I have quite a few blog posts about beeping hard drives needing recovery, and most of the time the beeping ends up being caused by the drive heads stuck on the platters. Sometimes the issue with a beeping drive is something else, but the majority of the time it does end up being heads that are stuck on the platter.
Beeping Drive Recovery
In a lot of these beeping hard drive cases, I am able to safely lift the stuck heads off the platters and move them over to the ramp, inspect them for damage under a microscope, then use the undamaged heads to recover the drive successfully. In some of the cases, I inspect the heads and find they are damaged, replace the head stack with a donor head stack, then recover the data successfully.
DIY recovery for beeping drive
If you go online to YouTube or other forums, you will see articles with people saying to just take apart your drive and move the heads off the platters, then turn it back on for a DYI data recovery. They show how to complete the procedure and you see their drive spin to life and watch as they transfer the data off the drive. Please do not do this unless the data is not important to you.
To be perfectly clear, I love DIY. I search YouTube for fixes around the house, my car, my audio equipment, etc. But the risk involved in recovering important data from a hard drive is very high. If the data is not important to you, then trying the recovery yourself makes sense. But if this is important data that can not easily be replaced, a mistake during a DIY recovery attempt will very likely make the drive not recoverable by anyone.
Diagnosing the WD for recovery
In this case, a local newspaper contacted me about getting the data off their drive. They needed the photos and documents off a drive that was beeping and not showing up on their computer. Once I had received the drive, I took it apart in the cleanroom lab and found that the heads were indeed stuck on the platter (as expected). I moved the heads over to the ramp and inspected the head stack. In this case, the heads were not damaged and everything looked good! I reassembled the drive and tested it and got full data access.
Imaging the hard drive
Once the drive was spun up and ready, I immediately imaged the entire drive and was able to get 100% of the sectors recovered from the drive. Once the imaging process was complete, I used my favorite data recovery software to recover all the data from the bad sectors. As expected, all the folder structure was intact and I was able to get 100% of their data recovered.
The client seemed very pleased to have been able to get a recovery completed locally that was both safe and affordable.
Get your data off a beeping drive
If you have a drive that needs to be recovered, please feel free to give me a call at (620) 615-6836 or fill out my quick quote form so I can provide you with a quote. I look forward to helping you with your data recovery project.
Drive Details: Western Digital, 320GB, 3.5 inch, WD3200AAKS, MY-OX391D-12555-0A5-01M1-A01, MDL : WD3200AAKS – 75L9A0, WWN:50014EE002780B02, DATE: 05 OCT 2010, DCM : HHRNHT2CG, DCX : 6007LC791, Product of Malaysia, Firmware A0