I've gotten quite a bit of email and of course there's lots of comments on slashdot - here's some extra info for those interested.
First of all, thanks to the heaps of people who have emailed. I'm glad I've been able to inspire you with my story!
"Where did you buy the spare drive?"
Just some computer shop near where I was working. Nowhere special - I was just really lucky that my drive wasn't too old. There were obviously still places around that had shipments of those drives with exactly the same firmware. I doubt I'd be able to find them now. (Then again, anything's possible.) This all happened in September 2002.
Yes, it's taken me that long to get around to writing this story and sharing the pictures with my friends.
"How did the logic board connect to the hard drive?"
The logic board was screwed onto the drive with normal screws.
As for the electrical connection, there were some metal contacts that just press together - no plug. You can see them in the 4th photo. There are 3 metal strips next to the top of the logic board and the spindle on the drive. And a row of connectors in a hole cut out of the white thing.
The white thing you can see is just a bit of foam padding to prevent other electrical contacts - it's just loosely placed.
I was pleasantly surprised when I unscrewed the logic board for the first time - that it just lifted off and that was all there was to it. I love elegant designs.
"Do you know of any places that sell logic boards?"
No sorry. I doubt there's much of a market for them. But if there are any places that do this sort of thing, I'd be happy for them to contact me and I'll put them here.
I doubt the manufacturers would bother to sell logic boards by themselves - although I must say I never tried to contact them to see if they would.
I just rang around about 5 computer stores - most of them just didn't have a clue what I was talking about. Others that did couldn't or weren't prepared to go and get a drive from their back rooms to check for me. The place that eventually helped me is here : http://www.arc.com.au/ - kudos to them!
Otherwise it might be worth contacting companies that specialise in data recovery.
"Could I do the same thing? Will it work for my foo drive?"
Maybe. Possibly. Perhaps. Give it a go! It's really not that hard. Many people have emailed me their success stories. Don't be scared to try.
But don't blame me if it doesn't work. :-)
"Wasn't there a risk of dust?"
No. I didn't actually open up the hard drive to the platter level. For that you really do need a clean room. Although I've received a couple of emails from people detailing how they even did this and got their drives working.
"You registered a full domain name just for this story???"
Uh, yeah. They're, like, only 15 bucks a year you know? So what the heck. I figured I'd hopefully make 15 bucks from the Google ads.
What surprised me the most was that I thought of the domain name, decided to check it out and it was available!
Anyone who has ever tried to think up a domain name will know how amazing that is.
"Wait a sec. You bought 2 drives? Wouldn't it have been cheaper to go to a disaster recovery place?"
No - I ended up paying the price of 1 drive. I gave the other drive back to my brother who refunded me in full. He could still make use of the drive. It was working just fine.
"Didn't you void the warranty?"
Well there were no stickers or anything that I had to cut through so as far as I can tell there's no way to know if someone's opened up the drives.
Google adsense - the best thing since sliced bread!
When I first thought about putting up this story, google adsense didn't exist. I just thought I'd put it up for fun. Of course, I never got around to it. In the meantime I thought about maybe putting up links to amazon as part of their affiliate program and earning a bit of money that way.
Then Google came out with adsense - now there is a great idea. I can publish something like this story, and google will automatically find the most appropriate ads to display alongside it. How cool is that? In effect they have solved the whole micropayment problem! I don't have to beg people to send me any money to help with my bandwidth costs - the advertising takes care of it.
So then I got motivated to put the page up (and I was procrastinating about doing some other stuff.)
Here's some more info about Google adsense.
"Excellent! I did this as well - here's what I did"
Cool! Thanks for sending me the emails. Some of them have been great stories with different successes through various means. You can see them here.
"Bah! I've done this a million times with my hands tied behind my back!"
That's nothing - in my day we had cold tea and coal for breakfast, had to get up before we went to bed *and* lick the road clean with our tongues! But you tell that to the kids today and they just won't believe you.
And besides, *you* may know how to do something but lots of other people don't. I've got many emails from people thanking me for the enjoyable educational experience.
"The guy can't spell - it's should be its"
All I can say is that I'm flattered. Could you do a spellcheck on this page for me as well?
Any other questions gladly answered - me.
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