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Topic: Repairing hard drives

  1. #1

    Repairing hard drives

    Technically, I suppose this is off topic since the hard drive in question is from a TIVO, but heck, hard drives is hard drives, right?

    Anyway, the hard drive in my TIVO died. With rebates, buying a new TIVO was cheaper than repairing the old one, so now I've got this old TIVO begging me to experiment on it. It was hotrodded ( www.weaknees.com ) with a 240 gig drive, so there are some recorded shows I'd still like to get back. Nothing critical, so I don't want to send it out to one of them hard drive fixin' places, but desirable enough to spend an hour or two having some fun.

    When it died, it made this click . . . click . . . click sound. My completely uneducated guess is the physical mechanism (that arm thing) is what went bad. So my first course of action will be to remove the drive and jiggle whatever jigglable parts I can find and see if it then works.

    Second course of action will be to buy a similar drive, swap platters between the old and new drives and see if that works. That's pretty much the end of my ideas.

    Do you think I have a shot with this, or will I be completely wasting my time? Any other ideas?

    - Mike Greene

  2. #2

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    This may sound bizarre, but it is a proven fact that you can place a hard drive in a freezer overnight (but in a bag so it doesn't get ice on it) and place it back in your computer in the morning. There is about a 1020% chance of a broken hard drive firing back up long enough for you to retrieve your data. You have to move very quickly from the freezer to your pc though.
    Jonathan Kerr
    J.Kerr Music, Inc

  3. #3

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    I think Jonathan is pulling your leg.

  4. #4

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by rob morsberger
    I think Jonathan is pulling your leg.
    He's not. It worked for me once. But it fixes a different problem - my drive was working for about 2 minutes after i turned on the computer. Then seemed to just die (wasnt recognized by the os, then the os froze). Freezing gave me about 8 minutes of run time. A few freezing sessions and i got all the essential stuff off it then just scrapped it.


  5. #5

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    ha ha ha ha
    you guys are really funny
    what will you say next?

  6. #6
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    Well, the freezing method is worth a shot! Disassembly of a hard drive is close to impossible without causing further damage. They are built solidly! I have one I put outside to get rained on after I removed the housing, and could get no further. My intent was to destroy the data. but since March or so, and plenty of rain, very little sign of rust!


  7. #7

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    next you guys'll be telling me that leaving the drive out it the rain fixes it.
    You slay me!

  8. #8

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    I am really not pulling your leg. Google it if ya want. I'd at least try it before disassembling it.
    Jonathan Kerr
    J.Kerr Music, Inc

  9. #9

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    For the click click click problem like they have said - put it in a sealed freezer bag and freeze it for a couple hours. Then pull your data off as fast as you can. If you can't get it all off before it thaws then refreeze and repeat.

    THIS HAS WORKED for me on a few different occasions and is a widely known trick. Try it. You've really got nothing to lose. They're not pulling your leg.


  10. #10

    Re: Repairing hard drives

    I don't know about the freezer trick and I did have a friend who claimed to have been able to take a drive apart back in the 20meg drive days and put it back together and still have it work. I wouldn't try it.

    The problem is the heads ride on a cushion of air created by the spinning disk. There's two opposing goals. You want the heads as close to the platter as possible so as to maximize the flux (signal) but you don't want the head to come into contact with the platter - gouge time. Picture a Ferrari going around a circular track. Now, you open up the drive and a dust particle falls onto the platter. Picture a log falling on the track. Not pretty. Gouges the head and the platter and everything is lost.


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