Hard Drive Recovery

Soon I will place a post here with the whole proces of trying to recover a hard drive which is failing.

I have used 2 drives in a HP Microserver, 2*2TB, I have mapped these drives in ESXi as Raw Device Mappings.

In Windows I created 1 volume of these RAW Device mappings.. you can guess… 1 of these drives is defective, resulting in failure of the total volume.

To bad… well, do I have important data on it? Well, not the most important stuff, but it is always a pain when a drive fails. December 2016, I bought a new NAS and wanted to decomission the HP Microserver and migrate all the data to the new NAS, I already had the Nas in my home, but did not got the chance to Migrate the data to it. The drive was broken already.

As I got used to the fact I lost all the data, I thought, well OKAY, maybe it is a nice project to give it a shot to recover the drive! So I began…

Searching for information about hard drive recovery. At this point I have the tool for succesfully remove the heads from the platters. So I can go on with my project now!
I have 1 donor drive
I have several drives to first test with.
I have the tool(!)
Next things I am going to do is built a DIY Clean Air Box in which I am going to perform the Head Swap!

So stay tuned! I will come back soon with more information and ofcourse, lot’s of pictures!

[Update 09-09-2017]
I am currently busy with a DIY Cleanbox, while this is not recommended for serious business, I want to give it a try!

The first part is getting all the parts:

The list:
– Box from Action
– Glue
– Empty Yoghurt boxes (2)
– Stanley knife
– Gluegun
– DucTape (not in the the picture)
– Led Light for in the Box (from Ikea)
– Empty juice can
– Arduino Nano (for Dust Sensor)
– Dust Sensor (Sharp)
– OLED Display for Dust Sensor
– Gloves (without powder, also from Action)

The first step I did was getting the light into the box:
The Light Module:

Normally you can only connect 3 of them attaching them to each other. Well, That is not practical in my box, so I did some soldering of cables so it is flexible!

Fiiting it in the box with double sided scotch tape:

Enough light to do a head Swap!

Next, placing the HEPA filter in the box, I did the cutting with a stanley knife, be carefull with this, because the casings cracks very easily (fix any cracks with duc-tape)

Next step is the Dust Sensor, I want to use this sensor to examine the amount of dust in the box before I begin the procedure of a head swap.

For the Dust Sensor, I use:
– Arduino Nano
– Dust Sensor Sharp GP2Y1010F49
– Resistor 150 ohm
– Capacitor 220uF
– OLED Display

I used the code below for the program:

#include <U8glib.h>
#include <SPI.h>
#include <Wire.h>

U8GLIB_SH1106_128X64 u8g(U8G_I2C_OPT_NONE); // I2C / TWI

int measurePin = 6;
int ledPower = 10;

int samplingTime = 280;
int deltaTime = 40;
int sleepTime = 9680;

float voMeasured = 0;
float calcVoltage = 0;
float dustDensity = 0;

char DustValue[10];
char RawValue[10];
char Voltage[10];

void setup(){
u8g.drawStr( 0, 10, ” “);
u8g.drawStr( 0, 27, ” “);
u8g.drawStr( 0, 44, ” “);
u8g.drawStr( 0, 61, ” “);

void draw(void) {
// graphic commands to redraw the complete screen should be placed here
u8g.drawStr( 0, 10, “Dust Particles:”);
u8g.drawStr( 20, 27, Test1);
u8g.drawStr( 45, 27, “%”);
u8g.drawStr( 0, 44, “Raw Value:”);
u8g.drawStr( 20, 61, RawValue);

void loop(){
int a = 0;


// picture loop
do {
} while( u8g.nextPage() );

digitalWrite(ledPower,LOW); // power on the LED

voMeasured = analogRead(measurePin); // read the dust value

digitalWrite(ledPower,HIGH); // turn the LED off

calcVoltage = voMeasured * (3.3 / 1024);
dustDensity = 0.17 * calcVoltage * 100;

itoa(dustDensity, DustValue, 10);
itoa(voMeasured, RawValue, 10);


The program displays the amount of “particles” in the air, ofcourse this way of metering is not very “exact” but it gives a nice idea of how “clean” the air is within the box.

Pictures of the prototype:

Dust sensor with high amount of “debris”: 

[Update 10-09]
The soldered result:

Next, I will create the wholes in the box, I used a little freeze to cut out the wholes:

And the whole for the vacuum cleaner:

At this point, the glue needs to dry for 48 hours!