OT- repairing internal HDDs, the mechanical side
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    Default OT- repairing internal HDDs, the mechanical side

    I have about 6 internal HDDs from old laptops, all of which are 'broken'. By broken, I mean they will no longer boot up and all of the data on them is 'trapped' inside. There appear to be two basic modes of failure....the disc drive is so sticky that the little motor no longer has enough power to spin it, or the little arm (stylus) gets jammed up on the disc - probably from being bent at some point.

    These HDDs are all labelled from different makers...Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi, etc. but they all look very similar and I am guessing are all made on the same 'mold'.


    So my question is....can I remove the disc from a broken drive and install it into a working drive? I think I can physically do that pretty easily, but will the working drive be able to read the new disc that came from another maker?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails hdd-.jpg  

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    There are data recovery people, and they have more tricks in their bag.

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    lol...there is less-than-zero chance that I am giving access to any of these drives to any other human on Earth.

    I have just enough friends in the computer business to know that the split second any device is handed over, it gets scanned for anything of interest and the contents thereof become public information.

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    Here is the process
    https://youtu.be/J9P4UadRdNA

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    Thanks, that video has some good tips, especially about keeping the discs aligned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    lol...there is less-than-zero chance that I am giving access to any of these drives to any other human on Earth.
    I have just enough friends in the computer business to know that the split second any device is handed over, it gets scanned for anything of interest and the contents thereof become public information.
    Get real. This is no more true than to claim that the split second you turn your business records over to a CPA to do your taxes, the records get scanned for anything of interest and the contents thereof become public information. There are plenty of legitimate disk recovery specialists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    Thanks, that video has some good tips, especially about keeping the discs aligned.
    So uhh, what’s on the disks? Ex girlfriends??

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    Or twenty years worth of porn.....

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    There's probably some of everything on there. Including bank account PINs, financial records, stuff that someone could really use to make me miserable. The porn? Well, that's all free anyway.

    As for "Get real. This is no more true than to claim that the split second you turn your business records over to a CPA to do your taxes, the records get scanned for anything of interest and the contents thereof become public information. There are plenty of legitimate disk recovery specialists. "

    You're the one who needs to get real. You're kidding yourself if you think there are plenty of legitimate disc recovery specialists. More to the point, how does a person KNOW which ones are legit or not? It's playing like Russian Roulette because only one chamber has a bullet and 5 don't. There's a world of difference in a disc recovery specialist and a CPA...for starters, consider what the letter 'C' stands for. If you get fired for stealing data from your data recovery job, that just means you have to go back to flipping burgers.

    Let's make a deal - you take your chances with giving some stranger access to your data, and I'll avoid it.

    Then, of course, with 6 HDDs Id be spending a few hundred bucks to mine all the data////and I'd just as soon do it for free, myself.

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    It can be done but unless they are very old (low resolution) discs it needs to be done on a high precision drive similar to the ones used for low level formatting.

    Best bet is to try to tweak the existing hardware/lube the motors and maybe get back some of the data. At the end, best way to destroy the data is to torch the discs.

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    The way it works is you will find nothing wrong inside so you'll track down another drive with the exact same model and firmware version, you'll pay $100 or so for it. Then you'll spend hours carefully swapping boards and stuff and it still won't work.

    Then you'll send it out to a recover biz. They'll quote something like $3600 a piece to recover everything. You'll say no thanks, send it back. They'll say maybe we can do better on price, maybe $2500. You say you were thinking more like $300 and they say no way, 45 year old virgins living in their mom's basement have VR headsets to pay for, lowest I can go is $600.

    You pay $600, you get some/most of your files on a thumb drive in a few days.

    It's hilarious you think the world doesn't already have all your bank accounts, SSN, etc. That stuff isn't very profitable and also illegal to capitalize on. The other information tech companies harvest about you is worth way more to sell and capitalize.

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    How does any type of tampering not effect the magnetic storage bits on the platter?

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    you will fail unless you have a clean room environment. The gap between the r/w heads and the platters is minuscule...

    In 2011, the flying height in modern drives was a few nanometers (about 5 nm).[2][3] Thus, the head can collide with even an obstruction as thin as a fingerprint or a particle of smoke. Despite the dangers of hard drive failure from such foreign objects, hard drives generally allow for ventilation (albeit through a filter) so that the air pressure within the drive can equalize with the air pressure outside.[4] Because disk drives depend on the head floating on a cushion of air, they are not designed to operate in a vacuum. Regulation of flying height will become even more important in future high-capacity drives.[5]
    Once you open a drive it is toast. If you want the data from them, your only option is to have a data recovery firm go at it. They have the environments set up to safely open them and read platters.

    dee
    ;-D

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    An old trick that may work.

    Put the HDDs in the freezer for a day. Remove them and quickly hook them back up to the computer. Copy and back up everything you can. If you find certain files that you cant get, go around them and get everything else. Save it to a different drive.

    This is a temporary fix (when it works, which is not always, depends on the reason for the original failure). The drive will fail again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregSY View Post
    lol...there is less-than-zero chance that I am giving access to any of these drives to any other human on Earth.

    I have just enough friends in the computer business to know that the split second any device is handed over, it gets scanned for anything of interest and the contents thereof become public information.
    Phhht!

    Win-weenie? That has SQRT-FA to do with a "computer" to begin with!

    You don't know even one tenth of one percent of what you would need to know to do a HALF-assed job at f**king it up!

    How much will you pay to have ANYONE actually give a shit about what you have on your HDD?

    I've charged as much as $78,000 but there was ten million US$ at stake, it had to preserve Commercial Crimes Division, Royal HK Police standards as to traceability for a court case, and the wuckfit had erased it, reformatted it, locked it on PCB, locked the planar of the MB then scarpered-off to an East Bloc hidey-hole as well.

    It did not end well for him.

    And the outfit that did the HARD part, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada had it back to me in Hong Kong in less than a week for under $500, the brand-new IBM HDD it was copied onto included, legal chain of custody preserved and documented to international standards, public or spook alike.

    It was what they did.

    And why they got our bizness - from all over Planet Earth - at the top of the food chain, fast, no-fail, and fairly priced.

    They had SIX clean rooms to do that work in. And Canada has more than two eyeballs, too. So who had to care if it WAS copied? Still "in the family", so to speak.

    Wiser move for you? Recover whatever they had contained from your tarballs.

    - Run a carbide drill through the pcb side INTO the platters, but NOT out the other side.
    - Eyedropper muriatic acid into the hole, plug it.
    - Let them bake for a week.
    - Crush the remains.
    - Then into a hot fire.

    Did over sixty at a batch, last go. Rackmount server RAID arrays maintenance thing.

    You'd have to know sharing FM space with New China News Agency?
    Or maybe just have three extra eyeballs?

    Oh. By the way.

    Windows.... "thrashes". Bigtime. Can and will physically wear-out a hard drive at five to more than ten times the rate of a proper operating system. One-year warranty HDD on a BSD Unix has about a five year service life. Pulled and replaced on "soft" fail. Never allowed to get NEAR a "hard fail".

    "smartctl". cron it. Or go blind pounding sand.

    "Server grade" HDD go obsolete ten years before they wear-out. If ever they even DO wear out.

    Part of that is good drives (NEVER a "Seagrrrrrrate!"), stable and shock-free housing on reliable and close-spec UPS power.

    The rest is a "file system" thing.

    BSD Unix .... actually HAS one.


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    All goes back to disk management.

    We serviced hard drives back in the removable stack of patter days, so it could be possible with a single platter drive but not cheap

    Best to understand that the drive will fail and back is SOP.

    photos and documents to optical.

    Applications just need install media.

    Created or used data need regular offsite backups.


    For our SCADA system we image the drive after fully optimized, the image is saved.

    A backup is made to allow plug and play swap.

    The database is automatically backed up into the cloud.

    Hard drive crash worst case is swap drive, restore data and only loose from time of backup.

    If these are just found drives toss them as better drives are cheap.

    A others stated, locate identical working unit and swap out circuit board.

    Bearings may be oiled from outside maybe but if head has touched the platter you are done.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Quiring View Post
    .. back in the removable stack of patter days,
    Oy! "Pre-Winchester" rigid head, fast drum memory, acoustic delay-line, and vacuum-column tape drive fossil? NCR "Century" era, earned off drive fails for 100 days in a row! MAJMAP 1100 and round-hole card punches? HP MPE-3000? Cogar vs Wang?

    OLD fart you are, then!



    Says he with the retained cabinet/frame of his last ISS-80 fourteen-incher c'atridge-ruiner drive converted to a bitchin' easy-wheeling B&S surface-plate table!

    Damn ... those boys wudda DOMINATED, yet today, if only they had built the damned mag-media coating-scratcher positioner stack as well as the caster wheels they bought-in!


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    Quote Originally Posted by JDennis View Post
    An old trick that may work.

    Put the HDDs in the freezer for a day. Remove them and quickly hook them back up to the computer. Copy and back up everything you can. If you find certain files that you cant get, go around them and get everything else. Save it to a different drive.

    This is a temporary fix (when it works, which is not always, depends on the reason for the original failure). The drive will fail again.
    (Disclaimer I never tried it.) Most drives have an operating temp of 0c to 60c. I would suspect when an HDD fresh out of the freezer spins up it almost instantly heats up to a more temperate range. and only the electronics stay colder for a while. Maybe one of those electronics freeze sprays could be used to cool the board. but hey, the drive is already bad.

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    My first PC [286 XT]with a 20mb hard drive, yes 20 mega byte.
    It got moved to the shop to handle up load download to the CNCs. The hard drive started dying so it was kept outside of the case so that if it didn't fire up you could slam it on the table once or twice. It had a couple dead files but otherwise worked in this state for a number of years.

    The computer that replaced it in the office sat in my garage for a number of years[486sx with 120 mb hard drive] and I realized there was one set of files on it I wanted. Computer would not fire up so I pulled the drive and put it in a newer machine. Pulled the files. Then the next day I said, Oh I wonder if such and such is on that machine. Dead as a doornail. I had one shot to do it.

    Important stuff you pay the grand to the hard drive man[did that once, one bad file on the drive, my QB file]. Unimportant stuff you stick a big magnet to it so no one else can pay the man

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    My first PC [286 XT]with a 20mb hard drive, yes 20 mega byte.
    5 MB. Rodime. 1,2,4,6 MHz Zed 80. Replacing 6502 & 8080. S-100, 50-pin "SMD" a predecesor to SCSI connected.

    After living off 66 hours of ASR-33 tape fed two-pass "assembler"

    8 x 8 bit fast RAM? 4 KILO bytes of An Wang's best beads?

    Then 256 bit? Then a whole 1024?

    Bit. Not byte?

    The History of Computer Data Storage, in Pictures | Pingdom

    Why 20 whole megabytes could store the entire knowledge of the human RACE .. ....that was WORTH KNOWING!

    The BAD news?

    That last part is still true.

    We truck with the DAMNDEST collections of outright garbidge!

    Parkinsonism. Human mental-feces expands to fill the storage available.

    What you do is take a carbide drill.. and some Muriatic acid...


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