Can I fix a broken hard drive?

Well no. But..

Can I fix a broken hard drive?

I stumbled across a video from DIY Perks about recovering data from a head crashed drive on the same day that I was looking at a drive for a friend that he had dropped.

The drive appeared to be dropped about 4 inches, when it may have been turned on. It now just made a beep/beep noise when powered on. I have been able to recover photos and some files from drives which had failed but could still mount on a Mac or PC before, but this was different.

I feared the worse, but just said I would see if I could do anything with it. The drive wouldn't mount on a mac – or on a pc where it had been used. I just wanted to take it out of its enclosure to check nothing had come adrift with the USB driver board. It had not. Just on the safe side I used a different driver board from another enclosure I had – just in case that had developed a fault – but the same beeping happened.

I gave up – and then out the blue youtube suggested a video by DIY Perks. I’ve always thought that taking the lid off a hard drive was something that you did when the only thing salvageable was the magnets. But no. They could survive where the heads had stuck to the platters and prevented them from spinning up. If you could move the heads so that the disks could spin again then you may be able to get something off the disk especially the areas where the heads hadn’t stuck too.

Here’s what I did:

So no. I couldn’t fix it this time. The drive definitely span up and made a different sound, but something else may have gone wrong. I think this technique should be the last desperate attempt if you can’t afford the hundreds of pounds for a data recovery service. But at least it’s another technique to add to my techniques for helping friends who have lost their data.

Credits/ ideas from:
Original DIY Perks Video
DIY Perks Channel

21-Oct-2017 Add comment

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Matthew Norman...

... who lives in the UK, who is not an actor, not a clock manufacturer, did not write a rough guide to cuba and also has never written for the Telegraph. I have written books on coldfusion and web databases.

(c) somewhere in space and time: M.Norman