Dead SATA drive

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Old 08-20-07, 10:19 AM
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Dead SATA drive

My wifes' Dell Dimension E310 (out of warranty) suddenly could not read from the hard drive (Seagate 80 gig). There was no warning of any kind, just one day couldn't find the operating system. I have replaced the drive and installed the operating system (after finally getting a copy from Dell), so she is up and running again, but there are volumes of data that she would like to access on the original drive. Now that she understands the importance of multiple back-ups, she is slowly re-building her files. There's nothing that is of such importance to justify the expense of professional data recovery fees, but I sure would like to get an opportunity to access the files to copy them. When I plug the drive into another computer, it doesn't see it at all, it is just dead, so even "Spinrite" couldn't help. Have any of you guys been able to recover anything under these conditions? I haven't opened the drive yet, just in case there's still a chance of recovery, but once it's determined that it's just a paperweight, curiosity will get the best of me...
 
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Old 08-20-07, 11:20 AM
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There are some REALLY strong magnets waiting inside ......
 
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Old 08-20-07, 11:38 AM
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From a previous post: (The search function works here)

Here are a few links that may help..
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1139
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/?file=RecoverMyFiles-Setup.exe
http://geeksaresexy.blogspot.com/2005/12/hard-drive-recovery-utilities-when-you.html
 
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Old 08-20-07, 12:32 PM
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Thank you for your responses, but the links all seem to deal with a slightly different scenario; as I stated in my original post, the drive is not seen by the bios, suggesting a mechanical/circuitry failure within the drive itself. The aformentioned links all deal with recovering deleted data, which is all that my "search function" seemed to find when I tried it earlier. Thanks anyway....
 
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Old 08-20-07, 01:25 PM
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rider, i'm kinda in the same boat you are....a data recovery guy has had my drive for over a week so far and no luck (as well as not much communication). since i have a head start on you if he gets to my data i'll let you know what he did. does your drive spin up or is it just completely dead?
 
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Old 08-20-07, 05:19 PM
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No, it doesn't even spin up, which is why I suspect a circuitry failure in the drive itself. I've plugged it into two other computers with the same results, it's as though it isn't even there. I would think that if it would spin, I'd stand a chance of getting in with some program to attempt data recovery, but it's dead in the water as is. I've heard reports of a few guys removing the platters & putting them in another drive to copy the data, but lacking the proper equipment (clean room, etc), that would likely be the end of two drives rather than just one, if I were to attempt that. Still, if it's nothing but a paperweight anyway, it might be interesting to try.... Be sure and post your results when your issue is resolved. I don't suppose the techs would share any "trade secrets", but it don't hurt to ask.
 
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Old 08-23-07, 07:40 PM
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There are companies that perform data recovery on non-functional hard drives, but their services don't come cheap. It will likely cost more than several new hard drives to recover the data.

Learn from this experience and either buy an external hard drive and perform regular backups or buy a RAID card and a second hard drive and configure it as a mirrored RAID1 array.

The advantage of the external hard drive backup solution is that it is fairly cheap and easy to install. The disadvantage of this solution is that if you do have a hard drive failure, you are shut down until you replace the dead drive and restore the system from the external backup drive.

The advantage of the RAID1 solution is if you have a hard drive failure, you can keep using your computer. Simply replace the bad drive and the RAID array will rebuild itself. You will have very little down time. The disadvantage of the RAID solution is cost and complexity of the installation.

I hope your wife didn't have irreplaceable files on her computer such as digital family photos. I am paranoid about losing them and have a RAID1 array plus two external hard drives to back them up (I keep one at work). After a friend lost her computer to burglars, I realized that my RAID1 array would not protect my data if my computer were to be stolen!
 
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