Windows Laptop SATA HDD recovery

Need help with drive recovery if possible.  Laptop flew from 2nd story.  Looks like it affected HDD also.  But just want to be sure before I toss it.
Important tax data in there and no backups:)
Drive is 500GB WD SATA 6.0 Gbps, 7200 rpm.  Windows OS.  WD5999LPLX
When plugging into Windows via the USP->SATA connector the drive is spinning and comes up.  But not accessible.  >>The request failed due to a fatal device hardware error.>>
Anything else I can do or.. kiss it good bye?
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Tiras25Asked:
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Yes.  I think this would be a good candidate for a recovery agency.  These agencies are local in medium to large communities. Look one up and see what they might charge.

Try Getdataback   (https://www.runtime.org/) but the way you describe the drive, I am not sure it would work.
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William FulksSystems Analyst & WebmasterCommented:
If you don't opt to pay a bunch of money for recovery, make sure you physically destroy the drive before tossing it, just in case.

As for your tax data, are you sure you can't recover it by other means? Not sure what is on there but if you only had a computerized copy then you might be able to find stuff via email, receipts from websites, etc.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
if the drive will not spin up, I have used Drive Savers in Novato, California.  They are expensive, but they have saved me on a number of occasions when a backup failed as well.  They even have recovered files from badly damaged drives.  https://drivesaversdatarecovery.com/

Was the machine on when it flew from the 2nd floor? If not, then it might be possible to start the drive (like in an external drive enclosure or something like this: https://amzn.to/2RsB0By) because the heads should have been parked. But if it was running, it most likely damaged the disk. However, many newer drives have g-force sensors and will retract the head if force is detected, so they try and protect themselves.  It may have saved the drive.  BUT trying to start it if damaged could make the damage worse. I would stick to a disk and data recovery service.
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fred hakimRetired ITCommented:
You say the drive spins up, does it make any unusual sounds (other than the hum of the spinning drive)?  Constant clicking sound may indicate the drive is retrying a read.  

Was the PC on or off when it fell?   If it was on its highly likely the platter was damaged unless the laptop had free fall capability and it was enabled.  If the platter is damaged, there is little hope, even from professional drive recovery outfits.  Note,  a scratched platter can often be heard as a squealing sound when the drive is spinning.  

  If it was off or had free fall technology enabled, then the platter may be OK and the issue could have to do with the head servos or electronic components getting bumped around.  In this case professional recovery may work...  That said, its not cheap, so you need to consider the value of the data vs the cost of recovery.  

I assume from your question, you have no recent backup.  If you have an old backup, that may containing much of the data you need.  Check it most recent backup to see how much you have.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Airplane mode didn't work I take it?
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Tiras25Author Commented:
Yes, it does make a clicking sound.   It does spin and I tried to place it in different angles.  Still cannot open up.  Either from Windows GUI, device drive manager, or wmis or fsutil.  
Some people recommend freezing in the fridge and then try to plug in again.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
I would not do that, there is no reason why freezing it would help actually, and freezing it could cause moisture to form inside the drive, and that is a BIG problem. I am guessing that the heads or driver circuits that move the heads have failed. But because it spins up, there is a good chance the platters are in tact. That might lower the cost of recover significantly.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Andy, is this answer in the right discussion?

Airplane mode didn't work I take it?
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Tiras25Author Commented:
I see.  laptop was on when flew down 20ft
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Laptop small drive platters are often glass now. So it does not sound like the glass shattered, and given that, recovery seems like a good option
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William FulksSystems Analyst & WebmasterCommented:
The freezer trick is for batteries - not hard drives!

Those drives have tiny little motors and parts inside and a jolt like that most likely either broke or misaligned something that's preventing it from working right. Dropping it from a 3 foot tall table is usually enough to kill one. From 20 feet - no way it survived.
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Tiras25Author Commented:
thinkpad E570
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
But I still think it is a candidate for Drive Savers. They have recovered worse for me in the past, including a prototype machine that was tossed from a 9th story window by a disgruntled (and fired) employee!
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Tiras25Author Commented:
I heard about drivesavers.  they are east bay right.  I just think it'll be like thousands.   if it's corporate yes, but personal thing I gotta pay myself...
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Yes, Drive Saver used to be in Freemont I believe. Now they are in Novato.

Contact them anyway. The price is based on how difficult it is to recover data. And you can opt to only recover a few files, so it can be cheaper. If the platters are in tact and they know the drive (likely) they can scan and recover just the files you need.

I would call them anyway.  And as William Fulks said above, there are other data recover options, so would not hurt to call around.
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
First and foremost, you have to understand that a USB adapter prevents the operating system from using native commands to access the drive which is why I have four desktop PCs that are setup to connect multiple drives to (side cover off an several sata connections available).
If you can, try it as a second drive on a desktop PC (Use the optical drive cables if you don't have any spares)
The first thing you want to see is the drive appear in the device manager (DEVMGMT.MSC).  If it doesn't, you're sunk as the drive is failing it's own internal self tests.  If it does appear, you want to (as quickly as possible) clone it to a good drive using a sector by sector copy utility.  Then you attempt data recovery on the copy (!!!), not the original.
I have been using Gillware for recovery that is beyond my capabilities and, so far, they have been batting 1000:
https://www.gillware.com/
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Davis McCarnOwnerCommented:
P.S. No matter what, the first order of any attempted data recovery is to never, ever write to the damaged drive so do NOT let CHKDSK run (press any key and you have 10 seconds) if it is detected by the PC.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
Thanks for that link Davis. Always good to know another recover operator.

She is reporting that "Yes, it does make a clicking sound. " and that sounds like it cannot read from the platter and is doing a constant recalibrate and read cycle trying to read the first track. Sounds like something inside is seriously broken.
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fred hakimRetired ITCommented:
Spinning and clicking are good signs.  Indicates the the platter is probably ok and the electronics is attempting reads.  The fall hopefully caused some break on the controller card, but just as  likely it knocked some of the springeneworken out of whack.  In either case recovery may work, just more expensive if the platter needs transplanting.  

If you plan to send it for recovery -- unplug it and stop messing with it (before any more damage is done).  If you plan to trash it, grab a drill or hammer, to make sure its dead.   Freezing is not likely to help -- only works rarely with heat related controller card failures.

BTW,  I really liked Andy Airplane mode comment.
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Owen RubinConsultantCommented:
BTW,  I really liked Andy Airplane mode comment.

Oh, now I get it!  SIGH Sorry Andy!
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
On a more sensible note the freezer bag trick was for hard drives but it's 20 or 30 years out of date. Stiction friction could lock the head to the platter and popping the disk in the freezer suitably wrapped to keep moisture out shrank the metal so the head pulled off the platter and the disk span freely again. Modern disks have a far lower head fly height so the metal won't shrink as much and besides they park the head off the platter rather than leave it sitting on track0 when turned off.

Let's hope you are lucky and a disk expert with the right equipment can fix it, the wires used to come off the head if the drive was shocked violently enough, I guess that still applies to modern ones.
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nobusCommented:
contact also gillware, they have a good reputation   : http://www.gillware.com/      
i also found this, but have no idea how good they are :  https://www.300dollardatarecovery.com/
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kenfcampCommented:
I'll second gillware
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks and I was happy to help
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