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Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

X20/X21, X30/X31, X40/X41 Series
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parispete
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Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:51 pm
Location: Paris, France

Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#1 Post by parispete » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:50 am

I was lucky enough to buy a gorgeous X41 2525 from the original owner.
Suddenly the hard drive will not boot up so I need to recover the data on it before fitting an SSD.
There is no sound from the hard drive, so I am assuming the heads are stuck.
I do not like the idea of opening the drive myself and I probably can't afford professional data recovery.
The failed drive is out of the computer and is the original Hitachi Travelstar.
Can anyone help me to a happy ending?

axur-delmeria
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Re: Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:39 am

Is the HDD still detected by the X41's BIOS? If yes, there's still a chance.
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Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
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mikemex
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Re: Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#3 Post by mikemex » Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:44 pm

Although it's a possibility, I don't think the lack of sound is an indicator that the heads are stuck. I think it's more likely that that motor failed and it can't spin up.

I recommend you to stop and think carefully about your options. Better to do nothing than something you'll regret later.

If you ask me, your chances of recovering data from a failed drive are minimal at best. If the data is valuable, save and pay someone who knows what he's doing. Or you can cut your loses and move on.

But first check if the drive is really bad. It might be something as simple and the motherboard not supplying it with the correct voltage. Or that the pins aren't engaging the connector properly. Old hardware is prone to failure just from physical decay.
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parispete
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Location: Paris, France

Re: Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#4 Post by parispete » Tue Sep 21, 2021 1:44 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Sun Sep 12, 2021 7:39 am
Is the HDD still detected by the X41's BIOS? If yes, there's still a chance.
I would love to have half or your expertise, but being mainly a writer, I don't.
I would be very grateful if you could walk me through your idea of checking the BIOS

I have taken the hard drive out. It is a Hitachi travelstar and seems to be the 1 and1/8 inch format.
The connection seems to be IDE and the capacity is only 40gb, so it's text only, which suits me fine.

When the computer tries to boot, there is only fan noise, nothing from the hard drive whatsoever.
I have just bought a replacement drive on Ebay, so if all else fails, I will try to get the old IBM working again.

So as far as the lost data goes, I'll probably try to educate myself before shelling out bucks.

axur-delmeria
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Re: Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#5 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:05 am

First and foremost, install the HDD back into the X41 (make sure that the battery and charger are disconnected).

After turning on the laptop, while the IBM Thinkpad is displayed, press the blue button near the Esc key,
The BIOS displays info to which keys to press -- IIRC you need to press F1 to enter Setup.

Go to Startup, then see if any of the boot device entries refer to a Hitachi or Travelstar drive. If it's missing, then it means that the BIOS was unable to detect the hard drive.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

WarMachine
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Re: Data recovery from IBM X41 failed hard disk

#6 Post by WarMachine » Tue Oct 12, 2021 10:38 am

Hello,

Sorry to hear that you have problems with your hard drive.

Just a warning: even if the HDD is a 1.8" one, it can connect to a 2.5" connector. But don't do that. The voltages for the two kind of disks are not the same (3.3 V for the 1.8", and 5 V for the 2.5"). You'd most likely fry the X41 hard drive doing so.

First, plug it back in the laptop and check the BIOS to see if the hard disk is still recognized (its name must be written completely). If it's not and if you want to test it on another machine, it must be a machine with 1.8" connector.

And if you can't test it and want to replace it with an SSD, the best thing is to buy an IDE > mSATA adapter. It will be the less expensive (avoid 1.8" IDE drives). But again, be careful for the adapter, because the form factor is the same for 1.8" and 2.5" but again, there is the voltage to take care of. You'll have to find an adapter specifically for 1.8" laptops and be sure it can run with 3.3 V (not the most common adapters).

:)

W.
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