1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Hard drive survived fire

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by andybeans, Jan 19, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. andybeans

    andybeans Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Me and my hard drive managed to survive my house fire. The computer was destroyed but the ram and hard drive are still good. But i am wondering should i take the hard drive apart and change the filter so it doesnt suck all the smoke residue in, or should i just leave it alone and not risk taking it apart. The house burnt to the ground but the metal case saved the hard drive. the hard drive is completely black now. I can wipe the smoke off with a little rubbing alcohol though. Im worried that the rubber seal between the pieces of the hard drive will not reseal after taking it apart becuase of the heat. Could the smoke residue in the filter even affect the hard drive? And if i do decide to change the filter should i just clean the filter out or buy a new one. And where could i buy a new one
     
  2. aka Brett

    aka Brett Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    16,918
    brush it off and go for it
     
  3. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,251
    If it were my hard drive and it just came out of a fire and still worked I'd clone the drive to a new one before I did anything else. Then a course of action to take with it can be made but I would never trust it with sensitive data again without good backups. I'd be more afraid that the actuator arms, the head or the platters distorted to some degree from the heat, and to say nothing about the more exposed PCB.
     
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    24,388
    I get the impression that you think the hard drive survived but haven't actually connected it to anything yet. I'd be very surprised if it truly survived the heat and dirt.
     
  5. K7M

    K7M

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    804
    By hard drive, are you refering to the complete tower or the physical hard drive from the inside of the tower???? Also I haven't seen a tower with a filter??? But I would clean it of the best you can with paper towels or a soft cloth with windex and go for it. As far as it surviving a fire I have a Toshiba laptop that survived a fire, water, and the dump. I took it home washed the screen so I could see it, turned it on ( on battery no less) and it booted. I spent the next 4 hours cleaning up the rest of it and it has been running for about 4 mos now with no ill effects.
     
  6. Compiler

    Compiler

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,855
    Hard drives don't have filters... and if you mean the actual HD is black with soot, then its also cooked on the inside.

    Get a new computer, put the Actual HD inside an external USB case.... and power it up before connecting the USB cable to the PC to make sure it doesn't do anything dangerous... if the drive spins up normally, connect the USB cable and transfer your files.

    You shouldn't trust that HD, even if it happens to work.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Masta Squidge

    Masta Squidge

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    Messages:
    707
    I have. I own one. Antec 1200, has 5 dust filters.

    But at any rate, so do some very few HDDs. They have a pinhole to allow the whole unit to breathe but then have a very fine filter over said pinhole. i have only seen one drive like this though.

    However I dont agree that it being covered in soot means the drive is cooked. Hold a piece of glass over a candle (not in contact with the flame). It will wind up black but not get very warm.

    If the drive works, get the info off it asap and then do whatever you want. If it doesnt work, you may still be able to recover it by going through a data recovery company, but thats expensive.
     
  8. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    5,251
    There's also usually a "gunk" catching filter in a slot on the far side of the platters (from the actuator arms) to catch any "debris" flung off the platters so it doesn't keep circulating around the inside.
     
  9. andybeans

    andybeans Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    I am talking about the actuall hard drive not the tower the tower case was melted and the power supply was fried so i threw it out but kept the hard drive and ram. the hard drive is not melted at all the wires connected to it would probaly still work. the firefighters drenched the window in my room that i jumped out of which also happened to be where my desk was so it soaked my computer wallet keys and jump drive saving them all. even though the floor of the upstairs collapsed and my computer fell down to the first floor it did not scratch it. i have hooked it up in a computer somebody gave me. it worked perfect i played movies off it. copied some files off and it all worked perfect. I know this hard drive has some sort of filter because its the second one ive had like it. the first one got scratched so i tore it apart out of boredum. There was a little white filter by the breather hole it says not to cover. I plan on copying files off it before even trying it. but times are tuff so i really dont wont to screw it up by tearing it apart and accidentaly getting something in it or the seal not resealing.
     
  10. Compiler

    Compiler

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,855
    Well the important thing above all, is that you made it out... :)

    Don't trust the drive, copy ALL the files you value, off the drive to a new one ASAP. Your case was melted - which means the computer was exposed to extreme heat. That drive works now, but I wouldn't consider it reliable.

    Hey, my old SONY TV was in a fire about 10 years ago, it only recently DIED. Its outter case was melted and warped and people would commment "er, what happend to the TV?" - yet its picture and everything else worked just fine.
     
  11. andybeans

    andybeans Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    I actually got three hard drives out of the computer i had to 40 gb and a 360 gb i am going to try it on one of the 40gb hard drives becuase it was all just movies anyways so if i lose it it wont be that big of a deal. I am planning on backing up the important stuff to another hard drive before touching the other 40 gb which had my os and all of my important documents, 18 years worth. I am not sure what to use to clean off the soot any ideas on something that wouldnt damage the hard drive and what kind of cloth should i use?
     
  12. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    9,126
    I definitely would not open it. You might be able to clean it up some with isopropyl alcohol and a soft toothbrush, but keep away from the breather hole and motor bearings.

    I think it would be safer though to put it in your computer case where you can't see it. And what Compiler said about it being potentially unreliable.
     
  13. andybeans

    andybeans Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4
    Ive decided to just clean them all up with alcohol and not tear them apart becuase i looked inside the breather hole and it is still white mainly because the breaker blew well before the smoke got to my computer so it was not running and no air was transfering from the outside to the inside thanks everyone for your help
     
  14. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/792313

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice