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Thrift Page: how I spend less money
To the left is one of the handiest things I've ever bought. It was about $24 at Comp USA, when they still had a walk in store here. It's an IDE hard disk drive enclosure. You take an old hard drive from a computer, put it in here, then you've got an external USB hard drive. Best of all, you can do data recovery with it. A friend had a computer that wouldn't boot, I got his favorite pictures back.
The latest was a 40 gigabite hard drive that failed because of mechanical problems. It started making the k-chink, k-chink sound while running, then it stopped running altogether. The tech guy looked at it, I watched him try several things, none worked. He said it was done for. I bought a new replacement HDD from a company in Knoxville, I think it was Computer Systems Plus Inc on Sevier Ave. The lady there siad I might be able to freeze the old drive, and get it to work long enough to retrieve some data. I had also read about this online. I laid a doubled over paper towel over the circuit board part, then tightly wrapped all of it, save for the place where the pins are, with plastic and (what else?) duct tape. I put the HDD in the freezer for a couple of hours. I had my laptop set up nearby, so that it was close to the freezer. I expected that if it did work, I might only have a few minutes to get stuff. I pulled it out of the freezer, and the pins quickly frosted white. I plugged it into the wiring harnesses anyway, and...IT WORKED! At first, I worked quickly, but as time went on, I was getting everything I could possibly use. It was still running when I decided I had enough. The lower picture is just for curiosity, this is what the inside of a hard drive looks like. There is an arm that extends over a very chrome/mirror looking round disk.
This was actually part of the last and most desperate plan for data recovery. I got a small hard drive of the same type from the computer recycling place, they said it was bad. My plan was to open the bad one, to see what it looked like in there. Then, I was going to have two more, the one with the data, and a used, but working one. I was going to slide them into a brand new clear plastic bag, that had never been opened, along with tools for the job, then seal the bag, and work through the outside, like a clumsy glove, or seal a glove into the neck of the bag. These hard drives are made in very controlled dust free environments. I was hoping to transfer parts between the two, to come up with one working one, that had the data in it. As it turned out, the freezer method saved me from all this difficulty.