I have a 12-year-old, 10gb Maxtor drive that died on me around 7 years ago, but I have not had the heart to throw it away. When the computer powers on, it whirrs silently as it tries to spin up and then it stops.
So, a few years ago, I sent it off for professional data recovery. They were able to retrieve quite a bit from it, but I know there's a bunch more there. It only cost $700, so I just chalked up the lackluster recovery effort to "you get what you pay for" considering that most companies will charge you several thousands of dollars for this kind of data recovery.
When they sent the drive back, I couldn't help but plug it back in just to see if maybe they unjammed something in the process of disassembling/reassembling the drive. To my surprise, the drive had a much healthier spin-up sound and actually stayed spinning for several minutes before winding down to a halt. Windows is even able to detect and interact with the drive, but I get I/O errors after so many minutes of waiting for it to mount.
Before I start doing stupid stuff with it like dropping it on the ground, freezing it, crapping on it, etc, I decided to buy the exact same model off Ebay so that I could swap the circuit boards as a last-ditch effort. While it's en route, I thought I'd come here to ask if this is even a worthwhile effort and, if even remotely so, what should I know before ripping off the old board and slapping on the new?