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Hard Drive Not Working - Clicking and Beeping


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#1 wushufanatic

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:06 AM

Hello all! First off, thanks to everyone who reads this post and offers up some advice on my situation. I really appreciate the help!

So here's what happened. I was running my desktop computer with Windows 7 when I realized a program was seemingly freezing up. I was clicking around to get out of the program and everything else was starting to freeze up. Eventually, I had no other choice than to manually restart the computer. When I restarted I was getting a blank screen with a blinking cursor at the top.

I entered into a DOS prompt and I could access the drive and ran a chkdsk to find lots of errors. I got the software HDD Regenerator and ran it on the drive. After a certain amount of time, it said I needed to restart for it to continue. After restarting, I started getting a whole bunch of beeps and clicks with my hard drive and I could no longer access it.

Here is a video of the hard drive with the cover off to see the problem:

I tried freezing the drive for around 24 hours and indeed the beeps and clicks do stop for a short while but I have been unable to gain access to the drive (or maybe I'm not fast enough to figure out how to get access). Once I get windows started though, the drive still didn't show up on My Computer.

Really, all I want is to get as much information off the drive as possible that I had on there. I already have bought a new drive and have it up and running so I just want to have some time to pull off data from my bad drive to the new drive.

Any suggestions as to what is going on and any solution to saving some of my data? I am fairly tech savvy but not a pro by any means.

Thanks again for your help.

Josh

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#2 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:13 AM

Hi wushufanatic, and welcome to BleepingComputer.

I'm guessing that this hdd is a SATA?

If it is try installing it and see if you can access the files. If you can click and drag the files that you want to the new hdd.

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#3 computerxpds

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:18 AM

Hi wushufanatic,

Well now that I look at your video and see that you have opened the hard drive and exposed it to the out side air, unfortunately you are going to have a very hard time trying to recover some of your data. Hard drive are sealed and when you break that seal you let in dust and contaminants which will destroy the drive. The only way you can get that data is to send it to a data recovery center where they can take the platers out and read from them.

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#4 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:30 AM

I have a dialup connection, so I don't even bother with videos, so I didn't see yours.

You won't lose anything but your time by trying my suggestion, it's worth a shot.

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#5 Eyesee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:51 PM

I agree with computerxpds on this one.
The drive is clicking and it has been opened
A data recovery service can read the plattens but you will probably not be able to pull anything off of it.
The system probably will not recognize the drive at all at this point.

Data recovery services are not cheap!
You have to really ask yourself if it is worth it.

Who told you to take the cover off?
In the beginning there was the command line.

#6 wushufanatic

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:01 PM

Thank you for the replies.

The drive is an IDE drive. I have two other SATA drives in the computer now.

I opened it up because 1) nothing was working and I wanted to see what was going on and 2) I read where obviously you want to limit any contaminating particles getting within the enclosure but that it will not kill the drive especially if you're just looking for a quick recovery of some of the files on the drive and not long term usage of the drive. They said that the centrifugal forces would be enough to clean the disks of any particles that make their way onto to disks.

Irregardless of whether or not my hard drive is hosed (I wasn't going to spend money to get some of the information back anyways), anyone know what the problem might be and any suggestions as to what I might be able to do? If I don't get the data back, fine. But I'm the kind of person that likes the challenge of seeing if I can anyways. Plus it would be nice to get some files that are unfortunately irreplaceable at this time.

Thanks again for any suggestions.

#7 computerxpds

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:14 PM

Thank you for the replies.

The drive is an IDE drive. I have two other SATA drives in the computer now.

I opened it up because 1) nothing was working and I wanted to see what was going on and 2) I read where obviously you want to limit any contaminating particles getting within the enclosure but that it will not kill the drive especially if you're just looking for a quick recovery of some of the files on the drive and not long term usage of the drive. They said that the centrifugal forces would be enough to clean the disks of any particles that make their way onto to disks.


I doesn't matter(for future users reference that may read this) If you open a hard drive while you are not in a "clean room" Will render the hard drive inoperable and you will loss all of your data. Even the tiniest spec of dust or lint will kill it.

Irregardless of whether or not my hard drive is hosed (I wasn't going to spend money to get some of the information back anyways), anyone know what the problem might be and any suggestions as to what I might be able to do? If I don't get the data back, fine. But I'm the kind of person that likes the challenge of seeing if I can anyways. Plus it would be nice to get some files that are unfortunately irreplaceable at this time.

Thanks again for any suggestions.


I would too be interested in anyone who knows about a process that can accomplish this that would be great! I know of one practice that involves having a clean room disassembling the drive taking the platters out and putting them into another drive. But you have already lost the data... So no help there. :thumbsup:

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#8 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:15 PM

It sounds like your not interested really hearing what we have to say, so I'll just put it out there one last time.

The drive is a IDE, connect this as a slave drive, this will mean having to reconfigure the jumper on the rear of the drive to be recognized as such. Once this it done, if any of the data is viable you should be able to access it.

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#9 wushufanatic

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:17 PM

But you have already lost the data... So no help there. :thumbsup:


Is this not actually just an assumption? I mean sure, I didn't open it in a clean room but perhaps there was no contamination. Have there been studies or plenty of observations that opening a hard drive not in a clean room automatically kills a hard drive? How can a speck of dust even kill the whole hard drive? I could see where maybe it would ruin or corrupt part of the data but not the whole hard drive.

I would just like to understand the thinking behind this.

#10 wushufanatic

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:28 PM

It sounds like your not interested really hearing what we have to say, so I'll just put it out there one last time.

The drive is a IDE, connect this as a slave drive, this will mean having to reconfigure the jumper on the rear of the drive to be recognized as such. Once this it done, if any of the data is viable you should be able to access it.


I am not sure what you mean by I am not interested in what you have to say. I'm very interested!

I will have to double check to make sure I had it set up as a slave. When I hooked it up in addition to the new drive I installed Windows booted up fine (on the new hard drive) but the hard drive in question was not viewable or accessible in Windows. I will try again though this evening with the altered jumper settings to check.

Thank you for your suggestion.

#11 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:29 PM

One last time... Give my suggestion a try, it will only cost you your time.

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#12 Synetech

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:31 PM

Have there been studies or plenty of observations that opening a hard drive not in a clean room automatically kills a hard drive? How can a speck of dust even kill the whole hard drive? I could see where maybe it would ruin or corrupt part of the data but not the whole hard drive.

I would just like to understand the thinking behind this.


The read/write head floats a mere microns above the platter which spins at thousands of rotations per minute. A speck of dust or fingerprint is huge when compared to the minuscule gap between the head and the disc. That’s why when you get anything on the disc, the head will bump over it at great speed and either kill the head, or scratch the disc, or otherwise make the drive a paperweight.

That said, Scott Mueller, the author of the venerable Upgrading and Repairing PCs (the be-all-end-all of hardware bibles) has demonstrated in the past that hard-drives are much more resilient that people give them credit for. He has run them without their covers on without problem, and even pressed his finger on the edge of a platter of a running drive to actually flex the platter down without killing it!!! :flowers: :trumpet: (I am in need of a Marty Feldman emoticon.)

That said, he has not done this demonstration in years, mainly because it no longer works with todays hard drives which are indeed much more sensitive and fragile than drives of old. So opening the drive was a big mistake, and you can kiss it goodbye unless it contains something so valuable that you’d be willing to part with tens of thousands of dollars to get it back. :thumbsup:
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#13 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 04:44 PM

Synetech, you have made your point. But the fact is that there may still be a chance, a small one, but never the less a chance that they can still retrieve data from that drive. We all understand the forensic approach to using a scanning microscope to read the data. It is so expensive that it is hardly worth mentioning to the average user.

Edited by dc3, 25 August 2010 - 04:45 PM.

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#14 Eyesee

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:51 PM

What worries me is that trying this approach, since the drive has been opened and its integrity comprimized, may potentially short out additional components.

Just pointing out my concern
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#15 dc3

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 05:59 PM

There isn't really any chance of that. The power connection are to the pc board, and the motor is well isolated.

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