These are some real problems experienced by Fireball ST and Quantum hard drives in general that we see in our lab. We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. We see mostly failed drives in our lab and therefore we don't have complete statistics.
The drive was left unused for about 18 months, i came to power up the machine it was in as i needed some photos off it and a couple of old maintenance scripts. Drive is marked as Quantum(model Fireball ST). I am not in any really hurry, the drive had windows 98 set up on it, it was in a dual boot system as master with an XP install along side (on another drive that is fine)
Most common problem for Quantum drives is bad sectors. After some period of time magnetic media that covers the platters starts to degrade and magnetic domains can't be turned in a desired direction by writing element of the head. This is how bad sectors appear. When the drive starts reading data from such unreadable bad sector it could start freezing, scratching and sometimes even clicking: . This leads to further damage to the heads and surface, and may result in further data loss. As soon as you start experiencing such symptoms stop the drive immediately and send it to our data recovery lab for evaluation. Any further attempts would just add up to the problems. In our lab we use special imaging hardware tools that are capable of reading raw sector data ignoring checksum check. That's usually the only way to get as much data as possible from these LBAs.
Another quite common symptom Quantum drives have is clicking or knocking sound. The drive usually spins up, clicks a few times, spins faster, clicks again and spins down: . Most often this a sign of a bad head, but before doing any clean room work, it is very important to perform accurate diagnostics and eliminate a chance of possible firmware corruption that sometimes could also cause clicking.
Drive Quantum - will not mount, or boot up in target mode, or function as external HD. Clicking/Sweeping with spinning and after 45-60 seconds the spinning stops. I have all data backed up, but my wife has some dissertation files she needs.
Quantum hard drives are also well-known for their firmware problems. If one of the firmware modules becomes corrupted, the drive fails to initialize correctly and stops working making the data inaccessible. In such case the drive is either
not found in BIOS at all
shows up with wrong S/N or capacity,
or fail to read any data or boot up operating system.
If you attempt to boot up from such drive or read any data from it you would get "Primary Master Hard Disk Fail" or "No operating system found" or "USB Device malfunctioned" error or something similar.
If you experience any of the symptoms described above with your Quantum Fireball ST please feel free to contact us to get upfront quote on data recovery from your failed drive.
If you hear your Quantum hard drive making some other unusual noises visit our Hard Drive Sounds page for more examples.
We have seen a number of websites lately cloning information from our pages.
Stay away from those companies. They can steal information but they can't steal knowledge and experience.
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