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My serious(and dumb) mistake

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  • My serious(and dumb) mistake

    -Turn on computer
    -You smell something burning
    -Switch off computer


    -Assume PSU is burnt
    -Check where the smoke is coming from.

    It's the PSU alright. Assumption correct.

    Expected Flow
    -Replace PSU
    -Computer back to normal.

    Now this is where it gets interesting:
    Taken flow:
    -Out of curiosity and pure whim, switch PSU from 230v to 115v. Totally IGNORING what has been learnt about stepdown transformers in physics classes.
    -Turn on computer.
    -See sparks coming from your molex connectors.
    -Turn off computer.
    -Replace PSU.
    -Turn on computer.
    -Horror: Dead hard disks, dead floppy drive, dead CDROM drive, faulty sound card.

    So there goes my sad story. I lost two hard disks in the split of a jiffy. One of them was supposed to be my backup drive because I keep very important data inside my computer and never did I ever expect both hard disks to die on me at the same time.

    So now my question is: How much is it going to cost to recover those data? I have a 20GB primary(Seagate) and a 4GB secondary(Seagate medalist). If retrieving the 20GB is too expensive, the 4GB alone is enough, at least I don't lose that much.

    I guess not much in the HDD are spoilt and the data is intact. Is there a chance that it's just the connectors that are spoilt and not the internal architecture?

  • #2
    You'll have to try it in another computer(is this one operating properly anymore). It's quite likely only your motherboard and maybe some devices on it (PCI, AGP) are damaged.

    If it comes down to recovering the data from the HDDs, you're probably SOL. It's doable, but using techniques generally used by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Unless there is something very important on those hard drives, I would forget about it.


    • #3
      No it's the HDDs that are dead.

      The 4gb generates a clicking sound on power on and remains silent after that. The 20gb generates no noise but extreme heat.

      They're both not detected at all.

      I've done some searching and more than 'law enforcement' and 'intelligence agencies' are doing it ;) I'm just worried about the price.


      • #4
        My point was that the techniques are generally not used by single people with data recovery needs. Usually only government agencies, military contractors, and large corporations have much reason to attempt recovering data from a damaged HDD.

        I don't know of any particularly useful data recovery services, since I have no need for them. You can try calling them or going to thier web pages. If the price is reasonable and the company looks promising, give it a shot.
        If you're lucky you didn't damage them too much and you can get your data without too much money lost. But I can assure you this won't be cheap. Hopefully it will be within a price range you can afford.


        • #5
          Thanks yawgm0th,

          Yeap, I've sent an e-mail asking for quotations already.

          I've been thinking of switching the logic circuit board inside to see if it's only the board that's burnt out. Are there any concrete directions I could follow to do that?


          • #6
            Many very small companies and even many individuals have need of data recovery services. It is often quite expensive, as it may be in your case. The data is probably still on the platters, but the drives would have to be taken apart in a "clean room". It is doubtfull that this would be covered by insurance unless it is perhaps business related. There are a number of companies that have good reputations for this kind of work.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Hendon
              Thanks yawgm0th,

              Yeap, I've sent an e-mail asking for quotations already.

              I've been thinking of switching the logic circuit board inside to see if it's only the board that's burnt out. Are there any concrete directions I could follow to do that?
              You have to have a board from the exact same drive. Other than that its simple and can be done anywhere.


              • #8
                Norman does datarecovery...but get some cash or live with the problem ;)
                examining your drive to see if it can be backupped: about 600 euros (750 dollar?)
                actually doing a backup if possible, around 2000 euros (2300 dollar?)

                iirc, you have to call/email them for info, they dont have exact prices on the website

                hope this helps


                • #9
                  mate of mine done the same thing, switched the little red switch at the back of the PSU from 230w to 115w. blew the s**t out of his PSU but luckily that was it.


                  • #10
                    My laptop hard disk went dead on me once as well. I had lots of information there and was really pissed off. I tried buying a 2.5" to 3.5" converter. I could see the hard disk, the data but could not retrieve the data.

                    That's when I discovered a program called Easy Recovery Pro. This was amazing ! I was able to recover every file off the hard disk that I needed. No problems, no nothing !

                    From that day forth, i invested in an external hard disk on firewire and tried to do a weekly backup to the hard disk and a monthly backup to CDR. CDRs are two small these days, so I'm keeping my eyes on DVD burners which have come down dramatically in price due to Sony's new dual layer DVD burners :)