External Hard drive failure: home solution possible?


Jun 13, 2008
Hi, my external Hard drive: 2 TB Hitachi Touro Desk HDD isn't recognised by my computer, makes clicking noises AND cannot be read from/written to.

Because of the expensive recovery fee (£500) and non-critical nature of the data, I'm thinking of getting the hard drive destroyed. BUT! Before I do this, is the problem able to be solved at home? Further information:

According to a service technician at a data recovery centre:
Your hard disk suffers from read/write head failure/seizure with extensive logical data errors coupled with partition damage.
This means your hard disk does have an internal failure and in order to achieve a successful data recovery, the hard disk has to be repaired temporarily using 2 donor hard drives. This involves transplanting or re-positioning of the read/write heads from the donor hard drives and re-alignment or replacing of the motor. Once the hard drive has been temporarily repaired in our dust-free sterile ISO-certified clean room using parts from the donor hard disk, we need to manually edit the disk and reconstruct the partition to create a usable drive image. After creating an image from the reconstructed partition, data will be recovered and copied onto our data servers and checked for integrity. This method involves substantial manual work; semi-automatic specialist software and hardware tools will have to be used in rebuilding a healthy partition from which data can be retrieved.
When they swap out HDD parts, they do this in a clean room. Any dust or smoke particles could kill any chance of recovery - this is one of the reasons it's so expensive.

The drive is broken. It can't be fixed. What the recovery people do is provide you with the data - not a drive that has been fixed.


If it involves opening the actual drive case (not the external case), you cannot do this at home with any anticipation of success.

Dust and lack of experience will kill it.

A clicking drive that cannot be accessed by the OS = retrieve the data from your backup, and use that drive as a fridge magnet donor.

And you don't have to send it somewhere to be destroyed.
After you open it up to retrieve the fridge magnets, simply bend/bash/destroy the platters. Free and fun.
If you don't want to open it to get the magnets out, just drill a hole through it. Same result.

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