Reviving old hard drives

From: Jules Richardson <>
Date: Thu Dec 30 06:55:27 2004

On Wed, 2004-12-29 at 19:02 -0800, Jim Arnott wrote:
> 9000 VAX wrote:
> >On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 20:11:06 -0500, Bob Lafleur
> ><> wrote:
> >
> >
> >>Is there a repository of information regarding reviving old hard drives?
> >>
> >>Specifically, I have a Seagate ST3390N in a Mac Iici that appeard not to
> >>spin-up anymore. I'm wondering if there are any "tricks" that might get this
> >>drive running again? It's got my running copy of Opcode Vision on it, and
> >>I've not found any newer MIDI sequencing software that runs on current
> >>systems that I'm more comfortablr with... I'd love to get my Vision running
> >>again!
> >>
> >>
> >If the circuit board is defective, you might want to find another
> >ST3390N and replace the circuit board. Other than that, I have no idea
> >how a hard drive could be repaired.
> >
> >vax, 9000
> >
> >
> First the caveat... YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY!
> Two tricks:
> Trick the first: smack it against your palm. Fairly forcefully.
> Trick the second: Place it in the freezer for a couple of hours.

I tend to use a pan of icy water on top of the drive rather than the
freezer trick. I'm kind of wary of putting a drive in the freezer where
it can attract moisture...

Sometimes I've had luck the other way too; pre-heating the drive using a

> Bonus trick: Data recovery services. If the data is really valuable.
> Cost could easily be in the hundreds of dollars.

Another bonus last-resort trick is to pull the lid on the drive and get
the platters spinning 'by hand' - just don't touch the data surfaces,
and there's no guarantee as to how long the drive will keep going (don't
run the drive open obviously - in fact some drives won't even run up to
speed when open). Copy data off, then chuck the drive. Someone told me
of a drive they ran completely open for a couple of weeks for giggles
before it finally crashed.
Received on Thu Dec 30 2004 - 06:55:27 GMT

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