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Data recovery from HDD that went south

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by WA4MFK, Oct 22, 2018.

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  1. WA4MFK

    WA4MFK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Does anyone have experience with having data recovered from a failed hard drive? I have a 1TB drive that I used as a remote storage drive in an enclosure that has quit working. It spins up, clicks several times then shuts down and is non accessible. Most of the stuff on the drive is copied on another PC... but there are hundreds of pictures/videos that are not backed up anywhere that I would hate to lose. I've looked online for solutions but I don't feel confident in the legitimacy of the sites I visited.

    Any input/advise would be greatly appreciated.

  2. KD8DEY

    KD8DEY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have hears of people shoving them in the freezer to get them to work for a short time...
  3. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    Which version of Windows is on the computer?
  4. WA4MFK

    WA4MFK Ham Member QRZ Page

  5. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    It sounds like the drive can’t achieve servo lock after head load, so it unloads the heads and spins down.

    As DEY said, as a long shot you could try varying temperature both hot and cold and see if maybe it will recover long enough to pull some data off.

    If you do that, try hot first, no more than 120F. If that doesn’t work, let it cool about an hour and then try cooling it but no colder than about 40F to avoid condensing moisture inside the drive. (I’m being conservative on these temperatures - first do no harm).

    Failing that, I recommend using a data recovery service affiliated with the drive manufacturer if they have one. Otherwise any of the major services affiliated or not are good. Be prepared to pay a lot.
  6. WB7OXP

    WB7OXP Ham Member Volunteer Moderator Volunteer DX Helper QRZ Page

    hands down these are the guys. if it REALLY matters, these are the guys. they are the ones who got the challenger data disks back. they have recovered some drives that were burnt so bad the components fell of the drive boards for me, plus a bunch of others. if the disks INSIDE are not physically damaged, they can almost always get the stuff back.

    if you want to try on your own, their software works well, and the freeze trick has saved me many times
  7. N0TZU

    N0TZU Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Columbia, not Challenger. Challenger data was recovered by IBM Tucson from magnetic tapes.
    WB7OXP likes this.
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU QRZ Lifetime Member #133 Volunteer Moderator Life Member Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Just as a heads-up warning: if you decide to go the "data restoration services" route just be sitting down when you call them. The prices tend to begin around $500 and there is no upper limit, depending on how much data you need recovered and how badly damaged it might be.

    I went through this a couple years ago and decided I didn't need the old files all that badly

    WB7OXP likes this.
  9. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    By chance, is the external drive connected to an unpowered hub? Also, does it have a power supply jack and USB port? I've encountered the same symptoms when the external drive's supply voltage is insufficient--using a powered hub solves the first one, with the second the power supply must be connected--I've had users come in assuming that there's enough voltage off the USB port to drive the drive...nope!

    In another external drive, it has two USB ports--strangely enough, both have to be connected (to two separate USB ports) for it to work, else it doesn't get enough power to work (and it exhibits the same flaky symptoms.)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
    KL7KN and N0TZU like this.
  10. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend ran a server that was powered on for years. Had to power it off to do some maintenance.

    Powered it on again, the disk didn't work. It could not start spinning.

    15 minutes in the toaster oven at 150° loosened it up.

    Ran it long enough to make a full backup!

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