Trying to revive "dead" hard drive

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Up until 6 months ago (in my previous computer), I was using a secondary (non-bootable, non-OS) drive on an older computer that ran Windows XP. The secondary drive I am referring to, is a Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB IDE.

After moving across country, I tried to boot the computer and found that the while the primary drive with XP would boot, the secondary drive would not work ("device not working"). I tried many different attempts at solving the problem, including trying to install/access it in a different computer of mine. I tried many different combinations of IDE cable connection, and many variations of the switch setting. No dice.

I now have a Compaq Presario SR5113WM, running Vista Basic, with a Seagate 140GB hard drive. I attempted to access/install the drive as a secondary in the Presario. Though it was recognized as a mass storage device in the devices list, the device itself would not "work", giving the same code 10 error. It doesn't seem to be powering up (based on the lack of drive sounds). I additionally put the problem drive in an external drive case (Rocketfish 3.5" USB enclosure), with no further progress. (The Rocketfish case has an internal power plug, and connects the "box" via IDE to USB.) I tried it with the Rocketfish power jack and also with the power cable straight from the motherboard, for the sake of elimination. I don't know how I can determine if there is a loose connection of some sort in the drive's power circuitry/connection, or if there is an internal part failure. I also don't have the proprietary tool to disassemble the drive case even if I wanted to.

I'd REALLY like to access this drive. Any helpful hints are very welcomed.



Posts: 17,233   +234
Is all this trouble really necessary? It is obvious that the drive is bad. Don't even think about opening up the drive at all, even though it may already be a paper weight


Posts: 21   +0
The most you can really do at home is to take the board off the bottom of the drive and swap in a board from an identical drive, yet even this is risky. If the info on the drive is that important to ya, i'd say google some local data recovery companies and see what sorta prices they charge.
I appreciate the responses so far. I realize that it sounds like too much trouble when there is no personal attachment to the data. I was stupid enough to not back up the drive in a timely manner, not thinking that simply moving the computer to a new house would be cause for hardware failure. Though I am not computer illiterate, that mistake was pretty obvious.

That said, I had previously checked some local area data recovery businesses, and of course cringed from the rates charge for the service. One place quoted me something like $85-$135 to transfer the data to another drive (supplied by me). He sounded totally confident about the ability to retrieve it, based upon my explanation. He also suggested that it might be a board failure. Anyhow, that rate sounds infinitely more reasonable than the former ones.

I recently downloaded a .pdf called 200 Ways To Recover Revive Your Hard-Drive, and some of the ideas gave me renewed hope that it might be possible. I have just never taken a hard drive apart or re-placed the HD board (but have done many other routine maintenance anbd upgrade tasks to hardware). I was hoping to hear about an approach I had not considered, or one that was successful a least to a favorable degree, and/or what NOT to do.

I'd rather not tamper with it and make it worse (if that is possible at this point), and may well just have to take it to the above-mentioned guy, but will keep watching for potential suggestions here in the mean time.

Many thanks for the posted responses!

Alternate2007 :monkey:


Posts: 21   +0
Well if it was new ideas you were looking for, both heating and cooling a drive have been known to solve problems, and allow 20-30 mins of access before the drive completely dies. Never had this work for me, though.


Posts: 6,906   +10
Replacing the system board seldom works, and reduces the chance that you can use an adapter or a USB enclosure to rescue data.
Once your new drive is installed and Windows is working well, but the defective drive in a USB enclosure. You can use drag and drop, or recovery software to rescue data with about a 67% success rate.
Once you start this "rescue" of the enclosure slave drive, do not stop until done. Many is the time that it will never work again after this effort. Do not turn it off. Plan what you are going to rescue and where it is likely found before you start.
Good luck.


Posts: 21   +0
raybay said:
You can use drag and drop, or recovery software to rescue data with about a 67% success rate.

From what he's saying the drive is doing i think it's more around 0%, i'm sure he's already tried 'drag and drop', and recovery software will not work if the drive is erroring when he's attempting to open or access it.
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