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Hardware Thread, hard drive failed / data lost? in Technical; I have a teacher with a hard drive that won't boot. It contains his reports that are due in today ...
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    hard drive failed / data lost?

    I have a teacher with a hard drive that won't boot. It contains his reports that are due in today and his department handbook. He doesn't have a backup copy of either since his memory stick was stolen!

    I've tried the drive in a USB external case with no joy, is there anything else I can try before approaching data recovery centers?

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    simongrahamuk's Avatar
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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Have you tried the old freezer trick?

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    There have been occasional reports that cooling a drive - 10 mins in an airtight container in the freezer - can free up stuck heads (as the metal contracts, whatever's sticking frees up), but thats a last resort and may f++k it worse. TBH, its data recovery time, which costs $TIME * $MONEY^2, for some non-zero values of $TIME and $MONEY. It might be disingeneous to suggest that this chump's time is worth far less and he should just suck it up and re-do the work, but I'm going to suggest it anyway

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    I haven't tried the freezer thing, and before a couple of minutes ago hadn't even heard of it!

    Thanks for your thoughts. I've had some estimated costs from a contact of mine for Data Rec and I don't the school will want to stump up £600!!

    I think his time probably is worth that, but the school won't think so (not sure I would either if I was having to pay the bill).

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    The freezer trick has worked for me on a few occasions. Giving me just enough time to get the data off before it packs up again.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Out of interest, how dead is the drive? Dead as in powering up but not being seen in BIOS or dead as in not even spinning up?

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    If the drive powers up, you can use R-Studio data recovery software.
    It takes a while but is extremely successful at data recovery.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    have you got the URL for R-Studio ?

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    The drives sounds like it spins and is making whirring and mechanical noises but in the USB case windows refuses to acknowledge there is a disc there. It sees the case electronics and tries to load the driver, but fails after a lengthy pause.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Yeah that freezer trick worked for me too!

    However, I've just had a hard disk fail and this company got all the data recovered within 12 hours for about £100! They got the disk friday and I had the CD's in the post by Monday.

    They're called easyrestore.co.uk and I've been really really pleased with the service.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Does anyone have a contact number for Easyrestore.co.uk? I sent them my crashed hard drive over 2 weeks ago, and after some initial communication with them once they had received it they have failed to respond to my emails and have not sent me my data or drive back.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Rather than try the drive in an external USB case, which sometimes won't work on certain drives, have you tried it in another PC. If it's a laptop drive, you can get converter cables to allow you to plug them into a standard IDE cable. Then you can see if the machines BIOS is seeing the drive, and see what the machine does when it tries to read the drive etc.

    Mike.

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    To JulesF:
    Did you ever get a contact number for Easyrestore? Did they ever return your hard drive or data? And if not what did you do?

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    Re: hard drive failed / data lost?

    Have you tried booting up with BartPE or a live linux distro to see if you can mount the drive that way?

    I have had many "dead" drives in the past that windows has refused to recognise but slap a linux cd in the machine and bingo!

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    My thoughts

    Dead drives

    My first step is a quick diagnosis by using an exernal adapter to see if the drive actually spins up and makes the correct (or often incorrect) noises. This then leads too 2 x options.

    If the drive makes no noise at all it will get a quick tap onto a desk to make sure nothing is stuck (had this a lot with IBM Deskstars and a gentle tap on a flat surface would get them running again).
    If the gentle tap doesnt work and I have a spare drive lurking around then swapping the board out from underneath with an identical one often works.

    Not tried the fridge trick yet, cant wait too though

    After trying the drive in an external adapter and it appears to be working it will then be placed in any working desktop to hand as a slave, then boot up XP on the desktop check if the hard drive is visible in "my computer" or "Disk Management", If it cant be seen in either then its reboot with a LiveCD or a recovery CD.

    Any of the linux recovery or LiveCD's work well and will often find the drive allowing for data backup. I do use a few other recovery CD's but nout sure if I can mention them on the forums

    As a general rule of thumb for myself, if the drive doesnt spin, or cant be seen by the BIOS then I class it as unrepairable by myself, unless as mentioned above I have a few spare identical drives to swap bits over with but this is usually done more for the hell of it in my own time just too see if it will work.

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