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Hard drive in water from Katrina

by dbsfgiants / November 20, 2005 9:14 AM PST

My Dell 8300 PC was half submerged in water from Hurricane Katrina. The hard drive looks as if it was under water but CDR and DVD drives did not. How water tight are hard drives? Is the information retreavable? I just purchased a new laptop to replace the pc but how do I get the information to it? I haven't tried to start the pc up but I figured it is shot. Any help?

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Do Not!
by PKsteven / November 20, 2005 9:38 AM PST

What ever you do, do not attempt to install it or retrieve info off of it! You will have to take it to someone who can safely take the information off of it.
Do not start the pc! A trained professional may be able to save it but plugging it in is an extreme shock hazzard! I can't stress this enough, take it in to someone who is skilled at this and don't attempt any repair or taking apart\plugging in on your own. Water can get trapped in places you may not even know of, and no, a hard drive isn't water proof. Until you can bring it to someone, I know this may be hard right now considering your circumstances, and apologize for your losses, but put it up somewhere dry until you can take it in along with the hard drive. Take care,Paul

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I hope it will be ok.
by Noizxland / November 22, 2005 10:38 PM PST

Hello dbsfgiants.
I really condole with your problem.
So first be sure that your HDD is dry.
I think if other devices are ok, you could try to plug it to another PC as slave and check if it works.
I hope it will be ok.
If so, you just need to create a backup.

Another time I suggest you to use a backup software and create a full HDD image and keep it in secure place.
Good luck!

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wet one
by joseph321 / November 24, 2005 3:04 PM PST
In reply to: I hope it will be ok.

I'm sorry about your misfortune, but dont worry my little girl knocked my whole computer in dish water dont ask long story but i had it setting there on counter cleaning it. just open the tower up and see if they is any rust or anything on the board if not leave the cover off and let set for about a week in a warm area. unplug your hard drive and let are get to it also maybe pull your hard drive out of computer and stand it up on its end and let dry for a week also. before you plug your hard drive up to the computer turn on the computer plug it into a surge protector with thw switch in the off position on the surge protector just plug protector into wall and shut it off by the switch on top of the protector then plug computer in and flick the switch on the surge protector and just see if the computer sparks or not. if it does not smoke or nothing your computer is savable turn off computer plug hard drive in and resume

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by Willy / November 24, 2005 9:08 PM PST

Alot depends on the amount of immersion in water&muck, etc. Clean the immediate areas as best as possible. Dip and rinse in 90%-100% wood or isoproyl alcohol(don't smoke!) and then aloow to dry. Once dried, if possible remove PCB electronics bd. and check there for grime, etc., use soaked alcohol brush to clean pcb and then allow to dry. Don't use any other solvent(any auto product), that does attack plastic, remove stickers, labels(etc.) and can't dry quickly or leave stains. We use tricol(long name) in days past but can't be brought in large qualities. Most HDs have a small filter in order to allow atmospheric pressure to stabilze the HD innards, but it can be clogged or simply mucked-up. I suggest a real longtime to dry out like a sunlit window for a week or more, then allow to cool before use. If you doubt the pcb, then replace from a used or good HD of same model/type and proceed then. Of course you take your chances if all this works. Otherwise, if data is super critial then allow a pro at it, maybe insurance will cover that. Overall, HDs are pretty robust and can recover, even if outside is kaupt the insides can survive to varying degrees.

tada -----Willy Happy

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