One of my past computer customers has a 486 that uses for his business and several months ago the hard drive started to make a racket. I told him that I would try to look for a new drive but I couldn’t find something that old around here. At the time he pointed out this problem I told him to back up his data and then when we figure something out we can put the data on the replacement drive. So, he didn’t do that and now the drive has failed and he wants me to get the data off of it.
The drive doesn’t spin up unless you put it in the freezer for a couple hours. I have it on a USB IDE Adapter and the computer can see it but can’t get a drive letter so after trying some tools to get it to load I decided to open the drive because it won’t hurt it. I had to track down some smaller bits to get into the case but with a T9 driver I managed to get inside and really it looks great in there but once inside I could see that the platter motor was shot and the head arm doesn’t access any data. Since I now knew that the drive was an old Seagate, I got the Sea Tools to see if I could get it to boot up and give some test response but after all my messing around, no luck. On the up side I did find a company only that sells a working pull of the same drive for $39 but right now I can’t afford to buy it but if the customer thinks that I can actually recover his data, we’ll do a little platter swap and see how it goes.
I’m going to try it out one more time and then try it on an IDE connection instead of the USB to see if there is any hope but I’m throwing in the towel on this one.