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Tony
23-02-2010, 11:32 AM
I have a 320gb Seagate HDD that has basically died - it does not get detected, and at boot time you can hear a repeated dull "clunk" (not a tick) presumably as it tries to operate.

Is there any likelihood of this being recoverable without hugely expensive clean-room procedures? Although I have backups of 90% of the contents, there are a few items I would like to get back if possible.

Speedy Gonzales
23-02-2010, 11:57 AM
Connect it to another system, and see what happens

Chilling_Silence
23-02-2010, 12:14 PM
Not very likely. I just took my wifes HDD in to Data Forensics in Auckland CBD, cost $750 + GST to have them recover it. They got ~98% off :)

Blam
23-02-2010, 12:16 PM
You can try a linux live CD.

Tony
23-02-2010, 12:18 PM
Connect it to another system, and see what happensDone that - same thing happens. :(

Tony
23-02-2010, 12:20 PM
Not very likely. I just took my wifes HDD in to Data Forensics in Auckland CBD, cost $750 + GST to have them recover it. They got ~98% off :)Interesting - I was told by another mob $160 for an evaluation + at least $1500 - at which point I decided the costs were too high. Were you given any prior estimates?

Tony
23-02-2010, 12:21 PM
You can try a linux live CD.How is that going to help if the disk is not even recognized during the boot process?

Blam
23-02-2010, 12:23 PM
Sorry - I thought you meant it wasn't detected in windows

In that case, you'll probably have to replace the head or bring it in to a professional HD recovery shop..

Speedy Gonzales
23-02-2010, 12:29 PM
This easeus data recovery program MAY work. But you would have to bring it here. Since its not free

Agent_24
23-02-2010, 12:50 PM
I have a 320gb Seagate HDD that has basically died - it does not get detected, and at boot time you can hear a repeated dull "clunk" (not a tick) presumably as it tries to operate.

It's broken, no question about it

IF the fault was due to a bad PCB, you could swap that out and get the drive working again, on the condition you find the right board (very hard)

But it's highly unlikely to be easy to fix, a clunking sound means something is broken. Could be faulty heads, or head amplifiers. Or even the System Area could be corrupted somehow.

If you need the data off the drive, you will need to pay a recovery company

pctek
23-02-2010, 01:52 PM
I just took my wifes HDD in to Data Forensics in Auckland CBD, cost $750 + GST to have them recover it. They got ~98% off :)

Really? What fault did the drive have? No detected at all? Bad sectors?

Tony
23-02-2010, 02:28 PM
This easeus data recovery program MAY work. But you would have to bring it here. Since its not freeTell me more...

Paul.Cov
23-02-2010, 02:30 PM
One thing that may be worth investigating is whether or not it is spinning.
Remove it from it's supporting structures, but leave the cables attached. Ideally you want the drive sitting free of all other components so that the only vibration you feel when you touch it is the vibration from the spinning discs.
If it is failing to spin, then you can use inertia to get it going. Give the drive a quick twist left, then right around the axis of the dics platters. The inertia of the discs is sufficient to move them relative to the body of the drive. Once moving, there is a chance that a frozen disc will then continue to spin. This twisting trick can first be tried without, and lastly with power. Bear in mind that it is not a good way to treat a healthy drive!

Chilling_Silence
23-02-2010, 02:57 PM
http://datarecovery.co.nz/

$750 + GST flat-fee for Home User. $80 "assessment" included in that final price.

Mine had the same issues, not detected in the BIOS or in Windows at all. Ticking and the occasional loud "thud". Keep in mind the more you piss around with the likes of disk recovery suites, the less likely it is that the data forensic people will be able to get the stuff off. So you have to ask yourself, "Am I going to be cheap, and the data is OK for me to take a risk with", or "Is this data so valuable that it's not worth the risk and I'll just pay $750 + GST right away".

If it's the 2nd, then unplug it and take it out of the PC immediately, don't plug it back in, don't risk it, and call data forensics.

wainuitech
23-02-2010, 03:08 PM
Tisk Tisk :D No Backups eh!!

you are 100% right though Chilling_Silence - to many "experts" that dont know when to leave it for the REAL experts that know what they are doing.

Had one of my customers a few years back - he was quoted $1800.00 - $2000 to recover his damaged drive -- his response-- THAT all - Go for it -- The data (that wasn't backed up) was worth more than the 2K to him.

Naturally he NOW backs up twice a day to two different forms of Media.

Chilling_Silence
23-02-2010, 04:30 PM
Yeah I'd been tellin the Mrs for a few weeks to backup to an external HDD.

Naturally now I've setup Win7 to backup automatically across the Wifi instead of relying on her, but now she's a BIG advocate of backing up ;)

wratterus
23-02-2010, 04:43 PM
Yeah I'd been tellin the Mrs for a few weeks to backup to an external HDD.

Naturally now I've setup Win7 to backup automatically across the Wifi instead of relying on her, but now she's a BIG advocate of backing up ;)

Yep, unfortunately it often takes a shock to the system like that for someone to realize the necessity of backing up important data. Had a situation just like that today.

sroby
23-02-2010, 04:44 PM
The clunkity clunk sounds means it is VERY unlikely to recovery any data
with any bit of software.
The drive will be reseting/shutting down allmost immediately.
Im guessing it wont show/be detected in the bios, so even a linux CD wont help.

Clutching at straws/worth a try: put it in the freezer. This has worked for me (once in the last 3 years)

You need a specialist, NOT a mate or the local PC repair shop.
It WILL be expensive.

Tony
23-02-2010, 04:46 PM
The clunkity clunk sounds means it is VERY unlikely to recovery any data
with any bit of software.
The drive will be reseting/shutting down allmost immediately.
Im guessing it wont show/be detected in the bios, so even a linux CD wont help.

Clutching at straws/worth a try: put it in the freezer. This has worked for me (once in the last 3 years)

You need a specialist, NOT a mate or the local PC repair shop.
It WILL be expensive.I suspect you're right to all of the above (sigh...)

Tony
23-02-2010, 04:47 PM
One thing that may be worth investigating is whether or not it is spinning.It feels like it is spinning.

Chilling_Silence
23-02-2010, 06:08 PM
Yeah that sounds like my Mrs HDD .... I'd ring Data Forensics, describe it to them, they'll set you right. Cameron there who I was dealing with was a real straight up guy, knows his stuff, very good phone manner. Give them a ring! :)

I called a few other places to get quotes (4 others I think?), for varying reasons I chose these guys though.

Agent_24
23-02-2010, 07:04 PM
It's broken, no question about it

a clunking sound means something is broken. Could be faulty heads, or head amplifiers. Or even the System Area could be corrupted somehow.

If you need the data off the drive, you will need to pay a recovery company

Already said this, ages ago, if anyone was listening...

Greven
23-02-2010, 11:06 PM
Not very likely. I just took my wifes HDD in to Data Forensics in Auckland CBD, cost $750 + GST to have them recover it. They got ~98% off :)

For that lot, $750 is the deal of the century. They are very good at recovering data & I think they are the only NZ company that does forensic recovery.

Chilling_Silence
24-02-2010, 06:53 AM
Yeah some other places were saying it'd cost less to "look at" but potentially up to 2.5x as a "recovery fee". These guys have been very professional the whole way through. Going to pick up her HDD / Data this morning :D

Tony
26-02-2010, 10:52 PM
Well, the good news is I seem to have recovered all my lost data without having to pay any money. :clap:clap

What I have just noticed that I omitted to mention is that the HDD was part of a Windows Home Server setup, so of course all the data was duplicated. All I had to do was to get into WHS via the Home Server connector on another PC, tell it to "remove" the dead disk, then repair the database. It took about 3 hours, but at the end of it, I had lost all my WHS backups (not a problem unless I suffer a major meltdown on another PC in the next 24 hours), but all my shared files were recreated.

I guess it is a compliment to WHS that it has been so reliable since I first set it up that I forgot all about the redundancy. I had been looking at the "normal" file system directly from the server desktop, so of course the files seemed to be a total mess.

The slightly less good news is that I contacted Data Forensics and in fact also spoke to Cameron. I told him it was WHS but he made no suggestion about the redundancy (which I hadn't remembered about when I had the conversation). He actually didn't seem to know anything about the WHS file system. I agreed to the recovery deal, he promised to email me the documentation, and I haven't heard a thing since - fortunately, as it turned out.

Anyway, it looks like a good result. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions.

Agent_24
27-02-2010, 06:48 AM
That's what happens when you have good backups ;)