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My friends computer wouldn't boot up so he asked to me to take a look at it. I quickly noticed that the (well aged) hard drive was making a real bad grinding noise. I plugged the hard drive into another computer (and didn't boot off the faulty hard drive), and it would show up in BIOS but wouldn't show up in Windows. There was no added device in Device Manager (under disk drives or unknown devices). I'm thinking that the gears inside the hard drive are gone and it won't spin up. My friends didn't backup their hard drive, so I was hoping I could get some of their information off the hard drive. Is there any chance of getting anything off this (dead) hard drive? If so, how?

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There are no gears in the HDD. What you may be hearing is contact of the reader head and the platter. Does it show up under disk management?(rt click Computer>manage). Minitool partition wizard has a free 1 gig recovery from their free version. or it can try and copy the partition to a good drive if the old one is detected. Otherwise, a professional and costly recover would be an option if the data is that important. – Carl B Mar 3 '14 at 4:35
@CarlB As I stated, the hard drive wouldn't show up under Device Manager, so I'm guessing it wouldn't show up in Disk Management. What sort of "professional" and how much would it cost to recover it? – ub3rst4r Mar 3 '14 at 4:41
Once you start hearing those kinds of noises the drive is either dying or dead. Chances are you've lost most of the data, if not all of it as the platters will have sustained some damage at this point and since files are not all in one place, anything you do recover will likely have some corruption. The steps would be to rebuild the drive in a clean room which can be expensive. I don't necessarily recommend this company, but this is an idea of the cost scheme: – MaQleod Mar 3 '14 at 6:33
If the data wasn't worth backing up when it was easy, it certainly isn't worth recovering when that's hard. – David Schwartz Mar 3 '14 at 6:52
RAID is not a backup. It protects you against a drive dying, but not against software issues or systemic failure. If you care about data integrity you should use RAID and external/offsite backups. – user55325 Mar 3 '14 at 8:53

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