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Thread: Recovery through brain surgery???

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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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
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    Quote 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)

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote 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

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    Quote 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)

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote 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

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    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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    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..

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote 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

  9. #9
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    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

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    Maximum Bitrate deadweasel's Avatar
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    Quote 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

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