A friend asked me if I could fix his laptop, with the description "black screen on boot". Having tried using his laptop I immediately noticed that the laptop's BIOS claims there is no hard disk connected. (errored with no bootable OS found)
Immediately my usual tricks were out the window -- usually booting up a portable installation of Ubuntu and using various software to check the hard disk health, etc, and recover data off it if needed, I did boot up Ubuntu anyway as it might get lucky, but no, no hard disks present. All the utilities off Ultimate Boot CD also couldn't see it, including MHDD32 and Drive Fitness Test (IBM/Hitachi).
Next I tried it on my desktop computer using a powered eSATA cable. The hard disk spins up and sounds completely normal. It also feels like it's spinning fine, with the usual odd gravity feeling when picking up a spinning hard disk. However Windows (7) doesn't see any disk is present. I tried via different eSATA ports on my computer (on different SATA controllers) to be sure. Hitachi's Windows Drive Fitness Test (WinDFT) also fails to spot the hard disk while connected to an eSATA port.
This leads me to believe 2 things could be wrong:
- The firmware on the hard disk has become corrupted
- The PCB has become damaged (less likely?)
Before I splash out on a replacement disk to harvest the PCB from, would anyone else have an opinion as to what has gone wrong with the disk, or any suggestions for repair? (I don't have access to PC3000 before you ask :D)
Hard disk details,
- Hitachi Travelstar 5K750-640
- Model number: HTS547564A9E384
- Part numbers: H2T640854S / 0J15342
- MLC: DA3931
- HW/FW/PCB versions: A, A50A, A/A