Dropped my hard drive...now what.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by The Village Idiot, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. The Village Idiot

    The Village Idiot Demon Barber

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,148
    All knowing FSU, please help. Last night my running external hard drive fell about 2 feet onto hardwood floors. It now clicks at me and the computer doesn't recognize it (ie, it's broken). Google says that is bad and to turn it off for risk of further damage. Losing the HD, I can deal with but I'd like the photos on it (yes back up, but I haven't backed up in a while...I know).

    How do I go about finding a data recovery service to try and salvage the info? Plenty of places come up w/ google, but how do I know if they're good and legit?

    I'm in NYC (Manhattan) in case anyone has any suggestions. 250GB. Thanks!
  2. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,516
    Sorry to hear this. Almost the same thing happened to me two years ago, when I dropped my 40GB external drive on the floor in a cafe and dented the connector plug. Fortunately, drives themselves are quite resilient and data can be retrieved easily.

    The bad news is data retrieval is very expensive, and depending on how quickly you need them to create a back-up (which can mean buying a second drive), may run into hundreds of dollars.

    The lesson I learned is to do weekly back - ups from one drive to another, and burn any completed projects to disk.

    How I found a good service was a website that itemised costs, or could do a retrieval scan for you free of charge along with a quote. Sites with testimonials are good, too. It may help to go to some kind of forum and ask other people for advice or who have had similar experiences.
  3. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    6,054
    Do you know any out of work techies? You need to find someone who can take the disk platter and transfer it to a housing that is properly aligned. It's not rocket science, so most folks who work tech support can do it or know someone who can.
  4. renatele

    renatele New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Messages:
    22
    Uh ... it is not that simple. If the connector is broken, that is one thing. Hard drive (not the housing) does not have to be opened. However, if the running (spinning) hard disk fell, "most folks who work tech support" CANNOT open up the hard drive and "transfer it to a housing that is properly aligned", for many reasons ... One of them would be that just about no "out of work techies" have access to the absolutely clean environment needed in order to not destroy the data on the said platter. Also, the 2nd hard drive (to transfer the platters from the damaged one) needs to be the same model, etc.

    If you absolutely need the data off the damaged drive, I would recommend professional services (if you, or an "out of work techie" try to swap the housing and it does not work, there will be no 2nd chance). That can be very expensive, though ...
  5. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    2,062
    Your best bet is to go to the hard drive manufacturer's website and find a certified repair service through the manufacturer. While dropping it isn't covered by warranty, most mfg's will void any warranty if you use a third party vendor for any type of repair. Same holds true for DIY and a geek buddy.

    If you haven't already registered the drive on the mfg website, do it now. You should also pull out your documentation and receipt. You *may* have bought it with the damage protection insurance that Staples and other stores offer - check your receipt.

    If you bought it with a credit card, see if you have purchase protection coverage through the card issuer.

    Good luck, I know the feeling. My external hard drive failed earlier this year. I thought I had backups, but it turns out only the music files were backed up. Lost years of irreplaceable photos. I now have TWO external hard drives that back up to/from each other daily.

    Just as an aside, my nephew believes that the reason the hard drive failed is because I used it for my photo slide show screen saver. Now I use an old USB drive for the screensaver with images copied from my new photo collection.