Step 5 VERY CAREFULLY reach for our drive in question and attach the data ribbon cable to it.
Next, VERY QUICKLY place all four contacts simultaneously in contact with the drives power
Step 6 Now enter at the keyboard some command—I use the DIR command. You should see
the list of files for the questionable drive that you have HOT PLUGGED into this system. You
should now be able to access the files needed to get you over the hump!
What has happened?
The system "thinks" it has the bootable drive you started it with and will allow you to use the
device with the exception of booting with it, of course! This approach works quite well on
drives that have sector one physically trashed.
My business is built on 100 percent On-Site Service. I carry most everything in my van that a
'shop' would have. I have a power inverter for AC power and two network-ready systems at
my disposal for backing up customer data or to use as a loaner. Anything to get the customer
back in business.
First : I boot from a floppy and run a program called "IDEID" that will identify the drive. I then
compare these results with what is in the BIOS. I also will see if the BIOS can automatically
and correctly identify the drive. If not, I use the user-defined fields.
Second : A.) I boot from a floppy and do a virus scan on drive C:. If C is there.
B.) If C is not ther-e—I carry a few older hard drives with various boot managers on them. I'll
make my drive master and boot from it letting my boot manager load. This would allow me to
see their drive if I used the right boot manager.
C.) If no boot manager is being used, and C is not present, I use Norton's "NDD/REBUILD" to
recover the dos partitions. NOTE: ALWAYS MAKE THE UNDO DISK!
D.) If C is now seen, step B may need to be repeated.
Third : With C back, I'll identify the version of Dos/Win9X on the system—I carry boot files for
all versions back to MS-DOS 3.3.
Fourth : Boot off of C if possible, "SYS C:" if it is not possible, Reboot!
Fifth : I use Drive Image to Dupe to an image on a 8.4 GB (remember the 8.4-GB limit!) drive
that I carry
with me. I let the customer put in a password so they feel secure in my not looking at their
data. The above is predicated on the fact that the drive will spin up. If it doesn't, I sometimes
have luck in placing the drive upside-down. Sometimes, I'll quickly spin my wrist when I turn
the power on. The upside-down mostly worked on the ST1120A/ST3120A drives (Seagate
120M). I have no definitive answer as to why. The ST138R had a problem with what I call
"STICTION.” This is my opinion, Seagate! I theorize that the armature would get stuck
between the poles of the magnetic fields. In any case, those days are mostly gone. This is
usually the extent that I go to. After this, the customer must decide if the data on the drive is
worth the cost of the recovery. I end by selling the customer a new drive and restoring their
data from the
image. This is usually on a second visit since I don't make it a habit of stocking drives for sale
in my van.