James Barrett on 25 Mar 2009 15:45:27 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] OT - data recovery service?

On Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 5:11 PM, Julien Mills <julienfmills@yahoo.com> wrote:
> All,
>> if the bios still recognizes it, either a live disk or
>> Spinrite can help.
> The bios doesn't recognize, neither does a live disk.

Rule out the possibilities of a failure at the IDE controller, or some
other thing(s) on the laptop's motherboard.  Place the drive in an
external enclosure, or another spare laptop, and see if it is
recognized.  Also do a physical examination of the drive:

Remove the drive.  Check the breadboard on the drive to see if there
are any noticeable discolorations or cracked chips.  If there are,
then you might be in luck; replacing a breadboard could be less
expensive then a full "platter-swapping in a clean room" type of
recovery.  Also, go to a very quiet place, hold the drive in your hand
next to your ear, and kind of gently twist your wrist as if you were
opening a jar of jelly.  You want to try very carefully put the
platters in motion.  Try this with a known healthy drive first if
you've never done it before.  Listen for the 'mouse squeak' sound of a
properly operational hard drive.  It is much more pleasant than the
'new years eve noise maker' sound of loose heads, or the 'glass in a
tin can' sound made by shattered platters rolling around inside the
drive body.  I can recall that some older drives have not made any
sounds, in my experience.

Good luck!

James Barrett
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