View Full Version : No Spinning Hard Drive = Dead?
06-10-2008, 01:33 PM
I just got a new computer and was looking to move data from my old one to my new one. The OS on the old computer crashed and since it was so old it was cheaper to buy a new one.
Anyway, I was able to get into the hard drive through the C prompt.
I went out and bought an IDE -> USB transfer tool
It was simple to set up but the problem was although the new computer recognized the USB device it didn't assign a drive letter to it.
Then it dawned on me I didn't hear the hard drive spinnnig. So I am guessing that means I am totally screwed.
I don't know what to actually listen for, but I am assuming if the hard drive was spinning I'd know what it'd sound like right?
The IDE-USB transfer has it's own power cord for it.
I moved the Hard Drive back and forth and I can hear a noise so I'm assuming the heads aren't locked up by static or anything.
So the question is if I can't hear anything when I plug the hard drive into the IDE -> USB transfer it's dead and files are unrecoverable.
(I have seen programs that get data but they all require hard drives to be at least functioning and the other places that I've seen that actually take the hard drive apart seem to be the ones charging tons of money.(
Thanks for the input.
06-10-2008, 01:39 PM
I assume your old computer only had 1 hard drive? If so, then jumper would have been set to "master". You'll need to re-set the jumper on your old drive to "slave" so there's no conflict with the drive of your new computer.
06-10-2008, 02:10 PM
What IDE -> USB transfer tool?
Don't forget that some hard drives require two cables, one for data and one for power.
06-10-2008, 02:46 PM
Connect the drive up to power and leave the IDE cable disconnected. When the power comes on, you should hear the drive spin up. It makes kind of a whirring noise. If there's no noise, it's dead. It's a pretty obvious sound when you hear it, though it may be drowned out a bit by big CPU fans if you are doing this inside a computer case.
If the IDE cable is backwards or there is a conflict on the cable (i.e. both drives set to master or some such) then the drive may not spin up, so it's better to just leave the data cable disconnected at first.
If the drive spins up, then connect it to an IDE cable and see if there are any signs of life. If it spins up but the computer won't recognize it, then part of the controller board is dead.
06-10-2008, 02:55 PM
I assume your old computer only had 1 hard drive? If so, then jumper would have been set to "master". You'll need to re-set the jumper on your old drive to "slave" so there's no conflict with the drive of your new computer.This would be true if the OP was trying to attach the old HD to the same IDE cable as the new computer's HD, but since the connection is via USB, it's much more likely that "Master" is the correct setting.
I'll echo Duckster's request for the model number for the "IDE -> USB transfer tool", and add my own for the model number of the old hard drive.
I think that the most likely problem is that the old HD isn't getting the required power, but if it's an older drive it could be stiction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stiction#Stiction_and_Hard_Disk_Drives).
[I once had an old HD that wouldn't start up, but had a spindle that came out to the open air on the underside of the drive. So, I filed two flats on the accessible part, grabbed it with a pair of pliers, gave it a quick crank to beat the stiction, and turned the PC on. I used it like that for a few months before it finally died. Deliciously retro! However, I haven't seen a HD with an unsealed spindle in ages.]
06-10-2008, 05:12 PM
I was just today reading a suggestion for temporarily reviving a dead hard drive by putting it in the freezer for an hour. It didn't say, but I suspect stiction is the only thing that would actually cure.
06-10-2008, 05:41 PM
I'd try ruling out the ide-usb adapter by putting the HD back in the old computer and listening for the spin up. You don't even have to attach the ide cable, just the power.
06-10-2008, 11:35 PM
Yeah then I guess it's dead. errrrr.
Funny how it worked I got the prompt, turned it off and went to buy an new computer then came back with my gadget to transfer the data and now it died. I guess I should've left the computer on.
I didn't hear anything, I actually took the hard drive out and put it in an external hard drive, IDE -> USB drive.
So everyone back your files up now. Funny thing is I have back up for finished work but it never dawned on me to back up the bits and stuff. I do manuals and such and when I get ideas I'd quickly type them on my computer, but I didn't back those text files up. So I only lost a since May 31st errrr.. Still....
06-11-2008, 02:46 PM
If you have good & solid reason to believe your drive is dead, try this last resort: stick it in the freezer overnight. (stick it in an airtight ziplock first)
When it is cold as hell plug it in switch computer on and if you can get it to spin up, copy files off it as fast as you can.
Don't ask me why it works. I'd be doing this: :dubious: if I have not seen it work myself.
06-11-2008, 03:12 PM
Cool to have post #6 affirmed from experience. :)
I've found the original article I referred to in that post, BTW. It was PC World, June 2003, p. 90.
06-11-2008, 08:46 PM
And I can read as well as write, really :smack:
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