Suggestions on how to recover my dead hardrive :(

Sagan

Gawd
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
574
My 4 year old computer wont boot and the hard drive ticks. I messed with the jumper settings too. I tried a newer hard drive and the computer seems fine. What should I do to recover my hard drive?

I have another computer where I plugged in both hard drives at the same time and it just hangs on boot "Detecting drives, please wait."
 

OmegaAvenger

2[H]4U
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Sep 25, 2007
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Does the hard drive make the click of death or any other noises? If so, you'll need some $$$ for a data recovery company.
 

StarTrek4U

Gawd
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Jan 8, 2003
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Put it in the freezer for about 10min or so, then immediately put it in your system and try to boot off it, if it boots get your backup then b/c your HD is clearly a short ways from death.
 

sabregen

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I've used that trick several times myself, and I have had it work. Most recently (about 18 months ago) on a 40GB IDE drive that had a lot of personal data on it. I ended up having to leave it in the freezer overnight, and the damned thing sounded like the motor was going to sieze up any second (very loud whine) during operation, but I was able to get everything off of it, and nothing was corrupted.
 

OmegaAvenger

2[H]4U
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Hmm.. never tried overnight, only a few hours. guess I could give that a shot. I got a customer hard drive here that's clicking and they really want their data. Off to the office freezer it goes.
 

Ockie

*** Self Proclaimed Storage King ***
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Mar 2, 2005
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17,999
Thats a myth. I've tried that 3 times on three seperate hard drives.

Its not a myth, it's more like a crapshoot. Once you do the freezer trick you pretty much already signed your hard drives death warrant.... so you may or may not be able to get data from it and if you do, you toss the drive aftewards anyways. It's basically a last resort option.

The metals used in the hard drives vary, which causes some metals to "shrink" more than others under cold temperatures, freeing any kinda stuck mechanism.
 

sabregen

Fully [H]
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Yep, I agree, total last resort. I only do it when I'm positive that there's no other alternative. I'll even swap a controller on the drive for a known good one before I try the freezer trick. When you do this, you have to have already accepted in your head that the drive is dead, and your data is gone. Otherwise, you'd well...you'd be an idiot, and I'd hate to think of any of my fellow [H]'ers like that.

Ockie - Nice man! You finally made your 16k posts! It'll take me another 8 years at this rate to get my title. Heh....that sucks.
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
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Apr 28, 2007
Messages
19,957
Is the drive recognised during boot?
If so you may be able to recover it with HDD Regenerator / Spinrite (may take all night).

I had a drive fail and it would click constantly.
I was amazed that HDD Regenerator could do anything with it while it was constantly clicking but it recovered the drive, as good as new!

I had a different drive fail more recently that clicks all the time now.
This one cannot be detected by my system though and subsequently I cant run any tools on it.
 

Sagan

Gawd
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
574
It doesn't lboot at all, it just hangs at the bios screen. I bought a replacement drive I'm wondering about sticking it in the freezer, I want to recover the data on it. How should I go about this?
 

NoxTek

The Geek Redneck
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May 27, 2002
Messages
9,300
It doesn't lboot at all, it just hangs at the bios screen. I bought a replacement drive I'm wondering about sticking it in the freezer, I want to recover the data on it. How should I go about this?

Stick the drive in the freezer in a zip-lock baggie or airtight container for about 20 - 30 minutes. Then remove it and connect it to a PC quickly and attempt to grab as much data off of it as you can before it warms up and stops working again.

This doesn't work every time, mind you, but it does work quite often.
 

DonDon

[H]ard|Gawd
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Stick the drive in the freezer in a zip-lock baggie or airtight container for about 20 - 30 minutes. Then remove it and connect it to a PC quickly and attempt to grab as much data off of it as you can before it warms up and stops working again.

This doesn't work every time, mind you, but it does work quite often.

Exactly, depending on how it has failed determines if this trick will work. I have tried it 3-4 times and had it work once. I was able to retrieve a friends photos and most of his music before the drive crapped out completely. I left it in the freezer for about 2 hours.

Don
 

JohnleMVP

Supreme [H]ardness
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May 20, 2001
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What if the drive is still under warranty? What are the chances you'll get denied.
 

JohnleMVP

Supreme [H]ardness
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What I mean is if you try this freezing trick, will your warranty get denied.
 

DonDon

[H]ard|Gawd
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What I mean is if you try this freezing trick, will your warranty get denied.

Don't see why it should. I wrap a wash cloth around mine when I remove them from the freezer. That keeps you from accidentally shorting something, and limits the air that can get to the drive to form condensation.

Don
 

Nenu

[H]ardened
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What I mean is if you try this freezing trick, will your warranty get denied.

Ah, I read your last post differently.

The drive will have a storage temperature range, freezing the drive may not be inside that range.
I doubt whether they can find out what temp it has been down to, so its up to your conscience.
 

DonDon

[H]ard|Gawd
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Ah, I read your last post differently.

The drive will have a storage temperature range, freezing the drive may not be inside that range.
I doubt whether they can find out what temp it has been down to, so its up to your conscience.

My conscience is clear. If their POS drive hadn't died prematurely, I wouldn't need to freeze the darned thing to try and get my data back. :p

Don
 

JohnleMVP

Supreme [H]ardness
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May 20, 2001
Messages
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My conscience is clear. If their POS drive hadn't died prematurely, I wouldn't need to freeze the darned thing to try and get my data back. :p

Don

Seriously, my Samsung F1 drive crapped out after 4 months. WTF. It doesn't boot at all. I ended up losing my Fallout 3 game saves, thats like 60 hours of work. :p

Never again Samsung! I ordered a WD 1TB Black to replace it.
 
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