HDD suddenly not recognized, IT expert says it's firmware (?!)

SOLVED Discussion in 'Hardware' started by vpprof, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. vpprof

    vpprof

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    Hi there, until yesterday I had a working SATA HDD (Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3750330AS, 750GB), it worked fine for more than a year (on the new machine and on the old one it worked for 3 years) and then out of a sudden I click on the Windows Explorer and it's not there, all 3 partitions are gone.

    The HDD is spinning, the sounds it makes are the same it's been making ever since I bought it. I tried plugging it into different slots, changing the cable etc.—to no avail…

    It's not recognized by Windows nor BIOS, although when I restart with the HDD plugged in, the POST takes ten times longer than usually, it's stuck at "Detecting IDE drives"—it waits for 5 minutes and then displays the list of drives but the faulty drive is not on the list. But when I restart with the drive disconnected, the list stays the same but the "Detecting" part takes only 2 seconds.

    I took the HDD to an IT expert, he plugged it into his machine, did some testing with some utilities and said: it's firmware. The price he demands is quite staggering so right now I'm waiting for another proffessional to see if he confirms the story (he's also going to plug it to a Linux machine to try and recover the data).

    Do you think the firmware could become so suddenly corrupted?
    I have the feeling that installing new firmware is just about the easiest way of having the data lost forever… so I consider this as a last resort.
     
    vpprof, Jan 20, 2013
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  2. vpprof

    darthweb VIP Member

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    It does sound like your drive is dying and will probably start making some funny noises in the not too distant future.

    Corrupt firmware maybe but resetting or updating firmware is a fairly simple procedure.

    Hooking it up to a linux or mac system to recover data would be my next step. If that works then backup the data and dump the drive.

    If that doesn't work then hard data recovery is expensive and dont be surprised at being quoted £300 > £400
     
    darthweb, Jan 20, 2013
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  3. vpprof

    vpprof

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    Thanks for prompt reply, darthweb :) Yes, the second guy plugged the drive to a Linux machine but it didn't recognize it either. He took it apart and pronounced faulty electronics. Then he took it to the lab, they worked on it for a while and decided that the address translation module is broken so they replaced it with their own one and are now copying the data to another drive. Well, that makes sense to me. :) And it's going to cost the equivalent of £160 (or $250). I hope the plates aren't damaged. :)
     
    vpprof, Jan 23, 2013
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