Damaged Maxtor HDD - continued


P

Piotr ne

Hello,

as I wrote a few days ago, my 17 months old Maxtor D540X-4K 60GB
suddenly refused to work - simply stopped and even is not recognized by
BIOS.
I have bought an identical HDD (with some bad sectors) on an auction
in order to try to replace the electronics. Unfortunately there are some
problems with the seller. A few days after getting my money, he apparently
begun to search for a disk for me, because he simply sold something
he did not have :(

So, I have installed the disk again to check what happens. This time the
drive begun to spin, first with a normal speed (as far as I could it hear)
And after 2-3 seconds slower. At the same time the heads could be heard
Like being parked time after time. And something like plastic could
be smelled, so I have turned off the drive. There is a small melted hole
in the plastic cover covering the electronics and two transistors (?) appear
to be completely burned: http://tinyurl.com/g3ol
Can it be only "electronical" damage?

There is another disk to buy on an auction. The seller explains, that
the electronics is fully functional, but the disk can not be formatted
(partitions may be defined). Is it possible?

Regards
Piotr
 
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M

Mike Tomlinson

Piotr ne said:
There is a small melted hole
in the plastic cover covering the electronics and two transistors (?) appear
to be completely burned: http://tinyurl.com/g3ol
Can it be only "electronical" damage?
Possibly. Have you checked your PSU outputs with a multimeter?
 
P

Piotr ne

Mike said:
Possibly. Have you checked your PSU outputs with a multimeter?
No, but the rest of the system (a second HDD, CD etc.) works properly,
so I suppose it was not the problem of power supply.

I'll let you know how it works after replacing the electronics,
maybe in two days...

Piotr
 
R

Rod Speed

I have got another Maxtor today and replaced the electronics in my
drive. Unfortunately, nothing happened... The drive does not spin and
is not recognized by BIOS ("Primary master: None"). Looks bad.
It does indeed, particularly not even spinning at all. Even if the
firmware version doesnt match etc, it should at least spin up the drive.
I have exchanged the card again to check whether it still
works, and it does (with the second Maxtor, which formats
only 7% of the capacity). And back again and nothing, nothing...
Looks rather like the rotation motor has failed.
I have also checked the power supply on the drive, with
the power on and the drive not working: 12.6V and 5V.
Thats fine.
And I have checked the resistance between the four pins in the
middle of the drive (after removing the electronics of course) -
it was 6.2 Ohm and 3.0 Ohm, exactly like in the second drive.
Hmmm, any other ideas?
Looks like you are out of options. It isnt really that practical to
move the platters between the two rotation motors, because
its very hard to ensure that the tracks are aligned properly.

On the other hand you dont really have anything
to lose by trying it, both drives are useless now.
 
P

Piotr ne

Rod said:
On the other hand you dont really have anything
to lose by trying it, both drives are useless now.
Did you ever try to replace platters or motors? What about a "clean room"
to avoid dust? Is it possible to do it at home? AFAIK even one single
dust particle would damage the surface or heads. And the alignment...
A short tutorial on repairing hard drives would be very useful :)

Of course, there are some companies offering data recovery.
For about 400$ to 2500$ per gigabyte. Well, a bit too expensive...

Regards
Piotr
 
R

Rod Speed

Piotr ne said:
Rod Speed wrote:
Did you ever try to replace platters or motors?
Nope.

What about a "clean room" to avoid dust?
Is it possible to do it at home?
Yes, for long enough to get the data back, anyway.
AFAIK even one single dust particle
would damage the surface or heads.
Yes, but if you are careful, do it in as dust free
environment as you can find, you can get away
with it for a short time, enough to get the data back.

I'd personally try it in the bathroom,
one where powder is never used.
And the alignment...
Thats the very difficult part. No real
way to do anything about that at home.
A short tutorial on repairing hard drives would be very useful :)
The short story is that swapping the logic card is easy.
Swapping the patters is almost impossible, but may be worth
a try if the data is valuable enough to warrant the effort, but not
valuable enough to warrant using a pro recovery service etc.
Basically if you're gunna toss both drives in the bin otherwise,
you aint got much to lose except your time and your hair.
Of course, there are some companies offering data recovery.
For about 400$ to 2500$ per gigabyte. Well, a bit too expensive...
Yeah, it can certainly be justified in some commercial
situations, like when the data will generate decent
money if you get it back, but thats about it.
 
E

Eric Gisin

| Rod Speed wrote:
|
| > On the other hand you dont really have anything
| > to lose by trying it, both drives are useless now.
|
| Did you ever try to replace platters or motors? What about a "clean room"
| to avoid dust? Is it possible to do it at home? AFAIK even one single
| dust particle would damage the surface or heads. And the alignment...
| A short tutorial on repairing hard drives would be very useful :)
|
It is far easier to spin the disks with an external motor than move platters
to another motor. You could even move a dead actuator with an external servo.
I bet data recover have lots of secret, but simple ways of reviving dead
drive.
 
E

Eric Gisin

| Rod Speed wrote:
|
| > On the other hand you dont really have anything
| > to lose by trying it, both drives are useless now.
|
| Did you ever try to replace platters or motors? What about a "clean room"
| to avoid dust? Is it possible to do it at home? AFAIK even one single
| dust particle would damage the surface or heads. And the alignment...
| A short tutorial on repairing hard drives would be very useful :)
|
It is far easier to spin the disks with an external motor than move platters
to another drive. You could even move a dead actuator with an external servo.

I bet data recoverers have lots of secret ways of jump-starting dead drives.
 
E

Eric Gisin

It is far easier to spin the disks with an external motor than move platters
to another drive. You could even move a dead actuator with an external servo.

I bet data recoverers have lots of secret ways of jump-starting dead drives.

|
| Did you ever try to replace platters or motors? What about a "clean room"
| to avoid dust? Is it possible to do it at home? AFAIK even one single
| dust particle would damage the surface or heads. And the alignment...
| A short tutorial on repairing hard drives would be very useful :)
|
| Of course, there are some companies offering data recovery.
| For about 400$ to 2500$ per gigabyte. Well, a bit too expensive...
|
 
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P

Piotr ne

Rod said:
Swapping the patters is almost impossible
....and I should try it :)
but may be worth a try if the data is valuable enough to warrant the effort,
but not valuable enough to warrant using a pro recovery service etc.
I have seen a report on a German company recovering disks from the
WTC towers. They were able to clean disks with dust and sand inside
and then read them optically, with lasers instead of magnetic heads.
Theoretically, an attempt to repair the disk at home should not
prevent it from being repeired by such a company.


Piotr
 
P

Piotr ne

Eric Gisin wrote"
It is far easier to spin the disks with an external motor than move platters
to another drive. You could even move a dead actuator with an external servo.
Do you have some pictures of opened drivies? Just to see, how precise
and complex they are.

Piotr
 
R

Rod Speed

Piotr ne said:
Rod Speed wrote:
...and I should try it :)
Only if the alternative is to toss it in the bin.
I have seen a report on a German company recovering disks from the
WTC towers. They were able to clean disks with dust and sand inside
and then read them optically, with lasers instead of magnetic heads.
Dont believe it.
Theoretically, an attempt to repair the disk at home should
not prevent it from being repeired by such a company.
Thats not right. If you manage to cause a head crash
with the stuff that gets into the sealed enclosure, you
gouge up the media and then no one can read it.

If you attempt to move the platters to the other drive,
you could well bugger them up pretty badly and the
pro recovery operation couldnt just attempt to spin
up the platter stack with an external motor etc.

Not clear if you are capable of attempting that external
motor approach yourself. Worth trying if you can. I'd
personally use the rotation motor out of the drive you
just bought and attempt some way of using it as an
external motor to spin up the existing motor and drive stack.

Not for the feint hearted or mechanical klutzes tho.
 
C

chrisv

I'd personally try it in the bathroom,
one where powder is never used.
Or deodorant, or toothpaste...

Which makes Rod's bathroom perfect for the job.
 
P

Piotr ne

....here are two additional photos of the damaged drive and a second drive
bought to get the electronic card. Hopefully they are identical enough.
But it didn't help...
http://tinyurl.com/g3ol

Piotr
 
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G

Gil

I think Maxtor builds in a 17 month kill. I have a Sony with the same
model hard drive but 80GB and about the same age and it also stopped
working and the bios will not recognize it. I have some stuff backed
up but a large part not :(
I moved it to a different cable and power plug and also tried it on a
different computer. None would see it in the bios. Needless to say
I'm not to happy with maxtor.

Gil
 

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