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Hard Drive Completely Dead?

I've got two computers. The desktop has two hard drives and the laptop has one hard drive. I'm trying to completely wipe them so I can sell or donate them. I'm a software developer and know very little about hardware.

On the desktop, the two drives were bound together using RAID. I believe it was RAID 1 (mirrored). I went to try separating the drives using the RAID setup. One of the drives ended up in a failed state. I'm not sure if what I did caused that or if it was already failed.

I ended up connecting the two drives directly to the IDE controllers on the motherboard. One wiped fine with DBAN. The other did not. When I used the Ultimate Boot CD and ran HD Tune. The one drive passed all blocks. The second drive failed all blocks.

On the laptop, the hard drive was showing up in HD Tune, but not DBAN. About one third to one half of the blocks failed HD Tune's test. When I started up the computer it started saying that the hard drive had a soft error. It's now saying it has a hard error and HD Tune is no longer seeing the drive.

Are these two drives shot? If so, how do I erase them so I can dispose of the drives? If there's something I can do, what would you suggest?
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quizwedge
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quizwedge
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3 Solutions
 
pclinuxguruCommented:
Does the BIOS see the drives?

Unless there is data you want recovered I would toss them.

If your extremely worried about data falling into the wrong hands then you can take them apart and smash the disks or get creative.

If there is data you need recovered your looking at sending them to a data recovery place.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Drives are inexpensive, so definitely donate the computers without the drives.  Then you can deal with the drives as above. I usually just destroy them.

... Thinkpads_User
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quizwedgeAuthor Commented:
Not looking to save any of the data. I was hoping to donate the laptop to a friend. I'm not so worried about them hacking into it, it just seemed prudent to wipe any drive before giving it away. It's an old enough laptop that I doubt it's worth buying a drive to fix it up so I was hoping it was salvageable.

On the laptop, the BIOS no longer recognizes the drive. On the desktop, the BIOS doesn't seem to list even the working drive. When I had them hooked up to the RAID controller, both showed up, but the bad one showed up as failed.
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John HurstBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Based on your post and the state of the drives, the laptop is probably not worth saving.

You can probably get a used drives very cheaply on eBay (check the vendor, of course) if you really want to get the laptop going.

.... Thinkpads_User
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n2fcCommented:
You say you attached the drives to an IDE controller...

Did you first check the cabling and jumper settings?

IDE controllers use either a "master" and "slave" jumper setting or a "CS" (cable select) with the IDE cable...

Also, some brands of IDE drives use an additional setting for "Single Drive" when the drive is the sole connected device on a dual IDE channel...

Before I give up on the drive as dead, I would reverify the cabling & jumpers!
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nobusCommented:
the state of the drives, as reported by you, looks bad for both - so normally you replace them
if you want to invest some time in it, run HDDRegenerator over them - it has recovered many - reported BAD - drives for me :
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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noxchoCommented:
Check if you connect the cables right way. Change the cables and see if this makes them work. If not then use the drives as door holding stones.
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nobusCommented:
i would also run the disk manufacturers diag on the drives; you cna find them all here - or on the ubcd
 http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287      

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                              ultimate boot cd
http://ubcd.mirror.fusa.be/ubcd511.iso                        direct link UBCD
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quizwedgeAuthor Commented:
I'm still working on things, but wanted to give a quick update:

I think the laptop drive is dead. It's not even showing up in the BIOS. Sounds like I should either dismantled and destroy it or send it to a degaussing service. Thanks for the tip on a cheap drive from eBay. Reminded me that I have an old 6GB that might be worth throwing in there.

For the desktop, I realized that some things were disabled in the BIOS and the RAID card was throwing things off. I pull the RAID card out. The one hard drive has been completely wiped. The other hard drive fails a simple zeroing in DBAN at 50%. I'm using NTFS for DOS to delete the files and seeing where that takes me.

The server drives are set to cable select.

HDDRegenerator looks interesting, but the cost of the program doesn't seem to be worth the value of the drive.

I haven't had a chance to run the disk manufacturer's diag on the drives. I'll try that after NTFS for DOS finishes trying to delete.
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nobusCommented:
for running diags - the drive must be seen in the bios, otherwise, no soft can talk to it..
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quizwedgeAuthor Commented:
NTFS for DOS didn't seem to actually delete the files. I tried the disk manufacturer's diag and it found bound areas on the desktop drive. I'm trying to see if it can be repaired, but I'm about to give up and just send it out to be degaussed.

Oddly, the laptop hard drive started working again. I put it in an external enclosure and held it at an angle. I was able to do a one time zero. I'll try DBAN again to wipe it, but I'm thinking it's best to not trust the drive to actually store anything.

Thanks for all of the help!
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback, quizwedge
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