• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Data Recovery after hard drive failure


OSNN Junior Addict
Well, the story goes...
1.2 Athlon
60gig WD Caviar
Well, I hadn't formatted/freshly installed windows in quite some time so it wasnt a shock when things began to go wrong. IE would only open to a 'Sorry Windows must shut down this program' error and a few other short anomalies (sp?). Not a problem. I had the 60gig in 2 partitions, one for system drive and the other as storage/backup.
I back my things up to the storage partition and begin the process of reloading windows.
During the formatting process in WinXP a setup an error occurs (I dont remember what it was) and the setup restarts the computer and continues on. Windows loads properly but upon completion the system begins to hang and lock up for minutes at a time. Chalking it up to the formatting error I reformat and reinstall windows again. This time everything runs perfect, except the system partition is now E:. I use Partition Magic 8 to change drive letters. The system reboots, runs the PM8 process, reboots, and gets an error. PM8 could not open the batch file, its either missing or corrupt. I press any key to continue and windows is unable to load any account. It just sort of sits there w/o an account waiting. OK, one more time, reload windows and deal with the drive letters. Everything is running perfect again and what not. Okay, so I leave and take a short nap. Come back and theres an error and the machine is locked up and my hard drive is CLICKING. Well, I couldn't back anything up, windows was locked up, so I reset it and yup! the drive is gone.

The question.
I do have some somewhat important work files on there that I would have to replace the lost work on. I do have backups, but not the most current versions. What would be the best way to handle this situation? Its not worth spending large amounts of money to recover those 2 files and I can deal with losing my media collection. But is there possibly a DIY solution to recovering the data? If so, it may give me something to do while I wait for the RMA to go through.

If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated!


if the HD's controller is toast you would need a specialized company to recover the data for you which will no doubt be expensive.. if the drive is still working to a degree you could try R-Studio to recover files. I ran into a similar situation once and usdde R-Studio to recover most of my files..


OSNN Junior Addict
well i'm not sure what constitutes the difference between the controller being down and it working to a degree :)

BIOS isnt able to recognize the drive
but it does still spin..and click...


yeah, sounds like it's hooped.. the drive's controller must be shot.. no hope of standard means since your system cannot recognize the drive.. I think you're only hope is the $pecialty route...


OSNN Junior Addict
Thanks Robbie,
heh, as far as I can tell all I've lost is maybe 5ish hours of work and some of my brother's photos he had me store for safe keeping (heh); well anything of importance anyway.

Just realized all of my work from my undergrad studies is gone, well the digital formats at least. ACK ACK ACK
How old is the drive? I’ll take a bet it’s under warrantee. You said the drive was “clicking” this merely (sigh) indicates that the drives stepper motor controller is stuck or that the drive can’t initialise, if it’s constant and repeatable. Send it back asking them to repair they will copy the firmware and possibly replace the electronics; the rest is automatic as the drive faults etc are stored on the drive itself on reserved tracks. You could actually do this yourself, it's not that difficult, but not if it’s under warrantee.

:) :) :)


OSNN Junior Addict
Yes, the sound is constant/repeating..
and! it is under warranty!
Limited Warranty that is...need to find if I have an owner's manual to see what exactly that is, or try and find a statement somewhere.

This is actually a replacement drive sent to me after this incident.

Does anyone have experience getting things repaired by WD?
If it turns out this drive is not up for repairs, you said this is something I could try and to by myself. Any ideas on where to find information on how to do so? Will it void the replacement warranty?

Give WD a ring and tell them what the fault is. If you attempt to swap-out the electronics this will certainly void the warrantee as they can tell even if you have turned one of the small connecting screws/bolts half a turn. This sounds remarkably like faults encountered on another hard drive manufactures drives manufactured about the same time where about half a million drives were faulty. As this is the subject of litigation I'll have to let it rest here.

You have your consumer rights intact.

:) :)
Some recovery programs may still be able to find something if you are lucky and can get the clicking to stop for a while.

I have two drives that do the clicking on startup sometimes. So I put them in the server for now. As long as they are on, they work. If I reboot, the click sometimes. In that case I reboot a few more times... :)

Returning the drive to WD shouldn't be a problem, this is clearly covered by the warranty. DON'T ATTEMPT ANY HARDWARE "MEDDLING" ON YOUR OWN. Just get an RMA and send it in.

I have sent back one drive (and am going to resend the same drive again!) but I sent it to my reseller, so I'm not sure WD was involved much.


OSNN Junior Addict
Yeah, thats defintely an option, RMA.

But whats creating a dilemma for me is the fact that just sending it back will cause me to lose rather important files, things irreplaceable. My biggest concern is the 4 years of school work lost. I had some damn good papers in there!

I'll try throwing it in as slave a few times and see what happens, but I surely don't want to push it. Unless the clicking doesnt harm the arms.


OSNN Junior Addict
Well I tossed my drive in as slave and it managed to work just enough for me to rescue the important things. RMA here I come!

Thanks everyone!

Members online

No members online now.

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Electronic Punk wrote on Perris Calderon's profile.
All good still mate?
Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

Forum statistics

Latest member