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Old 02-28-2010, 03:11 PM
guhai1984 guhai1984 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Default How to Fix a Physically Broken Hard Drive

Make sure the device is definitely dead.
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Have you checked PC's BIOS settings to ensure detection of the troublesome drive? Sometimes the settings can alter for various reasons, so it's a good idea to check these first.
Was the IDE (ribbon) and power cable firmly in place?
Are all in/output pins on the drives connectors intact and not obviously bent, damaged or broken etc.?
Read everything through fully before you proceed and decide which "symptom" best fits your circumstances since, many of the techniques listed are "traumatic" to say the least and you may only get a one-off opportunity to retrieve vital data for transference onto another drive or backup device.
Hold the drive in one hand and firmly "spin" it back and forth whilst listening for any noises as you do so. If you can't hear any noise, a likely cause, especially if you have an older drive, or one which ran very hot to the touch, is a seized head bearing/spindle and the following steps can be considered:
Pre-heat a domestic oven at its lowest setting for five minutes or so, disconnect the heat and place the drive in the oven for 2-5 mins... your aiming for comfort to the touch.
Remove the drive and repeat step

If you still can't hear any noise go onto part C. However, if there is a difference, reattach the drive to your PC and listen for spin-up of the drive and usual (clicking) head activity. If all seems well so far, try to access the drive under windows to retrieve your data.
If needed, reheat the device and whilst holding the drive in one hand, sharply spin and clip the drive onto a hard surface this is drastic of course, but we need to free the heads from any binding. Repeat step 1... can you hear head movement now? If yes, Attach to your PC and try accessing the drive through windows
If you can hear a rhythmic "click" in time with the movement, the chances are that the drive heads are free on their mounts and are not jammed. Check that you don't hear any rattling noises when you rotate the drive gently (back and forth) through 90 degrees. This would indicate loose and disconnected components inside the drive and are beyond the scope or intent of this article.
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