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Can I Fix My Hard Drive?


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#1 HAJiME

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

Hey. I've got a laptop...

And it started making noises, occasionally. It would usually jam up when it made the noise and usually got stuck doing it when i was virus checking or defragging. The noise was like "brrr, brrr, brrrrrr.... Ticktick, ticktick, ticktick, ticktick. Brrr, brrr, brrrrr...." etc.

So i assumed out of general logic it was the hard drive... and i also assumed it was physical damage. Because to be frank, i didn't look after the laptop very well, and it slid off my lap onto the floor on many occasions.

But, it worked quite well. And for a good few months didn't make a noise at all. I've recently been using it less and less... and after not having it on for a couple of months, it won't turn on now.

So my brother likes to take things apart and fix them. He's good at fixing stuff. He's always done it. He reckons the head has moved out of place and seems certain he can fix it, at least in the short term to get some data off it. After having a quick rummage around google, it seems likley he's right about the head being damaged. But everywhere just seems to be making jokes about the idea of any 'normal' folk being able to try and fix it.

So i want a straight answer. If he takes it apart and tries to fix it, is there any chance it may work?

If not any other suggestions for retrieving at least some data on the drive, that won't cost me thousands. Something that may get it to work for a short period to get some old data back.

Thanks,

Joey.

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#2 nforce

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:37 PM

Well, in this 'hardware' section of bleepingcomputer, there is the 'sticky' thread about hard drive diagnostics and tools and I know that there is a link somewhere there that takes you to a page with audio clips of hard drive noises and what they mean. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-and-diagnostic-tools/

And I'm not sure, but I think those noises mean the head is stuck or something.

As soon as you noticed it making weird noises though, that is when you should have backed up your data. They can sometimes go for a while when they are broken. Now it might be too late and your data is lost forever (without spending lotsa money). If you keep trying to boot it up, the hdd MIGHT boot up once in a while... but I doubt it.

And your brother can try to fix it if he wants to, but he would have to be really careful. Hard drives are just a bunch of stacked, ultra sensitive disks. Acidentaly touching one or just letting too much dust on it could ruin it. They are not like cd rom drives that can tolerate some dust and stuff. Since I believe its totally busted, trying to open it up and fix it could do no hard ONLY after you have tried everything else to get it working.

Then probably contact the manufacturer or buy the same kind of harddrive.

#3 groovicus

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:43 PM

As soon as the hard drive is pulled apart, dust will get in there and it will be completely ruined. Hard drives are assembled under extremely sterile conditions. You can't just take it apart and expect to fix it. A single grain of dust will ruin the platters. Besides, short of the actuator arm and the platters, there are no moving parts. Everything is electronics.

The only viable option is to put the drive into another computer as a slave drive and see if anything can be read from it. Chances are that since the drive is dead, windows will bot be able to do anything with it, so your final option is to use linux to try and recover your data.

#4 nforce

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 02:54 PM

Nicely put... though I didn't know they were THAT fragile... oh well... My preference for a Linux live cd to recover data is a version of SLAX linux. (Runs just from cd... no hdd required.) and it can read NTFS file system data. (unlike some)

#5 usasma

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 10:54 AM

The best hard drive recovery methods involve disassembling the hard drive and putting the platters in another hard drive to recover the data. It's very delicate work, and it must be done in a "clean room" - hence the average price tag of over $1600 US.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#6 oldf@rt

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 10:57 AM

That is why you should always have a BACKUP.
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#7 usasma

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 11:34 AM

D'oh! Now you tell me! :thumbsup: (just funnin'!)

Seriously, the biggest problem that we have at work is recovering info from dead hard drives. Why? Because folks never backed them up - and then they've just gotta have their data back! We try, and occasionally succeed in saving it (for much less than $1600) - but most times we can't.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 HAJiME

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

Yeah well, i didn't back up. Like most people don't. And because nothing is really THAT valuble on it (i just find that every now and again i wish i could get a particular psd file to work from, or whatever) i never felt it that necisary to bother. Now it's gone, i miss it. If you know what i mean.

Thanx for the info from those who didn't sarcastically tell me what i should have done and actually gave me some help, anyway. A friend of my father says he might be able to try and retreive the data, but once im sure there is no hope i'll let my brother take it apart. And tell you about his sucess, or not. :thumbsup:

#9 oldf@rt

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:11 PM

What ever you do, please dont let an untrained person try to disassemble a HDD. once this is done you have no hope left of recovering any data, as was said earlier, disassembly Requires a special environment. sometimes just turning the drive upside down will give you enough run time to copy everything from the old drive.
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#10 usasma

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:48 PM

Try this free recovery utility: http://www.pcinspector.de/
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 HAJiME

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:52 AM

sometimes just turning the drive upside down will give you enough run time to copy everything from the old drive.

He's tried this already.

Try this free recovery utility: http://www.pcinspector.de/

How does this work?

#12 usasma

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 10:29 AM

The free utility will scan your drive at a lower level and will tell you if there's anything it can recover. It's a bit confusing, so reading the documentation is suggested.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#13 HAJiME

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:02 AM

But how do i scan it when the laptop won't even boot up?

And if it's even slightly confusing there is no way in hell i'll be able to do it. lol

#14 projectfocus

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 11:54 AM

You will need to use a seperate bootable device.

UBCD or Linux Knopix.

Or a seperate machine with the drive as a slave device.
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#15 RicardoVerdi

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 06:41 PM

I am having a similar problem with an old 30gb drive from my son's Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop. The laptop is now working ok with a new drive. Can I boot up the laptop from the new hard drive & then try removing it & replacing it with the old hard drive to se if i can read any data off it? Or can I put the old laptop drive as a slave into my desktop PC (200mHz, WinXP, Iqon)? The ribbon connectors for the hard drives are different. Maybe laptops & desktops always use different connectors, I don't know. Are adaptors available? I tried to boot up the laptop from the CD with the old hard drive in place, but the machine wouldn't start properly. Message said something like:hard disk sector 0 failure.

Goodnight




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