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How to salvage data from a HDD


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#1 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 03:19 PM

This seems to be the season of dying HDD. :dubbio:
I have here a HDD which suffers from the click of death.
Usually i would just try to talk the maunfacturer into writing the firmware on it again.
But the owner is a very fearsome person and won't allow that the hdd is send to people, she doesn't know.

Has anyone an idea, how to revive the dead HDD to salvage some data from it?

:cheers:

#2 was_jaclaz

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 04:20 PM

Has anyone an idea, how to revive the dead HDD to salvage some data from it?

YES. :cheers:
http://homepages.tes...no-answers.html

and for the Nth time :dubbio: your question appears like a philosophical one: different drives, different brands, different models, different filesystems may need different solutions.

If you are looking for useful help, post the needed, useful details, otherwise you will get the same level of help as the amount of data you posted: NONE.

:cheers:

jaclaz

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 04:38 PM

jaclaz you're being silly again.

But if it helps you, to help me.
It's a Western Digital WD Caviar 102AA with only one partition which is formatted in NTFS.

I have an identical working model too.

:dubbio:

#4 was_jaclaz

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:02 PM

It's an oldish IDE model, does it look like this?:
Posted Image

Try describing what you intend by "click of death", when powered on:
  • spinning up, several clicks, then stop
  • spinning up, continuous clicks, continue spinning and clicking
  • ...

Those series should be single platter double head no-buffer ATA-66.

No firmware upgradable AFAIK.

What has Data Lifeguard tools to say about it?
http://www.directron.com/faqwd.html#13

Is the "other" drive EXACTLY the same model?

Is it functional?

Before attempting a transplant I would try the hexoteric but sometimes working "freezing" approach.

jaclaz

#5 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:41 PM

That's the right drive you've found.
Yes the second drive is fully funtional, but, as i just read, acording to HDD Guru not close enough to be recommended as a donor Drive.
the ECM Number varies in the 5th and 6th position.

The clicking appearantly stops after some time as the drive was making no noises, when i arrived at the scene of the accident.
After powering off the computer and turning it on again, i've heared it clicking 6 times, before i was able to shut the computer off again.

No firmware upgradable AFAIK.

Yes i know, one can't flash a new firmware onto those drives. I'm talking about the data written into the system area of the HDD. The support of the manufacturers usually understand what i mean.
How do you call that data?

What i would need, i think, is a tool which is able to address the HDD without requiring the BIOS to detect the drive. Then a way to access the system area and rewrite it. All that assuming, that there is no hardware defect.

:dubbio:

#6 ReD

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:07 PM

not sure this is the solution but:

i would gently snap several time the drive with my hand, on the "covered" side. Sometime, you got this clicking stuff because heads have moved too close to the surface and are stuck. Well i've done that on some hdd with same issue and it worked.

considering software aproach, i would recommend r-tt (r-studio). One of (if not) the best recovering tools. It can recover even damaged hdd, working on image of them on a remote host, or directly.
It has several switches that are helpfull when the system operate incorrectly (geometry incorrectly detected, or if hdd lock the system), -no_int13 and -no_ios, or -no_ide_ext. the -reset switch reset hdd controler each time the controler lock after trying to recover a bad sector (if that make it hangs).

#7 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:21 PM

i would gently snap several time the drive with my hand, on the "covered" side. Sometime, you got this clicking stuff because heads have moved too close to the surface and are stuck. Well i've done that on some hdd with same issue and it worked.

One does get a clicking sound when the heads are stuck?
The clicking comes from the heads being moved against the block to recalibrate them. If the heads were stuck, wouldn't that mean that they can't move anymore?

considering software aproach, i would recommend r-tt (r-studio). One of (if not) the best recovering tools. It can recover even damaged hdd, working on image of them on a remote host, or directly.
It has several switches that are helpfull when the system operate incorrectly (geometry incorrectly detected, or if hdd lock the system), -no_int13 and -no_ios, or -no_ide_ext. the -reset switch reset hdd controler each time the controler lock after trying to recover a bad sector (if that make it hangs).

I own r-studio, but doesn't it only work if the HDD is still detected?
I havn't checked with this one, but the two previous ones with this problem were no longer detected by the BIOS or the OS.

:dubbio:

#8 ReD

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:39 PM

the "gently snaps" will cost you nothing, i'll try it anyway. may be heads are stuck somewhere they start moving a little then hang and get back, and again, and again (click click click)

well, if bios did not see the hdd effectively, since it's the very low level access, the O/S will not be able to interact with it.

have you tryed removing the hard cover, power it on and see what the heads are doing? May be you'll see something and try to move them gently and it will fix the issue for a time, just to recover some datas?

sorry if i can't help you more... :cheers:

#9 was_jaclaz

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:46 PM

The info that you accurately failed to post a link to:
http://forum.hddguru...ils-t13964.html

is a re-post of the info here:
http://www.hddrecove.../reference.html
http://www.hddrecove....org/donor.html

which has obviously been ripped from somewhere, in the original there must have been images that did give some sense to sentences like:

Matching the highlighted area is necessary for successful PCB replacement.

Not present on the drive in pictures, but if present always match for PCB replacement.


and the (Colour) given on each entry.

It is EXACTLY the kind of misleading or "vague" information that there is around.
There is NO such thing as "Western Digital" drives, in 2000 they changed their numbering scheme:
http://redhill.net.au/d/d-00.html
would you bet your data on the fact that this:

Western Digital hard drive donor

* Model Number (Blue)
Always match the full model number (including the characters after the hyphen. This is important for PCB and Head swaps/ platter transplants.
* DCM Code (Yellow)
Matching the whole DCM code would be the best, but if you cannot the 5th and 6th characters should be ok; this is for head swaps and platter transplants.
Note: success has been made while just matching the 6th character .
* PCB Code (Red)
Matching the highlighted area is necessary for successful PCB replacement.

is accurate for the particular drive model you have i your hands? :)

A similar (original) page WITH images:
http://www.dataclini...mpatibility.htm

If you read HDDguru, read it all:
http://forum.hddguru...ter-t13751.html
http://forum.hddguru...ion-t11473.html
http://forum.hddguru...e-t8951-20.html

What you are looking for:

What i would need, i think, is a tool which is able to address the HDD without requiring the BIOS to detect the drive. Then a way to access the system area and rewrite it. All that assuming, that there is no hardware defect.

Of course exists, and you can buy it for a nice, round x ranging in the 2000 to 3000 US Dollars, as an example:
http://www.pc3000.com/
http://www.acelaboratory.com/
An old version. like:
http://www.acelabora....com/pc3000.htm
would do, but I don't think you can find one used, original and for a decent price. :w00t:

Another "original" app/hardware:
http://www.salvation...t/hd-doctor.htm

You can try your chances with places like this, "only" $650, but you don't really know what you get (or what you fail to get....:cheers:):
http://www.harddisklab.com/
or maybe even less:
http://www.hddworld....epairtool.shtml

JFYI:
http://forum.hddguru...-pci-t6293.html

:cheers:

jaclaz

#10 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:49 PM

have you tryed removing the hard cover, power it on and see what the heads are doing? May be you'll see something and try to move them gently and it will fix the issue for a time, just to recover some datas?

Since i would need to first build a clean box, to do that, i keep stuff like that, for when the software approach does not work.

:cheers:

#11 was_jaclaz

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:49 PM

have you tryed removing the hard cover, power it on and see what the heads are doing? May be you'll see something and try to move them gently and it will fix the issue for a time, just to recover some datas?


Remember to do that while smoking a cigarettte: a little ash, being a lubricant, usually helps with stuck heads ....and don't forget to scratch a bit your head while watching closely the innards of an opened HD.

Sheesh... :cheers:

jaclaz

#12 ReD

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:58 PM

jaclaz i already done that and yes sometimes it worked ! when, nothing else can help, that you don't want to spend $$$$$$$$ to send your hard drives to be fixed by an external corp' then some time that kind of way to do may really help.

And, i don't like the way you answer sometimes to people, as you did twice on that post.
I dont' know who you think you are but you should take it easy.

#13 was_jaclaz

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 07:25 PM

jaclaz i already done that and yes sometimes it worked ! when, nothing else can help, that you don't want to spend $$$$$$$$ to send your hard drives to be fixed by an external corp' then some time that kind of way to do may really help.

And, i don't like the way you answer sometimes to people, as you did twice on that post.
I dont' know who you think you are but you should take it easy.


I am taking it easy, rest assured. :cheers:

But still, I have to point out how sometimes, and I am sure in perfect good faith, people asks "vague" questions, and other people reply with "vague" answers.

Tapping on a drive does potentially NO harm.

Opening it in an unprotected environment will likely do.

It costs nothing, even at home to create a small "clean room", a poorman's clean room is an acquarium with a glass over it and two holes for your hands on two sides, with such an arrangement it is safe enough to carefully remove completely the cover of the HD.

Anyone actually opening up a hard disk should know the risk involved, the tools needed, the power of the inner magnets, a lot of things that you should practice before actually attempting opening a drive, and expecially if it is NOT your drive and you are doing it for a third party.

I am all for DYI job's and "poorman's workarounds" :cheers: as you can see:
http://www.boot-land...?...c=6102&st=9
but trying to reduce to the risks involved, or at least make them clear is needed:
http://www.boot-land...?...=6102&st=22

Nothing personal, but :):
http://homepages.tes...ynePollard/FGA/
http://homepages.tes...ard-litany.html
http://homepages.tes...oolishness.html

:w00t:

jaclaz

#14 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 08:51 PM

I don't understand why all those companies, who wanna sell their product, can't tell one the price of their products.
Always, call us for details.
What do they have to hide?

But exactly of the costs of needed hardware, i usually send the HDD to the manufacturer, if data is not important enough for professional data recovery.
They have the right equipment to do a little quick fix and as long as i don't expect any success from them, they usually have no problem trying.

:cheers:

#15 MedEvil

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Posted 19 November 2009 - 10:59 PM

:) Shouldn't the drive return some error code, as long as the electronics are good?
Does one know a tool to read that code? AND NAME IT! :w00t:

:cheers:

#16 maanu

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 04:17 AM

ok bear with me here (i hope i am using the right word ) ,

1. does bios detect hdd or not ?
2. if bios detects hdd , then dont load its OS .boot into pe then salvage data ?


plz don't laugh , but a really old hdd of my friend ( 40 GB samsung) was brought to me , system was not detecting it at all , and it had many bad sectors or whatever . i packed it in a shopper ,and put it into freezer . me and my friend went out to dinner and when we came back ,i put the hdd back in the case , and guess what , system detected it . i booted into pe , did low level format and ever since the hdd is running fine ( more then one year now ) .

at least you could give it a try .

#17 MedEvil

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Posted 20 November 2009 - 12:05 PM

HDD is not detected anymore by the BIOS.
The clicking sound. Click-Click-Clonk, Click-Click-Clonk, Click-Click-Clonk,.... does not seem to stop too fast. I gave it a bit of time, but it just kept on clicking. After 12 cycles i shut the computer down.
Acording to what i have read, it should have stoped after the most 8 clicks, if it would stop.

I will try the freezing thing today, but don't have much hope.

:cheers:

PS: bare

#18 ArrO

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 05:07 PM

I read of your problem.

And with the method mentioned by maanu , i succesfully revived 2 HDD's full of pictures , so it could be working for you as well.
Also a linux based OS or recovery system had more succes than a PE or windows based recovery system , I used acronis
when all else failed.

Kind regards,
ArrO




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