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Dead Hard Drives??

Sexo um Pato

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Hey All,
Can someone please help me out with a serious HD problem?

I have two seagate harddrives in my computer 160gb - 7200 spin. They are getting close to capacity and today i was using my computer as usual. I clicked to shut the computer down, and it was taking ages to actually shut down...so i just held the power button down and turned it off that way.

My problem is that on rebooting the computer my motherboard wont detect my two hard drives, ive tried plugging them into another IDE port but it didnt make any difference. On the plus side, my motherboard is detecting my DVD burner...

I can hear some sort of faint clicking noises coming from the two hard drives when the motherboard is trying to detect them....but it doesnt actually detect them.

Usual story, important data on the drives and no backups...grr.

I would really appreciate some help and ideas on how to solve this!!!



check the microchips underneath the HD's

i once had a faulty PSU that blew 3 ide HD's at once (was burnmarks in the chips under the hd)
the sata drives i had connected survived..

if anything crucial on the drives, you could always send them to a data recovery specialist?

Sexo um Pato

qvack qvack qvack
i checked the microchips under the HDDs and they both look absolutely normal. As I mentioned before i can hear some sort of activity happening "under the hood" of the drives...it's just that when the motherboard trys to detect the hard drives it just waits at primary master..... detects nothing, primary slave.... nothing.. secondary ...etc.

so i thought it may be a motherboard issue...except that it is still detecting my ide dvd burner without a problem.

Im happy buying new drives, but i'm really keen to salvage the data on these old ones myself....unfortunately its not like it's a corrupted OS that i can boot up another HDD and access the drives.. :( The motherboard simply won't recognise the drives all of a sudden and i dont know why.


Penguin Rancher
Have you tried just connecting one hard drive back at a time and checking to see if the BIOS can detect either single drive?
sounds like you had a terminal head crash if they are clicking and failing to be detected.

You may want to start hunting for a decent data recovery specialist.

Sexo um Pato

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i'll try reconnecting them one at a time...i just find it hard to believe that both drives would die at the same time. One drive was at least 12 months older than the other drive.

anyone know the cheapest way to recover data from an HDD? i'm happy pulling the drives apart and using a soldering iron if needed ...

thanks for the replies...more heads are better than one.
I assume they are not raid since you did not mention it. If both drives were near full they may not have had enough space to save the shut down information which would explain the delay.

Holding down the power button is a bad idea. If you must terminate the shut down its better to push the reset button and then shut down power when the system starts to reboot.

Data recovery has many options depending on what happened to the drives. i.e. FAT corruption, physical damage, controller damage, master boot record corruption, etc. You will need to study the disks from a working system to identify the damage. This is best doen using an external enclosure since it reduces risk to the good system. If you don't have an external enclosure you can plug the HDs in as slaves one at a time.
--getdataback comes in ntfs or fat32 versions free.


music MUSIC music
Political User
Yea i have a bad 80 gb from a year ago, just stiting here, i use my extrnal case and all it does is spin and make a weird noise and my light is red..the computer doesnt even see it...can getdataback help?
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Sexo um Pato

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but surely if my motherboard wont detect the drives, booting up a good HDD as master and using one of the dead ones as a slave wont help me access them?

I was not using a raid configuration with these drives. I still would have had at least 10GB...maybe even 18GB left of space on the windows drive...

Sexo um Pato

qvack qvack qvack
i've attempted to boot up just the OS drive as a primary slave and the motherboard detected it...and low and behold i was able to get into windows. I've just rebooted and am running scan disk... there was something about a corrupt boot disk attribute...anyway. Once this runs i'm going to fire up the DVD burner and do some heavy duty backing up. My music and business data are on this main disk...

hopefully the other drive will work as well so i can back up. 160 GB of porn would be a big waste ;)

I'll let you know if the other drive works as well when I've backed up my business data.
Yea i have a bad 80 gb from a year ago, just stiting here, i use my extrnal case and all it does is spin and make a weird noise and my light is red..the computer doesnt even see it...can getdataback help?
If the computer doesn't see it your hosed. The weird noise may just be the heads searching for a corupted boot record. Have you tried putting the bad drive into a PC as Master and booting from the WD utility CD? Segate and maxtor have utility disks also. If the drive is bad they should be able to tell you what is wrong with it.

What they do with them at the factory is install the platters into a good set of electronics and then synchronize the new electronics to the written data. This is not cheap and you don't have the equipment to do it at home.

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