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Longtermrenter

Hard Drive Repair - Any Recommendations?

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Ok, I know there are two types of people, those who have lost data and those who are about to.

I have a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 which has failed on me. It starts to power up and then clicks like a car indicator. Its a regular click with like a missed heartbeat every few clicks.

I have had a look around about changing PCB etc and it all seems a bit risky. I'm happy to have a company recover the data or repair the drive for me if possible but there are so many people out there I'm unsure as to who is a cowboy and who can do a good job.

The whole thing is made worse by not knowing what is on the drive. But I do think it some important recordings. I have a music PC with 4 drives in that I havent used for a good while so not sure whats on what.

So in time honoured tradition I'm wondering if anyone on HPC has a good drive repair/recovery company they can recommend. I'm in the South East.

Edited to correct typos.

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Great tip for fixing warped platters, but what is wrong with the hard drive? Can you get a S.M.A.R.T tool to analyse the issue?

If the issue is warped platters then changing the PCB won't achieve anything and the freezer plan sounds good. I would go one step further an mount the hard drive in an external USB HDD caddy and put that into the freezer, then attempt the salvage operation from there whilst it's being kept cool.

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I think I would put freezing in the risky category.

I don't think it is warped platters. The sound sound like the head moving back and forth.

I'm prepared for a large bill but am trying to see if anyone has used anyone they can recommend as there are large and larger bills out there.

I can't boot up with that drive attached so can not access SMART.

Edited because I keep making mistakes...

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I think I would put frezzing in the risky category.

I don't think it is warped platters. The sound sound like the head moving back and forth.

I'm prepared for a large bill but am trying to see if anyone has used anyone they can recommend as there are large and larger bills out there.

I can't boot up with thatdrive attached so can not access SMART.

Is it the drive you normally boot from ?

The clicking suggests an issue with the read write head

Have you tried booting from a rescue disk or running one of the variants of Linux from a CD and then trying to mount the drive ? You might be able to run some diagnostics that way to give you a clue as to what has gone wrong ?

This give a brief summary of some of the types of failure

http://www.graffs.co.uk/drive-failure-issues-and-symptoms

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Is it the drive you normally boot from ?

The clicking suggests an issue with the read write head

Have you tried booting from a rescue disk or running one of the variants of Linux from a CD and then trying to mount the drive ? You might be able to run some diagnostics that way to give you a clue as to what has gone wrong ?

This give a brief summary of some of the types of failure

http://www.graffs.co.uk/drive-failure-issues-and-symptoms

No - it isn't the boot drive. I havent tried it on my linux machine. That died during the latest Ubuntu update!

I could try a linux disk in that machine though I guess but I don't want to run it clicking liek that any more than I have to.

As far as I can see you can swap the PCB but you have to desolder and re-solder the PCB BIOS/NVRAM chip from the original PCB to the new PCB.

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Power down the drive (or discounnect it), don't do anything with it until you have checked, ordered, organized and backup up whatever is on the other drives.

Think you need to know what you have lost and ensure you keep what you haven't so you can make a considered decision about fixing the remaining drive. I reckon as you go through the other drive contents you will piece together a picture of what you may have missing. Your reorganized data will also be potentially useful to you again.

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I back up my useful data every few years!

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Do you keep your nudes on a separate USB stick? :P

I have a Raid 5 NAS Server for "important stuff" like that.

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I have used the freezer disc method to recover an hdd but be warned firstly it's a one time only solution and you are unlikely to get all of the data back. after using this method once you're unlikely to be able to get anything back from the disc. if you go down this path then get a load of silicon sachets to surround the disc in to absorb any moisture that forms. I can recommend a program called getdataback ntfs or fat32 which is on hirens disc version 9.6 or before. however with the freezing a disc method you only have about 45 minutes maximum to copy your data off so running an extended recovery tool (such as ghost / getdataback) is unlikely to be successful. recovery services probably start around £300.

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I think I would put freezing in the risky category.

I don't think it is warped platters. The sound sound like the head moving back and forth.

I'm prepared for a large bill but am trying to see if anyone has used anyone they can recommend as there are large and larger bills out there.

I can't boot up with that drive attached so can not access SMART.

Edited because I keep making mistakes...

I've used the freezer trick many times in the past and got data back. However it all depends on what the issue is.

However if the freezer trick works you may only have limited time with the drive to get the data off so work quickly and get fans to blow onto the hdd to keep it cool longer. Please note that there is a risk of electric shock when the drive warms up, although I've never suffered this fate there is a risk as water droplets can freeze inside the drive etc...

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I would try putting it in a fridge first before a freezer, I've had very good success with this method before, but you have to keep doing it and getting the data off piecemeal.

I seem to remember Spinrite was the defacto knackered (physical) hard drive repair tool, but that was some years ago.

Sending off to a clean room data company, roughly £300 or so.

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Ok, I know there are two types of people, those who have lost data and those who are about to.

I have a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 which has failed on me. It starts to power up and then clicks like a car indicator. Its a regular click with like a missed heartbeat every few clicks.

I have had a look around about changing PCB etc and it all seems a bit risky. I'm happy to have a company recover the data or repair the drive for me if possible but there are so many people out there I'm unsure as to who is a cowboy and who can do a good job.

The whole thing is made worse by not knowing what is on the drive. But I do think it some important recordings. I have a music PC with 4 drives in that I havent used for a good while so not sure whats on what.

So in time honoured tradition I'm wondering if anyone on HPC has a good drive repair/recovery company they can recommend. I'm in the South East.

Edited to correct typos.

I'm not an IT expert, but thought my main primary Maxtor Plus II SATA 250 GB was dead, running Windows XP. It stopped booting up one day earlier this year. It had been making strange click sounds for a while.

Was planning on getting a new computer anyway with XP licence running out - but knew I had data I wanted from that Maxtor hard-drive that I hadn't backed up for a few months. (family photos - books pdf - loads of house price stuff)

2dvrfar.jpg

When I got around to trying to get data from the old Maxtor hard-drive (last month), I did not want to take the new (refurbed) HP computer fully apart to fit the old Maxtor hard-drive into that cage, next to the Western Digital drive that came with the HP computer - so stacked up books as in the photo, and put the old Maxtor on it, and plugged it in. It was recognised in bios, but when tried to boot to it as primary drive, it got to old XP bootload screen, then crashed into blue screen stop, time over.

Tried to access it as slave, and could see it, but couldn't access it. No sound coming from the drive. (Note: new HP computer wouldn't boot up when Maxtor HD was plugged in as slave. I had to plug in Maxtor after HP new computer (Western Digital running Windows 7) had fully booted up, fully powered on - so that's possibly very dangerous in some circumstances - research - do at your own risk)

Downloaded SeaTools from Seagate below (free), and installed it on the HP new computer (Western Digital hard-drive), and ran it, and even before running diagnostic program, the Maxtor began to show/sound signs of life, and I could access all the data on it. :) Which I've since backed up. Hope you might have success if trying something like this.

SeaTools for Windows tests SATA, USB, 1394, ATA (PATA/IDE) and SCSI drives. It installs onto your system. SeaTools for Windows is completely data safe. If the drive passes SeaTools for Windows, your troubleshooting can move to other areas.

http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

Maxtor Corporation, founded in 1982 and acquired by Seagate Technology in 2006, was an American manufacturer of computer hard disk drives, the third largest in the world immediately prior to acquisition. It now operates as a subsidiary of Seagate.

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could try a HDD to USB kit to avoid vengers power up risks. makes an internal drive into a temp external drive.

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