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Failed Hard Drive Recovery From Stuck Heads

One of the most common problems facing computer users is a failed hard drive. We see all types of failed hard drives, but the most common fatal problem revolves around broken heads. If there are any issues with the platters, often times it will be the heads that fail. They are fragile and don’t stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

The video below shows 2 things of importance when looking at failed hard drives, the initialization process that lets the heads know when they are ready to start scanning the drive, and a drive with stuck heads. Newer hard drives have built in safety mechanisms that stop the heads from scanning the platters.

Learn more about hard drive recovery.


6 Responses to “Failed Hard Drive Recovery From Stuck Heads”

  1. Baysee February 19, 2010 5:52 pm #

    can you recover data from a drive that has fallen?

    • DTI Data Recovery February 22, 2010 11:32 am #

      Baysee, yes we recover drives that have fallen all the time. What type is it?

  2. Rich DeVito May 3, 2010 2:47 pm #

    Can you recover SCSI drives that are the sys volume of a netware fileserver? We just want to strip the data off the drive as we have built a new server and moved the data over to that new server.


    • DTI Data Recovery May 12, 2010 1:26 pm #

      Rich, a follow up to this – DTI was able to recover this problem in the past so yes we can do it.

  3. rk July 28, 2010 12:49 am #

    This trick will actually work 60% of the cases, so you do have a good probability of getting your data back. I have to warn you that after freezing your hard drive there is also a good chance that the hard drive won’t work ever again, there…fore this procedure should only be atempted as a very last resort. Place the Hard Drive inside a Zip Lock bag and put it in the freezer for about 2 hours, after that take it out and connect it to the computer as fast as you can so that it does not have time to warm up. Make sure that you do not remove the hard drive out of the bag and that you open it as little as possible when connecting it to the power and data cables, so that outside air doesn’t come in and create condensation on the drive. Turn your computer on, look for your data and take it out as fast as you possibly can. Time is key here because you do not know if that drive is going to ever work again. Make sure you do this on a fast computer that does not take to long to boot up, if possible connect the hard drive to an external USB enclosure so that you do not waste time with the computer booting up. Also make sure you know the exact location of your data; is better if you go to straight to the folder rather than using Windows search utility, as searching the drive will heat it up faster due to the amount of work the arm will have to make. Drives usually work for a few minutes and stop working once they heat up. So hurry!!! If after freezing the hard drive and connecting it to the computer you are still not able to access it and you still hear the noise, hold the drive in your hand and, without taking it out of the bag, tap it with your knuckles on one side to see if this releases the heads, you obviously have to do this while the hard drive is powered on and connected to the computer.See More

    • DTI Data Recovery July 30, 2010 2:04 pm #

      rk, thanks for the informed post. The only time cooling a hard drive down works is when the hard drive failed due to excessive heat. There is also the issue of condensation, which adds H2O to the mix. If a hard drive is acting funky, the best bet is to use speed clone and get off what you can when you can!
      This version includes a DOS version that can be run from a floppy, CD or thumb drive, or create an exact image within Windows.

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