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I've got a 6-7 year old laptop hard drive that flat out won't spin up either plugged into an enclosure or in the laptop. It's likely the motor has died. I've tried the "freezer trick" and that doesn't help (I wasn't too confident it would). I'm looking into data recovery companies and it looks like any actual mechanical hard drive work (involving a screwdriver and potentially a clean room) costs quite a bit and many of the "recovery for $199 flat rate" doesn't apply to these situations.

Anyone know of a reputable company that doesn't charge too much? Or suggestions? Bear in mind it's an old drive and trying to just replace the logic board is probably difficult, at best.

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How much is "too much"? I've used ontrackdatarecovery.com when nothing else worked (either motor or head crash). $1000, but very professional and 100% recovery (AFAIK). –  hyperslug Sep 26 '09 at 19:23
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Also a spin trick: superuser.com/questions/1078/… –  hyperslug Sep 26 '09 at 19:24
    
Have you tried a bit of percussive maintenance? If your drive suffers from "sticktion" a sharp knuck rap to it as you power up might free it up (this used to be very common 10+ years ago, but I've heard it still happens...) –  Chris_K Sep 26 '09 at 20:54
    
Hope this has taught you something about keeping backups... –  EmmEff Sep 26 '09 at 22:59
    
This drive isn't mine - it's for a relative. She has definitely learned the value of backups. I don't know that the data on it is worth $1000 to her. Haven't tried banging it yet. –  Nicolas Webb Sep 27 '09 at 11:40
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Best bet is to send it off to a data recovery specialist if the data is worth it. You could also try the slamming it on its side trick which has worked a few times for me.

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That's what I was leaning towards - just sending it off if. –  Nicolas Webb Sep 28 '09 at 10:30
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