30 November 2010

Hard drive recovery project, part 2

See part 1 of the hard drive recovery project here.

Bringing the issue to some other friends, we discussed the possibility of freezing the drive, although this seemed an unlikely solution given the problem did not appear to be mechanical.  The other possibility was that the circuit board malfunctioned.  The only way to test this is to get a circuit board from the same model hard drive with the same firmware (and oh yeah, the circuit board has to be the same revision, too).  Not impossible standards to meet, but pretty exacting nonetheless.  The reason is that the circuit board contains the drive's unique disk geometry.  Another brand or model of hard drive isn't going to work.  Even with the case of two identical revisions, there is no guarantee of it working.

About this time, I realized that when I bought my desktop, we actually bought two desktops; one for me and another for Tracy (why I didn't realize this earlier is a mystery to me).  We also bought the desktops at the same time and in the same configuration.  It seemed likely that the hard drives would be of the same make and model (they were); that they were both using the same version of firmware (they are); and upon further review it turns out that both drives are also using the same revision.  So far, so good.

Of course, using the PCB from my wife's hard drive would mean backing up that drive first as to preserve the data (and of course, if the new PCB worked, the drive would be borked anyway without a third PCB).  A quick trip to Best Buy and I picked up a 2TB drive (a pretty good deal at $99, btw).

To be continued...
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