Dead HDD, possible to repair?

By Justin ยท 25 replies
Apr 2, 2002
  1. Ok.

    Due to my own personal retardation, when I was replacing a fan, I put the power lead on a Fujitsu HDD *backwards*. Yes I somehow managed to force it on backwards. I booted and of course it failed, then after that the machine would not POST with the drive attached.

    I plugged it in the correct way, and I noticed the interface card (the circuit board underneath the HDD) got extremely extremely hot on poweron attempt, even though the disk itself didn't power on.

    Do any of you know a place I could go to get it repaired, or a way I could repair it myself?

    The HDD is a Fujitsu 8.4GB 5400RPM MPD3084AT

    Thanks for any help,

    ~ Soul
  2. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    its gonna cost you less to get another 8gb drive then to get that one fixed, if thats even possible. I have heard of hard drives being fixed before, but I have never done it or seen it myself. I would recommend searching around on Google for a harddrive repair company.

    You may just want to cut your losses and pick up a 20gb drive for around 100 bucks or so..
  3. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 942

    I just lost my job, I spent my last amount of cash on some other parts, and I'm a little in debt, and the worst part of it is that there is a lot of stuff on that HDD that I need.

  4. uncleel

    uncleel TS Rookie Posts: 980

    That's even worse news, because the companies that specialize in retrieving data from dead HD's are quite expensive.
    You can always freezer trick.
  5. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

  6. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    unk, what is the freezer trick?
  7. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 942

    Yeah, I found drivelabs on google and I sent them a message asking for an estimate.

    I live in Oregon.

    And yes, what is the freezer trick?
  8. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    He may not be able to do it if the drive won't do anything now. You put the drive in the freezer, wait for it to cool, then put it into your machine, and if it boots, start getting all the important stuff off...LIKE PRONTO !!
  9. T-Shirt

    T-Shirt TS Rookie Posts: 289

    The freezer trick was for "sticksion" (a problem for old drives, when the heads stuck to the platter) This is Extreamly rare in modern drives, and won't help in this case.
    By reversing the power plug, you applied 12v to the 5v circuits, The circuit board is cooked.
    The recovery place should have the correct board and will temporarily attach it, (after checking for other electircal, physical damage) extract your data, and return it on tape , cd or a replacement drive of your choice. it won't be cheap! even more expensive is if other parts are damaged (heads, motor, head actuator,etc.) is to remove the platters (discs) and rebuild the drive with new components (requires a clean room, and a LOT of tech. hours)
    Be sure you Really need the data, before proceding( this is not worth it for your MP3 collection) expect a bill in the $100's
  10. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Ask around in you neighborhood, and see if anyone has the same drive as you... (The exact same drive!)
    When you've found one, take off the controller card (there's only one PCB card on the hdd) carefully! And then take off your own controller card (make sure that you don't mix them up...)

    Now, insert the working controller onto the hdd... Boot up, retrieve data, turn off, reverse process...

    That should do the trick.. :)
  11. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Well... It works on new drives which are starting to fail (more bad sectors by the hour...)...

    Put it in a ziplock, seal, and freeze... Take out of freezer, insert in machine, boot and copy... (Make sure the 'puter is ready before you install faulty drive.... You only get once chance at this...)

    HDD copied :)

  12. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    You may even want to find this drive used on Ebay or somewhere. 8.4gb drive may cost ya 50 bucks..You can take the controller card off the new drive and put it on yours and your good to go..
  13. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    I would open that baby up and see what going on in there.
  14. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    And render the drive usless?? The freezer may work....
  15. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Freezer won't work in this scenario...! The freezer helps if there is a small part loose, or the drive has been running too hot, as it'll make the metal contract/piece stick and allow you to salvage the data, but no more...

    If the controller card is fried, the only way to get it working, is changing card...
  16. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    On a similar line, what is the easiest way to retrieve info from a disk that is starting the "click of death" ?? Is this a case for the freezer ??
  17. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    Well, is the drive still readable? I would just take the data off the drive and rma it.. When I think of the click of death, I still think of a drive that still works but is making some loud noise and is on its last leg..
  18. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    I will try that SVT, I had it in the computer and did most of a scan disk. The drive worked about 5 hours before the clicking started. Then I booted into windows the next day and it started just after it loaded (win) so I will try again when I get the new drive installed and loaded with XP.
  19. svtcobra

    svtcobra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 761

    If you can run it as a slave boeing, you'll have a much easier and "safer" time recovering data from it.
  20. running

    running TS Enthusiast Posts: 70

    Once I had a problem with an old Quantum. To make a long story short, it all started with some ATI driver problems (newsflash!), I got impatient and the HD wouldn't even appear in POST after that. I opened the stupid thing, started the computer and started to move the arm, careful not to scratch the freakin' platters. At some point it "hooked" and started reading. That's the last time it worked, however it was enough to recover some docs I forgot to back up. I was lucky the drive could still spin.

    This worked for me; however I knew that without a clean room the HD would be ruined. So, I hope this helps.
  21. boeingfixer

    boeingfixer TS Rookie Posts: 1,006

    Well I finally got around to the dead drive and it managed to work to swap all my friends files from her old drive to her new drive, it worked flawlessly. Thnaks for all the help gang !!
  22. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    Somehow I am not surprised. ;)
  23. mitchellk

    mitchellk TS Rookie

    Forgive me for being a noob but, is this difficult to do? Does it require any soldering-type work or is it all unscrew and unplug? Anyone know of a site that gives instructions?

    My drive's 80GB and not only does it have every episode of South Park, but it also has some photos that the missus doesn't want Joe Bloggs at Drivelabs looking at, if you know what I mean. So any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated :grinthumb
  24. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Yes, the circuit board is unscrew and unplug. The plugs are rather tricky though and you have to take care when working with those.
  25. erwin1978

    erwin1978 TS Maniac Posts: 290

    damn this is an ancient thread isn't it. Is this so called "click of death" warrants an rma? Will the manufacturer be picky about it?
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