Should I opened up the drive?

Hi everyone,

Some of you might have known that my HDD’s head is damaged (at least that’s what the data recovery person said) from my old thread:

I was browsing through Youtube yesterday and saw many successful video in fixing clicking sound issue.

Of course, by fixing I mean they have opened up the drive and try moving the head around.

And most of the clicking sounds they had are caused by the head is stucked on the platter, and to fix it is just by moving the head back to the rest area where it should be in the healthy drive.

And one thing I noticed, from all the videos I watched (I pratically watched every videos), the so-called “clicking” sounds are nothing like mine.

Their “clicking” sounds are so loud and distinctive and it practically tells you there’s something wrong inside.

For mine, like I told you before, it sounded normal like how the head trying to read the data.

That’s why I’m not too sure if my issue is related to “head problem” as diagnosed by the data recovery people.

However, I do agreed with them that the HDD should not spin down and spin up again like mine did.

So, should I opened it up and see what’s wrong inside since I have already accepted the fact that I will not be able to retrieve the data anymore, so I don’t have anything to lose if I really did screwed up when opening the drive.

And if I do opened it up, what should I do with the head if it does rest on the correct place?

Or is there anything I can try such as checking the head if it is correctly aligned?

Or should I powered up the opened drive to see what’s making the so-called clicking sound so i know where the problem lies?

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Hi and thanks for sharing. Most data recovery attempts with hard drives with apparent physical damage are beyond do it yourself repairs. If data recovery is a priority it is always better to seek professional help. 

Hi Jubei, thanks for your response!

The thing is, I’m not even entirely sure that it is a physical head damage as mentioned by the data recovery person.

They concluded the head issue from 2 symptoms, clicking sounds and spin down behaviour, which to me its an entirely normal behaviour.

The sounds aren’t like any clicking sounds that I have heard when I watched all the Youtube videos about clicking sounds. The clicking sounds in Youtube are very distinctive and it clearly telling you there’s something wrong inside.

To me, it is a reading sound, the head is reading the platter.

As for the spin-down behaviour, I do remembered that when the HDD is still working fine, when I plugged it in my desktop, it will spin up, give me that reading sound and get detected as per normal.
If I ignore it, meaning I did not access the HDD from My Computer, it will spin down eventually, like a power-saving mode. And when I finally access the HDD from My Computer, it will start to spin up again. That’s the behaviour.

So to me, the HDD is still behaving like it does, and the spin down and retry behaviour is due to the fact that “something” is hindering it from talking to the computer, that’s why after 1 minute, it sort of spin down and retry to establish the communication again.

I have contacted WD technical support (thanks Rainier!) and he have confirmed that it is normal behaviour that the disk will spin down (slow down) after idle for around 15-30 minutes, like a power saving mode.

So, this spin down behaviour can not be concluded as a head problem at all.

And the reason why it spin down so soon (exactly 1 minute), I’m not too sure.

My suspecion is that the HDD is trying to establish the connection to the host computer, and " something" is blocking it.

After 1 minute, it spin down, and spin up to retry again. But it is still blocked. After another minute, it give up and spin down entirely without trying anymore.

Now I just need to find out what is this " something" that is blocking it from being detected in the computer.

Some updates, I’ve brought my broken HDD to another mall which have more data recovery shops to get a second opinion on my HDD diagnostic.

I went to 6 shops, 5 of them tested it. Still as dead fish.

One of the shop plugged it long enough for it to be detected under some software called “Disk Utility” and it is detected as 2.2TB disk that needs to be initialized, which according to him, not a good sign.

Most of their comments varies, PCB board, ROM broken, FW corrupted.

However, all of them agreed that there’s no clicking sound as claimed by the first data recovery shop I went previously.

The disk sounds healthy.

And all of them said that data recovery is at very high possibility (sometimes I just think they wanted my business) but it is not going to be an easy task and hence, as you have expected, costly.

And one shop actually shared that the price is not related to how much data they can retrieved, but how complicated the retrieving process is. Hence, even if they just managed to retrieve 1 file out of my HDD, they will still charge me full price of it unless they can’t retrieve anything at all, then no charges.

So, I’m not going to gamble my money with it.

As a closure to my weeks and weeks of pain and headache (not to mention time and effort wasted), I will leave it be.

Maybe once in a while I might try and see if it does comes alive again (some actually shared that their drive works miraculously after 6 years) or I might just perform autospy on it.

So, its either I revived it or killed it 100%. Hahaha…