Hard drive recover

Posts: 1,142
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #1
Hello folks,

Hope all is well in the community.

Need to pick your brainz.

I have an iMac 2007 and it had a Western Digital 320GB SATA drive in it. I removed it (carefully) and put in a SSD. Works great. Anyways, I needed to restore some files from this Western Digital to the SSD so I plugged it into a 'toaster' adapter that runs SATA to USB. I know this adapter works as I have other SATA drives running on it without issues.

For the first day, Mac OS X refused to mount the drive. Said it was unrecognizable. Uhg. It actually reported the drive as 2TB. Weird. I looked at the drive on a Linux system and there too, it was reported as 2TB. I installed a HFS+ app to read it on Linux alas I didn't succeed.

Just for laughs and because I love pain, I took apart the iMac and put it back. Again, not recognizable.

I gave DiskWarrior a shot, but also no good.

I thought perhaps because the drive had 10.8 and I had just upgraded to 10.9. So I installed 10.8 on another machine but it too was a no go.

I tried a couple of other things but nothing worked. (I wasn't writing to the drive at any point.)

On the second day, the drive started giving me some clicks. Oh no. At that point, I said, screw it and wrapped it in a sealable plastic bag and put into the freezer. Is that an urban legend? lol. Must be as it didn't work out.

Today, the drive clicked in the morning, but Mac OS didn't even bother to say, 'WTF is this?' It is now to the point that the drive is silent when I power on the USB adapter. NO clicks. Nada. Mad

Losing the data will be a major pain, but not a $1,000 level pain. I looked at MacMedics and they asked for $199 and if they can't fix it, they return it or send to a clean room. A clean room is about $799 from what I hear.

Can't say the data is worth that.

I'm really stumped on this. Outside of the freezer, the drive was handled with white gloves. Weird that it went from working to click click.

In hindsight, when it was at the point that the Mac saw it, but not mounted it, that was probably the time to try to re-write the partition table. Probably needs a clean room recovery but I thought I would ask anyways.


Carlos A. Camacho,
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⌘-R in Chief
Posts: 1,277
Joined: 2002.05
Post: #2
The freezer?! Maybe I'm too young; I've never heard that.

It's been my experience than when a WD starts clicking, it's gone, but that's the mechanical bits. You can have the platters dropped into another drive and it should be fine. Otherwise software—like DiskWarrior—should be able to deal with it.
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Posts: 92
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
Yup wrap in a plastic bag and put in freezer. This can work depending on the fault. Some times good for bad solder joints with contration. The reverse is also ture, heating up a unit with a hair dryer can also warm the unit up to working temperature. Warming up the unit can be required for faulty units which have been running non-stop for long periods.

Another thing to try is looking on ebay for a working same model HDD and swapping the controller board over.

The clicking fault is the heads hitting the internal stop. This can be a bad controller or bad motor. Swapping the controller may fix it.

If at any time its available start coping your most important data. Once you've got that you could then clone the entire disk.

Justin "LordFire" Baldock
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Posts: 1,563
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #4
Always back up your important data! A painful lesson every time you have to relearn it. SSDs aren't immune to failure either; I had one go out on me the other month. Redundancy is about the best protection available.
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Posts: 457
Joined: 2003.08
Post: #5
That's it, I'm buying a web based backup service now. I've been too lazy for too long!
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