How can I recover my hard disk?

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I had an external 2.5" hard drive in an external enclosure.

It seems to have died.    : (
It's stopped spinning suddenly.
Is there ANYTHING I can do to bring it to life?
Else is there ANYTHING I can do to get my data!?



Re: How can I recover my hard disk?

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First, learn an important lesson about keeping and checking backups.

Second, try it in a different enclosure with a different computer.

If that doesn't work, probably there are things you can do, but they
quickly escalate in technical skill or financial cost. For instance,
I've not tried this with 2.5" drives, but with 3.5" drives I've
sometimes had luck swapping the circuit board for one from an identical

Be warned that data recovery specialists usually charge a lot, because
among their prospective clients are rich desperate people.


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Re: How can I recover my hard disk?

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In addition to trying another enclosure:

You can try freezing it, or even hitting it (really). Or replacing the
hard drive controller circuit board (same make and model, and
revision). But professional data recovery is almost the only good
option for a non-spinning drive.

Re: How can I recover my hard disk?

DO NOT "HIT" it.

It won't help and may do a LOT of harm.

A sudden "snap spin" around the axis of the platter, however, might
start it turning.  Do that FIRST.  THEN try freezing it (which, for odd
and unknown reasons, sometimes does work ... but it's a last resort). wrote:
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Re: How can I recover my hard disk?

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First off, if it's *vital* data, don't do anything with it other than
engage the services of a specialist data recovery firm.  Usually these
are horrendously expensive, but they can recover data from most drive
failures.  If you're in the UK, I like as the
owner is reasonably priced (especially for personal data) and very

If it's just not spinning at all then I'd second the sharp "spin" to
try and free up a stuck bearing.  Follow that up with an hour in a
freezer in a plastic bag.  Cold contracts metal, and tends to unstick
mechanically-stuck bearings.  When you take it out, it'll heat up
quickly so I'd suggest imaging the contents across to another disk
very quickly.
If it's an electrical fault, this isn't going to help unless it's a
dry joint that makes electrical contact when cold.
Again, if you manage to get it working, then GET THE DATA OFF QUICKLY!
i suggest using Norton Ghost or Acronis Drive Image to clone it to
another disk.  A cheap adaptor to allow you to slave it into a desktop
PC is very handy for this.
If it's a corruption problem rather than an electrical/mechanical
problem then I've had some success with Spinrite, although using any
recovery program like this does risk screwing the data for a data
recovery specialist.

You can, as suggested, also try getting an *identical* drive and
swapping the electronics.  DO NOT open the drive platters to the air
as they'll die...

It goes without saying that you should bin the drive once you've got
anything off it.


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