Hard Drive Recovery From a Full Stop




Introduction: Hard Drive Recovery From a Full Stop

About: Twitter: @mindsforge

Just the steps taken to get a harddrive back up (Maxtor in this case) from 0 rpm and no bios detection, to 7200 rpm in a few easy steps!

Step 1: Get a Harddrive of the Same Make As the Failed Drive

I determined that the harddrive problem was not a crash because, it wasn't making any weird noises (or any noises at all). When I plugged the harddrive in, I started feeling the components on the controller board, some of which were burning hot. (another indicator that the controller board was burnt out).

I was lucky enough to have another Maxtor of the same make, even though it was of different size, the ICs and components had the same value on the circuit board. So I thought, it couldnt hurt to try and swap the boards.

Step 2: Remove the Controller Board

Now locate the torx/security screws on each hardrive. On the Maxtor they were relatively easy to locate (the red circles in the first picture). And use the appropriate sized bit for your drive screws (T8 for the Maxtor).

Remove the defective hard drive board and place it in your junk box. The board should lift up, with some pretty fragile foam cushioning it underneath, try to salvage a full piece from either hard drive to use on your repaired drive with the data. Take the functional board and place it carefully where the last board was so that the connections (in red circles on the second picture) line up with the solder pads under the board so it is interfaced with the hard drive head and platter.

Step 3: Plug and Pray

Plug the ATA and power into your hopefully functional frankenstein drive, make sure the jumper is set correctly on the new board and hope that it works!



    • Tiny Home Contest

      Tiny Home Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Fix It! Contest

      Fix It! Contest

    56 Discussions

    Hard drive crash is one of the most frustrating experiences a computer user can ever face. There are many reasons which can cause hard disk crash or failure. You must known the possible reasons so that you can avoid any such situation in future. Refer to this article for some useful information - http://wordpress.semnaitik.com/2014/06/19/fix-hard...

    Several years ago, I experienced a hard drive failure. I was at work when my laptop suddenly started to act particularly strange. First, I thought it was because I had too many windows open and the RAM was full, but when the problems persisted after a reboot, I knew it was more than that. I immediately started to back up recent files. About half an hour later, the hard drive failed audibly and the laptop wouldn't boot anymore.

    This was incredibly useful. I had what I thought was a dead drive with some important files and didn't think of this. Ordered a used, exact matching drive on eBay ($50), tried this method and bingo, was able to grab all the data. I can even resell the drive (the one I bought) back on eBay, so the process will cost very little.

    Data is vitally important thing to both companies and individuals throughout the world. raid data recoveryhas grown in leaps and bounds during the years and storage media has grown with it. The art of this service requires the expertise of highly experienced narrowly available professionals and nowadays these services are too expensive.

    Im glad somebody took the time to post this here :] I've actually done this a number of times with a few seagates back in the day, not to bring you down or anything but its kind of old news, idk if many people know about it but still... good stuff dude :) glad to see all the other gear heads out there.

    5 replies

    my girlfriend has just lost "her entire life" by dropping her external harddrive off desk while active. (I KNOW) Its a seagate ide Barracuda 7200. We cant afford pro recovery, as it costs the same as the two year herbology course she will be failling if her two year project is not rescued. The drive makes that slide click sound, which I know is the arm/stylus sliding across platter cos the last drive that did this I stupidly (in retrospect) plugged in without its casing. WILL SOME ONE PLEASE BLESS US. I have general idea of hdd internals, and am confidant I can repair, with some guidance. What is best? replace platter into new hdd, or repair/reposition stylus/arm, or is the another method. IF ANYONE CAN OFFER ANY ADVICE/ASSISTANCE, you be FIXING A LITTLE GIRLS BROKEN HEART, and helping her HEAL the PLANET with NATURES MEDICINE, her DREAM. PLEASE. (and thanx) a knight with faded armor and a deadbeat mule (creativeartmedia@gmail.com)

    I know it's wayy late to reply to your request, but the exact same thing just happened to my son's external HDD (Iomega 250), leaving the thing in a "click of death" state, unrecognized by either Windows or Ubuntu.  After reviewing several presentations on YouTube, there was one nugget of info that we tried --- and it worked.  We turned the drive over onto its back and used a freeware disk recovery app to scan the partitions and locate all the files (about 80,000).  Two reboots of Windows later (it ran chkdsk the first time and rebuilt the file map) and the data was all there.

    Ach. That was over a year ago, but I'm almost certain the software was called PC Inspector. What we had to do was use the PC Inspector app to "Find Lost Drive", then "Find Lost Data", then go into Ubuntu (Linux) to recognize the disk, which advised us to boot twice in Windows to finally get it to recognize the drive again. Yeesh. But it worked! Good luck.

    now i need to find a fujitsu hdd with the same circuit board... are fujitsu's even made anymore?

    btw, i tried this once with a maxtor, but i transferred the plates as well, and then it never read them again... now its a speaker instead, no sense in letting it go to waste

    I have a maxtor 200gb ide hdd (6L200PO) which intermitent ly gets detected by the bios for very short time.Any idea what will help?

    1 reply

    i had a 10 gb maxtor that had the same problem, did you try holding the power plug in it? mine would sometimes jiggle just a little bit loose and it wouldn't boot up


    12 years ago

    Maeser-- How old is your drive? Sometimes the old ones have "stiction", where the head sticks to the platter and the spindle won't spin up. In this case, taking it and delivering torsional shock (usually by holding it over your head and flipping it down and stopping quickly) around the spindle axis usually unsticks it. This is an old trick, know to early SparcStation hackers, amongst others.

    1 reply

    Amazing - the torsional shock method worked beautifully on my dad's dead 1998 2 GB Maxtor hard drive. (The more widely known non-torsional secret of whacking the thing on the side had already failed). Thank you.


    Why didn't i c this b4! I took apart my HDD this morning =( And there was no dmg on the plates. LIFE SUCKS =(

    this only works it the circutry is broken. if the platters are dammaged then it wont work

    1 reply

    think this is actually quite a widely done thing.. Great instructable through! My local computer shop can do data recovery, and uses this method if they can get an identical hard drive.