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Defective Drive Heads  

New Member

Hello, I am new to this site. I am currently encountering a "defective drive heads" on my Seagate hard disk. I got the terms from researching the internet for similar faults. The hard disk clicks, and wouldn't be detected by the computer. It also freeze the whole computer even though it is not my primary hard disk.

I am wondering if I should try the freezing method. If so, how many hours should I leave it in the fridge. Secondly, if I am to get a new harddisk of around 120 Gb, which brand should I go for? I heard that Seagate always produce this problem.

Thank you very much for your kind help!!!



Posted : 28/01/2005 5:53 am
Community Legend

I am wondering if I should try the freezing method.

I'm curious to learn more about this 'freezing method'…where did you learn about it? Can you point me to a reference?

My concern would be that, without knowing more, a refrigerator would not be the best place to do something like this.

On a separate note, did you purchase the hard drive new? If so, have you though about returning it to the manufacturer?

As far as replacing it, I don't see a really big difference in drives these days…unless you look for specific things, such as 10K RPM over 7200, or perhaps price points.

H. Carvey
"Windows Forensics and Incident Recovery"

Posted : 28/01/2005 12:47 pm
New Member

Well i would recomend Western Digital or Maxtor, those are the drives that gives me very little problems, like everything else there is factors that can cause a brand new drive to go bad, I haven't tried the freeze method so i can't tell you exactly how to do it.

I'm not 100% sure but as far as I know Western Digital and Maxtor where the first ones to make heavy duty drives.

Posted : 28/01/2005 8:02 pm
Active Member

Hi Rick, the symptoms you describe sounds like your disk has suffered a ‘head crash’, i.e. the read/write heads that float on microns of air have touched the surface of the disk, which has either become warped or distorted in some way. It could be the result of any number of reasons; however it is most likely due to age & usage. There is usually more than one platter in modern drives, and your problem may be on more than one head. Try taking the drive out of the machine and shaking it fairly vigorously (but don't go mad).…….replace it and try again. It may sound like a silly thing to do, but on occasions it’s worked for me, long enough to recover data. There may be a small obstruction causing the heads to fail, and this may shake loose any matter that has entered the chamber. I have encountered cases where a disk will work fine if lay flat, but turning it on its side causes it to fail……I have heard a quote that the architecture involved in modern drives is the technical equivalent to a jumbo jet flying at 10,000 mph, 2 feet above the ground, counting every blade of grass it passes over…..

If you manage to get it reading, I would transfer as much data as possible before it fails completely. If the shaking 'method' works, please write back and let us know, because I imagine I’ll get some stick from the others for even mentioning such a ‘dumb’ answer. If it works I'll feel vindicated 8)

The ‘freezing’ method I am not too sure you should try unless all else fails. Someone on another post describes the process of cooling the disk makes the metals contract, then warming (by use) causes them to expand, and slightly opens the distance between the read/write heads. If you give it a go, I would try cooling it in stages, try it for an hour first, wrapped in a towel, or plastic bag (i.e. keeping it dry – you don’t want to frazzle yourself do you?).

In any case your disk sounds quite knackered, and wants replacing. And if the data is not worth saving, I wouldn’t bother doing too much with it.

On the subject of which make drive is best? Its something you need to research perhaps on a site that gives benchmarked reviews. Drives are ‘much of a muchness’, some are deemed better than others for different reasons,

PC World ( has an article, where they say the best buy for hard drives over 50GB is the 120GB Maxtor DiamondMax, which has the second lowest price per gigabyte. (The lowest is held by the 160GB version of the same model.) A close second is the 100GB Western Digital Special Edition Caviar, which boasts outstanding speed scores and has an 8MB memory buffer.

At work we have a 5 terabyte RAID array for storing EnCase evidence files on, and we use a number of the enterprise edition Maxtor Diamond Max 250GB SATA drives. They have been ok up to now, with only the odd one failing in the course of a year. When I say fail … we replace soon as any bad sectors are reported due to the data being extremely precious. This make of drive is recommended by the manufacture, which I am presuming has done extensive testing……..

Good luck


Posted : 29/01/2005 12:06 pm