help: ideas to retrieve info
January 24, 2012 4:50 PM   Subscribe

s-o-s! External HD got a power surge and friend the inside. this is an old HD but I have had it forever and it has alot of old photoshop and design files of art I used to do and photo of my home prior to gutting. I ned the info!

It is an old random brand HD and I went to a pc doctor today who told me he couldn't find a replacement board to get the info. He told e weeks and over a thousand dollars. I called another place and they said "data recovery starts at $595." Any ideas? This isn't like files to save my life but it is stuff I want .
note: my laptop died so this WAS my backup. I was putting the stuff on my new pc.
I hope hive ind will have a good idea. I'm so sad.
posted by femmme to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Be clear: is the drive fried, or just the USB enclosure?
posted by caclwmr4 at 4:54 PM on January 24, 2012

Response by poster: Well the "doc" took the green board off and the rubber was melted slightly onto the chip he said is important but he thought if he replaced the green part it would work. The question is finding it...thousands of dollars to find it though? Yes, I know I sounds so stupid but Im trying to tell everything I know.
it is magnetic data technologies, totally random...
posted by femmme at 5:00 PM on January 24, 2012

I'm not sure I know what you mean by "random brand HD." In my experience, hard drives are going to be from one of a handful of manufacturers. The key is to find another one so you can get the green board, so maybe looking closer is in order.
posted by rhizome at 5:29 PM on January 24, 2012

You may be able to a used copy of the exact same drive on eBay and do a board swap. I've never done this, but my understanding is that it's what a lot of data recovery services do.
posted by cnc at 5:33 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

cnc: indeed, one of the fundamental aspects of data recovery profit margins is the size of a company's "green board" library.
posted by rhizome at 5:43 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

eBay for sure. Find the same drive (I bet it's out there) and swap out the green thingy. Worst case scenario: you pay $10 for an old drive on top of $1,000 for data recovery.
posted by brownrd at 5:51 PM on January 24, 2012

Just in case you didn't think of this. You mentioned you laptop died. Is the laptop HD fried as well? Because if not, you can take it out, throw it into an enclosure and get your data off of it.
posted by pyro979 at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2012

Seconding pyro: Look at the HD on your laptop and see if the files are accessible there. If you aren't comfortable doing this, take the laptop to your PC doc and ask him to remove the HD, access your files, and copy them to a new external HD for you.
posted by exphysicist345 at 7:39 PM on January 24, 2012

Forget about the green board, and just mount the drive in either a desktop pc or a caddy designed for this purpose... at least that way you'll know if the actual drive is damaged.
posted by dirm at 7:41 PM on January 24, 2012

Magnetic Data Technologies is a white label Western Digital and its BIOS does ID as MDT not WD. So while an identical MDT may be very hard to find, the equivalent WD board will swap right in, if you can match it to the right WD.
posted by caclwmr4 at 8:07 PM on January 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: i did a SATA to USB and the hd is dead. the pc doc looked on ebay but magnetic data technologies doesn't really exist. All of this stuff on my external was years of backup. I just was trying to put it on my new pc when this happened. I'm lost and everything keeps saying no-can-do but I know that's not true.
posted by femmme at 8:09 PM on January 24, 2012

What size is the drive? What capacity and 2.5 or 3.5?
posted by caclwmr4 at 8:11 PM on January 24, 2012

What caclwmr4 was saying above was that it's actually a Western Digital drive, and you can probably get the board from whatever WD model it is.
posted by rhizome at 10:05 PM on January 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, hard drive manufacturing plants are big and expensive. There's no "random brand" hard drives. As of now, there's only 2 hard drive manufacturers in the world - Western Digital and Seagate. A year or so ago there was also Hitachi GST, Toshiba and Samsung. Hitachi got gobbled up by WD, and Samsung went to Seagate. I'm not sure what happened to Toshiba, but I'm pretty sure they don't actually manufacture hard drives anymore.

So despite the label, it aint a "Magnetic Data Technologies" hard drive. caclwmr4 seems to think it's a WD, and I see no reason to doubt that. Try to find a WD model with the same capacity and specs, and you can be reasonably sure it will be the same drive.
posted by Diag at 1:23 AM on January 25, 2012

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