How do I recover from a burnt out HDD?
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Thread: How do I recover from a burnt out HDD?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy How do I recover from a burnt out HDD?

    I've recently burnt out my hard drive, and by that I mean a faulty USB2 Caddy's power supply burnt out my hard drive. The power supply to the caddy seems to have built up a lot of power, and released it all into my hard drive.

    Hooray! It should run faster right?

    Wrong!

    It seems to have ruined the circuitry inside of it.

    The information should still be on the platters... hopefully.

    This has all of my school work, TAFE, Uni, private projects and work for the last ~8 years.

    How do you guys deal with this kind of problem?
    Or more specifically how do South Australian's deal with this problem?

  2. #2
    Did someone said Pizza :) FanacooL's Avatar
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    Well if you are unable to access it with any means than the last option is to take to dealers who backup data via media accessing. Thats what we have here in my country. These people charges according to MB, what they do is open the hard disk and put them on a machine which take out the data directly from the media. Well i dunno if its 100% true or not but i have heard this is the procedure to get backup from your burnt harddisk.

    Its gona be very costly specially if your data is huge, well thats why its recommended if you have something important get the backup 'cause you never know when things could get wrong.
    One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man!

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    I take it that you have tried to attach the drive as a slave to a working computer (assuming that it is a standard 3.5" drive)?

    This has all of my school work, TAFE, Uni, private projects and work for the last ~8 years.
    That makes the drive at least 8 years old, they do not last forever.................

    You should have backed up your data to CD. Hey, if it is 8 years old you are hardly going to change it?

    I take it the drive wont "spin up"?

    Data recovery from a dead drive.................you have got to be looking at $1,500?

    One solution would be if you can find the motherboard (controller card) from exactly that make and model of drive (so you need to look for a second hand (user) one, and you will have to buy the complete drive). Get a competent hardware technician to replace the dead one and see if that works.

    That is about your only hope.

    Cheers

  4. #4
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    I've attached the drive as slave to a working computer, and still no go. Tried all jumper settings.

    The drive sort of spins up, but there is some sort of movement in there. When I power on, I can feel some slow consistent movement, and when the BIOS is just about to boot, I can feel a bit of a spin up, but then it just seems to idle, slowly spinning.

    How hard is it to change the board? Where would I get a board?

  5. #5
    Just Another Geek
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    Originally posted here by definate
    How hard is it to change the board?
    That sort of depends on the drive. Some drives are impossible.. Tiny connectors that don't line up etc..
    Where would I get a board?
    From the exact same type/model drive as the one you burnt.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    SirDice is spot on (unfortunately) that is why I suggested you enlist the aid of a competent hardware techician.

    They should be able to advise you if it is possible, and they have the work environment and equipment to do it properly. I have only ever done it two or three times, although I have a 100% track record with those.

    I think that older drives are more likely to be amenable to the technique as their boards tend to be less complex. And, as they were expensive in their day, they probably have more "repairability by design" built into them.

    Most modern stuff is designed to be totally disposable

    Incidentally:

    1. Does your BIOS/Windows recognise the drive when yo attach it to the other machine?
    2. What is the make/model/capacity of the defective drive?


  7. #7
    Senior Member ShippMA's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Can i ask how do you know that the board is actually burnt out? Is that just what you have assumed, or can you actually see scorch marks etc on the board.

    If the board isn't obviously damaged, and the drive does not spin properly, then you could be looking at a siezed drive bearing in mind its age. If this is the case then a quick fix would be too take the drive out, make sure it is totally dry and seal it in an air tight plastic bag like a zip lock bag. Then stick it in the freezer over night and try plugging it in. If it works you should get about a half hours worth of use, as a slave drive.

    What freezing the drive does is physically shrink the components by a fraction. If your drive has siezed due to old age then this will work, however if like you say you have a burnt out board then i would say the ONLY course of action is replacement components, if you can find them and can fit them, or a specialized recovery company.

    Hope you manage to solve it
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  8. #8
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    Windows does not detect or recognize the drive anymore. Even when connecting it properly, not through the USB2 Caddy.

    It is a Western Digital, 80gb, 5xxxRPM (from memory) drive. I don't have it with me at the moment, it's at the suppliers of the thing which blew up.

    I don't know the board is burnt out, i'm assuming. There were no scorch marks.

    I don't think it would have been a bearing seizing, if it is, it was a lot of bad lugk, since it all happened at once.

    When I get it back, i'll do the freezer thing, but since these problems coincided with the power source malfunctioning, I really do think that something somewhere would have burnt out or melted.

    Either way, this is a bitch of a problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    I don't have it with me at the moment, it's at the suppliers of the thing which blew up.
    Then leave it be. Go the legal route: "your crap destroyed my data..........you fix it" and if you bloody well don't then every PC publication will hear about my personal experiences with your kit, then I will go on the internet..............it will have your corporate name first.................then the device............then the problem...........you are aware how search engine spiders work?



    They can lose the $1,500 in their accounts

  10. #10
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    Sounds like a plan! :-)

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