Hard Drive Not Detected

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.

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>>>How would a data recovery expert fix this drive?

With very expensive equipment and something called a clean room.
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.
If you can access but can't get the files then

Take look at these.


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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.

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knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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.
knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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)
Have u check on the power cable connected to the hdd?
Some time loose connection will couse the hdd wont start.
knottydrdAuthor Commented:
I've tried it in several computers.  Plus I tried multiple connectors within the original system.
so is there any spining sound from the hdd??
Or the hdd is dead??
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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knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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?
>>>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.
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.
knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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
knottydrdAuthor Commented:

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?
>>>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.

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.
knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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.
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
knottydrdAuthor Commented:
Check out this related link.  The plot thickens. . . .

knottydrdAuthor Commented:
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.
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.

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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