200 ways to revive a hard drive
From: Travis Standen
One trick I have learned as a technician, when the problem is data-read errors off the platters themselves,is to
the hard drive overnight. It makes the data more 'readable,' but for a one-shot deal. If thisdata is critical, and you have a replacement hard drive (which, if it's a drive failure, you probably do), thenyou can hook up your frozen hard drive and immediately fetch the data off before it warms up.
If the problem is heat related, I put the drive in the
for about 15 minutes to cool it down...sometimes this gets the drive up long enough to copy any critical files...
Put the drive in a waterproof sealed bag, put it in the fridge for an hour or so, then have another go.
From: Kelly Reid
Well, I won't start playing with your specific situation, too many steps or possible solutions whereeverything starts "If that last thing didn't work try..."But I'll give you one for free that was a nice hero moment for me. Had a drive where it sounded like thedrive motor was engaging but not getting anywhere, so we stuck it in the office
for an hour! I'll bedarned if it didn't work. The drive was up long enough to get the data ghosted to another drive and weturfed it, even though it sounded fine at that point. I can't really take credit for it though—I had heard it insome geek bull session but I thought it was some jedi-geek urban myth. Goes to show you that you knowyou're really screwed when you say something to the effect of "Okay, hold on tight, I'm gonna trysomething I saw in a cartoon once but I'm pretty sure I can do it"
If this drive isn't spinning up, putting it in the
for about an hour will usually get the drive spinningagain so you can copy needed files before the drive warms up again. The first thing you want to do is runa disk utility like Norton disk doctor or wddiag (if it's a western digital drive) to verify whether the drive isworking mechanically or not. If it is a master boot record problem, sometimes running Fdisk/mbr willcorrect the problem. It could also be a virus, and a program like F-prot will look at the drive as a physicalunit. As an A+ PC technician I have seen this problem many times. Usually if the drive is not making aclicking sound I am successful in recovering the data.
From: Scott Greving
I've run into this scenario numerous times. One time it involved the main Novell SYS volume on our HPFile Server. I was really sweating as the server would not boot. I took the drive out and put it in a
for 30 minutes. I then reinstalled it into the file server and Presto! I was up and running. Needless to say Iquickly mirrored the drive onto another and got rid of the bad drive.In stand alone client systems, the method I've had the most luck with reviving drives from death has beenremoving the drive, firmly tapping the top of its case several times, and then re-installing it making sure allcables are secure. I've had a better than 60 percent success rate with this method.