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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Hardrive problems

    <font face="Georgia">The hardrive on my computer at home appears to have failed. When I start the computer the blue Dell screen shows up and then a clicking noise begins. In a little bit a message appears on the screen saying that the hardrive can't be found. Is there anyway to recover some of the data from the drive without going to a professional?</font face=georgia>

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hardrive problems

    Well, you could try to see if Steve Gibson's SpinRite can recover the hard drive or any of it. Unfortunately, it's not cheap at $89 but a lot less than a professional recovery service would charge you, with no guarantees in either case. You should also download the diagnostic routines from the manufacturer of the hard drive to see if running them might "jog" the drive into some level of consciousness. In my experience, the clicking of a failed drive usually means the kiss of death and I admit I've never had any luck beyond that point.

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Hardrive problems

    There have been tales, which may or may not be apocryphal, that either putting the hard drive in a freezer or in a warm oven for a short length of time might jog it into working for a short period, which potentially could enable you to copy off the stuff you want. Perhaps try Googling for this apparently bizarre action?

    Of course, the easiset thing in these circumstances is simply to buy a new hard disk and restore back the backup of the original, failing, drive that you took moments before it failed... (I wish.)

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Hardrive problems

    I have actually done the freezer trick a couple times and it does work - for seized drives. The theory is that when you put it in the freezer for a few hours, physics being physics, matter contracts when cold, the drive becomes "unseized" and will turn freely - but only for about 5 minutes, if you are lucky. In my first case, the client needed one critical file and we had enough time to get it. In the second case, we had enough time to pull over the My Documents folder and the .pst file before it warmed up and seized again - good enough.

    Note: should anyone try this, the drive must be sealed very thoroughly to prevent moisture from forming ice chrystals.

    However, in this case, since the drive is "clicking" that means it is spinning - can't unseize something that is not seized.

    You could try booting to a boot disk (floppy or CD) and see if you can read the drive - at least hopefully you might be able to copy over your data. You could try putting that HD in another machine as a slave and maybe copy your data.

    I am sure you don't need (or want!) to be reminded of the importance of regular back-ups - but this is why.

    I have never heard of the warm oven trick - but that doesn't mean anything.

    As you know, depending on how critical the data is, there are commercial services that specialize in recovery data from failed drives. They actually disassemble the drives and either replace the on-board controller, if that is what is bad, or in more extreme case, remove the patters and attempt to read them individually. However, these services can be VERY expensive.

    Good luck.
    Bill (AFE7Ret)
    Freedom is NOT Free!
    Heat is the bane of all electronics!

    ─────────────────────

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