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Recovery through brain surgery???

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  • Recovery through brain surgery???

    Anyone ever recover a dead drive's data by swapping the onboard controller? My 80gb Western Digital (BB vers) is reporting SMART errors on POST, and OnTrack's software seems to be able to see the data, but it's all farked. All recovered files have "bad headers" (whatever the hell that means), which results in files that take up the appropriate amount of space, but have jack in them for actual data.

    I'm thinking that I might just snag another exact match for the drive, then swap the onboard controller board in an attempt to get around the SMART error. First, has anyone done it? And second, does WD have any way to determine that that's been done (so I can RMA the crap drive)?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks dudes!
    The ALEXIS Project
    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
    Color Coding :
    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

  • #2
    Originally posted by deadweasel
    Anyone ever recover a dead drive's data by swapping the onboard controller? My 80gb Western Digital (BB vers) is reporting SMART errors on POST, and OnTrack's software seems to be able to see the data, but it's all farked. All recovered files have "bad headers" (whatever the hell that means), which results in files that take up the appropriate amount of space, but have jack in them for actual data.

    I'm thinking that I might just snag another exact match for the drive, then swap the onboard controller board in an attempt to get around the SMART error. First, has anyone done it? And second, does WD have any way to determine that that's been done (so I can RMA the crap drive)?

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks dudes!
    Ha ha I tired the same thing. The problem was you have to make sure every thing is EXACT on the new drive. Unfortunately for me they had changed some things on the new model I bough and it wouldn't work correctly. I did happen to find this computer store around here that got my HD to work. The board was dead but they got my data on to a new drive. I would recommend searching for a Data Recovery center. Be ware it cost like ~$300 but it's that or your data...you choose. Good luck.
    2003 Audi A4 1.8t (Totaled, Project Canceled)

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Spaceboy464
      Ha ha I tired the same thing. The problem was you have to make sure every thing is EXACT on the new drive. Unfortunately for me they had changed some things on the new model I bough and it wouldn't work correctly. I did happen to find this computer store around here that got my HD to work. The board was dead but they got my data on to a new drive. I would recommend searching for a Data Recovery center. Be ware it cost like ~$300 but it's that or your data...you choose. Good luck.
      Yeah, I contacted OnTrack, and they quoted me at least $700 to recover, and as much as $2500. Lemme spell that: TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED FRIGGIN DOLLARS!! Needless to say, as heartbreaking as it is to lose that data, it aint worth THAT much. Or should I say, it isn't worth going into debt that much for it.

      I'll continue searching for another data recovery joint, and hope like mad that they can be affordable. Even 300 is too much to consider at the moment. Ack.
      The ALEXIS Project
      MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
      Color Coding :
      DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by deadweasel
        Yeah, I contacted OnTrack, and they quoted me at least $700 to recover, and as much as $2500. Lemme spell that: TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED FRIGGIN DOLLARS!! Needless to say, as heartbreaking as it is to lose that data, it aint worth THAT much. Or should I say, it isn't worth going into debt that much for it.

        I'll continue searching for another data recovery joint, and hope like mad that they can be affordable. Even 300 is too much to consider at the moment. Ack.
        Ya I know 300 is alot but I figured I needed the Data. I Think I got a new HD from them too. Call your local "mom and pop" pc shop and ask who they recommend for data recovery.
        2003 Audi A4 1.8t (Totaled, Project Canceled)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Spaceboy464
          Ya I know 300 is alot but I figured I needed the Data. I Think I got a new HD from them too. Call your local "mom and pop" pc shop and ask who they recommend for data recovery.
          Heh. Problem is, I work for a PC company that recently exited "mom and pop" status. I have always recommended OnTrack to customers with data issues, as I have seen what they can do, and it is good. I simply can't justify their costs though.
          The ALEXIS Project
          MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
          Color Coding :
          DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

          Comment


          • #6
            I have successfully done this (swapped boards) with a 120gb samsung harddrive, and a 20gb hitachi laptop hard drive. Both times I found the IDENTICAL drive with the use of ebay and "search titles and descriptions"
            car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

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            • #7
              There was a case of this once I seen posted on Pimprig.com (PC mod forum I frequent) and the guy actually recovered his drive after much hunting.. if you have data you really wanna get back it would be worth it.. He actually bought a domain and has a website dedicated to this.... can be found here http://www.deadharddrive.com/ Very interesting.. there is hope..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Twizted
                There was a case of this once I seen posted on Pimprig.com (PC mod forum I frequent) and the guy actually recovered his drive after much hunting.. if you have data you really wanna get back it would be worth it.. He actually bought a domain and has a website dedicated to this.... can be found here http://www.deadharddrive.com/ Very interesting.. there is hope..
                Dude, you are TEH MAN!!! Thanks for the post-up!
                The ALEXIS Project
                MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
                Color Coding :
                DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yup I have recovered data from toshiba laptop HDD a few times at work by swapping parts...well theres only 2 parts, the electronics and the mechanism.

                  But most of the time drive failure is due to mechanical failure rather than the electronics.

                  You can try anyway

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ricky327
                    Yup I have recovered data from toshiba laptop HDD a few times at work by swapping parts...well theres only 2 parts, the electronics and the mechanism.

                    But most of the time drive failure is due to mechanical failure rather than the electronics.

                    You can try anyway
                    Well, failure of the mechanical aspect IS a little more common than the electronics. BUT, that sort of failure has almost always been associated with the "click of death" from what I have seen in our service department. That, coupled with the fact that I can still see the file structure from within OnTrack's recovery software, tells me that the mechanism is still functioning properly. I'm also convinced it's a controller error, since I am getting SMART errors at bootup.
                    The ALEXIS Project
                    MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
                    Color Coding :
                    DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Would have to agree with deadweasel... I have read alot of ppl on Pimprig and other forums run into more controller problems with the HDD more than mechanical problems... Hope you have some luck with it if you go for the controller board swap..

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But if you can see the files, and the HDD is having trouble reading...wouldnt a bad sector also considered as mechanical failure? they are not part of the electronics

                        I must have changed about 1,000 all sort of HDD in the past from what I can remember they mostly clicks, and have bad sectors, HDD just kept spinning looking for the files. I only rarely see HDD not being recognised by the controller which is the only thing that make me think it a HDD electronics problems.

                        From what I know, SMART monitors mainly the HDD mechanicals, temperatures, current consumptions, expected data transfers and so on. If the the results are out of spec then thats when you get an error message. I have mostly seen SMART errors generated only when the HDD is amost dead or completely dead.

                        I never really bother to fix a HDD as I belives they cant be fixed. Have I missed something?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This will help you indentify your problems :

                          http://www.hddtech.co.uk/Standardfailures.htm

                          http://www.storagereview.com/guide20...uresSMART.html

                          Good luck and let us know what happened


                          EDIT :

                          Twizted,

                          From what you read the electronics is the common failure...I thought it would be completely the opposite. Its always been a well known fact mechanical is always the first one to go.

                          This site says so too and so did many other manufacturers reports :

                          http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/...Failure-c.html

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've swapped pcb's before. I even have an old P133 server with 1G seagates in a RAID array here that I have swapped boards over the years picking up spares on ebay. Try sticking the drive in the freezer for a few minutes to get it nice and cool, then try to read the data, most fail when warm, I have used that to recover a couple.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by eugenen
                              I've swapped pcb's before. I even have an old P133 server with 1G seagates in a RAID array here that I have swapped boards over the years picking up spares on ebay. Try sticking the drive in the freezer for a few minutes to get it nice and cool, then try to read the data, most fail when warm, I have used that to recover a couple.
                              I know that trick can work when dealing with drives that have fallen prey to thermal exansion differential issues, (IE the tracks expand with the platters on the drive when warm), but that only happens to older drives that use any head movement method other than voice coil. Current day drives actively track and store track locations so they really can't become misaligned due to temperature issues. It COULD be a problem relating to an overheated chip, but I doubt it. OnTrack can see everything, I just can't seem to be able to get it off the platters. According to OnTrack (the company, not the software), this sort of failure is more common than anyone would like to think, but it also requires some advanced procedures in a clean room. (Read: your *** is ours punk). I'm coming close to giving up on the data. Some of it I will never recover otherwise, since it's music and imagery that I wrote or downloaded while on some random websurfing frenzy.
                              On the whole, it's not worth as much as the ALEXIS core source files to me, and Frodo saved my *** on that one.

                              Speaking of which: Frodo, I am still cleaning my chair off after you made me unload into my drawers with that "Thanks for the code, I hate you" thing when I sent the source to you, but I'm glad I did share it now. You're a lifesaver bro!
                              The ALEXIS Project
                              MP3---VIDEO---GPS---REARVIEW---OBD---SKINNING
                              Color Coding :
                              DONE / MOSTLY DONE / BASE FEATURES / WORKING CONCEPT / NO CODE COMPLETED

                              Comment

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