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I have a FreeAgent XTreme 1500GB (eSATA, Firewire400 and USB 2.0) external hard disk.

The hard drive I have is the same as displayed in the image at http://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2008/09/seagate-freeagent-xtreme-1tb/4.jpg but the 1.5TB version with eSATA and Firewire.

The hard drive is in use on my MAC and has been for a couple of years or so. Beginning of last week the hard drive did not fire up as it should.

It began making steady but faint beeps at around 3-5 second intervals but not actually get to the regular 'spin' sound it would make, usually within a couple of seconds of the computer being switched on and my computer does not recognise that an external hard drive is connected.

This hard drive contains quite crucial business files, documents and complete projects.

I foolishly had put off backing up the content on this drive as it grew and grew and I assumed the task to backup would be time consuming.

It is crucial that I am able, if not get the hard rive to a functioning state again, that at the very list I can recover the files and data.

I am fairly computer literate and technically able so I am looking for advice for a DIY recovery / repair.

Alternatively as a last resort I am prepared to seek out a data recovery professional - what should I look for in one and how do they usually work?

I have learnt my lesson but any help in recovery or repair will be very gratefully received.

Thanks!

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I think the only thing you can try yourself is to stick it in the freezer over night.

As to the second part of your question you deal with it as you would with any other service you buy, you look for reviews, do price comprising and hope for the best.

But be aware data recovery is very expensive so if you find somewhere very cheap be vary.

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I'd strongly advise not putting a drive in a freezer. Even wrapping it properly can still cause condensation on the inside of the drive, at which point you're hosed and it will not be recoverable. This is experience talking. I've used www.lowcostrecovery.com and I found them to be very reasonably priced. –  user3463 Jul 15 '12 at 17:30
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@RandolphWest - Well yes, it's either or. I managed to get some data out of one HDD one time, and failed another time. But I never considered sending the HDD away as the data never that valuable. –  Nifle Jul 15 '12 at 19:59
    
Fair statement :-) –  user3463 Jul 15 '12 at 20:03
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