Unrecoverable Hard drive or not?

  De Marcus™ 21:26 01 Sep 2006

I've been trying out my new wireless skype phone with much success and enabled the skypeIn function. My first call came from a flustered friend who'd just been quoted £350 for data recovery from a failed HDD. The company quoted "read write catastrophic head failure" as the problem of the hard drive. I've got no idea as to what this means in exact terms suffice to say I'm presuming they're reffering to the arm which swings across the platters has failed and hasn't parked itself properly and has damaged the platter in some way (scratch?). The only thing is, when I asked my friend if the drive made any noises, his reply was "no, it sounds like it's spinning up as usual, no grinding noises".

I thought that a head failure would result in some kind of unusual noise, is this not the case?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:35 01 Sep 2006

Head failures usually result in load click or clunking noises.

Disk Investigator click here
PCInspector click here
R_Studio click here
Testdisc click here
Drive Rescue click here

Are all good recovery programs.

  VoG II 21:36 01 Sep 2006

Drive rescue click here is always worth a shot (NTFS incomplete but it works. You should run it off a different drive, e,g. a floppy.

  De Marcus™ 21:44 01 Sep 2006

Thanks for the suggestions guys.

I'm willing to have a crack at recovering the data.

Also, would I be correct in assuming that it's possible for the read write head to fail in the parked position so a drives platters can spin up and down as usual without interference from the actuator?

  De Marcus™ 21:46 01 Sep 2006

I'm curious as all evidence suggests that to find this out, the hard drive would need to be opened (wouldn't it?) and all seals are in place?

  woodchip 22:10 01 Sep 2006

The arm as a Brake on it this can stick on

  De Marcus™ 22:12 01 Sep 2006

Thanks woodchip, if I can't do this via a transplant into my own, I think we'll send it off to a 'reputable' data recovery company.

Any suggestions?

  DieSse 23:37 01 Sep 2006

A head can fail non-mechanically - it can just stop reading/writing - this would make no noises different from normal.

The drive would not need to be opened to find an electronic failure - this includes head failures.

  woodchip 23:40 01 Sep 2006

More often than not it the Electronics controller that goes duff. Old drives more prone to fail than newer models. That’s progress

  woodchip 23:41 01 Sep 2006

One way is to try to get another drive same model number And swap the Controller card.

PS you need to see the drive working

  De Marcus™ 00:11 02 Sep 2006

I'll report on my progress on Monday. Thanks to all who responded.

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