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Broken HD

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by owain_thomas, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    :(

    Not having a good day, the 120gb disk in my main pc has decided to die. makes god awful noise and can't be recognised by the ide card its plugged into on startup. Lots of films, documents and pictures gone byebye...

    Being the idiot that I am I didn't have backups of a lot of the stuff, is there any way of getting the info of the drive, can they be repaired at all?

    At least its given me the spur to finally make the RAID5 array I'd been thinking about.

    Owain
     
  2. Colonel Burton

    Colonel Burton
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    Sorry to hear that, what drive was it and how old was it?
     
  3. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Maxtor about 18 months I think, maybe 2 years.

    Owain
     
  4. drummerjohn

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    If its making a really bad noise - you're stuffed.

    However, try this.

    My Quantum 60gb drive failed (like you I didnt have backups - theyre were all my home movies). It made a ticking/clicking noise. I read somewhere that keeping the drive very cold on some cases allows the drive to work correctly. The tolerances in the bearings and metal workings are much higher when cold.

    I double bagged the drive and put it in the freezer overnight. Plugged it in next morning and recovered some of the files before it gave up again. Seven times I did this and recovered all my files.

    The other alternative is to send it to a data recovery firm. It will cost you £500+ minimum and then there is no guarantee.

    Good luck.
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Interesting point John, thanks for that. The noise it makes is like high pitched vvvvv vvvvv vvvvv vvvvv, sounds a bit like a siren sort of thing.

    I'll get it in the freezer tomorrow and see if that helps at all.

    Owain
     
  6. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Nice one drummerjohn. My mothers 60GB Maxtor died last week and I ended up giving up on it and rebuilding afresh and living with the fact we lost all her files. I've now put it in the freezer, as per your idea, and will give it a try in the morning. I have a USB2 external caddy so if I can get about 10 minutes out of it I should be able to copy her My Documents folder.

    Here's hoping :D and thanks.
     
  7. markshanks

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    Good luck with the freezing. Not that it helps you now, but I have found one of those external usb/firewire hard drives to be invaluable in backing up data. Even with a dual layer dvd burner, backing up movies is difficult (eg, 10GB for each of the LOTR movies). Burners are also very slow and difficult to keep track of which files you have saved. With the portable hard drive, it is very fast and easy. In my experience, the easier to back up it is, the more likely you are to do it!!
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    if you've got any life-or-death citical data on there which can't be recovered you can send the disk away to Ontrack ( they're on the web )

    they can physically rebuild your disk and recover just about anything from any drive, they then send you the restored data on DVDs..

    Very expensive though, £500+ usually, so only an option if theres stuff on there that you can't live without/cant replace...

    if DrummerJohns freezer technique doesnt work ( it very often does work :thumbsup: )
    there is one last thing to try..

    Power up the drive outside of the case ( IDE connected), go into BIOS, and try holding the drive at crazy angles and running the HDD autodetect..

    If this doesn't work, try giving the drive a 'fiirm tap' on one of the narrow edges..
    ( the established technique is to whack it on the corner of a solid object as hard as you dare :D )

    It's sometimes just a stuck read-head rather than an actual drive failure, not good for your hard drive, but if it's knackered anyway you've got nothing to lose... and it makes you feel better ;)
     
  9. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Thanks for the ideas dude. I thought there may be a way of sending the drive off to get the data back, but £500!!! A bit too steep for a few films I think!

    I'll try some of these things later.

    Owain
     
  10. peezee

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    owain, may I suggest that you should try the "whack it on the corner of a solid object as hard as you dare" technique *after* you've tried everything else...? :D
     
  11. Branxx

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    Hi,

    I had similar problem couple of months ago.

    Log into www.maxtor.com and find a service section. there you can type the drives serian number and it will tell you if it is still has warranty cover. Mine was replaced after a few days.
     
  12. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Thanks. Freezer trick did not work. When sat in the caddy the red light glows continuously and Windows Explorer and Disk Management freeze until the drive is turned off again. When it does manage to see the drive it reports it as 0GB but does not assign a drive letter. needless to say it has now been placed in the preverbial HDD graveyard - aka Dustbin.

    Can't be bothered getting it replaced as it is pretty old and only 60GB.

    Ah well, it was worth a try.
     
  13. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Why go to the expense and hassle of buying/using an external USB drive?
    Just stick an IDE drive in the PC on a spare IDE channel.
    Then it's a simple drag and drop once a week of your "My Documents" folder.
    I've followed this practice since I got my first PC and I've never lost any data yet despite my 'working' drive lunching itself twice.

    P.S. They were both Maxtors so my advice would be to avoid that particular brand.
     
  14. overkill

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    Just make sure you back up regularly, then you don't get the dreaded "oh *uck" syndrome when your HDD goes - which they too easily do. With DVD burners it makes it even easier. Brogans idea works, but it gets shortchanged if the backup dies and your not keeping data on both drives. Everything we have a work wise is on 20 CDs and a DVD-rw.

    Now, if we lost them we'd be snookered............ :laugh:
     
  15. stevieboyyyy

    stevieboyyyy
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    Spinrite 6 is works with NTFS ... current and previous versions have got me out of the sticky stuff a couple of times.
     
  16. markshanks

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    Re Brogan,

    Yes, you're right. I too have a second hard disk installed into the computer where I back up everything onto as well - and this is even more convenient. I have rar shortcuts in my important directories where all you need to do is click on the icon and it makes a full backup of the data in that directory. However, the reason I use an external hard drive as well is that if something happens to your computer, eg, fire, stolen, then backing up to another hard disk in the machine only isn't sufficient. The great thing about the external hard disks is that not only are they relatively easy to use (much easier than cd or dvd burners), but you can store the hard disk somewhere else where it will be (hopefully!) safe.
     
  17. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Thanks for all the replies on here, there's been a lot of things I've not come across before.

    Unfortunately although I thought the freezer trick was going to work at first the grinding noise came back before windows had booted fully. Also when I've tried shaking/hitting the damn thing I can hear something loose rattling around inside so obviously its completely screwed :( :(

    Still got a highpoint 1640 rocketraid card on the way and waiting for a guy off ebay to quote me for 4 250GB drives to make sure this will never happen again.

    Owain
     
  18. Brogan

    Brogan
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    True....unless of course your external hard disk is kept in the same place as your PC (highly likely) and it gets stolen along with your PC or your house burns down.
    Unless you have complete physical separation then there is little point in having an external drive.
     
  19. Oakmere

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    My best investment so far were the two 120gb Seagate drives I have running in mirror raid.

    The drives were ~£70 each and the Raid Card £12 at the time from eBuyer.
    Fab piece of kit, I now know that anything I dump into my E: drive is pretty much safe... that is unless, low and behold (yeah like its going to happen) both the Seagates go at the same time.... eep!
     
  20. Brogan

    Brogan
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    I was under the impression that if 1 drive failed in a RAID array then when you rebuilt the array, you lost everything on the other drive.
    Is this not the case?
     
  21. Oakmere

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    Not mirror raid.

    Striping raid, which is raid 0 I think, spreads files over two seperate disks for speed. But this is dangerous because if one dies the other is doomed too.

    Raid 1 is mirror raid, both drives contain the same data, so if one dies, you can pop it out, pop in a new one, open the raid utility and copy the image over from the alivie drive. I had to do it recently because I moved some components around in my shuttle and had to use different addresses for the raid. The card rebuilt it automatically for me :)

    If you have 4 drives, and want super fast safe storage you can do RAID 0+1 which is a stiping set of drives, mirrored on another pair. This is usually what fileservers run...
     
  22. Brogan

    Brogan
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    Thanks for the clarification - that's different to how it was explained to me when I got my first RAID system.
     
  23. Messiah

    Messiah
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    There is for me. Saves dismantling the PC every time I wish to add a new HDD for backup. I find the external USB2 Lacie drives absolutely superb and a necessity due to already having 4 x IDE devices connected.
     
  24. FruitBat

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    I had a hard drive crash with TV recordings on it.
    I did manage to get everything off it, but it wasn't simple.
    This is the gist of it.
    I have multiple operating systems (just to be able to run everything, including some very old programs). To accomodate this, my capture drive was FAT32 (so I can read with Win98, Win2k and Linux). The actual FAT was a bit knackered (as well as the duplicate) but there was enough to get almost all my recordings off onto a new drive. The secret is to aviod windows (especially Window ME which I no longer use because it tries to "fix" everything). I used linux without mounting the dodgy drive, but accessing it directly using the "dd" command. It's a bit complicated to go into detail here, but as my programming skills are limited to shell scripts and VB, it was a case of dumping chunks of data using dd in linux and then rebooting to windows and running a VB program to analyse "images" of file allocation tables. The VB program generated a shell scripts to rebuild files by working out chains of data and concatenating them together. I did have to do a fair bit of research into the stucture of FAT32. I don't know how easy (or possible) this would be with HTFS or HPFS or whatever it is these days.
     

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