Hard Drive will not Spin - at all

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I had a 400gb Seagate drive in an external enclosure. I was
transferring files from one computer to another. I finished copying
files on the drive, and was moving the drive across the room. I had it
on the ground, moved the cord slightly and the drive spun around
violently. As if the platters were just frozen in an instant and spun
the case around.

When the hard drive is powered up, it does not spin, although makes a
very low noise, almost a hum.

I tried...
freezing the drive
plugging it into many different computers
tapping slightly on the sides of the drive
Turning it on and off quickly
Shaking it quickly to try to release 'stiction'
Replacing the PCB board with a good drive (of the same Product Number
and Firmware)

After all that failed, I decided to open the drive up quickly, in a
make-shift clean environment to take a peek. I pushed the seek arm
slightly to make sure it was not stuck, it wasn't. Although i tried to
rotate the platters (by pushing on the spindle, and on the outside
edges of the platters) and they were STUCK! These platters will not
budge. They will not even move in the slightest bit. I am thinking it
might be the motor or bearings, but I don't know why they were go
frozen so suddenly.

I need this data and don't want to spend the $1000 that these
companies are asking for. I was considering swapping the platters (but
seeing as they need PERFECT alignment) I need a hard drive platter
exchange tool, which I can't seem to find (but i know they exist).

Has ANYONE run into this problem? Anyone have any advice? I need help!

Re: Hard Drive will not Spin - at all

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At this time it sounds like it would be cheaper to recover the files being
transferred from the source PC.  Easier to undelete from a machine that is
still working, provided the user has ceased using the machine so as to
reduce the overwriting of the marked "free" space on the drive.

Remove the source drive and use a drive copier to clone the source drive
prior to attempting any recovery operations.  Even booting the source drive
might cause one of the log files to overwrite the files you want to recover.

As for the original drive, it's toast unless you want to try spending the
money needed to recover the data.  Opening the case in a non-clean
environment has trashed it for good anyway unless it is properly cleaned

Re: Hard Drive will not Spin - at all

On Sun, 12 Oct 2008 18:07:12 -0700 (PDT), David

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The motor bearings are shot most likely, another kind of
motor failure like a short may prevent powered rotation but
not free spinning when you tried to do that manually.  It
seems likely the drive was about to fail either way but the
movement of the cord just pushed it over the edge that much

 There is no reasonable DIY option to fix this.  If the
drive had only one platter (which it doesn't being a 400GB
capacity), if you had the right tools and a cleanroom in
which you could take that one platter out, mount it in
another otherwise identical drive and use the damaged
drive's circuit board that might've made it possible, but at
this point even a good attempt at opening it in a clean
environment has likely  contaminated it with dust so it
would have head crashes if it were operational again.

Perhaps there is such a thing as a platter exchange tool,
but if there is, such a specialty precision tool set would
likely cost as much as the data recovery service would.

Personally I don't trust external enclosures much, most of
them made in recent years have poor power supplies and poor
cooling, then there's also the potential for corruption if
it's improperly disconnected during data transfers.  My main
point would be that I never trust one as a primary data
store, not even as a primary backup for a PC, only as a
redundant copy of a backup stored elsewhere.

Re: Hard Drive will not Spin - at all

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I have the VERY SAME problem now with my 500 GB Seagate opened in
fornt of me.. totally blocked plates altogether :-(
Have you managed to do anything useful afterwards?

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