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Recover Data IDE Hard Drive

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have an IDE Drive from an external USB drive that stopped working.  It makes a clicking noise when you power it up with USB to IDE harness to try and read and recover any data.

In Windows, when you plug in the USB to IDE hard drive it clicks for a few minutes and then goes quite.  The thing is the Windows says it sees a new USB Hard Drive but it never shows up in Windows Explorer or Computer Managerment -> Disk Managment.  

I know this drive has hardware failure but I was wondeering if there are any tricks to get this drive to be read with USB to IDE harneess given above?  I have tried positioning the disk in various positions in hopes it may work long enogh to get some data off it.

I know you can send out to specialist to recover data when drive crashed but that is usaully very expensive $400 to $1,000 and takes a month or more.

Looking for any tricks short of doing that which is too expensive in this case.

Also, does anyone know of what special equipment you need to recover data from crashed hard drive?  I assume it is very expensive but you never know... It may be worth having from my IT business.

Thanks,
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Question by:rdwolf
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14 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 34160687
Some more info. on my post.

I have seen in Windows 7 Computer Management, Disk Management that when I plug in with USB to IDE harness to IDE drive it shows:

"Disk 1"  (with red plus sign)
Unknow

Not Initilized.  

I try choosing Initialize disk (MBR is the partiton style slected, GPT is also available.  I choose init. and it says "Incorrect function" and does nothing...

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LVL 79

Accepted Solution

by:
arnold earned 400 total points
ID: 34160711
The clicking sound could be the head trying to move.  Does it sound/seem that the motor is spinning??

The only way to get the thing working is to send it to the manufacturer to be repaired.
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 400 total points
ID: 34160724
Try GetDataBack http://www.runtime.org/  Free to try.  If it sees the missing files you pay for full functionality.

Also look at PCInspector http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm and Recuva http://www.recuva.com/

Both are free.

I'd try GetDataBack.  If it sees your files then try the free ones.  If they work you save money.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:OriNetworks
ID: 34160936
I've heard of others putting the harddrive in a freezer.

http://geeksaresexy.blogspot.com/2006/01/freeze-your-hard-drive-to-recover-data.html
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LVL 9

Assisted Solution

by:bz43
bz43 earned 400 total points
ID: 34160940
Another piece of software that is very good at data recovery and drive maintenance is SpinRite 6.0 at,
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm
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LVL 31

Assisted Solution

by:Wayne Barron
Wayne Barron earned 400 total points
ID: 34160957
@dbrunton
If the drive is not recognized within Disk Management, then no software tools are going to be able to read the drive.

-------------
The only thing that I can suggest to you, if you do not have the funds to send off to a specialist, then
get an identical drive
And carefully take your disks out and replace with the good drive disks.

There is a video somewhere online that shows this technique, but not sure where.
I saw it a few years ago, it is one of the things that a Recovery company will do firth.
They will see if the drive is first, if not, then they swap the disks with another that is known to be working.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 34160960
Here is a link for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul97jWv2PKY

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 34162069
some notes :
-as you are aware, clicking noise (aka click-of-death) points to failing disk
-freezing has been known to help in some cases - for some MINUTES - and only once (and put it in a zip-lock bag!)
-so if you want to copy data from it, connect it with the highest possible speed - meaning : directly to an IDE port/cable (usb is ALWAYS much slower)
-and be ready to copy the moment the disk becomes accessible
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 34163270
The other possibility is that the USB connection is the issue i.e. there is not enough power to spin-up the drive. Do you have a Y type USB (one data one just draws power from the other USB connector) or a separate power DC?
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 34163375
@arnold
When the drive is making a clicking noise, it is not a cable or wiring issue.
This is a hardware issue, not a powering issue.
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 34163416
As my initial post, I am aware of the common clicking noise.  However, I've heard the same clicking noise when there is not enough power to spin-up.  i.e. older system would let 5v 500-900mA from the USB port
There are drives for which this is enough to spinup.  There are enclosures/drives for which it is not enough and they need two power feeds. I.e. the clicking sound could be the drive's head twitching or it can be the motor trying to step/rotate.
Adding additional power to the HD would merely show whether the issue is power related or the drive is really dead.  no downside.
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LVL 21

Assisted Solution

by:viki2000
viki2000 earned 400 total points
ID: 34183139
Check the SMART with any of these programs:
DiskMonitor
HDDObserver
HDDlifePro
SmartHDD
ArgusMonitor
CrystalDiskInfo
HDData
HDD Health
HDD Scan for Windows
Stellar Smart
ActiveSmart
DiskMonitorFree
Disk Doctor Drive Manager
Disk Monitor Free

I recommend HDD Sentinel.

Then use HDD Regenerator as I described here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Network_Management/Disaster_Recovery/Q_26625845.html?cid=1573#a34182914

[Admin Edit - VM]
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Author Closing Comment

by:rdwolf
ID: 34235987
Thanks for the solutions.  I ended up trying the GetDataBack program.  Although, it still was not able to read any data, I think this will help in other cases in the future.

The other solutions also provided me other good info. as well.

In additon to above, there is also a possibility that the hard drive circuit board could be swapped and this will fix it.  But you would need the exact correct circuti board and firmware version.  I looked around and found one for about $50 and it would be another $20 if firmware update is needed.  In this case, it was not worth trying that and also there would be no gurantee it was not a drive head issue (more likely probably.. it seems)..
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