Russ Thompson on 7 May 2013 13:42:20 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] HD's toast- any data recovery recommendations?

I've had decent success with Spinrite, if the data is critical and can't be retrieved through software, I highly recommend what Brian has said in regards to swapping the PCB.

- Russ

On Tue, May 7, 2013 at 4:04 PM, Frank Szczerba <> wrote:

Saw this today at YMMV, IANAHDT:


It's really not too difficult to fix your own hard drive if the problem is a head crash, or the infamous "stiction" problem. You will require #4/0 steel wool, Varsol, WD-40, a few hand tools, and about 45 minutes.

First, you need a clean room, so make sure the garage door is closed before you begin. Move those old lawnmower parts off the bench.

Disassemble the sealed unit and carefully wash all parts with Varsol. Bend the read/write heads out of the way and then disassemble the platter stack.

VERY CAREFULLY buff the platter surfaces with the #4/0 steel wool. This will remove any existing data, level out any surface defects, and help to redistribute the magnetic media and fill in those pesky "bad sectors" that most drives have.

Reassemble the platter stack, and using a .015" feeler gauge, bend the read/write head back to the platter surface, using the feeler gauge to set the gap. This is a slightly higher gap than the factory uses, but it reduces the chance of head collisions with any flotsam you neglected to remove.

Give the head and platters a good shot of WD-40 and reassemble the unit. If your drive has a filter, replace it with a clean section of gauze pad.

All that's left is to low level and DOS format the drive, and you're back in business.

I haven't tried this yet myself, but my friend's wife's sister-in-law's husband knows a technician who does it all the time.


On May 7, 2013, at 1:44 PM, Adam Zion <> wrote:

OK, I've gotten one clear recommendation for data recovery: Drivesavers. Anyone else that I should contact?

And, Rache, I'm going to try the trick that you describe. I'm not optimistic, but seems to be little left to lose at this point.


Adam+Zion, MSIS, MCSE+I
Registered Linux User #471910
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