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Thread: Hard disk problem and data recovery

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Hard disk problem and data recovery

    Hi there!

    Has anyone encountered a hard drive problem where it suddenly wouldn't read your files and when you peform a restart or when you boot up your PC, there's no activity within the hard drive and it's LED doesn't lit up.

    I've transferred the hard drive on several computers, hoping that one of my computer's power connectors is defective but I got the same results. No power and it doesn't "read" during boot up process and the BIOS can't detect the hard drive. My computer's hard drive is an IDE Seagate 4.3Gb that was bought several years ago.

    Any idea what might have caused this problem? Dead circuit board or something? And is there a way that I could still salvage or recover the data inside the drive? I have some important stuff (documents and programs) that have been locked inside in there.

    Thanks in advance, guys.

  2. #2
    Senior since the 3 dot era
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    You have no power at all? The leds don't light up? The disk doesn't spin up? No noise?
    I'm affraid recovering the data is not going to be easy or costless... a physical error means in most of the cases: ship your drive to a lab (clean room) to recover the data.
    If you can power up your drive you will be able to recover the data yourself, but else I advise to take it to a recovery lab:

    - For instance Ontrack will help you out. They are authorised to open up Seagate disks without voiding the warranty (but your warranty has probably expired)

    - Data Recovery Services Inc.
    They will try to repair your drive to ready state, so they can pull a raw image from the platters and put that on a medium of your choice, CD-R, another disk, ...

    - DataRecoverygroup
    Data recovery group is specialised in Hard Disk recovery after harddisk crashes or failures.

    I bet you can find more of those companies by searching in google.

  3. #3
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Put your harddrive in a ziplock freezer baggie, drop in a few grains of rice to absorb any moisture out of the air and seal the bag, giving the rice a couple of hours to do its stuff. After allowing the rice (or silica gel, if you happen to have any) time to do its thing, throw your drive in the freezer for 24 hours. Take the drive out, hook it up (outside of the case) and transfer your files to the new drive immediately. I know it may sound crazy, but the cold can (and usually will) revive a dead drive long enough for you to retrieve the files you need from it.
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for the advice. Yup, it has no power at all, the disk doesn't spin and no noise at all. Very odd indeed. I'll check up on the companies that you've listed on your reply.

    allenb1963, I just might give a shot on the suggestion of "freezing" my hard drive. A colleague of mine tried that once on his defective hard drive that overheats which eventually lead to data loss. He was able to recover a considerable amount of data. I haven't consider doing before since the hard drive of my computer doesn't heat up but now that you've given me an idea, I might as well give it a try.

    Thanks for the help, really appreciate it.

  5. #5
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Vermont, USA
    I've heard the freezer trick before, but you let the drive return to room temp before trying to restart it.

    If the freezer trick doesn't work, try taking the drive and "gently" slapping it down on your desk from about 3 inches up, might knock it loose.

    hope you get it.

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

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