Recently I was picking my kids up from a family friend’s house and through normal chit chat in the conversation it was brought up that their family computer’s HDD had failed or “Crashed”. After giving them my sympathy for their loss (some work document and Tons of Family Photos and Videos) something clicked in my brain. I have been out of the game for a long time in terms of being a full time desktop support technician, not to say that I do not do it, however my sights are now on Virtualization and Messaging these days. Anyway back in the day when I used to work for large companies doing desk side support where end users would prefer to save data to their local HDD rather than network drive due to 10 Meg Ethernet or Token Ring network connection (no this is not meant to age me but rather how old the network was).
So lets just say that because this was the norm for their corporate culture we had a lot of issues with people losing data. However my team and I became very good at performing miracles and bring a drive back from the dead.
While this is still in my head I figured I would share this information with you.
Please note that I am not taking responsibility for any damage that you may do to equipment. This is just to share my war stories and if it helps someone out of a bind then great!
Drive will not spin up or there is a clicking noise
Try sticking the HDD into the freezer for a few hours (we used to do about 16 hours) and then try to power the drive up again. More times than not it will work but your time is limited so get your data quickly.
Do not put your drive on top of ice or anything moist (putting it into a plastic bag might be smart).
Drive powers on and spins with no clicking but is not detected by OS or BIOS.
Here is where working for a large company with tons of machines with the same model comes in handy. If you have a spare drive that is the same Make and Model you can use a torx screw driver to take the controller card off of the drive and put it onto the defective drive. This should allow the drive to be seen by the OS so you can get your data off.
By doing this you are voiding the warranty of your drives so make sure you know the risk before you proceed.