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Can I retrieve the data from my burned out HD?


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#1 stufarq

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 01:33 PM

I have an external 5" HD in an external enclosure. A while back, the power adaptor to the enclosure overheated and the HD stopped working. No noise from it whatsoever, not even the usual laboured spinning you get from a broken HD. I tried it in a different enclosure with the same result so presumably the power socket on the HD got fried too.

Is there any way I can find out whether the data has survived and retrieve it to transfer to another HD? If the only way is something expensive that involves sending it to specialists then I can live without it but if there's something not too expensive and safe! - that I can do myself (without requiring too much technical knowhow) then I might be willing to give it a try.

I'm presuming the answer to this type of enquiry will be much the same regardless of make and model but if I'm wrong then I can open up the enclosure and check the HD specs.

Thanks

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 02:19 PM

I would remove the hard drive from all enclosures...and attach it directly to the motherboard of a known good working system...and see if the drive can be detected and the files accessed.

 

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#3 crhisdem

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 03:00 PM

Goin by what your describing its unlikely the sealed components of the drive are the ones damaged, replacing the circuit board from your drive with one from an identical drive will most likely fully restore it.

 

if what hamluis said didn't work and the information on the drive is inportant enough to you this is what I would do.


Edited by crhisdem, 11 October 2013 - 03:02 PM.


#4 stufarq

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 07:42 AM

Thanks. I'm certainly willing to try both of those suggestions. Could you give me some advice on how to do those correctly and safely?

Presumably I'd connect the HD in place of the HD currently installed on my desktop. As the potentially damaged one isn't configured with an OS or anything, how would I access it and transfer the data? Or should I be connecting it somewhere else?

And can someone give me detailed instructions or point me to a tutorial for replacing the circuit board so I do it right?

#5 crhisdem

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 11:01 AM

well lets start with the first thing and go from there you said you had a desktop computer so you should have at least one extra sata port plug it into a free one using a sata cable and then plug in a power plug from your psu



#6 stufarq

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:06 AM

Looks like that's not going to work. It's an older PC (Dell Dimension 2400) with IDE connections but the HD is SATA.

#7 stufarq

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:39 PM

I'd still appreciate advice on replacing the circuit board as attaching the HD directly to the motherboard doesn't seem possible (see my above post). If I'm wrong about the latter then I'd be grateful if someone woukd tell me what I'm missing.



#8 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 05:24 PM

You can get IDE to SATA adapters but they are variably effective. Essentially, the adapter plugs into the hard drive and you plug the IDE type leads into the adapter.

 

If you have a friend with a slightly more modern computer - ie it has SATA connectors ! - sweet talk him / her to let you plug it into their computer and try copying the data to perhaps a USB drive. This will at least tell if the drive is fried to the extent of data not being available.

 

If nothing works for you, all is not lost. There are specialist companies who have the ability to dismantle hard drives and spin up the naked platters. But be warned - this is expensive !  A friend of mine who had to go this route paid £UK 400 including taxes for this service.

 

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#9 stufarq

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:51 PM

Thanks Chris. I'm already familiar with expensive retrieval services and have no intention of going down that route. I don't think any of my friends would let me take their PCs apart so I'll look into getting an adapter.



#10 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:39 PM

It's not quite as dramatic as taking their computer apart if it's a desktop / tower type. With the computer powered down, take the side panel off and locate an empty SATA socket and spare power connector. If there aren't any empty ones, 'borrow' them off a CD drive - this is harmless !  Power up and boot the computer, and once it has booted, plug the power lead and then the data lead into your hard drive. do NOT allow the hard drive to come into contact with any of the metal of the computer, I normally stand it on a couple of books. Nice non-conducting surface and takes any tension of the connectors that might make it slide into the casing of the computer.

 

You will then be able to use Windows Explorer to see if you can read anything on the drive. If you can, you can copy it to another.

 

I am not pretending this is an operation I carry out every week, but I have done it a number of times and I haven't fried either a hard drive, a computer or me yet !

 

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#11 stufarq

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 06:25 PM

Yeah, I know opening a PC's not really a big deal - I've done it plenty of times - but my friends would see it as taking things apart. One was impressed recently when I replaced my laptop screen and he said that he wouldn't dare to do anything like that himself.

 

I've ordered an adaptor.



#12 Quantum41

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:05 PM

Yeah, I know opening a PC's not really a big deal - I've done it plenty of times - but my friends would see it as taking things apart. One was impressed recently when I replaced my laptop screen and he said that he wouldn't dare to do anything like that himself.

 

I've ordered an adaptor.

Let us know how it goes with the adapter, and if you find it is fried, you have a chance to get the data back if you send it in. 

http://www.securedatarecovery.com/locations/washington/seattle?referrer=adwords&campaign=main&keyword=Hard%20Drive%20Recovery%20Service&gclid=CJzMwI7X07oCFeuDQgodQWgA5A

Now yes these guys are in seattle but i know them pretty well. There are many places out there that do a similar service and can get the data back but you have to be willing to spend some money if you want the data back enough. 

Hope it helps!! :) 


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#13 voodoochildbc

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 08:40 PM

Other posters are correct about the reliability of the IDE to SATA adapters, but I'm surprised that nobody mentioned a USB -> SATA adapter. Basically the same idea as an enclosure guts without the actual enclosure. I do a lot of field support and these things are lifesavers.

 

This is the one I use, and there are other variants of it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812232002

 

Once plugged in, the (presumably working) drive appears as a mass storage device, just as an external drive would.

 

And if it doesn't appear, it will at least facilitate access to the drive.


Edited by voodoochildbc, 07 November 2013 - 08:43 PM.





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