Question Hard disk reader scratching the disk!

Jul 18, 2019
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Hi. My external hard drive wasn't working, so I looked online and followed a very suspicious tutorial, openned it and the disk had some marks, like if the reader head was "scratching" the surface.
I cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol 99,8% pure, closed it and tried again, but the sound was still there and when I openned the disk had the same marks across the surface.
I know this hard drive is lost, but I need to recover around 500mb of data from it.
I know I'm probably wrong, but since the HD is 1TB and the data I need is around 500MB, so there is the possibility that the data I want is still undamaged, since it is about 0,5% of the disk.

Anybody has any idea of what to do to stop the head from marking the surface of the disk?
The hard drive appears when I use Easeus data Recovery, but it stays in 0% forever.
 

OfficialG3

Reputable
Sep 7, 2014
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when you open a hdd in a non sterile environment its game over basically, maybe a professional service can recover it, but since you tampered it its most likely already damaged beyond repair
 
Jul 18, 2019
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How valuable is that information? You can expect to pay several thousand, and still there's no guarantee that anything can be recovered now that you've essentially destroyed the disk surface and heads.
Yeah, that is not an option.
The price of recovering this data is more the double the value of the data itself, so if I want to recover it I have to figure out a way to do it myself.

I know my chances of recovering the data myself is realistically less than 1%, but maybe someone knows something I can try before giving up!
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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The drive wasn't working
You disassembled it, exposing the platters
Notice very visible scratches
You cleaned the platters with iso alcohol
You reassembled

It makes the same noise and is still not accessible.


It is dead. It is far beyond what you can fix at home.
It was that way before you opened it up, but you just put the nails in the coffin.


The only thing you need to 'figure out' is how to prevent data loss like this in the future.
 
Something tells me cleaning platters with isopropyl alcohol is probably not good for them. Even just opening a modern drive outside a cleanroom is likely to end up leaving microscopic bits of debris all over the platter surface. Of course, there was probably already debris everywhere from the head crash itself.

Hard drives require very microscopic levels of precision to operate correctly. The distance between a platter and its corresponding read-write head during operation is only a little more than the width of a strand of DNA, and the head flies over the surface at speeds of around 100km per hour.

If a drive head crashed into the platter and was destroyed, about the only possible recovery method I could think of for data on that platter would involve having a professional data recovery company replace the drive head and recover the data using specialized equipment, and even then, things seem a bit iffy. Anything in the scratched area would almost definitely be gone. And as has been said, you would likely be looking at well over $1000 for something like that.
 

ex_bubblehead

Glorious
Moderator
Yeah, that is not an option.
The price of recovering this data is more the double the value of the data itself, so if I want to recover it I have to figure out a way to do it myself.

I know my chances of recovering the data myself is realistically less than 1%, but maybe someone knows something I can try before giving up!
After what you've done to that drive your chances of recovery are FAR less than 1%. More like 0.0001% or less. Close enough to 0 as to make no difference. Next time you'll have that backup ready to go.
 
Not many data recovery shops will attempt a recovery from a head crash, even less if you've had a go yourself, and especially not if you've removed the cover.

That said, I'm confused when you say that Easeus detected the drive. Was the drive in an external enclosure? If so, then Easeus probably detected the USB-SATA bridge PCB rather than the drive behind the bridge.

There are some guys who can work miracles, especially if the head is not one of the "system heads". The system heads need to be able to read the firmware in the System Area on the platters. Usually the system heads are at the bottom, so if the topmost surface is the only one that is damaged, and if your data are on the unaffected surfaces, then there may be some hope. In such cases the top head is bent upwards so that it does not contact the platter, then the remaining heads are imaged.
 

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