Damon Cortesi's blog

Musings of an entrepreneur.


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I came home from my trip to find my Domain Controller down and out for the count. It was almost as if the power supply was completely dead, because I couldn’t even get LED’s.

So after a couple days of grieving, I ripped all the hard drives out and started putting them in my other box to find out which one held all my data that I never backup. Turns out that’s the one that doesn’t spin up at all - an old IBM Deskstar 34GXP (Model DPTA-373420).

Well, what do you do a drive refuses to spin up? Give it a good knock a couple times, right? I tried that, but it still failed to work. I could hear it trying to spin up, but it sounded as if something was stuck. I was then struck with a brilliant idea. As I turned on the system, I started tapping the top of the drive with a screwdriver handle. A few clicks and a high-pitched whine later, I had a new I: drive!

I began copying data like crazy, but quickly began running into CRC errors. Somewhat disappointed, but still feeling lucky, I copied off as much as I could. I noticed some of my pictures were corrupted, but most came out ok and I wasn’t complaining.

Unfortunately, drive space was quickly running out but fortunately I had a spare 300gb Maxtor sitting in my closet. I took a chance and powered off my system, plugged in the Maxtor and fired it back up. Chkdsk ran and when I got back into Windows, no CRC errors! YES! Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V!

For whatever reason, it decided to work and I was able to copy all my data off. Thank you. Now I’m trying to convert the bad drive to a virtual hard disk so I can get my Domain Controller fired up in Virtual Server…I hope that works!