Internal Hard Drive spins, but is not detected.

Coolsoul_AB

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Apr 12, 2013
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I have a 500GB Seagate internal had drive. The motor is working but the hard drive is not detected in any computer or laptop.
I have tried changing the SATA ports and cables and even tried connecting it through external SATA port but I have been unsuccessful.
The hard drive has very important documents.
Please suggest me a way to atleast recover the data from the hard drive.
Thank you for the help.
 

plasmastorm

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Oct 18, 2008
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Sounds like the interface board on the drive is dead. If you have another drive with the EXACT same model number and firmware you can try swapping it. It has to be indentical though or you will just damage it further.
Failing that it's off to a recovery specialist such as disklabs and expect to hand over a kidney for your data.
 

Coolsoul_AB

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Thanks a lot for the help :)
 
When you say it "is not detected", where are you looking? There are two places to look at a lower level to determine whether there is any good function.

1. Boot up and go into BIOS Setup. Check what HDD units are detected and appear to be identified properly with their names and sizes. Is the troubled drive there apparently OK? IF it appears properly there, you should be able so see more with the next step.

2. Finish booting into Windows and use Disk Management. If you're not familiar, click Start at lower left, then RIGHT-click on My Computer and choose Manage; then choose Disk Management. It has two windows on the right. The upper one shows you all the storage devices Windows can use right now. Concentrate on the LOWER RIGHT pane which has all the hardware storage devices, even those Windows does not yet understand. This pane SCROLLS so you can see all it has. Look there for your troubled drive. If it was detected in the BIOS, it should show up there.

In that Lower Right pane, each storage unit is represented by a horizontal box. In each box on the left end is a name liked "DISK 0", a type like "Basic", a size in GB, and a status. The main part of the box is composed of one or more sub-blocks, each representing one Partition on the device. (An optical drive won't quite look this way.) A Partition is treated by Windows as one "drive" with its own letter name. Some HDD's will have only one such sub-block, but some may have more (and hence more than one "drive" on a HDD unit). Some MAY have a block at the right end labelled "Unallocated Space".

For each block representing a Partition on one HDD unit, there will be further info in the block: a disk name assigned when it was Formatted, like "MyDrive", the letter name Windows uses for it like C: , a size in GB followed by the File System (usually NTFS), and finally a status like "Healthy".

There are three common problems one sees here. The first is that there are no Partitions defined, and the entire space of the HDD is "Unallocated Space". This is always the state of a brand new empty HDD, and it can happen to a used HDD if the Partitions on it are Deleted.

The second problem is no letter name at the end of the first line with the Partition's name. If that is your situation and the rest of the info looks perfectly OK, there is an easy fix. You RIGHT-click on that Partition and choose to change or assign a letter name. If you do that, back out of Disk Management and reboot so Windows can update its Registry, then check My Computer for your drive.

The third problem is that the File system is not "NTFS" or "FAT32", but is shown as "RAW". If that is what you see, what it really means is that some bit of data in the HDD's structure records is corrupt so that Windows can't figure it out, BUT your data are very likely all there. You can get and use some Data Recovery software to get your data back. Most tools to do this actually need to COPY all the data to another good HDD so that it does not risk damage to the troubled HDD by actually trying to write on it. But this means that you need (at least temporarily) a spare HDD big enough to hold the recovered data.

So, post back here what you find:
Does it show in BIOS Setup?
Does it show in the LOWER RIGHT pane of Disk Management?
Can you identify anything in the Disk Management display that seems wrong?
 

Coolsoul_AB

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No, the HDD is neither showed in BIOS nor in Disk Management.
 
I fear plasmastorm is right. If it does not appear even in BIOS Setup, your mobo is not able to communicate with it at all, so there's a serious hardware failure. Data recovery software and HDD diagnostic test suites will do you no good at all. It is q
 
I fear plasmastorm is right. If it does not appear even in BIOS Setup, your mobo is not able to communicate with it at all, so there's a serious hardware failure. Data recovery software and HDD diagnostic test suites will do you no good at all. It is q
 
I fear plasmastorm is right. If it does not appear even in BIOS Setup, your mobo is not able to communicate with it at all, so there's a serious hardware failure. Data recovery software and HDD diagnostic test suites will do you no good at all. It is q
 
I fear plasmastorm is right. If it does not appear even in BIOS Setup, your mobo is not able to communicate with it at all, so there's a serious hardware failure. Data recovery software and HDD diagnostic test suites will do you no good at all. It is q
 
I fear plasmastorm is right. If it does not appear even in BIOS Setup, your mobo is not able to communicate with it at all, so there's a serious hardware failure. Data recovery software and HDD diagnostic test suites will do you no good at all. It is quite possible the problem is in the HDD's circuit board. P"lasmastorm already has outlined the possibilities open for you.
 

13hm13

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Why is the exact same MODEL so fussy about firmware differences between HDD circuit boards (PCB). I think (but am not certain) that all the logic and circuitry are on the external PCB and just the motor/discs/coils/magnets/arms are inside. Yes -- I have looked inside.
I've heard that manuf. can be so anal that they can even tune EVERY drive via UNIQUE firmware settings. But what settings are these. And can users access them somehow--like in some special "SERVICE MENU"?

EDIT: Just found that the preamp microboard ("PCB") is located in the HDA:

So maybe matching the impedance of the preamp to amp is part of that anal FW tweaking???
 

13hm13

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Thx much for those dedicated-HDD resources. I'm new to Tomshardware and wasn't sure if/whether it's the correct message board to post my specific query.
My drive is a Hitachi SATA 1TB internal HDD. It was a "C" drive and about 10mos old when it failed. It failed upon PC power-up (the PC was off for about 5 hrs). I almost never pwr down or even hibernate my PCs -- something I learned in the manuf. industry where consumer-grade PCs and notebooks were always on ... 24/7 for years. IAC, I use extremely clean PSUs, and cascaded DIY line filters and UPS's.

Anyway...the HDD in question spins up, but the head/actuator arm do no move. Hence the drive is never recognized in the PC's OS or BIOS. I've mounted it internally in the PC, and in a USB external 3.5" HDD case. Same issue! I looked at the PCB carefully under a magnifier, and took some basic measurements. All looks and measures "normal".
At first, the drive would not even spin up. I removed the PCB and powered just it up w/o the drive, checking for heat and audible noise...no warm spots but I could detect a faint whistle sound near the main pwr input diodes/inductors area. I took a few DMM measurements and finger pressed the components and PCB area in question. And I re-attached the drive to the PCB as normal. Strangely, the HDD spun up again. Alas, the head/arm do not want to actuate, so the drive may be useless.
 

Redmoogle

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The Harddrive is a Internal/Eternal Drive and its dead because none of the sata interfaces work and i hear it spin up so its likely it might have had a headcrash or firmware corruption due to loss of power'

Rip 400Gb of games

Oh and i hear the disk heads scratching the surface? as they are making quite a bit of noise
 

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