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200gb hdd makes clicking noises and doesnt boot, need to recover data if possible

By mazzoi ยท 8 replies
Feb 21, 2005
  1. Hi.

    I'll try to explain what happened as quickly and clearly as possible. I have had a lot of problems with my cpu overheating (the room its in can get very hot), and when it shut down for the last time it wouldnt boot anymore, no error beeps but lights and fans would turn on. then the fans in the PSU stopped working and shortly afterwards it blew up. computer specs at the time were:-
    PSU: Codegen 550w
    m/b: abit nf7-s m/b (not sure of bios version)
    cpu: amd xp2800
    ram: 2 x corsair PC3200 512mb
    Video: MSI Geforce Ti4200 128mb
    HDD's: 1x120gb Seagate Baracuda (ST3120026A), 1x200gb Seagate Baracuda (ST3200822A), and 1x200gb Western Digital Caviar (WD2000JB - 00FUA0)

    after replacing the PSU, and testing each piece of hardware, it was determined that the m/b was faulty as CPU RAM and everything else worked on other computers. replaced that and got an Asus A7N8X-X. Computer worked again, however, the Western Digital HDD started reported errors and chkdsk tried to fix them however it would hang. I would skip that and get into windows and it kept momentarily freezing, and whenever accessing files on that HDD it would pause all the time, but files like mp3's and movie files still played. tried running norton disk doctor but that froze on me. and then windows stopped booting. The HDD would then start making bad clicking sounds like it was jammed or scratching or something, and sometimes it would show up in the bios but most of the time it would just freeze. and now it sometimes detects an 8gb HDD but windows still refuses to boot. computer works fine when its not connected, and the 2 other HDD's are fine also.

    I have a lot of my University work and other important files which I'm almost desperate to recover, i know i should have backed up somehow but its not easy to when its concerning 200gb of data being put onto blank cds.. Knowing the kind of defect the HDD is showing i'm hoping i could at least take it back under warranty, but before i do that is there ANYTHING AT ALL i could do to regain access to my files? I cant even use the Western Digital diagnostic/tool software to run tests or to zero fill it.

    Please help.
    Thanx in advance,
  2. bushwhacker

    bushwhacker TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 766

    Whoa, Whoa! Back up a bit!
    You have a very plenty hard drive space, why three hard disk, you would only need two or one! the clicking and whining from hard drive is normal <especially from Western Digital Caviar Hard disks> here some suggestion... start with one of hard disk that boot OS, place it in master with IDE1. put ST3200822A in slave along IDE1. put your optical drive (cdrom/rw/dvdrom/rw) in master along IDE2. Add WD2000JB in slave along IDE2.

    Consider to purchase low profile high perfomance copper heatsink for your amd xp +2800. if it wont work, pull either one of 200gb hard disk and store it for later use.


    P.S. it has nothing to do with your ram. you would need to update with os. Sound like you have hdd detection problem. I think you are in windows 98se. go to microsoft.com and type the search box = kb263044. download it and you are good to go.
  3. mazzoi

    mazzoi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the reason why i have 3 hdd's is because they are all full.. years worth of downloads and files accumulated is why i want to recover the data so badly. The problem hdd has been used for close to a year without any problems until my power supply blew and the constant system overheating and switching off..

    sorry i should have mentioned that i'm using Windows XP Pro with SP1 installed. and my cpu heatsink/fan is an Aero Cooler Master.

    the clicking sound isnt so much of a click, as i'm aware that harddrives do make noises like that sometimes, but it really doesnt sound healthy at all. like i mean it only just started making the noises when it started to fail, before all this i would've said it was a reliable harddrive! :(

    i guess i'll just keep trying to get it working and i might get lucky, i wont hold my breath tho.

    thanks for the input.
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    When an HDD starts with the physical clicking, ticking, grinding, clacking, banging, whirring that is FAR above normal volumes, you're in big trouble!

    Your question was, is there "ANYTHING" you can do. Well there is, but it won't be cheap. You'd have to send it off to a recovery expert. Maybe a "Data Doctors" store if you have a local one. Otherwise you'll have to send it to a factory. They will physically take the platters out of your drive and take the data off with special equipment, thus bypassing your failing mechanics. It is a very delicate procedure, requiring special equipment and clean rooms etc...
    For a full 200GB of data you could expect to pay in the thousands :(

    There is not much you can do, if your read/write heads are mechanically failing, they are not going to read anything, and will probably get worse if you keep trying it.

    http://www.drivesavers.com/ is a popular recovery company, they say this:
    "Warning: If your hard drive emits unusual noises (clicking, grinding or metal scraping), turn it off immediately! This symptom typically indicates a head crash that can destroy your data. Hard drives spin with extreme speed - from 7,200 to 15,000 revolutions per minute - therefore extensive damage can occur in a short period of time. Contact DriveSavers immediately, as this situation demands professional recovery in a Clean-room environment."

    Sorry. That super sucks, but hope you get through it.
  5. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,452

    Did you try the test-programs from the HD-manufacturer? See the Read: at the top of this forum.
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,049   +11

    Try to cool the faulty hard disk drive to near zero, the thermal expansion should allow data recovery. Search for "freezer trick" from this forum for more information.

    However, recovering 200 GB will take some time, and the drive might heat up again if you don't use some extra cooling.

    That might not be the easiest thing to do, but could be cheaper than professional recovery companies.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,634

    Ah yes! The freezer trick!
    I had that work just one time on a bad drive. I was quite surprised actually. But it hasn't worked since :(
  8. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,009

    I'd like to find one of those dics fixers
    that would make my shop complete
  9. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,009

    old thread read thread date
    by the way found a great hdd regenerator
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