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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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Old 14th May, 2007, 09:52 PM
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HD go bye bye

Right-oh, it could only happen to an ex-geek. Needing to empty out both of my portable hard drives for work saw me deleting the backup of my raid0 striped array. When I realised this I started to copy data off those drives asap: unfortunately, with about 400MB of irreplaceable photos left to go, the computer froze. One of the two of my matched Seagate 7200.7 SATA drives fell off its perch and died.

I have found numerous articles on control board swapping, freezer tricks and the like, but I'm not convinced. The drive isn't actually dead: it just makes the same repetitive seeking/clicking noises and announces itself to BIOS only on cold start: this doesn't seem related to the actual temperature of the drive, so much as to whether the computer has been on or not in the last half hour.

So... control board?

Thinking laterally: is there any software that can strip data off broken raid arrays and reassemble it from raw data? That way, I could swap the control board from the dead drive's living identical twin and do the data recovery in two stages.

If not, it's a tough and slightly painful lesson to learn, but life goes on.
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Old 14th May, 2007, 10:35 PM
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Seen this?
http://www.aoaforums.com/frontpage/content/view/2490/1/
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Old 15th May, 2007, 01:37 AM
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In your case, I think I'd just ghost the drives over to new drives; you can swap the control board between the dead drive and the live drive to do the ghost.

Unfortunately, I'm afraid what you'll discover is that you have a hard media error and that swapping the board won't make the slightest bit of difference. I think that you can use most decent ghosting packages in a mode where they do a sector copy and ignore errors, thus allowing you to recover as much as possible.
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Old 15th May, 2007, 09:20 AM
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So Norton Ghost could do this? Is there a better ghosting package available? I've had mixed experiences with Norton's offering.

Thanks for the link, danrok - I've been hoping that I won't have to resort to surgery.
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Old 15th May, 2007, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
it just makes the same repetitive seeking/clicking noises and announces itself to BIOS only on cold start
That sounds like the controller trying to handle what it considers to be hard errors. It's a last resort attempt to identify where tracks have disappeared to. If the noise is a bit like the controller slamming the heads against their stop, then it may have lost connection to a one of the heads, and is desperately trying to location /some/ signal on the disk surface.
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Old 15th May, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Yeah, my reading elsewhere suggests that either there are hard errors, or the controller thinks there are hard errors. In the latter case, swapping the control board from its twin would allow me to make an image of the drive. In the former case, what are my best options?
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Old 15th May, 2007, 01:30 PM
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If there are hard errors, you're not going to be able to read from some areas on the disk (state the obvious) - it sounds like the disk controller goes into limbo trying to read them. If that's true, then software is unlikely to be able to get the drive to come back online again (although, you might want to verify this).

What options do the manufacturer's diagnostics tools provide you?
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Old 15th May, 2007, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
What options do the manufacturer's diagnostics tools provide you?
Well, er, nothing. The device doesn't stay visible to the system for long enough to boot an operating system. It hangs Windows booting and disappears from view before Seatools for DOS gets to work.

Its identical twin passes a long self-test, however.

I'm at the stage of wanting to get the data backed up off the working drive so that I can try to swap its electronics onto the defective drive (or would I do better to do a platter transplant?)
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Last edited by Kaitain; 15th May, 2007 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 15th May, 2007, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
So Norton Ghost could do this? Is there a better ghosting package available? I've had mixed experiences with Norton's offering.

Thanks for the link, danrok - I've been hoping that I won't have to resort to surgery.
I'm currently using Acronis
But I'm just doing stright backups, not sure if it has the tools you need for this, free to try in any case.
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Old 16th May, 2007, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaitain
I'm at the stage of wanting to get the data backed up off the working drive so that I can try to swap its electronics onto the defective drive (or would I do better to do a platter transplant?)
That's pretty bad by the sounds of it. You can try swapping electronics first (after making an image of the physical disk!), and see if that gets you anywhere. If it doesn't, then I guess you could try a platter transplant - working on the basis that you probably don't want to use a recovery company.
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Old 16th May, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
That's pretty bad by the sounds of it. You can try swapping electronics first (after making an image of the physical disk!), and see if that gets you anywhere. If it doesn't, then I guess you could try a platter transplant - working on the basis that you probably don't want to use a recovery company.
The amount recovery companies charge, it would be cheaper to go and take all the photos over again.

I'll have a go with transplanting, as soon as I've imaged the working drive and found a suitably small torx driver.
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