Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 31st Dec 2012 20:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Last month, I explained why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software. They're reliable and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that even those with no hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to add whatever I've missed.
Permalink for comment 546743
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Drive not spinning
by WereCatf on Mon 31st Dec 2012 21:25 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

If the drive is not spinning, most people assume it is dead. Usually, but not always. Sometimes you can get a dead drive working again by hitting it or dropping it. Freezing the drive sometimes works. Be certain you have no alternatives before trying these methods because they may destroy your drive! Prepare carefully in advance. You might only have one chance to succeed and you don't want to blow it.


If you get a drive working this way DO NOT EVER ASSUME IT WILL CONTINUE TO WORK. Copy anything you feel is important to you off of the drive as soon as possible and assume that the drive will fail completely soon.

Also quite obviously the drive should not be powered on when you try hitting it, the drive heads will hit the platters. As for freezing the drive: you don't necessarily have to freeze it, just lowering its temperature to near zero Celsius may work. The thing is that that when you freeze the drive to sub-zero temperatures moisture may condense inside the drive and then you're just worse off than you were before.

The reason for why these may work is if the oil on the bearings has gone bad and gotten crusty around the bearings -- dropping the temperature cools down the metal parts and shrinks them by miniscule amounts and therefore may set them loose, and a small amount of sudden force applied to the side of the drive may loosen enough of the crusty oil to get the bearings going for a moment longer. If the bearings themselves are gone, however, these won't work.

As always I recommend people to monitor mechanical drives' status via their S.M.A.R.T. health status and act before the drive goes bad. It doesn't always catch the issues, but often it does. I use Hard Disk Sentinel under Windows (not a free application) for this, don't know of any good GUI-application for this under Linux, though.

Reply Score: 5