1. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    Greetings.

    My laptop, thanks to my brother janking the Ethernet cable, fell off a shelf (he grabs anything and everything, I thought the computer would be safe in there) and bounced horizontally against an exercise machine (seems to be called SPORTOP) before bumping against the floor (ceramic).

    It was running on a live USB copied to RAM, with the HDD unmounted, a lightweight Devuan-powered distro.

    The HDD had a LUKS-encrypted root-and-everything partition, where all my data was.

    I would like to know if I can safely run badblocks with non-destructive read-mode on it, or if it was damaged.

    It's an Intel Classmate called CANAIMA, which was built by the Venezuelan government. It has some kind of Seagate HDD, with 298(?) GB of storage space. I never took it apart, which means I do not know if the HDD is found inside a metallic shell, but the computer seems to be made out of plastic.

    Here we don't have devices to back up stuff with, which means I do not have a backup nor I can do backups.

    Buying more devices is not an option because Venezuela.

    Finally, the HDD has been doing some kind of whistling sound since who-knows-when, but I noticed it some months ago. It starts, then stops every second.

    Apparently it never spins up, according to SMART status which says "Spin Up Time 0".

    Help.
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, Aug 25, 2020
  2. TheCasualties

    TheCasualties Just trying to be helpful
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    I'd probably take the bottom off and make sure everything is still in place. Since you haven't seen the insides before, just make sure nothing broke off.

    Also, do you mean 5 feet? 55 feet would be like 6 floors or something. I thought it fell off a balcony before reading the post.

    My plastic case laptop has fallen ~4ft several times and it still works fine. Your HDD might have a scratch but it could be OK, since it was not mounted. My HDD during the first fall was already dying (many bad blocks) so I have no clue if the fall did any damage to it. Now that I only use SSD the falls haven't done any serious damage to them.

    You should be fine to run badblock or any other HDD checking software on it.

    As for the HDD whistle, this site has lots of recordings of HDD's with various problems. Might help you figure out what's going on. Wear headphones if you can. https://hetmanrecovery.com/recovery_news/identifying-hdd-noise-problems.htm

    Good Luck! The only real way I know to check is to turn it on and hope for the best!
     
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  3. ShroomKing

    ShroomKing Somebody
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    If the hdd really was unmounted it's pretty safe. Most of the time dropping a harddrive will only damage it if it's still spinning
     
  4. JJ1013

    OP JJ1013 GBAtemp Regular
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    It seems that it was 4.5 feet.
    OK. I will try. I was recently running badblocks on read-only, but I question its effectivity, and apart from that, the distro I have on RAM doesn't have smartmontools.

    And no, we do not have balconies over at Venezuela. We can't even seem to have treehouses, which would help me for using my electronic devices away from my brother. I'd wish.

    Also, luckily, it did not turn off when falling off, which apparently made me feel less ṕ̷̷̢̕á͟í̛͝n̶̵͟͜.


    Weird. Because I seem to hear the HDD spinning while not using it. Or that sound's just the fan. I can not spot the difference between the fan and the HDD, except when the HDD's whistling.
     
    Last edited by JJ1013, Aug 25, 2020
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  5. ShroomKing

    ShroomKing Somebody
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    The whistling and the "Spin Up Time" 0 in SMART makes me think the hdd was already defective before it got dropped. So it's possible your drive just can't sleep.
    Have you tried using gsmartcontrol (or a similar program) to check the drive for errors? Even if your distro doesn't have it preinstalled you should still be able to install it in RAM.
     
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  6. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye *is birb*
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    Even if it was spinning, if the drive head is parked, it should be fine.
    My mom's laptop was knocked onto the floor years ago damaging the corner and the DC in jack. I'm not sure if it was turned off or left in sleep mode but I am guessing it was in sleep mode. All HDD data was intact but there was clearly something wrong with the drive as it was exhibiting weird issues when in use. Was able to get all the data off of it no issues, but even after formatting it still exhibits weird issues despite passing all tests.
    I'd say your HDD data is probably still intact as the drive head should have been parked. There is a chance though that the drop could cause the drive head to bounce and hit something or damage the head or maybe even the motor. You just never know when it comes to HDDs being dropped, it might be fine, it might kill it outright, or it might cause minor damage that is not noticeable at first but worsens until the drive stops working.
    Unless you are willing to spend thousands of dollars on data recovery you don't have much choice other than plugging it in and using an appropriate live CD/USB to image it or run data recovery software. Might I recommend Medicat?
    https://gbatemp.net/threads/medicat-usb-a-multiboot-linux-usb-for-pc-repair.361577/
     
    Last edited by The Real Jdbye, Aug 25, 2020
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