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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:56 PM   #1
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Hard drive recovery?

Ouch...

After only 2 years and 4 months, the Hard drive in my iMac has failed...

Apple store has replaced the drive (thank you Applecare) and while I will spend the next while reinstalling software (upgrading, actually) there are a number of things I would like to try and resurrect from the failed drive. Any experience of knowledge would be gratefully welcome.

History so far. iMac 24" 2.4ghz - last Wed night, came home to find screen frozen with beach ball spinning. Reboot resulted in Apple screen with spinning gearwheel. Reboot from system disk - Disk Utility sees hard drive but not partion volume - no disc verify or repair - Consult the Web and all points to Hard drive failure. Apple Genius' confirm and replace drive under Apple care. Install fresh Leopard- sent on way with failed drive.

Failed drive mounted in Ultra HDD Docking station - Disc Utility sees volume as "Media"
but Verify/Repair greyed out. Do not want to erase until all options are spent.
Alsoft Discwarrior does not see volume at all. Have an old verison of Techtools which won't launch saying it is out of date (Jaguar/Tiger) but while running the failed drive continues to spin.

While there is nothing irreplacable in big picture, (family photos are on External drive/Soon to be burned to DVD), I would rather not have to redo my iTunes library and email contacts, not to mention games and such which were downloaded from internet and never archived...(yes I should have known better....) My Font Library is also not achived in one place.

Of course, it is time to clean and forget a lot of really old stuff, that has been hung onto for little or no reason...

Any insight is welcome, looking for software/retrieval to try personally first, Data retrieval service might be a possibility depending on price if I feel it is needed.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 05:07 PM   #2
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Unless you can get the drive to mount from an external enclosure, there is little to be done without throwing copious quantities of cash at the drive.

Some success has been reported by placing just the drive in a plastic bag then into the freezer for several hours. Remove from freezer, place in external enclosure and see if it mounts. If it does copy data as quickly as possible.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eMacMan View Post
Unless you can get the drive to mount from an external enclosure, there is little to be done without throwing copious quantities of cash at the drive.

Some success has been reported by placing just the drive in a plastic bag then into the freezer for several hours. Remove from freezer, place in external enclosure and see if it mounts. If it does copy data as quickly as possible.
Interesting... never heard of the freezer trick...

To JAMG... This is a tough lessoned learned by all of us at one time or another. The only real answer is to backup, backup and then backup again. Don't mean to be trite, but it is the only way to protect yourself against this in the future... As for your current situation, like eMacMan said, "Unless you can get the drive to mount from an external enclosure, there is little to be done without throwing copious quantities of cash at the drive."
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Old May 16th, 2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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Some success has been reported by placing just the drive in a plastic bag then into the freezer for several hours
The other possibility that sometimes works is to replace the drive electronics - ie, the failure is in the electronics controlling the platters not the platters or reading mechanism itself.

People have bought a second identical drive and swapped the electronics, don't know how practical that is in your case.

I think there is also software available when you google for it - you can try it for free and it will tell you if it can recover data from the drive.
Then - if it can and you want to recover that data, you need to pay some fee - anyway, that's what I remember.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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Well the drive spins when I try to mount it and as I mentioned Techtools kept the drive spinning. That may mean the electronics are OK (or not), I suspect the partition is messed or gone. I have had success with Discwarrior in the past when a single partition of a multi partition disc lost its directory. I am going to take the docking station and drive to work tomorrow and see if the It guys can do anything, but hope seems to be fading.

Since this is more about my convenience than crucial data recovery, I may just have to live with it. As I said this will be more of a forced upgrade cycle... Thanks for the resposes, though...
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Old May 16th, 2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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if you can get a current version of techtool or drivegenius, it might be worth a shot. my gf had a prob with her laptop hd a while back and it wouldn't boot or mount, but techtool was able to fix it enough for me to use migration assistant on it.

(btw, you may want to edit your op to read '24"' imac)
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