Troubleshooting HD Failure


Old 11-10-10, 01:42 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 70
Troubleshooting HD Failure

I'm trying to see if I can salvage any data off of a failed HD. I have a 500G SATA HD that was installed on my Dell XPS (about 2.5 years old). The hard drive failed last week - I don't remember the error, but at boot-up it gave me something like a disk fail error.

I've replaced my system (on to an HP since my last two Dells had failed HD's) and I had most of my information backed up on an external HD, but I'd like to recover some less critical data (movies that I had on my old system that were too large to put on the back-up).

I tried connecting the bad HD to my new system, and I can feel/hear it spinning up but it is not recognized by my new PC. To check to make sure that the connections were OK, I hooked up a known good HD and the system recognized it immediately.

Since the HD is spinning up OK, I assume that the read/write mechanism has failed. Are there any other checks that I can do to try to salvage the data before trashing it? I've worked on a previously failed HD a couple of years ago and replaced the controller, but I'm not sure that that would work in this situation.

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Old 11-18-10, 11:20 PM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 10
It sounds like the controller to me where it's spinning up, but not being recognized. In some ways, a physical issue would be easier to recover data from. I've purchased the program Spinrite from GRC | SpinRite 5.0 to 6.0 Which has helped me save data off several drives that have become unbootable.

However, if your drive is to the point that it won't even be recognized as a drive, nothing software is going to be able to do anything. If you really need the data, it might be worth it to try and purchase a new controller board and hope that's the problem.

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