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Obituary of my hard drive

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Obituary of my hard drive

Postby Alektron on Wed May 10, 2006 3:54 am

Well, I pushed my luck too far, I guess. I've been using this Maxtor 20GB (model 52049U4) for about 6 years, and was currently using it as the primary Windows 2000 hard drive, plus a repository of My Documents. it died tonight. It happily outlived its 3 year warranty, but died at age 6. How long should hard drives last? :-({|=

I learned that I made a foolish mistake to keep My Documents, bookmarks, and other files on the old hard drive. I should have backed up those special files onto a CD or DVD. Duh! I think it takes this situation to start a good habit. :( At least I already had a XP-64 bit installation on another hard drive.

Feel free to leave your story of your hard drive losses.

Tomorrow, I'll try a new IDE cable and give it one more try. If that's no good, I'll dissemble the old hard drive and take a hammer to the disk.
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Postby LoneWolf on Wed May 10, 2006 11:06 am

I've never seen an IDE cable fail spontaneously, ever. I really doubt it's that.

You could try the "freezer trick" to see if you can get the drive to boot up long enough to recover data. Put the drive in a baggie, put the drive in the freezer for 6-12 hours, pull from the freezer, immediately hook to your computer (have your machine all prepped ahead of time for this) as slave, and attempt to copy off your data, assuming the machine detects it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I only do it with drives as a last resort, but it looks like you're at that point.

As for data destruction, I prefer power drills to hammers. Drill about 3-4 large holes straight through the drive. Metal shop enjoys this on the few occasions when I need to take an administration official's drive to them; they get to watch what a high-speed drill press does to electronic equipment. :)
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Postby hoxlund on Thu May 11, 2006 1:43 am

just tossed my first sata drive into trash today, started life as my primary windows drive, then moved to my temp cd image drive

was getting smart errors so it was a matter of time before it went
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Postby Alektron on Sat May 13, 2006 4:07 pm

The freeze trick seems to have worked!!! Thank you for the idea. :) The other day, I put the drive in a ziploc freezer bag in the 0C freezer, and decided to test the results on this weekend. I plugged the same IDE cable back in, but in the other IDE socket. Then booted up to the old Windows installation without any problems. I copied my key files, and am still using the drive as I write this. I don't know if it's permanently fixed, but on the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if it fails again. If the cold temperature caused some small metal parts to shrink, maybe those metal parts are on the borderline of the mechanical limits, and a prolonged higher temperature would cause the drive to fail again. Time will tell.
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Postby hoxlund on Sat May 13, 2006 6:17 pm

do a hard drive test on it

either DFT or other means of testing, will put the drive through all stress tests and bit by bit testing
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