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Fixed - Seagate 1TB barracuda fails to start - spins up, 11 clicks, spins down

WARNING - This worked for me, it could destroy the hard drive.

My brothers PC would not start, the Seagate hard disk spun up clicked 11 times and stopped. Of course, although I had setup a simple backup to USB for his important photos / docs, he had not run it for over a year. So while installing a new disk and re-installing windows was just a matter of time and patience, the missing photos/docs where a major problem.

Research seemed to indicate that disk was dead. Trying several ideas ( different orientations, tremble the disk, tap the disk etc ) while connected as a external USB with my SATA to USB adapter did nothing. Most people seemed to suggest major technical work ( work on PCB, very low level diagnostics etc )

As we had nothing to lose I tried something radical based on events from years ago. Some server hard drives did not like to cool down, after being powered up and used for over a year at a time cooling down during power maintenance could sometimes mean the disk would not come online. They needed to warm-up before you could access the data.

So I took the 'dead' Seagate barracuda 7200.12 1TB and put it in the oven, I set the oven to its lowest heat setting ( showing just below 50 Celsius ) and left in the over for 30 mins. After 30 mins i removed the disk. It was hand hot , guessing it was at least 50 Celsius. I attached to a laptop as a USB drive using my SATA to USB adapter, the disk spun up, made normal disk accessing noises and appeared in windows as an external drive and I could access the data. I copied the required files to a USB drive. I then installed the still hot drive back in my brothers PC along with a WD 1TB drive and used the WD Acronis to clone the Seagate drive to the WD drive. This worked and my brothers data was back and his PC was working. He now takes Backup seriously ( well for the next few weeks at least ) and understands that computers fail, get stolen, destroyed in fire /flood.

So maybe ( only maybe, it could destroy the disk ) putting your failed Seagate disk in the oven may allow you to recover data on it.

Even if the above does work, copy the data ASAP and get rid of the defective disk. If it failed once it WILL fail again.
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  1. Best answer
    Seagate solders their hard drive circuitry for shit. Your oven refilled cracks on the solders, but luckily didn't cook the discs. Circuitry might like the heat, but silicone doesn't want it toasty. You are warned from me as well!
  2. Excellent story, thanks. Another trick is to put it in the freezer, but this will only work once. There's a company in the states that 'freezez' your items near absolute zero, such as a tuba, then they take them out and apparently the metal is much stronger after that. Since hard drive platters are metal, it only makes sense that heat/cold will affect them. Thanks for the tip.
  3. ck1_13 re: freezing a drive. Around 4 years ago a WD drive died on me, only I had not backed up some web site source code ( not really important but i like to keep all versions in-case errors had crept in so i could track what went wrong ). I had a disk that sort of spun up, but then spun down. Tried the freezer method, left the disk overnight in a bag with silicon gel in ito remove any Moisture, then froze for a day. After removing from freezer and allowing to return to room temp, tried to connect to PC. Totally dead would not even spin up. Based on this experience, never tried freezing again.
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