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- Posted on
April 30, 2005, 3:41 pm
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My external HD accidently crashed into the floor yeasterday, and since
then I haven't been able to get a connection and when I boot it makes
a weird noise(sounds like the error noise from old HD's). The drop
was about 3-4feet and since then I can't establish a conncetion with
What could the problem be and could a data recovery be made?
and most important is, if I turn it in for reparation will I be
protected by a privacy law, or will I be able to be held responsible
for the data that they recover? Or if they use it against me will
they be breaking the law?
Plz answer fast=)...Ty!
With this kind of drop, two kinds of damage are most likely:
(1) The read head, which usually rests just few ten-thousandths of an inch
above the surface of the disk, may have briefly made contact with the disk
while it was spinning (a "head crash"), gouging the magnetic surface or
damaging the head. If this is the case, the data can be recovered (at
considerable expense) but the drive is dead. If the disk is warped, causing
many such "head crashes" when the disk is fired up again, much less data can
be recovered. Recovering the data means removing the disk from the drive,
installing it in a special bench drive, and reading the disks much more
slowly than normally. Sometimes data is recovered by this method that you
thought was long gone, and sometimes the data is recovered but is in pieces
that are hard to recognize as the original files. Did I mention that it's
(3) Some part of the mechanical connection between the internal drive and
the external drive bay could be jarred loose. Try opening the box and see
if there's an ordinary internal-style HDD in there, and check all
connections and cables; as another poster suggested, try installing the
internal drive directly into a computer.
If I were repairing a computer, I would consider my clients' data to be none
of my business and not interesting at all, but the FBI may feel differently.
All of which points up the value of the classic mantra: Always Back Up Your
Data. Parts fail, especially mechanical parts. If you had to rebuild your
main drive from scratch tomorrow, could you do it?
These portable hard drives commonly are used for backup, and also as a place
to put stuff we don't want found on our desktop PC, but now we are reminded
they can be destroyed in a careless second. Before deleting data from the
original location, it's a good idea to create a second backup on completely
different media, say, CD-R.
I assume this advice comes too late, as it often does.
If it hit a hard floor like concrete or wood you probably killed it and
one of the heads is touching a platter. You might be able to get data
off of the other platters, (from a recovery service) but if you have
stuff that you don't want seen you are in a sticky situation. There are
privacy laws, sort of, but you know that when you leave the first high
school kid serving an apprenticeship there will get a hold of it.
Sorry, life works that way sometimes. Murphies law is all too real.
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