Hard Drive Disaster

  SimpleStevie 11:58 22 Sep 2006

Morning all,

I use a 400gb external Packard Bell USB hard drive to store all my important work data and music as I have to move around offices and use a number of different PC's etc etc.

Unfortunately this morning I dropped the drive onto the floor from about 2 feet, the floor is carpetted so that softened the blow slightly. Ever since when I try and attatch the drive to a PC it makes a horrible sound, as if the drive is trying to load up but cant and is going over and over the same area again and again. It does not show up on the PC at all!

Is there any way I can try and recover the data stored on the hard drive? I know there is software available to do this but as the drive doesnt show up on the PC via USB im not sure they will work as Windows won't recognise it. I would prefer a software solution rather than sending it off to an external company for recovery. Should I just give it a whack and try and get whatever it is thats dislodged back into place :)

I really do need this data back!


  jimv7 12:07 22 Sep 2006

It sounds like the drive is damaged, if the data is that important then you can google for data recovery firms who will strip the drive down and recover the information and burn it to cd/dvd for you.

I believe that this method is expensive, although it might be your only option.

  johnnyrocker 12:10 22 Sep 2006

as above it depends how important the data is, be prepared for a hefty bill and maybe not 100% success.


  Pineman100 12:12 22 Sep 2006

Just DON'T give it a whack, whatever you do. It's already had one of those, and it didn't like it!

  bluesbrother 12:35 22 Sep 2006

If you do manage to get the drive recognised these might help.
click here

  vinnyT 13:13 22 Sep 2006

This sounds daft, but occasionally it works (though normally on drives that have died, not been dropped, but worth a go).

Wrap the drive in a tea towel, then in a plastic bag, then place in your freezer for around 3-4 hours.

As soon as you remove it from the freezer, connect it to your pc, if it is recognised, copy the data immediately (cause if this works, it may be for only short period).

Hope this helps.

  Infidellic 00:51 23 Sep 2006

Surely "whacking it in the freezer" is a really really really bad idea....I'm thinking along the lines of condensation and the minimum temperature that the drive can endure as per the manual/stickers. Ok the tea towel and stuff will soften the blow as such but still, I wouldn't go near that idea with a hundred foot pole!

  rodriguez 01:05 23 Sep 2006

Don't put it in the freezer, the condensation will most likely damage the heads in the drive which will make it worse. See if you can take the drive out of it's casing and plug it into the computer as an internal IDE drive. Then do a Google search for recovery software that finds lost drives as well as lost partitions and data. If this doesn't work then take it to a professional firm, preferably one that doesn't charge if your data can't be recovered.

  jack 06:29 23 Sep 2006

To Amplify Rodriguez post.
An external drive is a standard hard drive in a tin/plastic box with some power and connectivity ware.
It is highly likely that damage is to the box/connectivity and not the drive its self.

So it makes sense to remove the drive from this outer shell- so that you have a unit exactly like the 'C' HDD iin its bay in your machine.
Open your machine up[assuming it is a desktop.]
What you do now depends on the machines internals.
1. if the main data cable is connected to both the C drive and the CD. disconnect the Data and Power from CD and plug to the drive.
This can be allowed to dangle or be propped on books.
Now power up the PC.
If you are lucky- the drive will be recognised and you can dump the contents on the the 'C' drive
Power down.
Reinstate the CD etc.,
Then investigate the External HDD/Power casing to see if anything is fixable - if not or simply- buy a new caddy.
Good luck

  vinnyT 11:01 23 Sep 2006

rodriguez, I would not have suggested this if I had not had experience of it working, as I said these instances were in case where the drive had died.

The freezing will contract the metal, thus freeing the head/s for a short period of time, in which the data can be removed.

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