View Full Version : Major Power supply and hard drive problem - help!?

28-01-2004, 03:02 PM
Ok I've got this Enermax 350W power supply, only 6months old or so. Anyway before I left on holiday I turned it on and it went 'zap' and then wouldn't go at all, so I just left it. I came back from holiday and still wouldn't go so I think it must be dead. I put in a 120W one that originally came with the computer and everything booted up fine, so definitely something wrong with the power supply. I just bought a 400W $100 one from DSE today and still no situation improvement.

Then when I'm using windowsXPpro it starts up real sluggish and things take ages to load. I try shutting down the computer and it was taking half an hour to get anywhere, so I hard booted it. Next time I turn it on, I get an 'error reading drive' message. Not good. :(

I have a go at plugging my Seagate 120gb hard drive in as slave and installing xp on my spare drive so I can access whats on the big one. I got xp working fine but that was without the 120gb one plugged in. I then plug in the 120gb and it boots up extremely slow and then never fully loaded into windows after 20mins. :|

I decide to pull the 120gb drive out to have a look at it. It was difficult to get out and when I got it out and inspected it, there was a hole in the side of it, where I remember there had been some aluminium silver coating thing plugging up the hole. Can anyone verify this silver round thing in the side of their seagate drive??? Inside the newly created hole I can see like 2 platters. Well I think they are platters, but the platters could be down the other end of the drive. Hangon I am going to take photo!
->Photo (http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/decimato/problem.jpg)

So theres that big hole in the side of it. I ran the Seatools disk diagnostic on the drive and it says it physically damaged and needs replacement. Maybe thats either because the entire drive is encrypted and it can't recognise the format (NTFS) or it is actually damaged. I'm betting on the latter.

So if the drive is stuffed, what can I do for data recovery??? Is there a place I can send the drive or somewhere I can take it in (near Invercargill). And then once I've recovered the data I should send it in for warranty?? I'll be sending the power supply back for warranty replacement anyway.

Any help appreciated, and some helpful tips to get my 120gigabytes of data back. Maybe copy it all off somehow to another drive that actually works???

28-01-2004, 03:08 PM
its hard to tell from your photo but it looks bad......

if you can see the disks then the drive is NOT to be use, using the drive like this will reduce the chance of recovering the data.

as for who can recover your data? I dont know sorry.

Noel Nosivad
28-01-2004, 03:20 PM
Hey PoWa,

Things aren't looking good.

The silver thingee you describe covering the hole to the hard drive is usually the sticker that says if removed your warranty is void, or just a plain sticker covering it.

There are many Data Recovery Specialists and you could be looking at $200+ just to have the data recovered. Usually people will do this if the data is vitally important hence why these specialists have a high cost to it.

I would not attempt anything with the hard drive any longer, if it's physically damaged it's possible that the damage can get worse during use of the drive.

As for the Enermax Power Supply, take it back for a warranty, ask nicely for a replacement but don't be shocked if they decide repairing it instead.

Noel Nosivad

Graham L
28-01-2004, 03:28 PM
You shouldn't be able to see the platters. :_|

That foil was probably the one marked "guarantee void if this label removed". You should cover it with cellotape, to keep dust out. But it's probably too late.

It's a bit hard to tell from the picture ... was that seal blown out or poked in? I wonder if the head drive coil exploded?

28-01-2004, 03:30 PM
The hole had some metal thing plugging it, maybe to keep it under pressure. I've lost it somewhere :(. I can't believe it was so flimsy and if that hole was the only thing keeping the drive pressurised, thats very bad quality?

28-01-2004, 03:33 PM
The metal seal thing was in the whole but sort of indented. It didn't have anything on it saying 'warranty void' or anything like that - too small.

Graham L
28-01-2004, 04:28 PM
Drives are not pressurized. There's always a small hole with a filter to let air in and out at atmospheric pressure. I'm amazed there is anything that fragile, though. :O

I suspect you might have bumped that disk in the "difficult" extraction. :-(

There are companies which recover data from disks where it is possible. It's not cheap.

28-01-2004, 04:42 PM
if the drive diagnostic says it's stuffed then it is...........nothign to do with ntfs fat or whatever file sysetm you have in therer its actually checking the PHYSICAL properties of the drive.........

28-01-2004, 04:43 PM
your PSU dying may hav fried it.........seen some strange stuff happen with psu's dying

28-01-2004, 06:47 PM
Yea PSU frying the hard drive circuit board on it is another possibility too. :(

You sure the drives aren't pressurised in some way? I thought it was pressurised and sealed to keep the disk heads slightly above the surface of the platter, and to keep dust and moisture out?

Anyway it looks like I'll have to get some expert help like these guys: http://www.datarecovery.co.nz/. But to recover 120gb's might break the bank eh. :| Would they put it on another 120gb drive for me u reckon? I might claim it under travel insurance as I have just noticed the problem with it, and I did take the drive with me overseas n my hand luggage so my mate could get some data off me..

Does anyone remember which month there was an article in pc world mag about recovering data from the drive? Had lots of weird ideas like sticking it in the freezer etc etc. Could only have been like 6months ago..

Graham L
28-01-2004, 06:57 PM
The casing is assembled and "sealed" in a clean room environment because dust is the major problem. But the sealing can't be hermetic -- with the thermal range they experience they would balloon.

Putting it in a freezer would not be a good idea. That would cause condensation of the humid air that dirty great hole has let into the casing.

One of the techniques used in recovery is to fit a known good PCB ...

29-01-2004, 05:27 PM
Computer Forensics NZ Ltd quoted me $1500 - $2000 to recover the 120gbs of data...

Now what would Jared do...


So then I've had a look at the alternative: http://www.ptech.co.nz/recovery/index.html (Peacock technologies) and their prices range from $200 to $800 and might be able to give me a discount because I'm a hard up student :|

Soo crazy. And apparently if you take it to a data recovery place and they have to open it up to fix it etc, then that invalidates the 3yr warranty that I paid for! Is that crazy or what??

30-01-2004, 12:00 AM
the question is do you realy NEED the data?

you would not catch me paying $1000 to recover mp3's

30-01-2004, 12:03 AM
have you tried plugging the drive back in and accesing the data thru knoppix or whatever it is?

30-01-2004, 12:10 AM
this would e a bad move at this point as the drive is dammaged.

the problem is not just OS / file system.

the platters are open to the air and so the drive should not be used.

30-01-2004, 12:16 AM
I suspect your warranty was voided when the sticker came off exposing the hole.

If you _aren't_ going to go through a data recovery company you might be able to atleast get something back yourself. You said you were able to boot from it so it must be sort of working, you could connect it to the secondary IDE channel and copy anything you can to your replacement drive. Get the important stuff first, and you might want to try and find a program that will continue copying if it hits an error.

But as I said, only do it if you data isn't worth the amount quoted by the companies. It might be a good idea to wait for someone else to comment as I haven't tried it with a drive that damaged.

30-01-2004, 12:20 AM
> this would e a bad move at this point as the drive is
> dammaged.
> the problem is not just OS / file system.
> the platters are open to the air and so the drive
> should not be used.

Yeah,i fully understand its the entire drive, The way i look at it, she’s buggered, and the cost would be imo to much, so take a last ditch effort to grab the info, at least by booting thru knoppix the drive wouldn’t be accessed as much as booting off the hd and an attempt can be made to copy some of the files.

30-01-2004, 12:26 AM
this would be true.....

I have seen an open drive ( lid off ) work ok for a day, on day two it started dropping sectors by the hundreds.

30-01-2004, 01:24 AM
Yeah I could perhaps stick it in as slave and use some dos utility to copy everything off it onto a new drive. But I've kinda struck a deal with the Peacock technologies guy and he reckons he can do it for 50% of the $200- $800 range, but it will take a him a while as it would be low priority.

The data is important, and it aint 120gigs of mp3s either lol. The drive is fully encrypted too, so that might make things a little difficult too.

Graham L
30-01-2004, 03:51 PM
Encryption is likely to be an extra problem. :_|

Backup is a Good Thing. One of the Bad Things about big disks is that backup becomes a Big Thing. ;-)