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Can I open an hard drive and move the disk to an identicle hard drive and make it work?

Posted on 2008-06-10
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
My hard Drive on my desktop is not working , basically the bios doesn't recognize it. I have try the windows recovery console, some tools online but basically if the computer doesn't recognize it I guess something mechanical is bad in it.
If I get an identical hard Drive (Model # , brand, ...)  and I open it and move the disk from one to another , would I be able to see my files , at leat temporarely until I recover what I need?
I know some company can recover the datas , and I have no idea how they do it but before I look into it can I do it myself?
Thanks
David
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Question by:taverny
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8 Comments
 
LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown earned 640 total points
ID: 21754858
Not how you are describing it no.   What you can do is change the controller card on the back of the drive (usually about 6 torx screws)  and put  an idendical model controller card on to the  failing drive and sometimes that works.   I do not recomend unsealing the drive if you want to retreive the data.  The controller card swap works in alot of instances as it is a big failure point for drives.

--Wild
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Expert Comment

by:pzozulka
ID: 21754865
First things first, try running a disk scan in BIOS to see if that does any good?
Secondly, one of the options that is always on the table is purchasing another hard drive. Does not have to be the same one.
Reinstall Windows on it.
Next, attach the old hard drive as a 2nd hard disk.

Then transfer files over to the new Windows Installation, by copying from Drive D > Drive C
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Author Comment

by:taverny
ID: 21754955
I just bought a new hardrive and I am reinstalling window on it right now. I already try to connect the hard drive with a usb connector and that didn't work. I see if I got the same hard drive to replace the board .
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LVL 14

Accepted Solution

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cuziyq earned 720 total points
ID: 21755030
Your odds of recovering data from a physically dead hard drive by attempting to fix it yourself are slim to none.  Here's why:

If the PCB on the drive is dead, you'd have to replace it with an IDENTICAL PCB.  A different one (even a slightly different one) will not work.  The problem is that two drives of an identical model number from the same manufacturer may have different PCB's depending on where and in what year the drive was manufactured.  Thus, buying an identical hard drive is no guarantee that you will have an identical PCB to the swap out.

In the case of a physical head crash, replacing the platters is not an option either.  The platters are sealed in a completely clean container.  The heads on a hard drive are so small and the platter spins so fast that a single hair or particle of dust -- no matter how small -- would completely destroy the drive.  Unless you have access to a clean room and a "bunny suit", you would not be able to re-seal the platters in the new drive without some kind of environmental contamination.  All of that is, of course, assuming that simply changing the platters out would work -- which it likely wouldn't (the platters need to be "factory formatted" according to the bit pattern the PCB is designed to work with).

Sending the drive to a data recovery company is really your only option.  They have the tools and equipment needed to do that sort of thing.
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Expert Comment

by:cuziyq
ID: 21755053
On a positive note, however, IF you did manage to get a hold of a drive with an identical PCB, then replacing it WOULD work -- provided that the failure was not due to a physical head crash within the drive.  So good luck with that :-)
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LVL 93

Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 640 total points
ID: 21758740
you are free to try this, but i have not seen it done on modern hard drives : (and at your own risk)
http://www.deadharddrive.com/                              replace hdd logic
http://hddguru.com/content/en/articles/2006.02.17-Changing-headstack-Q-and-A/

if you need a recovery service, i recommend these guys : http://www.gillware.com/      
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