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Recover dropped Hard Drive Data?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by John55, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. John55

    John55 Member

    I dropped my laptop. and I think I may have damaged the hard drive. Clicking noise, no drive read during boot-up...:(

    I assume its over for the HD, so how can I recover the data from the HD? :confused:
  2. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    Two possible course of actions

    1) Get lucky
    2) send it to a hard drive retrieval specialist.
  3. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    If theres a clicking noise that means the arm has broken, and you won't be able to read the data off it.

    There are a few ways to get it to temporarily run... But if they do not work, your hard drive is utterly trashed afterwards, and there is no hope of getting the data.

    As ManagerJosh said, sending it to a data retrieval specialist is your best bet, however depending on the maker of the drive, it might have a warranty (Some tend to be lifetime for issues such as this), and they'll retrieve the data for free, and move it to a similar or the same model of the drive.
  4. Jake Bunce

    Jake Bunce XenForo Moderator Staff Member

    Sometimes you can get the mechanism working temporarily by slinging and spinning the drive in your hand. That will sometimes jar the mechanism into proper action for a while. I have recovered data this way before.

    Of course you should remove the drive from the system to do this. Don't sling the drive while it's on.
    Dodgeboard likes this.
  5. Floris

    Floris Guest

    grc.com > spinrite
  6. Jaxel

    Jaxel Well-Known Member

    If the arm is broken... even Steve Gibson's work of magic couldn't will it back to life.
  7. Floris

    Floris Guest

    I did not read him mention that though.
  8. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Thats what the clicking sound is, and because it isn't running (Sometimes a clicking sound can be something else), its 100% the arm being broken.

    You could freeze the hard drive (After putting it in a ziplock), and then rush to get it into the computer and retrieve what you need off it, but theres only a 60% rate of it actually working, and its a dead drive afterwards.
  9. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    I've had success recovering several clicking drives by opening up the case and setting the arm back to zero position, yes it's best to do it in a 'clean room', 'white room' blablabla... but i've had a laptop fujitsu drive running with the lid off just long enough to get data back/recovered.

    Home Depot/Lowes has a great star driver tool that comes with various sizes for opening one up for around $7 - a handy tool especially for macs ;)
  10. Shelley

    Shelley Well-Known Member

    I was hearing arms mentioned in here. It's a long shot but I'm sure it's worthy of a shot to retrive that valuable data.

    How about hacking an Arm off your body and try surgically moulding it to the hardrive. I think a sacrifice such as this would have to work. Ensure it's the arm that you least use but otherwise, like me I had to accept 1tb of data lost.

    Anyway, goodluck in retrieving the data.
    Forsaken likes this.
  11. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    That is even more likely to kill the drive, and really shouldn't be done by someone who doesn't have experience with the hardware.

    As I said, depending on the drive, many manufacturers offers a retrieval service, and sometimes have limited lifetime warranties.
  12. Andrew

    Andrew Well-Known Member

    Are you 100% positive its the hard drive clicking? it could be your cd/dvd drive a broken fan etc.

    If you are comfortable with taking the bottom off your laptop then I may be able to help you.

    1. Unplug your laptop and remove the battery.

    2. After the power has been disconnected from ALL power sources, press the "Power On" button to drain all the electricity currently sitting in your machine. Your Power/HDD LED indicator may flash once, ignore this.

    3. Start by flipping your laptop upside down and take out all the screws necessary to open the laptop case.

    4. Once you have the case open it may be necessary to remove a few componets to get to your HDD and its Plugs.

    5. Disconnect your HDD power source and data transfer cable (also know as IDE or SATA depending on how old your machine is).

    6. Once your HDD fully disconnected, feel free to "shake your hdd like a spray paint can." Under normal circumstances you can shake your hdd all day and you wont hear any nosies (loose broken parts) on the inside. If you dont hear any noises from shaking it, you MAY still have a good HDD.

    7. While the inside of your computer is exposed, further examen it for a broken mother board and other broken parts.

    ****** Attempt those steps at your own risk***

    If you determine that a different part in your laptop is malfunctioning see if you can order that part and have it replaced. Once again you may or may not be able to order parts for your laptop depending on its age.

    Hope this helps,
  13. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Fans and cd/dvd drives don't click the same way when they're broken. Fans will usually have a grinding noise, and cd/dvd drives will struggle to run (They will usually spin even if broken, or attempt to spin).

    Honestly, his best bet (And safest) is to send it in to get the data retrieved. Most suggestions here will either damage the drive, or are things that shouldn't be done by someone unless they are familiar with hardware.
  14. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    nah, try it sometime, you'd be surprised
  15. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    From him asking for help, you can assume he doesn't know much about hardware. Are you really going to suggest someone who possibly doesn't have much knowledge of hardware do something that could potentially damage their drive?
  16. Dean

    Dean Well-Known Member

    You could try to take the HD out and connect to another computer as a slave. It might be possible that while the hard drive cannot boot up, it may be able to be read. Obviously the goal is to get the data off of it, and not actually use it as a drive.

    Back ups? Do you make those?
    CurveGotti likes this.
  17. gordy

    gordy Well-Known Member

    No. I'm telling you.
  18. Forsaken

    Forsaken Well-Known Member

    Rattling a hard drive hoping that it'll get fixed has a much lower success rate then methods I can do at my work, or even at my house :rolleyes:.

    I wasn't the one needing advice, but its nice to know you're willing to pass it on to someone who has experience with data retrieval..?
  19. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Whilst I cannot answer for the data... I would suggest your replacement is an SSD, considering notebook.
  20. ManagerJosh

    ManagerJosh Well-Known Member

    I don't recommend SSDs as once your drive dies, all your data goes with it.

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