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CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-19-2007 23:34 Edit Quote

I have a hard drive that goes to a product that we sell where I work (I won't go into the details of that)
As far as I know the operating system on the hard drive is FreeBSD or NetBSD.

I have tried to :

1. Put the hard drive in as a slave drive as in both a windows machine and Linux
2. Try to mount the hard drive using an IDE -> USB converter (I've used it on other hard drives no problem)
3. Tried to put the hard drive in a computer and access it using both Knoppix and Kubuntu LiveCD
4. Put the hard drive in a computer and just boot up.

I figured out how to put a monitor on the product so I could see what was going on.
Gets to the boot sequence and says "PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable"

Googling this says the hard drive is probably just gone.

The drive is getting power though because I can hear the disk spinning. Not bad, just spinning

Any suggestions? I really need to get some info off of this drive

Thanks in advance!

Later,

C:\

SleepingWolf
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2006

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 03:53 Edit Quote

freeze it
http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035-5029761-2.html

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Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 14:58 Edit Quote

It's entirely possible the problem exists on the controller board, in which case freezing it won't really help you, and if there's really mission-critical data on the drive, you may need to take it to data recovery experts.


Justice 4 Pat Richard

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 15:06 Edit Quote
quote:

Skaarjj said:

It's entirely possible the problem exists on the controller board




that's what i'm afraid of I'm going to try the freezing thing anyway. Tried everything else.

Now, let's just say that I have another hard drive that is exactly the same brand and model and everything. How difficult would it be just to take the disk out of the bad hard drive and put it into the other chassis? I guess if I have to ask, then I best not be messing with it huh?

Later,

C:\

(Edited by CPrompt on 04-20-2007 15:08)

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 15:29 Edit Quote

Yes, you bet not. You have to ope nthose thing in a clean, static-free room, for one thing. There's a reason people get paid large sums of money to do this.


Justice 4 Pat Richard

Tyberius Prime
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 15:44 Edit Quote

there is simply no way for you to change the disks. You might be able to change the electronics around, but even on that, I would not bet.


You need to make up your mind: either the data is valuable enough to get at least an estimate from a data recovery firm ( and the big ones have
cleanrooms with <10 ppm in the air, which is what you'd need), or it's not, in which case you might consider giving up.

On a side node, have you checked the pins on the harddrive? Maybe one of them is broken off...
Does the bios detect the hard drive? Does linux (ie. is there a /dev/hdb or /dev/hdd when the drive's connected?

Lord_Fukutoku
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: San Antonio
Insane since: Jul 2002

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 15:49 Edit Quote

I've never tried it myself (at least not with the intention of having a working drive again), but I've heard of other people having varying degrees of success with removing the platters and putting them in another enclosure. I think this would be an absolute last ditch effort for me though. The problem I see with trying that is that the read/write heads are so close to the platters, there's practically no room for error. Removing them from the old enclosure shouldn't be too bad, but reassembling them in another one without disturbing the read/write heads seems like an awful big challenge.

Like Skaarjj said, if it's critical info, you'd probably be better off sending it to a data recovery place (where I work, we send stuff to Ontrack, and they seem to do a good job, but they aren't cheap, the last drive I had to had recovered ran up around $2000).

Good luck with it, whichever way you go.

--

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

CPrompt
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: there...no..there.....
Insane since: May 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 17:16 Edit Quote
quote:

Tyberius Prime said:

Does the bios detect the hard drive? Does linux (ie. is there a /dev/hdb or /dev/hdd when the drive's connected?




Nope. I think I will just have to give up on it and break the news to the customer. I tried to tell them a few months ago that we either needed to replace it or think of a different solution for them. Looks like it's a bit too late.

Still going to try the freezing thing. Guess it couldn't hurt at this point.

Later,

C:\

SleepingWolf
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Jul 2006

IP logged posted posted 04-20-2007 23:45 Edit Quote

The "freezing" thing has been used at our work many times and does work, but certainly not all the time.
However, as others have pointed out, there could be many reasons why the drive has failed and freezing will only unbind the drive - hopefully giving you enough time to backup key files before it dies for good.
Again, you have nothing to lose - although if money is no object the data recovery firm is the way to go.


quote:
Freeze Your Drive
One of the more interesting remedies for a hard drive that is unreadable is placing the recalcitrant drive in your freezer. As crazy as it sounds, this treatment has an underlying rationale that makes sense. As components in your hard drive drop in temperature, they contract slightly. This change in size may permit your drive to function properly for a brief period, perhaps just enough time to allow you to retrieve your valuable data.

To use this strategy, remove your hard drive from your computer and place it in a sealed Ziploc-type bag. Next, place the drive in the freezer overnight. Reinstall the frozen drive, and if it's accessible, quickly copy your data to the backup medium of your choice. Remember, as the drive warms, it will begin to revert to its failed state.



source: http://www.smartcomputing.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/2005/s1604/35s04/35s04.asp&articleid=25727

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White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 04-21-2007 18:20 Edit Quote

I've replaced more hard drives than anything else I can think of...

Freezing often works when the problem is largely mechanical (wear and tear) - tested this successfully myself several times, and repeated freezings were often necessary to complete data recovery. As the unit is sealed, so long as the PCB doesn't short-out due to condensation (theoretically), this is essentially a risk-free solution.

Changing platters is possible - but the degree of success relies heavily on precise and clean reconstruction, and you'll be lucky if it lasts the data recovery procedure in anything but a lab environment. As pointed out already, a specialist job to recover data from a badly mechanically-damaged drive. I have tried this only once, and failed miserably.

Swapping over a new controller PCB from an identical hard-drive is actually quite plausible, but relies on the drive being otherwise mechanically sound. If this fails, you'll most likely be able to replace the controller PCB on the second hard-drive, and save having wasted the money spent on it. I succesfully transplanted a 2.5" drive's PCB once before - 1/1 success rate!

Anything that compromises the seal on the drive housing will dramatically reduce any hard drive's life-expectancy.

____

(Edited by White Hawk on 04-21-2007 18:28)

Tyberius Prime
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Germany
Insane since: Sep 2001

IP logged posted posted 04-22-2007 13:09 Edit Quote
quote:
Anything that compromises the seal on the drive housing will dramatically reduce any hard drive's life-expectancy.



to a few minutes, actually. As mentioned, the room between the heads and the disk is very very tiny. Any kind of particle inbetween -> a groove in the hard disk (lost data in that section...) and the stuff that was in the groove before -> more particles.
You get the idea, and that's why head crashes can kill whole disks, instead of just a few sectors.

White Hawk
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: zero divided.
Insane since: May 2004

IP logged posted posted 04-25-2007 13:28 Edit Quote

My first PC had an Octek 386 mainboard (running at an astounding 16MHz, or a blistering 25MHz with the turbo button down) and a lousy 60MB HD (yes, sixty megabytes, I said).

It lasted quite a while before the hard drive started making some odd grinding and dragging noises on startup. It suffered no data loss, though every now and again, required a thump to get it started up.

One day, when there was no response from the hard-drive on power-up, I gave it the usual firm-but-gentle thump and... *crunch* *clangaclangaclangaclangaclangaclanga* *PING* *PING* *PING *PING* *clunkclunkclunkclunkclunkclunk* (etc)

The drive head had actually been dragging on the surface of the platter (without losing data, oddly) for some time. One day, it simply welded itself to the platter, then ripped the head free of the armature and span it around inside the unit until it broke up completely. The wreckage inside was horrific.

Good thing I had my important stuff backed-up on 5.25" floppies!

____

hyperbole
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Madison, Indiana
Insane since: Aug 2000

IP logged posted posted 05-28-2007 22:53 Edit Quote

CPrompt: I know it's been over a month since we had this discussion and I don't know why I didn't think of it at the time, but, if you still want to try to recover the data from the broken hard drive you might try SpinRite.

White Hawk: I kind doubt that SpinRite will help your disk

.



-- not necessarily stoned... just beautiful.



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