I have a dead hard drive. I left my laptop on overnight to charge my MP3 player. No applicatons were running. The next morning, there was a loud screeching sound. I did a hard shutdown of my laptop. After a minute, I restarted it. Almost immediately, it was screeching again. I immediately shut it down again. I pulled the hard drive out, and it was very warm. I let it cool for about about thirty minutes, slipped it back in, and restarted. No screeching, but I got two error messages. The laptop could not find any media. The laptop could not find the operating system.
I had a copy of DSL (Damn Small Linus), which I put into the CD-ROM drive and tried to use. The laptop refused to do anything beyond telling me it couldn’t find media or the OS. I checked BIOS, and it was set to boot from the CD-ROM drive first. I put the DSL disc in another computer, and it loaded just fine. So, I had a little bit of hope that maybe something else was wrong. That hope died today when I bought an external enclosure and plugged the hard drive into it. My other computer didn’t recognize it. When I plugged another hard drive into the enclosure, the computer recognized it. So, definitely a bad hard drive.
Here are some other symptoms of the bad hard drive. When it gets power, I can feel it try to spin up, but the motor pulses. So, it doesn’t seem like the motor seized. There were no usual sounds on the attempts I made to power it up. I didn’t hear anything rattling around inside of it when I was handling it. This evening, I’ve been looking at data recovery websites. I realize now that it was stupid of me to keep powering up the drive (much like it was for me to put running another back-up last weekend).
Here are my questions for y’all:
[li]What might have happened to my hard drive?[/li][li]How boned am I with my data?[/li][li]Anyone have any experiences with data recovery companies?[/li][/ul]
Here’s a big lesson learned: run back-ups more frequently than every six months.