There's literally nothing worse in the world than the dreaded moment your hard drive fails, losing all your precious data.
The thing is, right, the recovery companies and manufacturers have got a sweet deal going on - they actually build failure into the drives so that you either stump up tens of pounds to the fix it man or give it to the manufacturers to buy a new hard drive!
Well, that little money maker is about to end when I show YOU how to fix it with little more than a few households items and 5 minutes to spare.
You will need:
A claw hammer
First up, unplug the hard drive and remove the USB cable. Safety first.
With the claw of the hammer, prize open the plastic lid of the hard drive.
It can be quite tight so if you have problems try a knife jemmied into the edge - a few smacks from the hammer should see you through.
Remove any screws you see, then with claw hammer again, carefully prize open the lid. REMEMBER to keep one of the screws. This will be needed later.
Time taken: 1.30 minutes
Bingo! As expected it’s the most common hard drive failure - a stuck reading head. Not a problem.
You’ll see multiple holes along the arm of the readhead. With the scissors, put the end prongs into two of the holes (your choice) and carefully move the playhead back off the surface and into it’s parked position.
Time taken: 2 minutes
Congratulations - we’re on our way!
The shiny disc is the hard drive platter (as marked by the scissors).This is where the data is stored and what the repair man wants you to pay him to ‘fix’.
Well, we’re not falling for that old box of chestnuts, right?!
All will be revealed in the next few steps.
Carefully place the scissors under the platter and lift it a few millimeters, while at the same time stabilising it with a screwdriver in one of the dimples in the centre spinner.
Tentatively remove the screwdriver taking care to keep the scissors in place. Now, gently slide the bottom of the stapler under the drive body itself and place the stapling head in the middle of the face of the platter.
Time taken: 3 minutes
We're over halfway through! Here comes the science bit...
Ever so gently, press down on the stapler until you feel the pressure build. After a couple of seconds you should hear a bit of creaking, followed by a sudden crack and smash! Don’t worry, this is normal - all will become clear.
And oh looky see! What DO we have here..? Only a SPARE disc with ALL your data safe and snug inside! How much to ‘salvage’ your data? Pull the other one fix it man!
As you can see the nice fresh new disc has the fragments of the old one scattered all over it. We won’t be needing them anymore so get rid of all the loose fragments and snap off any extra bits in the middle that you can see. Take care not to cut yourself, just turn it upside down and shake it out in the bin.
Time taken: 3.5 minutes
Still keeping up? Good. We’re on the home stretch!
The disc is nearly ready but it’s got some fine dust over the surface - this is sort of like the fluff on a record and we don’t want it getting stuck on the needle of our player!
With a tissue, carefully spit on the disc and wipe away any excess data dust.
Nearly done! The excess moisture will fly off when the platter starts to spin so don’t worry about it.
Carefully fold down the metal top of the drive over the plate, we won’t need to go in again. Remember the screw you kept from earlier? Take it, choose one of the corners, and screw it shut.
Time taken: 4 minutes
It’s a breeze from here on in, you can even be artistic if you want!
With some sticky tape, wrap it around the drive a few times, this will act as insulation.
Hard drive fixed! Now to get it match ready.
Place the hard drive back in it’s caddy, making sure the hole you stick the cable in is lined up with the hole in the drive - we don’t want to screw things up at this stage!
Put the lid on.
With the brown tape, wrap it around a few times for further insulation, I reckon it makes it go faster but that might just be me.
Step 20: Complete!
Time taken: under 5 minutes!
That wasn't so hard now was it? 5 minutes of your time with £20 still left in your back pocket to go and have fun with. AND a working hard drive!
All that’s left to do now is plug it in and get busy playing with all those lovely files!
Step 21: JOB DONE!
As you can see the hard drive is up and running again and purring like a kitten. All sorted before the kettles even boiled!
Next time: Hal fixes car brakes