Saturday, July 01, 2006

Ways to Revive A Damaged Hard Drive

Here are some most common scenarios faced buy users with failed hard drives:

1 The data wasn't backed up.
2 The problem came out of nowhere.
3 The user had accessed Setup and tried to manually enter the settings for the drive type when "Auto" didn't work.
4 There was no startup disk made by this machine

This solutions came from reputable IT professionals :

Freeze it

From: Travis Standen

One trick I have learned as a technician, when the problem is
data-read errors off the platters themselves, is to freeze the
hard drive overnight. It makes the data more 'readable,' but for
a one-shot deal. If this data is critical, and you have a
replacement hard drive (which, if it's a drive failure, you
probably do), then you can hook up your frozen hard drive and
immediately fetch the data off before it warms up


Drop it

From: Bob Matott

Besides the typical use of sys C: to transfer back the system files deleted during "housecleaning" by typical users, I've gotten lucky by turning the drive upside down and setting it on top of the power supply (which seemed to remove "a static charge" that had built up).

Also have used various Disk Manager packages to "talk" to drives with FAT/NTFS corruptions just to recover the data. If drives are being reformatted from an operating system that doesn't want to "fully go away" (can name a few!), the disk manager software has also worked in this scenario many times to get rid of the old and allow you to reformat with the new.

Of course, there's always the "drop it from 4-5" onto a flat hard surface" or "smack the side of the case with the flat of your hand" approaches. Believe it or not, both techniques have worked. Rumor has it that sometimes the heads "stick" to the platters during parking/cooldown.


Hit it

From: Karen_Roman

1. Check CMOS settings to make sure the drive setting are what they should be—the CMOS battery could be dead or the user may have changed the settings. A bad hard drive could cause the Autodetect to misread settings.
2. Boot from a floppy disk and run fdisk/mbr to restore the backup copy of the master boot record.
3. Image the drive with drive copy program to a new drive.
4. It’s possible the HDD controller is bad. Try the drive in another machine.
5. Boot from a floppy attach to a network drive or have a secondary drive installed and if you can access the data copy it off to there.
6. The drive could have a stiction problem. Tap it gently on the sides, preferably with a rubber mallet.


From: Tomer Har Nesher

Hi, I have three ideas:
1) Install the hard drive on other machine that is running same OS. If the disk partition is FAT or FAT32, you can start the machine by using WIN98 system diskette without install the hard drive on other machine.
2) We found some problems with hard drive that happen after few minutes of work. In this case, you should disconnect the hard drive from power (by turning off the machine) for few minutes, then turn it on and back up immediately until it will be warm again and you'll not be able to read the data. Do it until you'll have all files copied.
3) If you have same drive (SAME MODEL), you can replace the unreachable disk's main board and trying to read the data.

From:Matthew Harvey

Had this happen last year. Tried running the drive as a slave in another machine (could be the controller, you know) but that didn't do the trick. So we sent it away to a recovery shop. They charge $100 to look at it, send you a list of all the files they could find and recover, and then they want $1,500 to send you those files on a CD-R. We balked at the charge and said, "No thanks, just send us back our hard drive." They did. Of course, in order to read the disk and list the files for us, they had to make a repair to the drive. When it was returned to us I was able to slave it in another machine and copy all of its contents—just finished before their jury-rigged repair failed on us. Full data recovery for $100—not a bad deal, huh?

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