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  1. #1
    IT Enthusiast GR8Metal's Avatar
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    Default Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    Hi all,
    A friend has dropped off his 7 year old HP laptop to me saying it's very loud and won't boot up. I traced the fault to the internal hard drive (noise sounded like a dusty CPU fan, quite loud!)
    After removing and installing into external enclosure, I ran GetDataBack and it displayed quite a few I/O errors and was unable to get to stage 2... ("choose file tree structure to recover from" which displayed nothing in the list).

    Any ideas on how to retrieve data with the drive in this state or have we reached a forensic level of recovery?

    Cheers
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  2. #2
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    Those errors are not good, coupled with the description of the noise.

    Suggestion:
    If the data is that important dont piss about with it, you'll do more damage than good. Send it to the experts, but expect to pay in excess of $1000 -- that comes back to the question -- is it that important ?
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  3. #3
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    when they make grinding or loud noises the chances of anything short of professional recovery services working are slim. It could be a bearing in which case you may have a shot, or the heads could be grinding away the disk surface a little more every time you fire it up.
    I have heard of people putting them in a plastic bag and freezing them, then quickly firing it up and retrieving data but it always sounded more like a way to further damage the drive to me. I suppose it's theoretically possible to put the platters into an identical model drive if you could get one, probably not in practice though (these things aren't built to be hand assembled).
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Slankydudl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    yeah that is beyond any means of cheap recovery. Unless the info is worth a substantial amount of money then maybe just try what dugimodo said and put the platters into a different drive. the drives shouldnt have to be identicle. And i wouldnt do the freeze thing it sounds like hassle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member fred_fish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    If it is critical data, leave it alone and start saving.

    If it is just 'important', bearing in mind that these are last resort methods, have at it ...

    I've had success with the freezer method, on two occasions!
    I've also extracted data from an open drive after manually 'freeing up' the head assembly

    I agree with dugimodo on swapping platters, it WOULD need to be identical, but it very likely would be impossible to do correctly by hand without specialist gear.
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  6. #6
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    Yeah I wouldn't attempt the platter thing, the most likely result is ruining a new drive without fixing the old. I just mentioned it as a possibility if you're desperate.
    A work mate pulled apart an old faulty hard drive out of interest once, not from a PC but out of a telephone exchange and about 3 times the physical size. The magnets out of it were so powerful that if you stuck them together or to something metal you needed tools to pry them apart again. Imagine trying to work near that in a tiny little hard drive with a screwdriver.
    The ITX game machine; Bitfenix prodigy, 550W PSU, i7 3770, 8Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD, R9 290

  7. #7
    Senior Member Slankydudl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    Well i guess actually making a working drive rather than something that just has alot of torque is slightly different when it comes to changing platters.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul.Cov's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    I've also had luck with the freezer method. I don't have the nads to fully freeze a drive, so I wrap a bunch of those chill pack things inside tea towels and sandwich the drive between these cool packs. Give it a wee while to chill, then fire it up and get busy.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    You can also DIY a head swap. Theres a few tutorials out there.
    Could be the head has come off , so the arm is grinding some mini groves in the platter ???

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPZtJyrVPw

  10. #10
    Senior Member Renegade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Very loud grinding notebook hard drive. Unable to recover info...

    ^ doesn't exposing the drive toast it anyway? Dust particles, etc. I think you need a special filtered/clean room environment.

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