enough to not go through a data-recovery firm first (obviously), but the freezer trick is widespread because many have had success with it. It does depend on the nature of the failure, but it's a worthwhile trick with few reported issues of failure *because* of it - where the user has taken the precautions of course.

    I myself rescued an entire disk, in chunks, because of the freezer trick. It also didn't work for me once... so I resorted to smacking it off a desk as I would only lose data going back a couple of weeks - my latest backup. The smack did the job.

    The freezer trick has also worked on countless slim-line 3.5" Maxtor drives at work - the ones which were infamous for lasting just over a year before dying... until brought back to life through the magic of a freezer... and then thrown manfully and jubilantly in the bin.
    Last edited by this_is_gav; 20-09-2010 at 08:26 PM.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    The freezer trick has also worked on countless slim-line 3.5" Maxtor drives at work - the ones which were infamous for lasting just over a year before dying...
    Hmmm, have several old Maxtors lying around with problems. Must give this a go some time!

    As to the OP, I'd go with the very sound advice that if you're going to send the disk off for professional data recovery, don't mess with it first. There's no guarantee that anything you do will assist in recovering the data, and there's also no guarantee that anything you do will *not* make data recovery harder. It sounds like the data is *very* important to you, so I don't see why you'd even think about risking parlour tricks for trying to get the drive running again - tbh it sounds like you've already taken one step more than I would've in trying to replace the PCB on the failed drive.

    But if you want convincing, ring up the professional data recovery firms and ask them if, at any point during their recovery procedures, they will either smack the drive against a desk or stick it in the deep-freeze. I'd be amazed if any of them say yes - but if they do I'd suggest you don't use that firm...


    Oh, and p.s. - try contacting Samsung about returnung the drive. They may also be able to give you some advice about data recovery, but at the very least if the drive failed in a few months they should be replacing it under warranty (unless you've already voided the warranty by rswaping the PCB, that is...)

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainCrash View Post
    Simply quoting the rated specs is a huge oversimplification - 300 Gs sounds a lot, and it is when talking about *sustained* acceleration, but in this situation the maximum acceleration will depend on the pulse duration (determined by the nature of the impact surface), as well as the initial velocity of the impact. An uncushioned HDD can easily experience a *momentary* acceleration of well over 300G simply by being dropped a couple of feet onto a hard surface - precisely the kind of sharp impact which *may* in some circumstances free up a stuck head assembly.

    You may be able to chuck a HDD at a wall and "it would survive", but it depends what you mean by "survive" in this context - some or all of the data may still be recoverable, but I certainly wouldn't bank on being able to simply plug it in and use it without any problems.

    As for the freezer trick, it seems to have acquired urban legend status, to the point where practically any forum thread discussing a HDD failure will sooner or later see someone piping up "put it in the freezer", regardless of the circumstances. I've seen *some* reported instances of where a failing HDD worked after being put in the freezer, but it'll take a lot to convince me that correlation==causation in all those cases, and that the drive didn't work *in spite* of being frozen rather than because of it. And again, there's the potential for further damage - even if you successfully avoid moisture contamination, the shrinking/expansion might cause new head misalignment problems, and the viscosity of the bearing fluid will be increased, putting more strain on the motor as it tries to spin the platters up.

    I wouldn't be presumptious enough to claim these methods can *never* work, but again, I'd see them as a shot to nothing to be considered only if all else had failed *and* you could ultimately stand the data loss. I'd definitely avoid them like the plague if I wanted to minimise a professional data recovery bill - as I said, don't even power the drive up again in this case, as every time you do so you risk making things worse and hitting yourself harder in the pocket.
    Meh, the point is that they are extremely tough, and these tricks often work even though they sound strange. He also doesn't have much to lose. It's not going to cost any more to fix after banging it on a desk. You aren't meant to hit it so hard that you break it or dent it, it's just meant to shake it. Obviously I'm assuming he is smart enough to realise you try things in a certain order.. Try it in an enclosure first, and a second PC, then try other stranger stuff. Sending it to get professionally recovered is the last straw, and a very expensive one.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    Meh, the point is that they are extremely tough, and these tricks often work even though they sound strange. He also doesn't have much to lose. It's not going to cost any more to fix after banging it on a desk. You aren't meant to hit it so hard that you break it or dent it, it's just meant to shake it. Obviously I'm assuming he is smart enough to realise you try things in a certain order.. Try it in an enclosure first, and a second PC, then try other stranger stuff. Sending it to get professionally recovered is the last straw, and a very expensive one.
    sigh... have it your own way, we're clearly not going to agree on this.

    Out of interest, there's a handling guide published by Western Digital which shows (amongst other things) the shock experienced when a drive is dropped onto various surfaces:


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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    He also doesn't have much to lose.
    Except that data that he's said he *can't* lose...

    Quote Originally Posted by acrobat View Post
    Sending it to get professionally recovered is the last straw, and a very expensive one.
    If the data is worth more than the cost to recover it, then actually it's not very expensive. If the OP *can't* afford to lose this data, then the cost of having it recovered is irrelevant. If the data is unimportant and would simply be an inconvenience to lose, I'd agree with you completely. But that apparently isn't the case here, and I wouldn't be messing about with my disk on the off-chance that it might magically get my data back.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Because the data is too valuable I decided to send it off to a Data Recovery company. They've come back to me with a preliminary report saying the drive has an electrical issue which confirms what I said at the beginning that it just wasn't firing up. Before I sent it off I tried it in two other systems as well as an external USB and SATA enclosures and nothing so i'm hoping the DR company can do it now. I've been quoted around £200 so hopefully, fingers crossed, they'll be able to sort it for me.

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice.

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    It went off to a data recovery company in Canada and had it back this morning with all data intact for a paltry £184 (uk sterling). Cheap at half the price. Apparently it had suffered a surge and fried something but it's all ok now and halfway to being backed up completely.

    Should anyone wish to use the same guy I did his e-mail addie is - data_recoverycanada @ mail2world dot com

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    Re: Problem With Samsung Spinpoint 2TB Drive

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisplettuce View Post
    It went off to a data recovery company in Canada and had it back this morning with all data intact for a paltry £184 (uk sterling). Cheap at half the price.
    Almost all things that cost money are cheap at half the price. Many however aren't cheap at twice the price
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