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unrinoceronteFlag for United States of America asked on

Recently Dead Hard Drive - Help recovering files

So, i was stupid enough to not have a Backup of one of my Harddrives, and in these last days it broke down. It was my 2nd HDD on my 2nd computer. So gratefully it DID NOT CONTAINED MY MOST PRECIOUS INFORMATION, but nevertheless i had some important files and photos that would be nice to recover.

So, this question is exactly this: Can you help me or guide me on how to recover my files from this recently dead drive?

I have removed it from the computer and i have attached it to my external Thermaltake BLACX Docking Station, and it does not recognize it. It keeps making a ticking noise, and then a message appears on the screen saying that it can not find the software to install it, or something like that.... I have tried other good drives, and it recognizes them inmediately...


This is the first time i have had a drive die on me, so i dont have any idea on what to do. I remember reading a decade ago that some people put the Drives on the Freezer (Does this work?? and if so, why could this make it work?... Also i read long long ago that recovering files from dead drives was EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE, and only VERY SPECIALIZED companies did this... Is this still true now on 2013...?

HDD SPECS:
SEAGATE BARRACUDA 7200.11 500 Gigabytes
S/N: 9QM3FWJ5
ST3500320AS

It is 3 or 4 years old... I think...

If there is any additional info you think is important to mention, please let me know.

In the meantime, i will have my fingers crossed... i hope i can recover at least some files... photos specially...
Disaster RecoveryStorage HardwareWindows XP

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unrinoceronte

8/22/2022 - Mon
SOLUTION
Mohammed Khawaja

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Gary Case

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ASKER
unrinoceronte

How do i change a Circuit board? I am a newbie on this thing, i have never had a dead drive before, but dont get me wrong, if  you tell me how to do it, or how to get another circuit board, i am up for it and do it myself... I do not live in USA, so sending it to a RECOVERY PROVIDER seems difficult.. i don't know of any here, and i dont think there are...

 So, the first step will be to get another Seagate Drive? Does it has to be the same model and capacity?  Does it has to be a Drive that it will not be used anymore? or if i put back its circuit board it will keep working?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Per your request, this is the problem that i experienced related to this Drive:

- Lately my PC started behaving strange, this was my 2nd HDD, but the PC started Freezing randomly and frequently, and in the last days it also started to BOOT extremely Slow.... When the computer frooze, which happened somehow frequently the last 3 or 4 months, this drive was working OK, and also I HAVE NEVER HAD a HDD Error or Warning on the "EVENT VIEWER / SYSTEM during all this months" .
- During the last week, the Booting time started to became quite slow, like 5 minutes to boot... But also there was not reported HDD Error or warning on Event Viewer
- I decided to Remove the Drive from my PC, and all this booting and freezing problems disappeared.
- When i was having this freezing and booting problem i opened another question here on EE, and GARYCASE told me the following which i think explains my problem:
Yes, a failed drive can easily cause what you've described -- it seems very likely that was the cause of the issue.    The drive simply failed in such a way that it was electrically overloading the bus, and making all disk-related access VERY slow (in fact it likely had caused DMA transfers to fail, and they were being done in PIO mode -- which is very slow).


And now, what i have noticed with this drive is the following:

- When i attach the drive to my external docking station (BlacX) it starts spinning and it makes like 10 or 11 ticks, around one tick per second....
- Then the FOUND NEW HARDWARE WIZARD appears, and asks if Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?. After selecting YES, It asks to Install the Software Automatically, NEXT, it searches for a USB DEVICE, and then it says " CANNOT INSTALL THIS HARDWARE ".  As a note,   If i Attach another HDD to this same Docking station, it recognizes it Inmediately...

Hope this explains better the issue.
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Kent Dyer

If you have any option - Use a BART (Ultimate Boot CD for Windows)..  Sysinternals used to have an Emergency BART CD.. There are others..  Then, when you boot into the OS on the CD, load the USB driver and try to copy/salvage what you can.  Otherwise, you will have to go into the forensic recovery mode.

HTH,

Kent
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BillDL

unrinoceronte
What country do you reside in?  I'm pretty sure there will be another of comparable reputation to http://gillware.com in Europe, or closer to your country of residence.
I started with Experts Exchange in 2004 and it's been a mainstay of my professional computing life since. It helped me launch a career as a programmer / Oracle data analyst
William Peck
nobus

replacing the logic board on modern disk drives does  not work, since it has the disk geometry +  bad sectors (+ whatever the manufacturer chooses), so it is specific to this drive.
You are free to try it - i would love to see someone succeed (0 up to now)
so i recommend a data recovery service, like suggested, here a few :
http://www.lowcostrecovery.com/index.html                        data recovery Company
http://www.gillware.com/                                 "           "                   "
http://www.drivesavers.com/services/estimates.html                     "           "                   "
ASKER
unrinoceronte

Thanks guys, i live in COSTA RICA, so i have not heard of any Recovery Service, but i will look for one.

If not, i have friends and family in USA, so i might be able to send it there to one of the recommended companies.

Do you have any idea of how much does this companies charge for this? Just an approximate to evaluate my situation.  I will write to them ans see if i can get an estimate, but in the meantime if you know about this, please let me know.

It is a 500GB 7200 HDD...  Of that i guess 80 Gigs can be Photos... and another 200 can be old but usefull files to my work. (I have a home-office)... These work files i can live without... Photos are important, i would not say i could not live without them... but it will be nice to recover them... good memories


I have decided i will not touch this drive until i know about how much could a proffesional recovery service could cost me... If it is out of my budget, i then will try the Circui Board Method (because i THINK i MIGHT have an identical drive in another computer...not 100%sure tough...) And if that does not work, i will go with the Software options recommended here.

Thanks everybody
Mohammed Khawaja

I have replaced circuit boards for.various drives which.had suffered blown circuits from lightning, etc and in two instances I found out that you could use circuit boards from.different capacity drives as long as the.manufacturer and product line is the same (ie Seagate Cheetah)
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Gary Case

"... I have decided i will not touch this drive until i know about how much could a professional recovery service could cost me...  "  ==>

Getting a quote for professional recovery is a good plan for the first step.    My guess is this will be ~ $400 from Gillware ... but that may have changed since I last checked.

That's by far the most-likely-to-be-successful approach.

But if the cost is more than you're willing to pay for the data, then it's time to try the other approaches we've suggested.
nobus

google for one in the city you're living
ASKER
unrinoceronte

So, Definetely $400 is more than i am willing to  pay, i will say $200 for sure or $300 tops it will hurt...hehe... I hope this kind of service is cheaper over here...But more importantly that there is a company that can actually do it, and do it well.. I dont want it to be just an enthusiast that will try to do it... For that matter, i will prefer to send it to USA, i will wait for a friend or family to travel... or i might...

Nobus, right now i just googled and i found some... But without refererrals i dont trust the websites... I will start asking people around and go with the one most recommended, and that seems legit and with experience.


Just to be 100% SURE... If a drive has  a TICKING (clicking) sound, it is "possible" to recover the info with the CIRCUIT BOARD METHOD? or this Circuit Method only applies to other kind of problem with the drive?  I ask these thinking not that i want to do it myself, but just to know if it is a real "possibility" for an expert to use this method, since it seems to me that this sound is a "physical" problem, and my "limited" logic and knowledge points me toward CIRCUIT not having anything to do with a physical thing... Or am i completely wrong?
Experts Exchange is like having an extremely knowledgeable team sitting and waiting for your call. Couldn't do my job half as well as I do without it!
James Murphy
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ASKER
unrinoceronte

Excellent Garycase, now i understand that a Circuit Board CAN make the heads do this clicking sound. I tought the sound had to do with a mechanical fault...  But a mecahnical problem was less likely in this case because the drive never felt or was hit... I am more inclined to the ELECTRICAL theory, since it makes more sense to what i experienced with this computer.

I once dropped an external HDD while on, and it inmediately started doing the clicking noise, that why i tought the click was only Mechanically related...

No worries, my first bet is to look for a proffesional for this. I have all the panorama clearer now.
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ASKER
unrinoceronte

Thanks a lot guys, i know i will visit this question in the next months to re read all your advice. For the moment i will just keep my dead HDD on a box, and when in have time i will make up my mind and perhaps send it to some professionals for recovery.... If still out of my budget, i will then do the CIRCUIT BOARD, since i am almost certain  i have 2 of these drives

I think i might try the FREEZER method in a very old dead drive that i had in a box, which right now i don't really care about, and neither remember what it contained.. it is old and small capacity...

Thanks everybody for your advice in this issue. As always the best, fastest, personalized, and more reliable support that one could ever find on the web in times of need!...
ASKER
unrinoceronte

By the way, i just opened this new question regading a NEW Harddrive that i want to buy. Not for this same computer, but for a SMALL QNAP NAS that i own.

Please take a look if you can:

Most recommended Hard Drive for small NAS
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