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Hard Drive Mechanical Failure


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Angela01

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 06:47 AM

Hi,

Last week, my 40GB IDE hard drive on my Dell D600 Latitude laptop suffered a mechanical failure; I had a lot of data on there which was not backed up and which is irreplaceable (I have learnt my lesson). I have sent the hard drive to two leading data recovery labs (disklabs and ontrack), at great expense, who have both diagnosed the same problem which is that the head stacks on my drive have collapsed into the platters (twice) and have scored away and completely erased the firmware and part of the data (although most of the data is still there in binary format). They have both said that the drive is so badly damaged that the data which is still there is completely irrecoverable.

I am mortified.

As a last hope, I was just wondering if anyone out there has suffered a similar problem with better results or if anyone knows of ANY way I can get back even some of my data, particularly photos.

Absolutely ANY suggestions will be so gratefully received.

Please help!

Many thanks,

Angela
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#2 Venek

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 08:56 AM

I would invest some money in a backup software program (Acronis is a good one). You can never go wrong with that route and back it up on DVDs, which is about the most foolproof way to back up anything.
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#3 HitSquad

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

Hi Angela
When the heads hit the platters (head crash), which spin from 5,000 to 10,000 rpm's, it scrapes off the magnetic film on the platters that hold the data in a hurry (platter scoring). I would not hold out much hope of getting it back. There is a place here which specializes in that area and has a no-pay policy if data cannot be recovered. Can't hurt to check them out but recovery is unlikely.

BTW, remove you're e-mail addy from your post. Bots look for that stuff.

Edited by HitSquad, 05 June 2007 - 09:31 AM.


#4 Angela01

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:30 AM

Hi,

Thanks, I know how to back up things for the future, but I need to get back my data from the past, that's my problem....!!

#5 garmanma

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:44 AM

This isn't a joke but I doubt it will work in your case. People have actually removed the drive and placed it in the freezer for about an hour, then quickly reinstalled and retrieved info.
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#6 dc3

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 09:51 AM

This isn't a joke but I doubt it will work in your case. People have actually removed the drive and placed it in the freezer for about an hour, then quickly reinstalled and retrieved info.
Mark


That trick works for a very short time to free platters that no longer spin, but if these platters are as badly scored as being indicated that won't help.

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#7 garmanma

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 01:22 PM

This isn't a joke but I doubt it will work in your case. People have actually removed the drive and placed it in the freezer for about an hour, then quickly reinstalled and retrieved info.
Mark


That trick works for a very short time to free platters that no longer spin, but if these platters are as badly scored as being indicated that won't help.

I know it, but I'd try it before I trew the drive in the dumpster
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#8 ambellina

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 03:21 PM

people have also mentioned purposely dropping their hard drive from a couple of feet above a table to get the same results as freezing, but as mentioned, thats for platters that don't spin instead of ones that have been physically damaged. i can well imagine that dropping it would just make it worse :thumbsup: but if you are planning to throw it away anyway, then making it worse shouldn't matter i suppose. sorry about your lost data!

#9 DaChew

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Posted 05 June 2007 - 03:26 PM

bad drives can eat power supplies and are best pitched
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#10 Angela01

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 03:55 AM

Hi,

Thanks for all of your suggestions.

I think I understand the problem I am facing BUT I just keep going back to the fact that my actual data is still on the drive, even though the firmware has been removed (and from what I understand, the firmware is the bit which interprets my data and makes it readable? So why can't other firmware read my data?)

I am clutching on to the fact that my data is still there so there MUST be some way some how that I can get at least even a small part of it off....??

Failing that, does anyone know if it is possible to get photos off of a flash card which have long since been deleted and overwritten? Some of the data on my drive which I am so sad to have lost is photos taken over the last year or so. I still have the flash cards (SanDisk CompactFlash), although I have taken photos and deleted them several times on these cards, so I would need to get back images way back. I have seen that there is software which can may be recover the last lot of photos I deleted from my flashcard, but I am not sure about photos deleted say a year ago and subsequently have several batches of photos taken over the top?

Again, any suggestions I will be delighted to receive.

Thanks very much.

#11 HitSquad

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:59 AM

and from what I understand, the firmware is the bit which interprets my data and makes it readable

Not exactly. In hard drives the firmware is the software code that controls the physical hard drive hardware. Firmware damage can happen in two ways. The firmware code itself (which is stored on a chip on the drives circuit board) becomes corrupt, or to some of the hard drive parameters located on the hard disk platter surface that are accessed by the firmware, which is your case.

So why can't other firmware read my data

Firmware is drive specific. It is done at the factory when it is built. If it is wiped, it cannot be re-applied if the drive is dead without first replacing the faulty parts. These parts would have to be original replacements. In other words, the platters (and most likely heads) would need to be replaced which is basicly a new drive. All data would be lost anyway. Follow?

Did you contact the link I left you?

Edited by HitSquad, 06 June 2007 - 05:00 AM.


#12 Angela01

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Posted 06 June 2007 - 07:09 AM

Hi,

Yes I contacted the company in the link; they were on voice mail and I am still awaiting a response from them.

The data recovery company I sent my drive to did replace my heads but apparently that did not help.

Thanks for the info.




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