Tick Tocking Hard Drive-Need Help

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MaxTek's picture
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I replaced a drive in an iMac Flat Panel 1.2ghz. The drive would not show up on the desktop and all it does is make the tick tocking sound.

Of course the client is hoping I can get some of his info from the bad drive (no he didn't back anything up).

So far with the drive in my firewwire enclosure I have tried every utility I have including Drive 10 and Disk Utility...no go.

I have tried a few things I have read on the internet; giving the drive a good knock with my hand, giving the drive a good spin on the floor (both directions), freezing the drive overnight in the freezer and finally replacing the drive circuit board with a known good one (can't believe I had another Deskstar drive in the basement)...no go.

I thought the freezer might be helping because the sound is present for a minute or two, but neither is the drive on the firewire chain. Anyone have any other suggestions? It is a Hitachi Deskstar 80gb.

Thanks.

MaxTek

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dankephoto's picture
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bad motor? bad lockdown latch?

Maybe a bad motor or a bad lockdown latch (or whatever it's offically called.) If either, only a full service data recovery outfit can help. Gotta take apart the drive in a cleanroom and replace the failed bits. Not for amateurs I believe.

What's the data worth $$$-wise?

dan k

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MaxTek's picture
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Re: bad motor? bad lockdown latch?

dankephoto wrote:

Maybe a bad motor or a bad lockdown latch (or whatever it's offically called.) If either, only a full service data recovery outfit can help. Gotta take apart the drive in a cleanroom and replace the failed bits. Not for amateurs I believe.

What's the data worth $$$-wise?

dan k

That's what I figured. According to the client the data was worth a lot more than the computer. I could've been the hero but nothing I tried all day worked. I guess I will return the drive and recommend Drive Savers or the like.

Thanks,

MaxTek

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Despite my doubt, I had a dea

Despite my doubt, I had a dead hard drive and threw it in the freezer overnight... fired it up the next day with a disk utility and got everything off of it without any problems.

Try it as a last resort, you may just get lucky. The freezer thing actually worked for me.

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MaxTek's picture
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Re: Despite my doubt, I had a dea

AG-Wolf wrote:

Despite my doubt, I had a dead hard drive and threw it in the freezer overnight... fired it up the next day with a disk utility and got everything off of it without any problems.

Try it as a last resort, you may just get lucky. The freezer thing actually worked for me.

I mentioned in my orig. post that I tried the freezer trick overnight. It stopped the ticking sound momentarily but the disk utilities didn't see the drive. As soon as the drive came back up to a certain temp the tick tocking began again.

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Try running it in the freezer

Try running it in the freezer. Run the firewire out and close the freezer door. It worked once for me when the drive would go out as soon as it warmed up at all.

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mybad man, guess I didn't not

mybad man, guess I didn't notice :3 aparently, neither did the person who posted after me Tongue

Is it formatted with OSX or OS 9? If it's OS X I've heard people talk about a program called Disk Warrior, which may help if you do the freezer job again.. If it's OS 9, Hard Disk Toolkit or Norton may be able to do the trick. I had a 15 gig drive in my 6500 die with files up to 7 years old (and some things were about 17 years old), and Norton's file recoverey tool managed to get everything back.

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Re: mybad man, guess I didn't not

AG-Wolf wrote:

mybad man, guess I didn't notice :3 aparently, neither did the person who posted after me Tongue

Is it formatted with OSX or OS 9? If it's OS X I've heard people talk about a program called Disk Warrior, which may help if you do the freezer job again.. If it's OS 9, Hard Disk Toolkit or Norton may be able to do the trick. I had a 15 gig drive in my 6500 die with files up to 7 years old (and some things were about 17 years old), and Norton's file recoverey tool managed to get everything back.

Tried Disk Utility, DiskWarrior and Drive 10 all showed nothing on the volume list. Keeping the drive IN the freezer and booting my Powerbook sounds like something to try because it comes back down to temperature pretty quickly when I take it out of the freezer and go upstairs to hook it up to my mac.

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How long are you leaving it i

How long are you leaving it in there? Also, be sure to put it in some sort of plastic sack so you don't get condensation forming on the drive as it warms up. Running it in the sack with the cable going out should help. You don't want water droplets forming on circuit traces or on component leads while power is being applied. Smile

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Re: How long are you leaving it i

Jon wrote:

How long are you leaving it in there? Also, be sure to put it in some sort of plastic sack so you don't get condensation forming on the drive as it warms up. Running it in the sack with the cable going out should help. You don't want water droplets forming on circuit traces or on component leads while power is being applied. Smile

It was in overnight when I tried it the first time. I haven't had time to try the cable and power coming out of the freezer door trick yet.

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So you're saying that the dri

So you're saying that the drive does not show up on the desktop and is not recognized by any program at all, right?

This might be a farfetched idea at this point, but IIRC, I think I've actually recovered non-recognized drives this way, but shucks, I can't remember exactly if you can recover the drive with its files intact this way, so if someone knows better, please chime in. It would require a PCI setup in a tower or desktop that can boot into OS 9. I would hook the drive up to a PCI ATA controller card (that's a SATA drive?) and boot into OS9 on another drive. In OS9 I would run ATTO ExpressProTools 2.8.2 and see what happens. You may first get a window that says that there's a drive that cannot be recognized because of some error and do you want to put drivers on that drive, or something like that--I can't remember the wording exactly--and from there you can attempt to put ATTO's drivers on the harddrive. If you don't get that window and the control panel opens, you may find the drive in the list. With the drive highlighted, you can go to the Utilities pull down window and "install driver on disk." A window will then ask you which version of ATTO's drivers you want to install with the latest offered, so just click OK, and then another window comes up saying that ATTO's drivers are about to be installed...blah blah blah..and you click OK and if you're lucky, it installs the drivers and the drive mounts to the desktop as an ATTO SCSI Volume, even though it's not even a SCSI device. Like I say, I cannot guarantee my memory here, so if someone thinks I'm an idiot, speak up please. Unfortunately, I don't have any tick-tocking drives at the moment to test it out, but I've certainly had quite a few over my computer lifetime, and have recovered some, if only for time enough to get some files off. Much of the time, though, a tick tocking drive will stall any kind of booting on a machine, so this would all be moot, anyway.

And actually, I do have one harddrive in one of my B&W's which was a tick-tocking, seeming bad drive, which I stuck in a box in the closet, and then pulled it out and installed it 6 months later in that B&W, and it spun up just fine, no tick tocking at all, works great, and now it's the main system drive in that machine. There's been so many times in my experience with seemingly bad drives or motherboards that they just come back to life fine and dandy after sitting unused for a period of time, so if I were in your position, and the guy doesn't want to pay for the experts, and can afford patience, I'd just stick it in a box and see if it works in a month. Don't ask me how or why. It just often happens for me.

Sounds like you've already put a lot of your own time into this. I'm hoping you're getting paid for it all.

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That tick noise could be the

That tick noise could be the heads trying to move in position but can't. If the data is important, tell your client to take it for professional data recovery. It will be expensive, but at least the data can be retrieved.

Or, you can try and open the drive and replace the platters with your other drive you got the PCB from. But you have to make sure the PCB is exactly the same from every chip and revision number on the drive labels or you will corrupt his data. The first track of the platters contains the firmware for the drive, so if it can't read those tracks because of a mechanical error, the drive can't be accessed. If the firmware is the wrong version and you try and read the drive, it could be garbled. Replacing the platters is a last atempt, if the client is 500% sure he doesn't want a bill from a data recovery expert. You would need a relatively clean area to work on it, having a can of co2 nearby (not compressed air, it can liquify, not good)for keeping platters free from dust etc. and using cotton microfibre gloves. You have to be very carefull with the read/write heads, as some collapse once the platters are removed. A plastic tool could gently open them up again.

If you manage to pull all that off, remember you only have one try to get the data off since normal air has so many particles, it's only a matter of time before a stray particle can ruin the surface of the platters.

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Tick tick tick

There are two types of sounds that might be classed as ticking. One is caused by repeated attempts to spin up the platters. The other is caused by repeated attempts to find track 0. The former really is a quiet tick, while the latter tends to have more of a throaty, grinding character. If it truly is a quiet tick, then it may be that your drive is suffering from stiction (heads can actually partially weld to the platter surface -- they're so smooth that contact welding can occur). Gentle knuckle raps or spins tend to be pretty ineffective with such small drives -- you'll have to get more brutal. If you're at a desperate point, you can try slamming the drive flat against a table surface. That may get it going again. This, uh, technique is also extremely effective at reviving allegedly dead iPods with microdrives. I've fixed almost a dozen for my friends just this way. It's fun to see their look of horror while I'm performing this procedure turn to one of delight when the iPod starts working again, with all of their thousands of tracks still intact and playable.

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Wow, these last two posters s

Wow, these last two posters sound like drive technicians. I'm curious about the freezing thing. What does the freezing actually do that can get the drive back to functioning?

1.2Ghz Imac. Then the drive must be 3 or 4 years old? Still under warranty? I wonder if you called Hitachi...?

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Re: Wow, these last two posters s

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Wow, these last two posters sound like drive technicians. I'm curious about the freezing thing. What does the freezing actually do that can get the drive back to functioning?

1.2Ghz Imac. Then the drive must be 3 or 4 years old? Still under warranty? I wonder if you called Hitachi...?

From what I understand it the cold shrinks the metal in the components temporary to free them up.

Thanks to all the other posters and your time typing all the explainations and hints. I am trying them all. So far nothing has helped. Yes I am getting paid for it and yes it is a loud ticking sound, actually a TOCK TICK, TOCK TICK sound.

MaxTek

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Client is completely bummed

I got the estimate from Drive Savers. $1700.00 - $2400.00 because it is a mechanical failure and software failure. So the drive would have to be worked on in a clean room. 4 years of legal work down the drain.

Moral of this post....BACK UP YOUR WORK!

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re: 4 years of legal work down the drain.

Surely that's worth a paltry $2400??!!?? Seriously!!

How will this saga end?? ;P

dan k

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Re: re: 4 years of legal work down the drain.

dankephoto wrote:

Surely that's worth a paltry $2400??!!?? Seriously!!

How will this saga end?? ;P

dan k

Well I got a quote from "Ontrack" and thiers was $500-$2500. The tech said to expect around $1500.

So, it has ended with a paperweight (the drive) and a very depressed client. He can't spend what he doesn't have.

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Like I say, leave it alone fo

Like I say, leave it alone for a month or two and be prepared to copy off of it as soon as it makes it to the desktop, if it does. Doesn't happen all the time, but it does sometimes in my experience. Just don't try to boot into it. Have it set up as a slave. Often they'll come back to life once and then you shut down and it goes back to failure the next time or even the next half hour, so get the stuff off right then and there, and don't try to copy large chunks--do just a little at a time, methodically, carefully. Sounds like his only hope now. Hard lesson to learn. I've spent late late nights helping people learn that lesson.

Just don't let him throw it away in a fit of anger.

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....

Four years of legal work and he can't afford $1500.00 for drive recovery? If it is sensitive client data he pretty much has an obligation to recover and back up that data.

But, alas... this is an unfortunate fate. First thing that I check when I acquire a new used computer is the hard drive - If it is a Deathstar or a Quantum Fireball I replace it straight off. TOOOO many bad experiences there. I also had a client who didnt want to pay for drive recovery, and when It came down to it all my client was concerned about was outlook.
His disk had a messed up boot sector, amongst other problems - so a night in the freezer and a boot up under Suse - I pulled the PST file off in ten minutes and was $350.00 richer. Smile

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Re: ....

evilrobot wrote:

Four years of legal work and he can't afford $1500.00 for drive recovery? If it is sensitive client data he pretty much has an obligation to recover and back up that data.

I don't know (he didn't say) how sensitive the info is, but he was pretty positive he couldn't afford it. He sounded like he was about to throw up though.