Degaussed HD by Accident- Recovery Possible?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dvdhsu, Jul 5, 2010.

  1. dvdhsu macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #1
    Yeah, I sorta degaussed my Hard drive on accident.

    I had this magnet about the size of an iPhone, and swiped it over my hard drive.

    Computer immediately turned off, I turned it on again.

    Gave me a the gray screen, but with no Apple logo behind it. So... No Mac OS X.

    Fortunately though, I got lucky. After leaving my MacBook Pro on for about 15 minutes, it booted into Boot Camp.

    This is on the same hard disk, but different partition. This leads me to believe that my hard disk is not damaged that bad, and perhaps data recovery off of my Mac partition is possible.

    This morning, I could still see all the folders on my Macintosh partition, and even opened an empty one. I clicked on my /Applications folder though, and my hard drive started making a very disturbing clicking sound that wouldn't stop. I held down the power button, and shut it off. Now, I can no longer open my Mac partition. When I try, it gives me a "cyclic" disk error.

    Is there any chance I can still recover this hard drive, after being degaussed? The magnet was passed by it for one second at most, because I just wanted to test it.

    Being the idiot I am, I didn't backup any of my data, and some of it is actually valuable.

    Any insight is appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #2
    Ok. Do not use your MacBook Pro at all, and take it in to Apple to see if they can recover your content. It is well possible though that the content (or some of it) has been wiped. At best, Apple might be able to salvage some of your stuff.
     
  3. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #3
    Yeah. I forgot to mention.

    I can't get anywhere near an Apple store for some time, I'm out of town, in China.

    Nearest one is in Shanghai, which I'll try to stop by in a week or two.
     
  4. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #4
    cyclic redundancy errors mean the hard drive is toast.
    This does not mean that you cannot recover the data though.

    Here is a listing of data recovery software
    http://download.cnet.com/1770-20_4-...tform=Mac,Webware&filter=platform=Mac,Webware

    I would just keep trying different programs until you find one that works as not all data recovery software is created equally.

    Once recovered, buy a new hard drive as soon as possible. I cannot imagine your hard drive will last more than a month with that error.
     
  5. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #5
    With the tight tolerances and miniature parts - I'm willing to wager you didn't so much degauss the platter, but more likely stressed / warped moving components. If it was running when you did this, it's possible you flexed the wiper arm, and dragged the read/write head into the platters.

    Then again, if it was a freakishly strong neodymium magnet, it could have accomplished everything in one wipe.

    That said - if it's in fact physical damage, I'd guess the more you try to recover the data - the better your odds of destroying it. Is the lost information worth more than professional recovery service?

    Either way, ouch. That's brutal. If it's any consolation, I had a grade N50 1" block that I put into my pocket - forgot about it and hopped into my car to drive home. My wallet was in the center console - (about 6" away) - and I nuked EVERY card in it.
     
  6. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
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    #6
    I see, I see.

    Well, not much I can do about it now, I'm trying to buy a new hard drive, and a Mac OS X install disk.

    I'll install it on the external, and go from there...

    Hopefully my information is alright.

    Thanks to you both though!
     
  7. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #7
    There could be though - you said it turned off - I assume the drive was running. The heads aren't supposed to touch the platter - they "float" on a small cushion of air directly above it. That magnet could have pulled the heads into the platter, and scratched / damaged both the platters and the heads.
     
  8. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #8

    No No. If you are getting disk errors such as cyclic redundancy errors, your hard drive is on its way out.
    I have a stack of hard drives beside me, which all started having cyclic redundancy errors before finally failing.
    You are just going to have to face the fact you ruined your hard drive. At least from your signature, it does not seem you will have any trouble replacing your hard drive.
     
  9. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #9
    Yep, when I made my first post, I didn't see yours, I edited my post afterwords.

    I would wager that you're right. Assuming that my hard disk has two platters, one of the platters could very well be damaged.

    The second platter, the one that holds my Windows partition, as well as some of my stuff on my Mac partition seems to be okay.

    I'm guessing you're right because upon browsing to my /Applications folder, there was this horrible scratching sound. Since then, I haven't been able to open my Mac partition.
     
  10. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #10
    Of course, I'm definitely getting a new hard drive.

    Before that though, I'll be putting my new one in a caddy and trying to recover data off of my old one.

    Thanks again!

    About that signature thing... I buy all my stuff used, and try to save on everything else except technology. It works reasonably. I am definitely not "rich". :p
     
  11. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #11
    I didn't know Apple stores had a white room and data recovery specialists.

    If the drive has taken any physical damage, then Apple is not the company to handle recovery. Anything they can do will only damage the drive more since they don't have the facilities to recover data from physically damaged drives (at least not at any Apple stores I've been to.)
     
  12. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
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    #12
    As far as I know, I wouldn't say they do.

    Every time I bring my computer in, or even send it in, they always ask me twice if all my data is backed up...

    Definitely learned my lesson now. It's not funny now, but I'll look back at this in a few years and laugh. :D
     
  13. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #13
    Nevertheless, its still an impressive list.
     
  14. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #14
    Thank you.

    You're reminding me to update my list though, I've sold a lot of stuff already.

    I guess I'm somewhat of a collector. I buy it used, and polish it up. If there's a market for it, I sell it.

    For example, now I own 3 iPod's in total, the Classics, and one Touch.

    One iPhone 3G as well.
     
  15. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #15
    Resist the temptation to wave that magnet in front of your Plasma TV, or get it too close to your camera. ;)

    You can also shut down / destroy CFL bulbs - the coils / ballasts aren't particularly fond of getting their fields collapsed via magnet. (just sayin', in case you wanted to go on a gaussian-enriched bender) :D
     
  16. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

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    #16
    Oh... I'll try my best. :D

    About the bulbs. I should try that someday!

    On a side note though, apparently the Apple store in Shanghai is opening on the tenth. Perfectly in time for me to stop by! Whoopee!
     
  17. lewis82 macrumors 68000

    lewis82

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  18. dvdhsu thread starter macrumors 6502a

    dvdhsu

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
  19. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    #19
    That sounds absolutely dreadful! Sorry to hear it.

    There is absolutely no chance that data recovery software will be able to recover your files. The magnet caused physical damage to the drive. In the best case scenario, you need a professional cleanroom recovery. Drive Savers charges upwards of $3200 for this recovery. We offer data recovery in our cleanroom facility at a fraction of their cost. There's a chance that the magnetic media that held your data is completely destroyed, but based on your symptoms, it doesn't sound like that's the case.

    If you take your drive to a data recovery center, do not give it to them unless you're sure they use a cleanroom. Please be careful! Additional attempts to read data off the drive will just cause more damage to your data.

    Apple Stores do not offer data recovery. In most cases, they're even hesitant to offer data transfers between two perfectly functional hard drives. They can probably refer you to a good data recovery facility in China, but you might find that the cost of international shipping to and from the US + $749 for cleanroom recovery is more cost-effective than you can find in China.

    Best wishes!
     
  20. kny3twalker macrumors 65816

    kny3twalker

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #20
    If you really require a cleanroom, look locally. My mom had this done, and it costs about $300 in 2003.
     

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