I just ruined my hard drive

in General Discussion edited January 2014
Damn. I took some advice from a guy and it just cost me a hard drive.

The drive in my PC seemed a little slow, so this guy on the intarweb said he knew this cool new way to speed it up. He told me to take the drive out and clean the surface with Windex.

I did it, and now I can't get the thing to even boot. That'll teach me to take advice so openly. I figured since this guy was on the intarweb he must've known what he was talking about...


Maybe I should try some Pledge on it to get that nice sheen back.

[ 07-12-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>


  • Reply 1 of 51
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
  • Reply 2 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Damn! I noticed these little scratches going straight across the drive platter. I figured it was the industrial paper towels I was using. I knew they were too rough...

    Anyway, I just tried to reshape the circular grooves in the drive with a Dremel, but I guess the attachment I used was too rough. Now I've got these wicked gouges on it. At least I know the drive bearings are in good condition still - the drive spun forever after I took the Dremel off.

    Now I just have to figure out a way to smooth this thing out. I think I have a buffer for the car in the garage...

    Please post any recommendations right away. And no funny stuff either, I need some serious help here - all of the financial information for my business is on this drive.

    Thanks. I'll await and try any reasonable advice.
  • Reply 3 of 51
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    ok, now you have to follow these steps exactly and you should get your data off no problem.

    get the thinnest dremel disc you can find.

    very, very carefully start making a circular patter from the outside of the platter to the inside. vary your depth a tiny bit here and there.

    when you're done take the plate off.

    carefully (NO FINGERPRINTS) carry it over to your old turntable.

    place the needle on the outside of the groove you just cut.

    here's the hard part.

    you'll have to spin the platter at 5,400 RPM's and extract the data in analog format. just plug the output from your turntable into the mic input on your Mac.

    record the sound.

    play it very slowly and your financial data should be read back to you.

  • Reply 4 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    [quote]you could try some compressed air to clean it off, but you're basically f'ed.<hr></blockquote>

    Compressed air didn't work. It actually flipped the drive over, so I think it's scratched more than it already was.

    Thanks for trying though.
  • Reply 5 of 51
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    I love the week before a Macworld.....
  • Reply 6 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    [quote]you'll have to spin the platter at 5,400 RPM's and extract the data in analog format. just plug the output from your turntable into the mic input on your Mac.<hr></blockquote>

    Won't work. All of my financial data is digitally signed, so outputting it analog might make it come out in a different currency, which will make my accountant FREAK.

    I'm trying to see if I can take the tray out of the DVD drive in this other PC here... maybe if I can get it in there somehow.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    [ 07-12-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 51
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    murbot: aka, one funny mo'fo Dude, you crack me up.
  • Reply 8 of 51
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    See? Thats why that article on CNN is right. We Apple users just are smarter. PC users are not used to technology being easy to handle. They would probably just have bought a new HD.

    If alcimedes suggestion doesn't work try scanning the plates in one bit depth (black/white), print then (in EXACLY 100% of the original size) and put them in the CD drive. The laser can read the optical information on the copies.
  • Reply 9 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Thanks for the tip Anders, sounds like solid advice.

    I don't have a scanner here, but I'm going to photocopy it and try that. I have a fairly new CD-RW drive here, so hopefully it's laser can pick up the data.

    If not, I'll try and get my hands on some OCR software and convert the image of the disk to an editable text document. My accountant had Excel, so it's possible she can import it into a spreadsheet.

    Phew, this is tough work.
  • Reply 10 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Ah, it's not working. I've tried it like 6 times, and nothing. I only got 3 of the paper disk images back out of the CD-RW drive too, so I may have some other problems to attend to later...

    PLEASE, I need some more suggestions. I'll try anything.

  • Reply 11 of 51
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Just take out on of the plates on your HD, put some glue on it and put it on the tray. Shake the computer a little bit and wait. Then push out the tray and they should all be there.

    For your original problem: Use you Dremel tool and cut fine rings of your HD platters, flatten them out and put them in continuation of eachother. Then use a compas to determine if its a 0 or 1. Write it all down into ProjectBuilder, compile it and make a disc image. Then your all set.
  • Reply 12 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    OK, I figured out the problem.

    The freakin' hard drive had MAGNETS in it!

    I thought magnets ruined drives!

    Check this out:

    The had magnets holding the drive reading thingamajiggy down inside. Totally unacceptable. I'm going to email Western Digital about this right away.

    I also have to take off now, so I can't try any other suggestions until later tonight. Damn.

    Thanks guys, I'm sure I'll see some great tips when I get back.

    Have a great day!

    [ 07-12-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
  • Reply 13 of 51
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Those stupid fukkhead.

    In the meantime lets try the advice on that firefly you have in the bagground of that picture. I've heard that a thin layer of pork fat spread onto the platters will make it not only faster but also much quieter due to less friction.
  • Reply 14 of 51
    stimulistimuli Posts: 564member
  • Reply 15 of 51
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Wrong, wrong, WRONG! You have to copy each side of the platters. Data is written to each side. VueScan software works well for this kind of work.
  • Reply 16 of 51
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    murbot, I thought you were smarter than that. How could you have listened to that guy?
  • Reply 17 of 51
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    Okay, now that you got those magnets out of there I think you're on the way to getting to that data.

    From what I understand the people who do hard drive data recovery wear a lot of white clothes and gloves and a mask.....yes, you'll definitely need a mask.

    They have some way to get all the dust out of the immediate area, remember, dust is very bad for a hard drive's platters and can cause irreperable damage. So try to make your work area totally dust free.

    The data on hard drives is divided into sectors, so you might want to try and find out which sectors of the drive have that important data stored on them.

    Finally, the information on a hard drive is stored magnetically. Those magnets you found might have been interfering with whatever the hard drive uses to store information. If you could use a magnet to detect the individual bit-writes then you might be able to synchronize that with a CD burner, or some type of laser device to burn the data off onto CD, or perhaps a wall where you could view it and videotape it.

    I would suggest that you play some Pink Floyd music while you try this.

  • Reply 18 of 51
    airslufairsluf Posts: 1,861member
    No. No. No. A hard drive is electro-magnetic, not electro-optical. Take it to the kitchen and place it in the microwave on one of those rotating platters. Remember to put a paper towel underneath to catch the melting plastic.

    Then set up a Digital camcorder pointing at the LCD readout and start it. Since the drive is about the same size as a Orville Redenbackers packet, just hit popcorn and start(if it was a mac drive, otherwise enter in the precise number of bits you want to recover for time and the number of platters for power level.) Don't worry about the arcing and sparking, that is positive confirmation that those stuck bits have been knocked off the platters and are available for readout on the LCD.

    Then you should be able to download you precious data into your accountants computer via firewire!

    OBTW. Before you start make sure you know where the circuit-breaker panel is and have a fire extinguisher ready. Never can be too safe you know.
  • Reply 19 of 51
    Go to the Terminal and type "fsck -y" (no quotes). That should clear up any problems you've been having.
  • Reply 20 of 51
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,262member
    Success! Thanks for the direction, AirSluf.

    Took some work, but it's done.

    I piggybacked my old PII 300 processor into the main circuitry of the microwave. I patched a small bypass system, through the processor, to an external FireWire port I added to the microwave. Total time - 3 minutes.

    My theory was, if I could get the internal components of the hard drive to reach the exact temperature of FireWire, 1394 degrees Farenheit, then theoretically the data on the drive would be expedited by microvial osmosis to the external FireWire port I had fashioned. On the other end of this port sits my 5 GB FireFly drive, ready to accept the data payload.

    (Don't worry, I did have a fire extinguisher at hand, just in case)

    Unfortunately, the microwave was unable to reach the temperature required for osmotic FireWire data transfer. It may have had something to do with my having to cut the test short, due to my intrusive and VERY unsympathetic wife, and her insistence on making microwave popcorn. Apparently the smell of searing hard drive platters is fairly close to that of popcorn. Interesting.

    As a last resort, I took my drive down to the garage. Surely there is something here capable of getting the platters up to 1394 degrees. What's that in the corner Timmy? Ah... gasoline. Helping unsavory folks get high since 1898! Nectar of the gods.

    So I carefully place just the right amount of gasoline on the platters, and ignite the beast. Unfortunately, I was unable to catch the actual moment of data transfer due to the searing heat I endured while holding the FireFly drive just in the right position to facilitate osmotic data transfer, but let me tell you - it was a thing of beauty.

    What a day. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, it's great to know I have access to some of the finest minds on the planet.

    BTW, I have a toasty little 6 GB hard drive here if anyone wants it. I'm asking $1.25 for it, AS IS.

    [ 07-13-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
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