Author Topic: Hard Drive Repair  (Read 1342 times)

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Online bostonman

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Hard Drive Repair
« on: November 08, 2019, 04:45:07 pm »
I have a Western Digital WD3200BEVT-60ZCT1 from a laptop that clicks when powered.

About two-years-ago I was involved with trying to retrieve files from it, and, after research, although I read a PROM (???) chip needed to be swapped, I purchased a replacement PCB. Unfortunately that didn't seem to solve the problem (I also didn't replace any IC chips as I also read something about programming another chip).

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I removed the cover and attempted to run the hard drive with the cover open. If I remember correctly, I needed to jump two vias (I assume they are connected via the metal case) in order for the drive to spin. I witnessed the drive head moving back and forth repeatedly duplicating the same clicking sound I heard with the cover on; but the plates were spinning.

Now I'd like to readdress retrieving files from it. Has anyone successfully accomplished retrieving files from this model (or a similar model), or which options I can take to read the files?


Thanks

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 04:46:58 pm by bostonman »
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2019, 05:16:30 pm »
If you've had it open for any significant length of time, odds are the platters are contaminated enough that a head crash is almost inevitable.  Once a head has been damaged you can forget about any chance of data recovery from that platter surface short of sending it off to the $*$EXPENSIVE$*$ specialists with a clean room and the ability to swap out head assemblies.  I don't know what the current going rates for that sort of recovery are, but wouldn't be surprised if you were given four figure quotes with no guarantee of success!
« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 05:18:51 pm by Ian.M »
 
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Online bostonman

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2019, 07:34:46 pm »
I saw a video where someone taped the edges of the platters and placed them in another hard drive.

From reading, this model (or name brand) doesn't allow for that because the TOC (table of contents ?) is contained within a memory chip.
 

Offline fzabkar

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2019, 09:48:12 pm »
Clicking is usually a sign of head or media damage.

Hopefully the following primers will explain the firmware structure.

The hard drive -- a computer-within-a-computer:
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2600

"Adaptives" -- why a straight PCB swap doesn't work in modern hard drives:
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2600&p=20704#p19090

BTW, the flying height of a disc head is 3nm or less. The average distance between two molecules of air at room temperature is 3.4nm. So essentially the head flies on an air bearing that is one molecule thick (unless I'm misunderstanding the thermodynamics). A dust particle would look like Mt Everest.

As for a platter swap, this is only necessary when the spindle motor is seized or otherwise unserviceable. Changing the headstack is the preferred solution in cases of head damage.

« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 09:56:43 pm by fzabkar »
 

Online m3vuv

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 01:09:15 pm »
Unless you have deep pockets and long arms forget about data,just ,just cut your losses and bin it,the heads and maybe even platters will be fooked,its a no brainer!!
 

Offline cliffyk

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2019, 02:54:28 am »
If the data is important pay a data recovery specialist to retrieve it--and accept the lesson that there is no such thing as too much backups:

Having "been there and done that" I back up nightly to a 2 GB RAID 1 NAS device, which backs up weekly to another 2 GB RAID 1 NAS unit.

-cliff knight-
paladinmicro.com
 

Offline amyk

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2019, 04:17:56 am »

BTW, the flying height of a disc head is 3nm or less. The average distance between two molecules of air at room temperature is 3.4nm. So essentially the head flies on an air bearing that is one molecule thick (unless I'm misunderstanding the thermodynamics). A dust particle would look like Mt Everest.

Some interesting "insider knowledge" from someone who worked in the HDD industry can be found in this thread:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/beginners/what-to-do-with-a-hdd-motor/msg129452/#msg129452

Including this:
Quote from: free_electron
how many head crashes does a drive incur ?.... Multiple a second. Not a problem. So where does the head crash myth come from ? The headstack can slam into the spindle or agaianst the outward stop. This causes heads to wobble and grind against the disk. The disk is coated with industrial diamond. ( diamond like carbon coating ) so very hard. Part of the ferrite material of the heads may break off and destroy the heads... This stuff gets everywhere.
And may eventually destroy other things.
Strikes against stuff on the platters happens a few times per second. No head damage there. The head does not slam into the disk , it slams against stuf lying on the platters. Only if you bang the drive mechanically can the head crash into the disk

This infamous picture also suggests that dust and other stuff is not as big as problem as may be believed, I suspect that anything sticking to the platters is the concern, as other particles will just get blown away by the air currents or shoved away by the head itself:

https://hddguru.com/articles/2006.02.17-Changing-headstack-Q-and-A/fig_25.jpg

(From https://hddguru.com/articles/2006.02.17-Changing-headstack-Q-and-A/ )
 

Offline fzabkar

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 05:27:12 am »
I've heard these "strikes" referred to as "head slaps". The term, "thermal asperity", is used to denote the temporary heating that occurs in a read head when this happens. ISTM that the lubricant coating on the platter surface mitigates the possibility of permanent damage. In fact hard drives perform "patrol seeks" so that the lubricant doesn't accumulate under a stationary head.

As for "head crashes", high RPM enterprise drives working in environmentally controlled servers frequently sustain media damage. In fact that seems to be the most common failure mode, if HDD Guru is any guide. As for the headstack slamming into its limits, ISTM this could only occur if the drive loses servo control, which in turn would most likely be the consequence of media damage or a head fault. Of course a head fault could be the result of too many head slaps, with each slap partially degrading the read element until eventually it no longer reads at all.

That said, older drives parked their heads on the platters in a laser roughened landing zone, so I'm left wondering why this doesn't constitute a crash. In fact modern drives park their heads off the platters on a loading ramp.

See the following blog article. The contaminated drive didn't crash, but it did develop bad sectors.

Opening the hard drive – Regular vs. Clean room environment:
https://hddsurgery.com/blog/opening-the-hard-drive–regular-vs-clean-room-environment

Some 35 - 40 years ago, I used to repair head crashes in Control Data BK7 drives. These had removable disc packs. After cleaning the pack area, I would disable the servo, spin up the drive and allow it to purge for an hour. I suppose the same could be done in PC HDDs, assuming that the MCU doesn't register an error condition and allows the motor to keep spinning. The air turbulence would hopefully blow the contaminants into the filter.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 05:36:56 am by fzabkar »
 

Online james_s

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 05:35:10 am »
I remember from playing with old hard drives years ago that I was often able to open a drive up, repair something like a sticky rubber stop or stuck spindle and then put the cover back on and it would work fine. Running a drive while the lid is off I found kills it very quickly though, I don't know if it's sucking dust under the head or if having the lid off interrupts the airflow and causes turbulence. Likely a bit of both.
 

Offline nsxnjkb

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 09:12:29 am »
HDD is a special filter cleaning from small particles and moisture, and you want it in the open state to leave to work, fine dust can cause great damage

http://otzivorgt.ucoz.ru/_bl/0/84662040.jpg
 

Offline testpoint1

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 05:26:06 am »
as usual, that is one head broken, the hard disk data recovery shop will found a same model as yours, then move your disc to their, the price is not expensive, less than 1K, but if the dirty already in (you opened the cover), most of them just into somewhere.
 

Online digsys

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2019, 05:53:33 am »
Well, I can tell you from MANY dozen HDD repairs in the past - I rarely had any of the reported "issues" described. I even had HDDs 3.5 > 2" left open for weeks ... lots of thing "may" happen :-) ymmv -
Some of the methods used -
Swapped head assemblies / swapped drive frames / swapped controller pcbs / fine sanded "pot holes", cleaned and mapped out / created a "bit map" using a sensitive mag sensor and reconstructed the data etc
In the older "smaller" drives, we used to dismantle the platters, "stain" them with magnetic reactive solution, high res photograph them, then rebuild / align the data.
All sorts of methods, and most with the platters exposed. The heads have a relatively large mass compared to puny dust particles :-)

Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline fzabkar

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2019, 11:33:35 pm »
Well, I can tell you from MANY dozen HDD repairs in the past - I rarely had any of the reported "issues" described. I even had HDDs 3.5 > 2" left open for weeks ... lots of thing "may" happen :-) ymmv -
Some of the methods used -
Swapped head assemblies / swapped drive frames / swapped controller pcbs / fine sanded "pot holes", cleaned and mapped out / created a "bit map" using a sensitive mag sensor and reconstructed the data etc
In the older "smaller" drives, we used to dismantle the platters, "stain" them with magnetic reactive solution, high res photograph them, then rebuild / align the data.
All sorts of methods, and most with the platters exposed. The heads have a relatively large mass compared to puny dust particles :-)
Please tell me you're not serious.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2019, 11:35:27 pm by fzabkar »
 
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Online digsys

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2019, 12:40:59 am »
Quote from: fzabkar
Please tell me you're not serious.
free to believe what you like :-) ... as always ... ymmv
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Online wraper

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2019, 12:48:01 am »
Quote from: fzabkar
Please tell me you're not serious.
free to believe what you like :-) ... as always ... ymmv
I believe you if it was done with drives with size in megabytes.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2019, 12:51:30 am »
If the data is important pay a data recovery specialist to retrieve it--and accept the lesson that there is no such thing as too much backups:

Having "been there and done that" I back up nightly to a 2 GB RAID 1 NAS device, which backs up weekly to another 2 GB RAID 1 NAS unit.
Nice setup but remember to make offsite backups to counter things like theft and fire too.
 

Offline fzabkar

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2019, 03:31:35 am »
Quote from: fzabkar
Please tell me you're not serious.
free to believe what you like :-) ... as always ... ymmv

When you say "we", which company are you referring to?

Is the sort of stuff you are talking about?

https://digital-forensics.sans.org/blog/2009/01/28/spin-stand-microscopy-of-hard-disk-data
 

Online digsys

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2019, 05:14:42 am »
Quote from: fzabkar
When you say "we", which company are you referring to?
Is the sort of stuff you are talking about?
https://digital-forensics.sans.org/blog/2009/01/28/spin-stand-microscopy-of-hard-disk-data
Yep, that is one of the techniques used by a few specialist companies, here in Melbourne, for when you needed "extreme" measures. Other companies used a variation of "doping / marking" and subsequent "reading off the bit patterns / aligning the platters and decoding". It was really cool stuff :-) Forgot the company names, sorry.
To tidy the story - that was a "last resort", and I was only able to attempt it on much smaller drives / large platters. The HDD I donated to EEVBlog a long time ago, Dave did a youtube teardown on it, was one such HDD. It belonged to a bank and was crucial.
But most of the time, and back in the day we seemed to have SHEETLOADS of HDD failures, we resorted to the methods I mentioned.
Sometimes - just swapping out the controller with a same type - swapped out the platters - head assemblies .. whatever was needed. The point I made was, that I cannot recall a time, when leaving the platters exposed to air caused me any drama in itself. Most the time, of course, I only need them "open" for the time it took to retrieve the data. With the newer higher density drives, you may need to re-seal and pump filtered  N2 in possibly. It's been a while.
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 

Offline fzabkar

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2019, 07:55:16 am »
This teardown is of a drive which was built in 1991:

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/blog/eevblog-395-world_s-most-expensive-hard-drive-teardown/msg168695/

I was working on 300MB 250kg Control Data HDDs from 1981 until 1992. I was not aware of any company in Australia who was doing the kind of work that you talk about. It's too bad that you can't come up with a company name that would jog my memory.
 

Online digsys

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Re: Hard Drive Repair
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2019, 11:21:42 am »
Quote from: fzabkar
This teardown is of a drive which was built in 1991: ...  It's too bad that you can't come up with a company name that would jog my memory.
I'm sure I can find it ... let me look, may take a few days, as I am a bit busy right now, and I still have a couple friends who used them aw well. Banks etc were a big customer. Main one I used was in St Kilda Rd, 3rd? floor (I can still picture the offices :-) ) ...
Hello <tap> <tap> .. is this thing on?
 


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