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 Post subject: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 3:46 pm
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Location: South Minneapolis
Hey gang, my wife's iBook hard drive died yesterday. She's having the old drive removed by the Genius bar, and will be looking for a new drive to install. In the mean time, she doesn't have a recent data backup, so there are some things she will want pulled from the old drive. Is there a member who can help me with this, with at least a recommendation for a reliable and inexpensive service in town?

Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:06 pm 
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I'd suggest running Spin Rite against the drive. I listen to Steve's "Security Now" podcast on TWiT. There have been many amazing stories about drives being recovered with this.

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 9:37 am 
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If by "died," you mean that it doesn't spin or has some electronics failure, it could be that the platters are fine and not damaged.

In that case, a method for recovery is to purchase another working hard drive of the same make, model, and revision - perhaps a used one from eBay. Then open the bad drive and replace all the electronics with that from the working drive.

I tried this once myself. I bought several drives from a seller on eBay, very cheap but knowing that none were guaranteed to work. Unfortunately none of them did.

I don't have experience with Apple drives though. Maybe they're also made so that nobody is supposed to experiment with or hack them, like most of the other stuff that Apple builds.

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 Post subject: Re: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:38 pm 
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Apple drives are just standard Sata or Pata 2.5 inch drives today, so Wammie has one popular, but not consistent fix.

Others may say put it in the Freezer for an hour and try that, again, it has a history of maybe working.


Best first guess is to take the old drive and hook it up to a pc or Mac via USB drive cable, and if you have any utilities see if the SMART interface can communicate with the device. There are several open source Smart readers this will also give you data about the electronics on the drive.

You can also see if the drive has failed only because a bad or flat bering, that sometimes can be started by a slight jolt.

As far as spending the big bucks, Ontrack Knoll in Eden Prairie will only take a dozen car payments to do the job, but they are good at what they do. There are others that say they can remotely fix your HD, but again hardware Failure does not work with those options.

I have a USB to SATA and USB to PATA cable I can bring down to Free Geek if you want to stop down late Saturday Afternoon, we can see what the system shows up as.

I do not have a system set up with a SMART scanner there, as that is much further in depth than we go to fix things there.

Free Geek is now at 26th and 26th (north west corner across the Memory Lanes Parking Lot, but I am only there Saturdays and it has to be at the end of the day as I am there to help Free Geek with my time, but after 4 I could spend a few minutes to help you and show any bystanders what is a common path to recovery.

If you do come down, bring something to hold the data (thumb drive, or several DVDs)

Brad


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 Post subject: Re: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:12 pm 
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And to show that the internet is listening, Slashdot has a query about your problem...

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/0 ... hard-drive


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 Post subject: Re: Hard Drive Data Recovery
PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:30 pm 
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Depends on exactly what died. Different case, but I've had 2.5s that have been sitting for a long time and the spindle will lock, that's just a matter of cracking the case open and giving it a push. The freezer fix is basically trying the same thing, but hoping the thermal contraction will un stick the spindle. If she was actively using it, that's not likely the issue.

As folks have said, its what do you want to spend. As mentioned, if you can find the *exact* same drive (and you may have some luck as its a Mac) you can try a platter transplant... not something to attempt at the Space as you technically want clean room-ish conditions.

Without knowing exactly how the drive is failing, its hard to be to specific on what might work for you.

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