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Topic # 85705 23-Jun-2011 21:22
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Hello to you all

I have a wee bit of a sticky problem

I have a Seagate 7200-7, model: ST380011A HDD that I removed from our desktop computer that 'blew up' about 18 months ago. I tried this HDD in another computer, and it wouldn't boot up any further than the windows bar graph. I pondered over this for a long time as to what the most economical thing to do would be.

I recently thought that I could locate another HDD and swap the circuit boards over, so I managed to locate one on Trade Me and bought it. It arrived today, and I swapped the pcb's over, and tried it again, but it still wouldn't boot any further than before. I pondered further, and I felt reasonably confident that I could dismantle the drives further, and swap the platter from the bad drive to the good drive. Unfortunately, I damaged the write head as I tried to do this, so that was a lost cause.

Now, I'm wondering if there is anyone 'out there' who works in data recovery who would be keen enough to try and help me further with this. Three data recovery companies have told me that they won't even try to help me, as I have opened up the unit. I do understand their reasons, but I'm hoping that there may be someone who's a wee bit more compassionate. I will (or I can try) to obtain another Seagate HDD of the same model number as the crook one, so that it's electronics and read heads will probably be in working order, but I don't seem to have the ability to change over the platter without damaging something. I sort of believe that the old platter may be able to be cleaned in some way to avoid getting dust in the clean room, but I don't know anything about how to.    

This drive has photos and other data that my kids made when they were little on it that I would be keen to recover.

I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that someone may be able to help me on this problem

Thank you in advance
Peter W

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  Reply # 485245 23-Jun-2011 22:52
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Going from what you've said my understanding is all you did was install it as a primary drive in a working computer and try to start it up? (Apologies if I have this wrong.) If this is the case then there's quite a high chance it won't boot as it's been set up to work with different hardware and will just kinda get stuck and crash as it's loading drivers for hardware that isn't there. What you should have done (you didn't mention you tried this) is connect it as a secondary/slave drive in a working computer and see if you can access the contents of the drive that way. Not much help now but perhaps useful if you're in this situation again.

If you've tried the likes of Computer Forensics NZ Ltd ( and had no luck with them, then I can only wish you luck as I have no other suggestions :(

And with that I'll go make an extra backup of everything, just in case!

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  Reply # 485253 23-Jun-2011 23:12
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I had a similar problem. I also tried it another computer etc.

If you do manage to fix the drive, you just need to buy a ide/sata harddrive usb enclosure, you can get em on trademe for about $30.00 including postage. Slide your hardrive into it, pop the usb into working computer and if your hardrive isnt corrupted you will be able to use it as an extra drive. I Copied all the data that i wanted over to my new PC, then formatted it, so ive got an extra drive. My my laptop blew and i took it too the PC shop to recover data they charged $65 to do virtually the same thing, but saxe it to floppy for me.  Good luck with fixing it.

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  Reply # 485293 24-Jun-2011 08:35
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Good morning all

I did indeed try installing the drive as the main one and not a secondary, and it did 'hang'. However I did also try installing it as a slave later, but the computer would not recognise that there was another connected. I changed the jumper setting to slave too. That's about the point that I decided that there was probably a blown chip on the circuit board, and that a replacement board would work. As my post shows, it didn't. 

Unfortunately Computer Forensics (and one other)  won't look at it as I have opened the drive up in an unclean environment.I was hoping to track down someone who might just be prepared to take on a we challenge, in the slim hope that (some of) the data might be able to be recovered. It's not a huge loss if not - more a big dent in my pride more than anyhting, although there is a lot of my kids early stuff on it that would be good to keep. I  realise that I should have asked for advice before opening the drive up, but it's easy to be regretful retrospectively

My fingers are still crossed that someone may be able to help me out

Thank you

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  Reply # 485893 25-Jun-2011 20:29
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worth a shot?

gz ftw

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  Reply # 485900 25-Jun-2011 20:52
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Thank you for that link, but I have already tried them and some others. No one will look at it now that I have opened up the drive and exposed the platter. I regret doing so now, as I beat myself up over a long period of time as to whether I should or not. I took the 'new' drive apart first, and decided I could do it, but it all turned to custard on me, as I damaged the write heads on both drives as I swapped the platters over, rendering both drives useless. I tried to be more careful when I dismantled the second drive, but I still broke it.

Retrospect is a great thing, but not always . . . .


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  Reply # 485954 26-Jun-2011 08:14
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looks like you will have to avoid all the companies, and find someone who deals in that business at home, who is willing to help.
this dudes channel may be of help if you wish to continue to attempt it yourself

gz ftw

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  Reply # 485962 26-Jun-2011 09:12
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Thank you for that 'Bountypure'.

I doubt that I'll try doing anything further myself, as I feel that I have already done enough damage. I'll keep my fingers crossed in the hope that someone may want to take this 'on board' (for a decent fee, preferably with success).

My gut instinct was to leave it alone and seek professional help - or help from someone better than me, but my kiwi 'give it a go' took over, and I bummed out

Oh well, such is life


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  Reply # 486069 26-Jun-2011 14:42
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ive done the same thing myself of luck man

gz ftw

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  Reply # 486149 26-Jun-2011 17:57
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I'm happier to know that I'm not the only one to make that mistake. I'll never do it again, that's for sure

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  Reply # 486178 26-Jun-2011 19:40
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The seagates have problems where when they get to a sector they cant read, they just give up, sulk and need a power cycle to show again, and will shutdown as far as the PC is concerned if you try to read that sector again.

Because of this, even cloning off the readable sectors is not something you can reasonably do. I just grabbed all the files I could and kept power cycling the drive when it stopped working.

no luck with it on windows 7 since it would start off indexing and crap and hit one of the dead sectors. Had to be on a really old XP machine with all that crap turned off.


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