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Old 2007-05-02, 04:13   Link #1
lommm
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: 34 3 118 15
How do i know if my HD is dead?

so my external harddrive started making a sound this morning. it sounded like a marble rolling on glass. naturally this freaked me out, so i immediately turned it off.

i let it cool for a while and then turned it back on. after two minutes it made the sound again. so i turned it off, took out the screw and looked inside (hoping to find and remove that marble).

no luck. without opening the actual drive inside the case i wasn't going to find the problem.

i plugged it in while it was out of the case and it didn't make the noise. then after a couple of minutes it made a crickets chirping sound. click. i turned it off. i put it back together and went took it to a different room (hoping it was just bad juju in that room). now it sounded fine. aha! it was bad juju after all!

so naturally, i proceeded to send all the data from that drive over to another drive. but windows estimated an hour and 20 mnutes for all 300 gigs of data.

so i went out to the gym. when i came back it had not transferred and instead told me that windows failed to completely save the data that was on the drive.

i unplugged both the hd and my laptop and let them cool for four hours. then when they felt cold i tried again. the hd turns on and lights up. it makes all the normal sounds that it should be making to start up. everything on the drive seems okay...

but there's a huge problem. windows doesn't see the drive!!!! holy schpitt!!!

did the drive just die in one day with no warning???? what do i do? most of the really important stuff is backed up elsewhere. but there are several gigs of files that i need from there. all the anime and music can be downloaded again. but some writing, personal video and photos is not backed up. i know, always backupfiles, but i just put these on there last week while i was reorganizing.


someone with experience here, please help. it's a Seagate. i think the actual hd is a barracuda. 400gb. it's new within the last six months.

help please.
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Old 2007-05-02, 05:01   Link #2
Potatochobit
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its probably dead. harddrive noises are a BAD sign. did u hear any clicking at all? if the parts of data wouldnt copy it means there are sectors on your hard drive that are damaged or corrupted. basically its gone.

plug the HD in and do this go to run and enter compmgmt.msc

go to disk management and does it show up at all? and if so does it say bad?

unless its a file that would cost you thousands of dollars to replace, just say good bye to all the information. if its something important various companies offer recovery services but charge ALOT, i mean hundreds up to thousands.
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Old 2007-05-02, 05:34   Link #3
toru310
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I think moving 300gigs of files at once will make your hard drive feel stressy hence it will greater the chance of failing you should have just made like 50gb to 100gb at a time and rest for a while. And you should have monitored your file transfer.. I also think the actuator arm is moving up and down rapidly since it's moving 300gb of files. And maybe just maybe when It was transferring files it failed in the middle.
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Old 2007-05-02, 05:34   Link #4
Jinto
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Sounds like the actuator arm is killed, due to having contact with the platters. (was the noise something like *click*click*click*click*....*click*click*click* - very fast).
Did you transport your external drive alot? (very few desktop drives are well suited for transportation and other stuff mechanically stressing them... in contrast e.g. laptop drives are much more sturdy regarding such use. E.g. a good desktop drive killer is tilting them in different angles while they are running - especially for the fast ones >= 7200 rpm.)
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Old 2007-05-02, 07:58   Link #5
Tiberium Wolf
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If it's making that clicking sound then it's dead. Still you might have luck in access it if windows still detect its. I had the same problem but the HDD didn't died right away and I was able to save my stuff.

I do also have an external drive case with a 3.5 HDD there. I had it bump a lot against everything. No problems at all. I have been using it everyday since 4 years ago.
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Old 2007-05-02, 11:56   Link #6
Vexx
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Click of Death .... meet new posterchild. My favorite part is that even though you may have had S.M.A.R.T. running on the drive --- my anecdotal experience is that the diagnostic warns you about 10 seconds before the fail
Just another reason to be religious about backups...
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Old 2007-05-02, 12:43   Link #7
ImClueless
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Like the others said it is probably dead, but I would like to recount a personal anecdote where I miraculously and inexplicably saved the drive (but not the data). Anyway.....

One day my HD also went clickedy click. I started experiencing corrupted data and other strange occurances (I lost my Arial font file and most of the menus in Windows had no text lol). The end of the HD was nigh so luckily I managed to backup my important personal files since this was my main system HD and not a storage drive. So awhile later the computer would not boot anymore since my master drive was now missing. Since I had nothing to lose I decided to open up the harddrive itself and see what exactly what was causing the clicking sounds. So basically I opened it up and plugged it in (was this a dangerous action?) and for the first time ever I saw those cool spinning silver platters in the flesh. It would have made an excellent fan. Anyway I saw that rather than the arm hitting the platter the arm was whipping back and forth hitting the axle of the hd in the middle. After I closed it back up, it was detected again! I have no idea why. All the data on one partition was gone and that partition wasn't even formated anymore. Anyway, its been two years and that hd is still working and I use it for BT. It still makes the clicking noises on occasion though.
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Old 2007-05-02, 12:55   Link #8
Jinto
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Wow, how is that still working? Afaik the platters are extremely sensible regarding air/dust (usually they are in a low vacuum (often using special low pressured gases)) so the platters do not corrode (I'ld say its not the norm that this drive still works ).
Btw. the arm hitting the middle axle is a direct consequence of the actuator being defect (afaik the arm tries to search the entry point for a region with data... it will move to the middle until it finds that point... well if the actuator is defect, it cannot find the point and moves to the middle unitl it hits that middle axle).
Often the actuator becomes defect because it touches the platters... thus it will abrade until no actuator is left.
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Old 2007-05-02, 13:08   Link #9
ImClueless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jinto Lin View Post
Wow, how is that still working? Afaik the platters are extremely sensible regarding air/dust (usually they are in a low vacuum (often using special low pressured gases)) so the platters do not corrode (I'ld say its not the norm that this drive still works ).
That is exactly what everyone that I have told this has said. I don't remember what time of the year it was but maybe it happened to be an especially dry day so maybe there was minimal moisture in the air to avoid the corrosion. As for the dust I think its because I actually had in on when it was open it blew the dust out or prevented the dust from settling. I mean it made a lot of wind. I count everyday as a free day with that harddrive since in most cases it wouldve been thrown away since the warranty had expired.
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Old 2007-05-02, 18:22   Link #10
Ledgem
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The good news in all of this is that you're covered under warranty, so you can get the drive replaced. As for the data, it sounds like you may be out of luck.

You can look into some data recovery tools (check out Spinrite from grc.com - it has a reasonable reputation, and I think it can work in cases like this). Powering the drive on/off will stress it, but I've heard weird stories of people putting their HD in the fridge for a few minutes, and then quickly running it back to the computer (sometimes on ice) to transfer off as much data as they could before having to run the drive back to the fridge for a few. It may be worth a try, but be careful! If the drive really is in its final stages, every single thing you do to that drive makes a huge impact. When you power it on, it may be the last time it powers on. Get the data that you absolutely need before anything else. Once you have that, feel free to try icing it as many times as you like (or any other method) to get the rest off.

The icing method only applies in certain mechanical failure situations, though. If Jinto Lin is right about why your drive is failing, it might not make a difference.
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Old 2007-05-02, 19:45   Link #11
WanderingKnight
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Haha, new hard drives and their dreaded 6-month sudden death. Sometimes I really wonder if vendors are doing it on purpose.
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Old 2007-05-03, 01:26   Link #12
Kurz
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Most likely yes.
Link to Google's Survey on Harddrives http://216.239.37.132/papers/disk_failures.pdf
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Old 2007-05-03, 05:24   Link #13
lommm
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hey, i'm buying a new drive tomorrow (was going to anyway, before the drive committed harikiri). i will try the different approaches that everyone has suggested. but i didn't want to turn it on again until i had the new drive ready to accept.



since it's still under warranty, do i contact hammer or seagate? see, the drive inside the case is seagate, but the case and the box i bought it in say hammer.
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Old 2007-05-03, 06:00   Link #14
Potatochobit
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what does ur reciept say and who did u register the warranty card with? thats who u should contact. depends if it was sold in parts or as one set. or did u buy it at a store? call them if your not sure.
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Old 2007-05-07, 19:13   Link #15
lommm
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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i bought it at fry's electronics

but i went on hammer's website and found that they distribute only seagate hard drives. they have an online wrranty return request system so i'm doing it there. thanks to everyone for the help!!


EDIT: also, i was able to get windows to recognize the drive again, so i could back upthose 3 gigs that i wanted. but it took forever. and my neighbor came over and listened to the drive and said it sounded like the actuator arm. so i guess i hit those common problems.

and i found my receipt. it was older than 6 months. it was 11 months. i bought it on may 17 2006 so i just squeeked in under the warranty!! woohoo! now let's hope they approve my request...

Last edited by lommm; 2007-05-07 at 20:05.
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