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Yesterday I turned on my computer and it couldn't boot. I found out the hd (320GB SATA Seagate Momentus 7200.3 for notebook) was broken and it couldn't be recognized by the BIOS.

I have another of the same hard drive, so I exchanged the boards. I found out that there is a problem on its board since my good hard drive didn't work. But the broken hard drive doesn't work with the good board as well: it can be recognized but when I insert a Windows Instalation DVD it says the hard drive is 0GB.

I put it in a case and use it in another computer via USB, and but it doesn't show up in the "My Computer".

I used a software to recover files called "GetDataBack for NTFS", it recognized the hard drive but with the wrong size (2TB). I try to make it read the hard drive but it got an I/O error reading sector. It tries to read, the hard drive spins up.

So, since I'm using a good board on it, the problem seems to be internal. Is there anything someone could do to recover the files from it?

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Hard drive boards can be different even from the same model, they make running revisions of these boards during manufacturing, you would need the exact same revision of board. Two of the bigger suppliers that can match your – Moab Feb 5 '11 at 17:19
Tutorial on matching HD – Moab Feb 5 '11 at 17:19
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Check the revision number of the board - this sort of problem usually happens if the board does not match up exactly.

However, it sounds like to me that you have tried the correct things. If you hear no weird noises, it most likely is just the board which has gone.

As for recovering the data - you really do not want to reinstall Windows on it as you will have little to no chance of recovering. If it is important data, I would recommend going to a lab or trying to find another board that matches exactly.

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Thank you! I can't find the board revision number. It's seagate momentus 7200.3, and I read that this 3 is the hd revision number, but the board revision number?... When I talked about the windows instalation cd I was only seeing if there was some recovery tool there. – Roberto Feb 5 '11 at 17:37
7200.3 is the hard drive model number. Also check the sticker for revision and firmware versions, or even see if there are any markings directly on the board. All usually have to be identical for success. – William Hilsum Feb 5 '11 at 18:04
Thank you Wil. It's hard to find pcb vendor in my country. I trying to find out if it's not a burned TVS diode. If you know how to measure it please help me on… – Roberto Feb 12 '11 at 12:30

DO NOT FREEZE a hard drive ever, I am a Data Recovery Technician and this advice kills your drive and my chances of helping you quite frequently. This is caused by a combination of problems mostly arriving from change of temp causing condensation. Please RMcKenna read the article I wrote on this and stop giving potentially damaging advice,

As for the drive, this series embeds several key bits of info including serial # on both the reserved area of the drive and on the circuit board which is why, depending on where you look it shows up as either 0KB or 2TB. No amount of searching scanning or magic program exists for the general public to fix this issue.

You will need to send the drive to a shop with a PC3000 which is a $10,000 device requiring specialized training to program a replacement board to match your drive. Typical range of price for this type of recovery is $700-$1200. If not, she's a paperweight, chuck it and move on.

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But Chris, couldn't it be just a defective sacrifice component such as the TVS diode that I could replace? – Roberto Feb 23 '11 at 20:05
@Roberto It's possible but I've only seen one in the last year, most diodes will rupture if they fail while in operation, you can always use a multi meter to test for continuity. If the TVS passes it works if not this may be the solution. I wouldn't hold out too much hope but if you have a meter cross your fingers and give it a try. – Chris - Armor-IT Feb 26 '11 at 3:54

Here's what I did, in similar circumstances:

Assuming you have an external 2.5" (USB) HD enclosure (if not get one - they invaluable, and cheap).

Download Recuva (or some other recovery utility) and install it on another PC.

Remove the faulty HD from your laptop. Stick it in one of the silvery HD static protection bags. Stick that in a freezer xip-lock bag Stick that in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

When you remove it from the freezer, it will start to warm up, especially whilst it is running, so work fast:

Stick the disk in the external enclosure, connect it to your PC.

Then run Recuva (or whatever)

In my case, this works for about 30 mins, after which the HD was quite hot, and started failing again.

However, I was able to repeat the process again and again...

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I don't think it's a temperature problem, the board seems to be broken. – Roberto Feb 11 '11 at 12:06

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