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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Como, Western Australia
    Posts
    160

    Default Diagnosis for Squeaking Hard Drive?

    Someone on a car forum that Iím active on mentioned that their iMac hard drive wouldnít start up. I figured it would probably take a few minutes with DiskWarrior, repairing permissions, etc, so I had the guy post the drive to me.

    Negative.

    Looks like I donít get to be a hero today. Prognosis is not good.

    Drive details:
    Seagate Momentus 5400.3 (ie 2.5Ē)
    ST9160821AS
    Part Number: 9S1134-308

    What Iíve done so far:
    - I put the drive in one of the vacant slots in my 2010 Mac Pro (ie ideal Mac for recovering drives).
    - Mac Pro would not start. Squeaking sounds from hard drive.
    - Removed drive, put it in an external FireWire casing and tried again.
    - The Mac Pro started, but FireWire drive wouldnít mount. Tried DiskWarrior, Disk Utility and Drive Genius 3. Could not get drive to appear.
    - There are squeaking sounds from the drive, which eventually stop. Drive will still not mount.
    - The sound is a series of short squeaks, not an ongoing squeal.

    Like a lot of low-level users, this person doesnít have a backup. The usual family photos, emails, etc, will all be gone.

    Going by the sounds, thereís obviously a hardware failure inside the drive. Iím guessing itís the read head.

    Question: Do we have any experts on hard drive noises here that can give their opinion on exactly what has happened, and what the chances are of data recovery?

    Question: If I remove the top cover to have a look at what itís doing inside, is it simply a matter of putting the cover back on? This isnít my drive, and I donít want to do anything to minimise the ownerís chances of recovering data.

    YouTube clip:

    2011 13" MacBook Pro, 2.7GHz i7, 16Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD
    2010 Mac Pro, 2 x 2.4GHz, 32Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD, 2Tb HD, 3Tb HD, 4Tb HD

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,410

    Default

    Is this one of the iMacs that was covered under the iMac Seagate HD recall??
    Plus, IIci, IIsi, LC, LCII, LC III, CC, LC475, LC630, Centris650, 6100, 8100, 5260, 7220, 7600. PB: 100, 150, 160, 165, 540, 190, 5300, 1400. Lombard, iMacG3, iBookG3, iBookG4, PBG4, eMac, iMac G4, PMG4, MiniG4, iMacG5

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Como, Western Australia
    Posts
    160

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldmacs View Post
    Is this one of the iMacs that was covered under the iMac Seagate HD recall??
    Don't know what model iMac it came from - I'll ask the bloke to send me the serial number.

    New hard drives (and SSDs) are cheap anyway, it's not so much the cost of replacing the drive, it's the problem of losing the data.

    I suspect that he'll be buying a Time Capsule in the very near future.
    2011 13" MacBook Pro, 2.7GHz i7, 16Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD
    2010 Mac Pro, 2 x 2.4GHz, 32Gb RAM, 256Gb SSD, 2Tb HD, 3Tb HD, 4Tb HD

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dee Why, Sydney
    Posts
    3,428

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Phildo View Post
    Question: If I remove the top cover to have a look at what itís doing inside, is it simply a matter of putting the cover back on? This isnít my drive, and I donít want to do anything to minimise the ownerís chances of recovering data.
    Um, no, don't do that. By opening the drive you're allowing dust to get inside which can make a bad problem worse. Even a microscopic dust particle can wreck serious havoc on a drive - the space between the read-write head and the platter (which is spinning at 5400 rpm) is less than the thickness of one human hair. If anything, even a microscopic dust particle gets stuck between the r/w head and the platter, its game over.

    Regardless, given the sound its making there's no chance that you will be able to do anything to recover the data yourself - if the owner is desperate to get the data back they will need to take the drive to a professional data recovery company, and learn to back up.
    Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two...

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