Fried Harddrive
March 10, 2005 10:27 AM   Subscribe

I've had a bad experience with two hard drives being fried by one computer. Unfortunately...

...the hard drives contained all of our vacation photos. Does anybody know what to do with a harddrive that just won't spin up? There was no smoke when they went, just a refusal to boot.
posted by jon_kill to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) details how to swap the (dead) electronics component of the drive with the (live) component of a second, known-good drive. If you're a gambler, it may be a much less expensive way to recover your files.

It isn't a guaranteed fix; be sure to read others' comments and experiences.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:36 AM on March 10, 2005

Oh, and if you're sure it's your computer that is killing your drives, don't use it for repairs: plug the drive into a second, working computer.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2005

{preach}Unfortunately, it usually takes an occurrence such as this to drive home the point of backing up your data on a regular basis. {/preach}
Okay, now that I've scolded you, you need to determine just how valuable that lost data is to you. Before you go and start trying to swap circuit boards or cracking open the drive encl itself, check out OnTrack. They are a professional data recovery company. They will give you a free quote, but you'll find that they aren't cheap. Depending on the type of damage and work they have to do to recover the data, it could be over $1K. I've dealt with them in the past on two occasions and they were able to recover the most critical data both times. Very nice people to deal with too. If you're not in a rush, let them know that as that will bring down the price.

If you simply can't afford that type of data recovery or can't justify that expenditure on the lost data, then I'd go ahead and try the tricks on the website AlexReynolds posted.

BTW, did I mention you should have a backup scheme in place? You can find more info on backups here (even though it was an article written for Linux, the same concepts apply universally across platforms).

Best of luck!
posted by Lactoso at 1:18 PM on March 10, 2005

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