Am new to the forum and am excited to be here--I'm starting to get into building and whatnot, but before I really head over to that forum I have a frustrating question I'd like to ask. I have a Dell 8200 Inspiron laptop with a 60 gb IBM travelstar hard drive. A week or so ago, while potching around on windows (I have XP), I began to hear a clicking noise, as though something was stuck inside the hard drive. I rapidly attempted to begin loading data onto a CD so I could burn it but unfortunately, Windows froze and my hard drive then crashed. Does anyone know of a place where I could learn how to do this?
From personal experience (crashed Connor drive on a Dell 310 10 years ago) it's worth trying to replace the circuit board on the drive. I really couldn't afford the 850+ pounds required to send my drive into a commercial data recovery center.
There are several things you need to buy:
1. Buy one or more drives of the exact same model of the hard drive that has crashed. Either to cannabalize or to send to the recovery people to save your restored files.
2. But several good miniature screwdriver toolkits (ie. jewellers toolkit) for all the different screw types that you will encounter as you extract/replace the hard drive.
If you have built your own PC's in the past, you will probably have these already.
You will need cross blades, standard blade and hex keys (hexagonal allen keys).
You then have several things to do:
3. Remove the hard drive (either to repair yourself or send to the data recovery center)
Desktops are fairly straightforward - open the case, remove the screws holding the drive in place, and remove the hard drive. Laptops are slightly harder in that you might have to take apart the laptop. The best tools for this are an ice-cube tray (empty!), a digital camera and a notepad. As you remove each screw, log where it was removed from on the notepad (diagrams/photographs are useful), and place the screw in the icecube tray.
For early laptops, this involved removing the screw at the left side of the laptop, removing the top cover, then the keyboard, opening the drive cage, and extracting the hard drive.
For the latest laptops, all you have to do is remove a couple of screws at the right side of the laptop, and the hard drive comes out in a little tray. Once removed from the tray you can either replace the hard drive with a new drive and use the system/application recovery disks to reinstall the OS, or attempt to replace the circuit board.
4. Repair the drive or send the drive away to be repaired
5. Replace the drive in the system
Use your notes to replace everything as it was.
I'm in the process of trying to repair my laptop hard drive (a crashed Hitachi 60 GB Travelstar). I've purchased a couple of new drives (about 60 pounds each), but am currently waiting for a new hexagonal key to remove the seven screws that hold the circuit board on the drive.