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Old 12 October 2018, 18:59   #1
roger_bratseth
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Harddrive not spinning up

I'm trying to help a friend with his old harddrive used in an A1200 in the mid nineties. Problem is that it is not spinning up. We can hear some clicks when applying power, but then it goes silent.
Someone suggested putting it in the freezer for an hour and try again, did that, but no improvement.
Any good (and cheap) ideas? I think I can experiment with it, he is not going to ship it to a professional lab.


The drive model is: Seagate ST9235A


Kind regards,
Roger Bratseth
Norway
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Old 12 October 2018, 19:02   #2
DH
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I'm not sure about old HDD's but if the clicking is roughly 1 second apart, it's not getting enough juice from the power supply to get it spinning to the correct speed. It will use the most power on startup and reduce once it has reached the speed, if it doesn't get to the speed the HDD will reset and try again.

But like I said, not sure if that applies to old HDD's.

EDIT: Of course the motor may be buggered too as you're not hearing it spinning at all

Last edited by DH; 12 October 2018 at 19:08.
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Old 12 October 2018, 19:42   #3
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They can sometimes be started by quickly twisting the drive around the spindle axle when it's trying to spin up. You need a suitably long data cable for this to avoid ripping anything off the motherboard, though. :-)
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Old 13 October 2018, 21:39   #4
roger_bratseth
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Thanks guys! Have ordered a 45cm cable assembly. Will also try connecting a bigger power supply.
What are your thoughts on opening the drive to access the spindle/motor/discs, help it spin, and then try to read the contents one last time to make an image before discarding it?
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Old 13 October 2018, 23:19   #5
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try using a freezer and freeze the hell out of it might run long enough to get a image
if that doesnt work you can open it with it powered up and see if you can move the heads and get them to start working but ofc get the image ASAP if they start reading
if the controller is fucked you could try replacing it with a donor hdd same make and model

if the freezer trick works you can keep the hdd cold with CO2 longer if trying to get the image off
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Old 14 October 2018, 19:56   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roger_bratseth View Post
Thanks guys! Have ordered a 45cm cable assembly. Will also try connecting a bigger power supply.
What are your thoughts on opening the drive to access the spindle/motor/discs, help it spin, and then try to read the contents one last time to make an image before discarding it?
This is also a possibility, one last read. It will start producing errors very fast due to dust + dandruff + whatever contaminating the platters, so once you get it spinning, it's a good idea to put the cover back on while doing that final read.

Please be aware that if he does have a change of heart and decides to send it to a specialist, any home lab attempts usually make their work more difficult. :-)
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Old 15 October 2018, 06:53   #7
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In my 25+ years of I.T. Experience, if your drive clicks it is dead. I have used the freezer trick multiple times, and it never works. The only reliable way to get data off of a clicking drive is to send it away and probably drop anywhere from $500 - $1500 to recover the data, and no one will recover Amiga Data I am sure.
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Old 15 October 2018, 07:24   #8
nexus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dynamic_Computi View Post
In my 25+ years of I.T. Experience, if your drive clicks it is dead. I have used the freezer trick multiple times, and it never works. The only reliable way to get data off of a clicking drive is to send it away and probably drop anywhere from $500 - $1500 to recover the data, and no one will recover Amiga Data I am sure.
i have more and it can work and playing with the heads can free them
as a matter of fact this is how i got the data off of the HDD in Dave Haynies A1200 i bought
which had the same click problem
i used to do data recovery in my shop years ago
everything i said above is what they do
only other thing is to move the plates to the donor drive
or replacing the heads but that takes skill as its easy to scratch the platters
the freezer trick can work due to contraction and expansion freeing the stuck heads without needing to open the drive
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Old 15 October 2018, 07:33   #9
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I have also tried the freezer technique several times with no result. However, I disagree that no one will recover Amiga data. Most of these data recovery services are probably running some Linux variant, in which the kernel does support Amiga FFS partitions.

Of course, if you're running SFS or PFS, you're almost definitely out of luck.
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Old 15 October 2018, 07:38   #10
nexus
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sad thing with that hdd no secret files
funny thing i told him about it and he was like oh moms computer would only ever have sheet music lol
when i booted it was just a basic 3.0 install with the background changed
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Old 15 October 2018, 08:40   #11
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Originally Posted by Dynamic_Computi View Post
and no one will recover Amiga Data I am sure.
If you ask for a sector dump, I'm sure they can get that done for you.. If they can read anything at all from the drive, they automatically have the capability of getting that.
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Old 15 October 2018, 13:33   #12
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I had a clicking drive a few years ago and that was a power issue, the drive clicked once every 1 second and that was due to the spinup speed not being met. The power supply wasn't able to supply the 2amps required to get the drive to full speed, so it reset and tried again repeatedly. All I did was rigg up a beefier supply and got the drive working, with no data problems at all, backed it up and chucked the drive.

As a drive gets older, I've been told, the more power it needs to get it spinning and eventually, if the supply is a bit crap like mine was, the supply can't meet the initial demands of the drive to spin up.

However, that's not always the case as you should still be able to hear the drive spinning up before it resets itself. Basically, if all you hear is the clicking sound and no drive spinning, then it's likely the drive is borked to some degree. The clicking sound you hear, iirc, is created by the heads being parked on reset.
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