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Hard Drive Not Detected

Posted on 2003-12-10
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
Hello all,

I have a hard drive that was working one minute and not the next.  I had to install an additional case fan, which caused me to need to move the hd.  I placed the HDD into another slot and rebooted, no problems.  For various reasons, I had to move the HDD again, this time when I rebooted, no dice.  I attached another HDD (known good) which booted just fine.  I then tried the HDD in question in another motherboard (known good IDE) and still no boot.  So I believe that I have narrowed the problem down to the HDD itself.

My question is this; what can be done to try and save the drive?  Unfortuneately there is no backup (of course), and I could really use the Outlook data that is stored on the drive.  I believe that the drive did not "crash."  I can feel the drive running, and I don't hear any abnormal sounds-extremely quiet.  Is it possible that I broke the connector or something?  Can anything be done to save this drive (other than the obvious data recovery service). How would a data recovery expert fix this drive?  Please let me know your thoughts.

--Knotty--
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Question by:knottydrd
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by:CrazyOne
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>>>How would a data recovery expert fix this drive?

With very expensive equipment and something called a clean room.
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by:CrazyOne
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Have you slave this drive to another disk to see if you can access it? if it can be accessed then you can get your files.
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by:CrazyOne
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If you can access but can't get the files then

Take look at these.

FREE TOOLS

PC INSPECTOR
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File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. The current version 3.x replaces the previous version 2.x, which is now over 6 years old.

Restoration
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-------------------------------

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GetDataBack for FAT
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Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
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The UnErase wizard helps you retrieve files you've accidentally deleted.
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For NTFS
http://www.restorer2000.com/r2k.htm

Data Recovery
http://www.dtidata.com/
Fast File Undelete
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Undelete
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File Recover 2000
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R-Tools
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File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
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Hard Disk and Data Recovery Related Tools:
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http://www.diydatarecovery.nl/

ERD Commander
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Built-in network access to safely copy data to/from dead systems
Repair and diagnostic tools located on Start menu
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Compatible with Windows NT, 2000, XP, and Server 2003  
http://www.winternals.com/products/repairandrecovery/diskcommander.asp

DFSee
http://www.dfsee.com/
As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.

MRECOVER
http://kristenonline.com/lain/cih/mrecintro.htm

Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP
http://www.c2000.com/software/#win2000

Back2Life
http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/57588.html

Hard Drive Mechanic
http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/6.html
It's true. Even if you just re-formatted your entire hard drive, you can still get all of your data back because, unlike what most people believe, formatting does NOT erase your files! With Hard Drive Mechanic's Unformat Feature, you can restore all of your valuable data in about 10 minutes!
demo version:
http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/downloads2.htm

Filerecovery for Windows
http://www.lc-tech.com/filerecovery.asp
Filerecovery for Windows® is a safe and affordable do-it-yourself data recovery solution that is designed to recover deleted files from all types of media such as Hard Drives, Floppy Drives, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Memory Sticks, and other types of removable media.

Undelete
http://www.executive.com/consumer/undelete/undelete.asp
You know how upsetting it is to accidentally delete a file that you need—it takes just a moment to lose hours of work. Undelete file-recovery utility captures ALL deleted files including those that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from our Recovery Bin. With our Emergency Undelete feature, you can recover files deleted prior to Undelete being installed on your system (provided they have not been written over). Buy Undelete and you'll never again be at the mercy of lost data.

Fast File Recovery
http://savemyfiles.com/fastfile.htm
A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.
 

File Scavenge
http://www.quetek.com/prod01.htm
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER
http://www.uneraser.com/undelete.htm
Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/productdetail.asp?product_id=309884
Undelete 3.0 restores accidentally deleted files within seconds from anywhere on your system. Version 3.0 includes new SecureDelete, full Windows XP support and expanded search options.

FinalData Data Recovery
http://www1.finaldata.com/
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

BadCopy Pro
http://www.jufsoft.com/badcopy/
BadCopy Pro is a leading data recovery tool for floppy disk, CD-ROM, CD-R/W and other storage media. It can effectively recover and rescue corrupted or lost data from damaged, unreadable or defective disks. Various damage situations and all file types are supported.

Directory Snoop
http://www.briggsoft.com/dsnoop.htm
Directory Snoop is a low-level forensic utility that can recover erased files in an emergency, wipe sensitive data, and search for hidden data at the cluster level. Step through your File Allocation Table (FAT) and map individual clusters back to the file that owns them. Purge orphaned (and possibly sensitive) file names right out of the directory structure. $29 shareware for Windows 95 through XP (NTFS drives not supported).

others
Active@ UNDELETE will help you to restore data residing drives formatted in FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5 file systems and it works under all Windows family operating systems: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
http://www.active-undelete.com/

http://ssl.oosoft.de/en/products/ooue/

Undelete & Recover deleted files from your FAT 12/16/32 Hardisks
http://www.tipsdr.com/recover-data-recovery.html

http://www.recovermyfiles.com/

------------------------------------
Or Data Recovery Services

http://www.ontrack.com/datarecovery/
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or

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or

Total Recall
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ESS Data Recovery
http://www.savemyfiles.com/
ESS Data Recovery, Inc. has been removing barriers in the data recovery and computer forensics market ever since its inception
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
Comment Utility
I haven't tried setting it as a slave-- The BIOS is unable to detect the drive at all.  I can't even POST with this drive attached as master.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
Comment Utility
It seems to me that if i simply have a problem with the circuitry and not the platters, then possibly it could be repaired easily (as opposed to damaged platters)
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Expert Comment

by:asurada2003
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Have u check on the power cable connected to the hdd?
Some time loose connection will couse the hdd wont start.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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I've tried it in several computers.  Plus I tried multiple connectors within the original system.
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by:asurada2003
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so is there any spining sound from the hdd??
Or the hdd is dead??
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CrazyOne earned 500 total points
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Well if it is the circuitry then you would need to find the exact same model hard drive and I mean exact and take the controller on the back off of this other disk and then use it to replace the on that is on the nonfuctional disk.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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yes, the hard drive is running.  it is not making any abnormal sounds.  I can feel the disks spinning, but its just that the BIOS does not detect it.  I think that there is power to the drive because the drive has a small led on the bottom of its circuitry.

CrazyOne, have you ever performed such an operation?
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by:CrazyOne
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>>>CrazyOne, have you ever performed such an operation?

Yes and it has worked for me only in the case where the cotroller on the back was the problem. I didn't have any testing tools the told be that it was the controller but just gave it a shot just in case.
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Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
Comment Utility
The controller is reasonably easy to remove usually. There are few very small screws but they aren't hard to locate. One some the there is a ribbon like cable that is connected to the controller that you have to gently unplug because that is what connects the controller to the drive mechanics.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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i'll most likely never find an HDD of the same make and model
 

its a quantum fireball--i don't think they're around anymore
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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CrazyOne

if I have another drive that is identical, could I hope that it would work again if I borrow the controller long enough to recover some data?
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by:CrazyOne
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>>>if I have another drive that is identical, could I hope that it would work again if I borrow the controller long enough to recover some data?

Probably not and you may risk messing things up even more. What is the other drive?

>>>quantum fireball

you might find a used one laying around in some of the Ma and Pa type computer shops. That is where I go when sometimes I am looking for spare parts or hard disks.

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by:StealthMullet
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Reading your original post you added a fan and moved the hard disk and the problem started then, you then changed motherboard to discount IDE controller and IDE ribbon as a potential source of failure. Did you also switch PSU? A drop in either the 5v or 12v rail could cause the drive to fail to detect, if you haven't already try a known good PSU.
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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Hmm, interesting point(regarding the PSU), because the original design used the exhaust fan inside the power supply, and it had stopped working (Apparently it had been out for a few days).  The computer was experiencing lockups and another EE member suggested overheating.  Sure enough, the fan on the PSU was not working.  That's why I bought the new case fan.

I still think the HDD is damaged though because I didn't change MOBO's exactly, I just moved the HDD to a system(known good) and It still wouldn't boot.  Your comment regarding PSU is also interesting because over the past 10 days we've had intermittant problems with the CDROM.  I'll try making the change and see what happens.
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Expert Comment

by:sppalser
Comment Utility
Make sure you inspect the cable connector on the hard drive.  Make sure that all the pins are straight and none have been folded over or pushed back into the plastic.  If you find a bent pin get a pair of decent needle nose pliars and carefully try to straighten.  Caution here as the pins can break very easily.  also check your strapping pins to make sure none have been bent and shorted out to another pin or drive body.  Check your solder joints for the power plug, have seen these break loose before.

As stated above it may be possible to use the circuit card from an exact match drive to read the contents of the drive, however the circuit needs to be an "exact" match including revision levels and firmware.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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Check out this related link.  The plot thickens. . . .

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_20823542.html
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Author Comment

by:knottydrd
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I have won an exact duplicate hard drive on Ebay.  It should arrive this weekend and I will let you know the results.  The question will remain open till then.
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by:CrazyOne
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:)
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by:aezzy
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Have you tried changing the jumper setting to select master or slave. It may be set on auto which does not always work.
If you want it to be your start up disk is should be set on master either from the primary ide or the secondary ide.
It should tell you on the drive which jumper goes where but if it does not
try this link to quantum drive jumper settings.
http://members.aol.com/mbs1058/ibm_jumpers.html

This bit of info may not be needed but the jumpers are the tiny plastic caps on the pins near the cable connection pins.
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