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General Septem

Data recovery solutions?

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I type this with shaky, mortified hands right now. I've got a dead hard drive, and it's got stuff I can't afford to lose on it.

 

It won't spin anymore when power is applied. Last night I went to open a game and it got stuck trying to read from the CD, so I had to hit the restart button. It didn't boot up again. I figured I'd leave it until the morning, so I did. I tried flashing, clearing the CMOS, nothing really worked, and then I realized one of the drives was shot. It's my 120.

 

It just doesn't spin anymore when you apply power to it. I tried holding it in my hand and plugging it in, and nothing is happening.

 

Anyone know where I can get the data recovered without compromising privacy? I've got lots of mp3s on the drive and the last thing I need now is the RIAA up my butt. I don't know what else is there that I could get in trouble for (probably nothing but I worry anyway), so the service has to be private. Anyone know where I can do this? Thanks.

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The drive will have to be working again for anybody to recover the data at a reasonable cost. Depending on your patience and abilities you should be able to do it yourself by picking up another drive of the same make and model off of ebay and trying a circuit board replacement or worst case scenario putting the platters in the other unit.

 

There are some excellent guides around for doing either of these procedures. They are not that difficult but the utmost of care must be taken to ensure a clean environment. I have had to pull the platters from drive and put them in another one time and it wasn't a bad deal, even for a mechanic with beat up hands. It took about an hour start to finish.

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That's something to keep in mind.

 

I'm wary about doing this as I tried opening up an old HDD for a window mod and ended up killing it. However, zero precaution was taken in this case and the drive sat around for ages with nothing but a piece of saran wrap on it. But if I can find the exact same model, swapping the platters might not be so bad.

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Try sticking it in the freezer and then aquire the program spinrite. It has worked for me on a few occasions, before going on to the next steps that CPDMF has previously stated.

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Try sticking it in the freezer and then aquire the program spinrite. It has worked for me on a few occasions, before going on to the next steps that CPDMF has previously stated.

 

What will Spinrite do for me?

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Guest thespin

These guys promise 'full data confidentiality' and they are authorized by all the leading HD manufacturers to open up their HDs without voiding the warranty:

http://www.intellirecovery.com/

Plus: no data recovery, no fee!

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What will Spinrite do for me?

 

Well the combination of the freezer and spinrite has worked for me in the past. Even if the drive was locking up and clicking. But if your drive wont even spin up at all then you are probably out of luck and need to deploy some more intrusive tactics. Just a "give it a try" option on my part. :)

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Well the combination of the freezer and spinrite has worked for me in the past. But if your drive wont even spin up at all then you are probably out of luck and need to deploy some more intrusive tactics. Just a "give it a try" option on my part. :)

 

Could you give me some more detail? How long do I keep it in the freezer for, and do I have to worry about condensation when I remove it?

 

Thanks, by the way. I might give that a try.

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Yeah I usually put it in a ziplock freezer bad and get as much air out as possible. Then leave it in there (depending on how cold your freezer is) for an hour or two. And make sure you are in a low humidity environment when you take it out and work on it. Spinrite is a dos based app, and has worked most of the time for me, except on Maxtor drives. It seems like when the Maxtors die they really die (and are always the first to go anyway), thus the reason I buy WD or Seagate drives for everything other than server applications. :)

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The odds of fixing your drive by putting it in the freezer are very slim to none: http://www.aerodr.com/myths.asp

 

My friend was able to recover data from one of his drives by replacing the circuit board. He bought one off of ebay for like $20. I'd try that before sticking it in the freezer.

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The odds of fixing your drive by putting it in the freezer are very slim to none: http://www.aerodr.com/myths.asp

 

My friend was able to recover data from one of his drives by replacing the circuit board. He bought one off of ebay for like $20. I'd try that before sticking it in the freezer.

 

I'm not saying it's a surefire method, I'm just saying try it before you go to the next step of tearing it apart and then you are really screwed if you bugger something up. I have had success with both methods. Replacing circuitry/platters, and the freeze method. Just throwing out one more option that has worked in MY experience. And like I said earlier its a long shot if the drive wont even spin up. But its the combination of DOS level software and supercooling that I think is effective. One without the other would not work even close to as well I'm sure.

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