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  • #2160459

    reapairing Hard Drives


    by andy ·

    Can you actually repair broken hard drives..the ones that are not recongnised by a pc? I am interested in doing this. Can anyone help inhow to start, or the most common faults. Andy helps could be usefull.

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    • #2932790


      by andy ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives


    • #2932785


      by computercookie ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      The most common problem is that the boot sector is damaged.

      This often occurs when a desktop is bumped or a laptop suffers ‘plane’ damage.

      You will often find that the rest of the disk readable when it is attached as a slave drive.

      To replace a damaged platter would probably require an investment of over $50,000 to create a dust free environment.

      As HDD’s are so cheap it would not be worth the investment.

      Do you want to pay me $50 to repair your keyboard?

      • #2932771

        Non turning Hard drives

        by andy ·

        In reply to No

        I see what you mean for the investment. If the problem is that the HD is not turning could the disk be removed and put into another similar chassis to copy the data, or would it be hard to get the same alignment with the read/write head?

        • #2932745

          Yes you can do this but why would you bother?

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to Non turning Hard drives

          The Platter can be read on a special machine if all you need to do is recover your Data. So any Data Recovery House can do this easily.

          If you pull apart a HDD it break the seal on it and this needs to be done in a Class 1 Clean Room so you are back to the $500,000.00 investment for a 1 time use. It would be easier to just pay the $50,000.00 and get the Data Recovery Place to do the recovery. It’s cheaper and then you don’t have to worry about contaminating anything.


    • #2932723

      Don’t mistakenly discard a good hard drive

      by nepenthe0 ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      The newer SATA hard drives may not be [i]recognized[/i] by the computer, not because the drive has failed, but because no driver has been installed.

      The fix is free – you don’t have to spend $50,000 (don’t know what this is in Euros, probably 50 Euros with the depreciated U.S. currency).

      Check out the links I posted yesterday:

      You can easily test the hard drive without installing it into a computer. Check out the nifty Coolmax adapter:

      Connect the hard drive to the Coolmax adapter, then connect the USB cable to a working computer.

      Rick/Portland, OR

    • #2460065

      Try This

      by loonit ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      Depending on how your drive is broken depends on what will work naturally. If the drive has trouble spinning or makes noises that would suggest a bad bearing, try putting the drive in the freezer. Freezing the material sometimes gives it just enough life to retrieve your data. If the drive spins up just fine and its the OS just not recognizing it, check to see if your BIOS sees it. There is a program called GetDataBack for NTFS you may want to try. I don’t really know anything about the half a million dollar room that the others have mentioned so I can not comment on it. And yes, our U.S. currency does suck compared to the Euro.

    • #2460033

      Can you explain WHY you are attempting this?

      by 1bn0 ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      Are you actually trying to repair a “dead” drive or are you trying to recover the data?

      • #2792358

        To recover data

        by andy ·

        In reply to Can you explain WHY you are attempting this?

        If a hd has failed maybe we can get the disk out out recover the data using another chassis. (Sorry for the delay-have bee away for a while)

        • #2792317


          by cmiller5400 ·

          In reply to To recover data

          If the failure is INTERNAL to the drive (such as read/write head etc.), you can not do anything without a clean room. Sure you could open the drive, but it would be destroyed by the dust, particles, and contaminants in the air. If the logic board went, you MAY be able to swap that out with an IDENTICAL drive.

        • #2792308

          Well if you open a HDD it needs to be in a Class 1 Clean Room

          by oh smeg ·

          In reply to To recover data

          Anything less will result in the destruction of the
          Magnetic Layer over the Platters. The Read Write Heads run at a distance of 3 Microns from the platters so anything bigger will get mashed between the Heads and the Platter scratching the platter covering. You may get a few minutes use out of a HDD by doing this but is is extremely short term. Of course if you have a Class 1 Clean Room at your Disposal like On Track did they managed to recover the data off a HDD from Colombia the Space Shuttle that self destructed over the US. Though to be fair they only managed to get data off 1 out of 3 HDD that they where given so that’s far less than a fighting 50% recovery.

          Honestly if it requires any more than replacing the Logic Board it’s best left to Professional Data Recovery Specialists.


    • #2573419

      Well I’ll try to address the general Question

      by oh smeg ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      But as there are many possibilities for Failure in a HDD I can not be overly specific unless I know what is wrong here.

      You can replace the Circuit Board on the bottom of any HDD with one from the same Make & Model if there is a Electronic Failure on the Circuit Board and make a drive work again.

      Though if you do this you should consider the Drive as failed and get your Data Off Immediately and the drive that you removed the Circuit Board from as Dead as well. They may work but it’s not worth the risk of trusting them.

      If it is something internal inside the actual case you shouldn’t open these as they are sealed to keep dust out and if you get any in there you run the risk of destroying a Read/Write Head which runs under 1 Micron from the Surface of the Platter. These are just a loop of wire on a moving arm that is used to read or write to the Platter and are controlled by a Stepping Motor. So if the Stepping Motor or the Main Drive Motor Fails you really need to send the drive to a Data Recovery House where they have the necessary tools and equipment to read and save the Data Reliably without doing any damage to the platter.


    • #2792337

      If you are really interested the you can put the drive(s) in the freezer.

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      You will need to make sure it/they is/are wrapped in freezer bags. And keep it/them in there for a couple of days and then transfer any data or use it/them for a while before they give up running altogether.
      Yes i have done this myself and it works mostly but not always.

      Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.
      If this info is useful, please give a thumbs up. Thanks

    • #2792302

      What the heck, my two cents

      by churdoo ·

      In reply to reapairing Hard Drives

      Your original post sounds like you want to consider doing this as a service. A good concept but not a new one as there are entities that are already doing this.

      I’m thinking this is an expensive business to start because as the posters here have already stated, to do any internal repairs of an HDD requires certain equipment, certain skills, and a clean room.

      So to answer your original question, “can it be done?” Abso-friggin-lutely! Perhaps though, unless you have hundreds of thousands to invest in building your own facility, you can learn some of the recovery techniques that don’t require internal repairs and latch onto one of these companies as a reseller since some of them have reseller plans.

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