Just a few days ago my laptop hard drive crashed and I already knew all my data is gone for ever. My laptop was making a ticking noise from last few months and I had a small feeling that this was going to happen with my laptop and finally it did happen!! . So then started the quest to find a way to recover my data from that crashed hard drive. I searched a lot on the web and found that it was possible and it can be done by simply enclosing the drive into an external hard drive case which makes hard drive to be able to connect via USB port to a PC. But this was not all because my had drive was making a strange noise when it was there in the laptop, so I was sure that its going to be a mechanical fault.
Operating System Not Found! error during boot time
As I was browsing and searching on web for a solution I came across an interesting page Lazy (Men's) Electronics: Recovering Data from Hard Drive Failure . This person was also having the same problem as I went through his page, I got an idea of that it might be the problem with my drive too. When I opened my drive I found that fault was due to head stuck on the platter of hard disk which was not moving even when the platter was rotating. This was why the hard drive was making such a strange noise and my laptop started showing an error message ‘Operating system not found’ at boot time and my laptop was dead. It was not able to boot and load Windows. So I also checked the bios to verify if my drive was being detected and what I found was no drive detected which made me worried as all my data was gone.
Buying a new Hard drive to replace the faulty drive:
Failed Seagate Momentus ST9250827AS 250GB 5400.4 RPM
My new Seagate Momentus ST9500420AS 500GB 7200.4 RPM
To bring my laptop back to life, I researched over web and found that the same Seagate Momentus 250GB 5400.4 RPM drive was costly at around $85 and slower than Seagate Momentus ST9500420AS 500GB 7200.4 RPM which was faster, so I ordered the 500GB one for my laptop for around $72 on Amazon.ca . I also made sure that the new drive is compatible with my laptop motherboard which is an Intel PM45 Mobile chipset and found that it supports higher capacity drives. The drive came within 5 days and YES! it was compatible with my laptop and got installed successfully.
Now the only thing I wanted was my data. So I ordered a USB enclosure from EBay just for $4.00 and got it shipped from Hong Kong. It took around 20 Days to ship to Canada and I waited patiently for it.
USB 2.0 Sata Enclosure for Laptop 2.5” Hard drives.
Now after it came I started the operation Data Rescue :
First I loaded the drive into the USB 2.0 2.5" SATA HARD DISK DRIVE Enclosure and then plugged it into my laptop for recovery but again the same sound came and now there was only last option left for me that was to open the drive and to see if the head was stuck on the platter. Then I opened the drive which had some 7 small screws with a T7 Screwdriver .
Opening screws of the hard drive
After I opened the drive my guess was right the head was stuck on the platter and I just carefully moved it into its resting location.
Image showing Head stuck on platter and its resting location
With my fingers crossed, I put it back into the USB enclosure and son of a GUN! there’s the data!, my laptop detected the drives. So I started copying the data as soon as possible because I knew its going to be dead soon as the drive was making ticking sounds. So I waked up until 2:00 AM to recover all of my data and then I decided to turn off the computer after I was done. I was able to copy about 90-95% data from my drive, some of the data got corrupted. But luckily all my important files were intact and were copied safely to my new drive.
Next morning when I waked up and again tried to connect the drive to get some songs and other stuff, the drive finally gave up.
So how much did I Save! $$
I found that if I wanted to get my data recovered from a professional company it was going to cost me more than $1000! and the price of new drive is not included.
However I got the recovery done for just $4 which is the cost my USB enclosure from Ebay .
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