Question Hard Drive Stopped Working. Should I Open To Inspect The Mechanisms?

goldensun87

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So, my desktop internal hard drive stopped working today. I have a laptop and SATA-to-USB adaptor, so I took the drive out to try and run it on my laptop. The drive receives power and the disks spin at normal speed, but the drive cannot detect and boot. However, there is also a very soft mechanical sound that occurs inside the drive, and it seems to be at a fixed interval. Now, if there is any chance of data recovery, I know it is risky to expose the platters, but I really want to see if there is any abnormal mechanism that I can fix. But, before I do, I need to know: Considering the circumstances, is there any chance that I, or any other technician, can recover the data on this drive?

P.S. : I know about the super expensive recovery method of trying to recover data from individual platters, and that is definitely not an option for me. Even if it was, the data I'm hoping to recover is not worth thousands of dollars anyway.
 

USAFRet

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You should absolutely NOT open up the case.
At all. Ever.
It is not simply 'risky', it is fatal.
The drive is already dead. Opening it up just puts the nails in the coffin.

That sound you hear is the Click of Death.
This is specifically why we harp on backups.
 

goldensun87

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Exposing the hard drive platters is certainly not 100% fatal. Several years ago, one of my old portable hard drives started making a sound as if something inside was stuck/jammed. That was the first time ever I exposed the platters of a hard drive. Back then, the read/write heads had gotten jammed on the platters. I used a tool to pull the heads back into their parked position. I sealed the platters back up, plugged in the drive, and I got access to my data. I knew such an occurrence meant that the drive would die permanently soon, so I bought a new portable drive, and copied over my data before dumping the old drive.

So, I popped open my current drive, plugged it in, and discovered that my read/write heads were dead. The data I am losing, is thankfully not entirely irreplaceable. So, I guess I have to move on and buy a new drive to reinstall my operating system.
 

goldensun87

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I have one more question for now. While the dead hard drive was connected to the motherboard, my case's power switch could power on the system, but it could not power off, even with holding the power button down. Is this only because of the dead hard drive, or is it possible that my motherboard is also dead?
 

goldensun87

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Since you have no intentions of sending it out for repair, you don't have anything to lose by opening it.
You were going to trash it anyways, right...
The read/write heads had stopped working. So yeah, at least opening it up enabled me to see and know that, instead of forever wondering what went wrong. Fortunately I had backed up most of my relevant data 3 months ago. I even backed up a lesser portion of that 2 weeks ago. Only two categories I had not backed up. One of those, I lost 3 months worth of data, and the other, I lost over 2 TB worth of. But for the latter, I could not back up all of it anyway, because I am short of portable hard drive space, and I am currently unable to afford to buy a new portable drive. Fortunately, nothing that I lost, is irretrievable. It will still take a considerable amount of time to get some of it back, though.
 

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