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My old IDE HDD from my laptop recently crashed and now, I can only see it in the BIOS. When I try to track it down using GParted or other tools, I can't seem to find it. Does anyone have a solution to my problem?

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3 Answers 3

By "Crashed" do you just mean the fact you can't see it anywhere but BIOS and the fact that it recently happened?

Perhaps its not being recognized by the OS, have you tried different OS's? For example, if you're normally using Windows, try a live boot of Ubuntu to see if Ubuntu will recognize it?

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Sounds to me like it's not getting power - the BIOS might still recognise the drive but it won't spin up so no software can use it.

I would first try to simply remove and reconnect the drive, and if that doesn't work try it in another PC or external drive enclosure.

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From what you've said I'm afraid it sounds like the either the drive head has crashed or the motor has died and the controller is physically unable to read data from the drive.

Can you hear the drive spinning? If so then it is likely that the motor is okay, if not then the drive is near useless as I would expect the process of replacing the motor would likely render the data on the hard drive unreadable. Sometimes some gentle "percussive maintenance" has been known to loosen a stuck motor, but don't count on it and also the key word there is gentle as hitting it with a hammer will do more harm than good.

Head crashes are often fatal and it can be difficult to salvage any data from the drive. Knowing that the drive is near useless there is a possible option to salvage data, and that is to open up the drive and have a look at the physical position of the drive head. Take care though as dust can cause more problems here, I would only do this as a last chance to retrieve data. The only screws you would need to take out would generally be the ones on the metal lid of the drive, you shouldn't need to take out any that are hoding in electronics or anything on the underside.

If it looks like this

alt text

Then chances are the read/write assembly on the armature is irreparably damaged, along with a good proportion of the data (the ring is where the head has been grinding away at the disk)

If the armature has simply come off the drive platter and is not in a "docking" assembly then it may be that you can move the drive head back into position, either into the docking area or gently onto the platter. If the drive is able to read after putting it back together then consider the drive on borrowed time, get whatever you can off of it, and replace it ASAP.

Or you can always pay a company to try and salvage important data for you, but it usually costs a fair bit due to the complexities of the process involved.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/saving-data-a-head-crash,1044.html

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