How to Fix a Physically Broken Hard Drive

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Like cars, computer parts can give out when you need them most. The hard drive is one of the most important computer components. Luckily, it gives warning signs before a complete crash. "Bad Sector" or "Read/Write Errors" warn that the hard drive is failing. It is important to back up your important data at least once a week.

The hard Drive Makes No Noise, or Powers on and Makes a Grinding Noise

  • Open the computer and remove the hard drive. Find and remove the drive's logic board. Inspect the area underneath the board. Look for signs of other damage.

  • Replace the board with the logic board from an identical working hard drive. If you find more damaged areas, just replace the entire hard drive.

  • Test the repaired drive.

The Hard Drive Powers on and Then Goes Silent.

  • Separate the logic board from the hard drive. Ground the hard drive to an electrostatic point.

  • Replace the logic board and re-install the hard drive.

  • Boot the hard drive. If successful, immediately back up all data. Disk utilities, like ScanDisk, can move data from bad sectors to undamaged areas. This is only a temporary solution--the drive will fail again.

  • If the drive does not boot, you will need to make it a secondary drive in a different computer. Change the jumpers from "master" to "slave" position. Use Data Recovery Software to transfer your data.

Tips & Warnings

  • Check out Capsicum Group website for more hard drive repair tips. Look for data recovery software at the Zar website. (See links in Resources.)
  • Do not open up the drive because any speck of dust will do even more damage to the drive. Hard drives, which are put together in clean room, are very sensitive to dust-it will ruin the hard drive.
  • Physically tinkering with a hard drive will void its warranty.
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