916 Point Blank.

These last couple of pages were really awkward to cut up. I kept trying different ways and this is what I settled on. This page is mostly banking on visual impact. I went all out since there isn’t really as much content as a regular page might have. I was able to spend more time on the tidbits.

Remember that external hard drive I told you about? The one that went bad? I finally looked up how to take it out of the housing and did that. I fiddled with it for a bit and was still unable to get it going. So I guess I need to learn how to instal it directly in to a PC. If that doesn’t work I’m going to see if I can crack it open and repair the thing some other way. I mean, if a hard drive has a par that stores the information then all a person should have to do is replace the mechanism that’s broken, right? It sounds like it just won’t spin anymore. If it’s a physical problem my data should still be there, intact. All I have to do is learn to get at it.

None of the data is important, I should also say. I just want it back if I can get it back. It’s also interesting to mess with things like this. The internet pretty mcuh has detailed instructions about how to do anything anymore. The instructions for opening the casing were step by step. All I needed was the first one, because I couldn’t see how to start opening it, but it was much faster to just use the knowledge someone else already had. Rather than banging my knuckles on the case like a caveman. The actual drive casing requires a kind of screwdriver I don’t have. I have similar kinds, but not this one exactly. I’ll have to see about getting some of them if it comes to it. I suppose a person could drill them out if they had to. I’m not sure what the insides are like so that’s a last resort kind of move. I’d hate to break the data bits while trying to get them out. Anyway, if they can do this shit in Nigeria I ought to be able to get it done.


“These last couple of pages were really awkward to cut up. I kept trying different ways and this is what I settled on. This page is mostly banking on visual impact.”
Well I’ve got to say I think it really works. I’m a sucker for braking through the gutter but with the diagonal lay out it flow nicely, and the gun … oh my that gun … popping like that very arresting.
Bravo sir bravo!

There are services you can send the hard drive to, who can recover it.

I think I found the one I used 12 years ago, off of C-Net under ‘recovery software’ and the company I looked at had an ad for physical repairs.
I wished you had a TWC button on the page, it takes more time to look it up and vote each evening.

This quote always seems to come up when something like this happens:
“What we’ve got here is… failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it… well, he gets it.”

If you crack it open and are not in a static free room its ruined immediately upon opening. There are special rooms and services required to mess with the internal organs of a HDD. But those services have fees that get very expensive very fast. It can EASILY get over 1000$. The most expensive I remember was 1900$. (<works at Geek Squad) Now if you are done trying to salvage the data and just want to play with it by all means but breaking the seal and the thing is done.

Vampyrr’s sort of correct.

It’s not static that’s the enemy to the internals of a hard drive, though static can certainly fry the electronics.

No, the danger to the spinning disks is dust — the bits you see floating through sunbeams. Data recovery services have special rooms called “clean rooms” with high end air particulate filters that take anything big enough to be dangerous out of the air.

You’d be surprised at how small a particle can be and still wreak havoc between drive heads and spinning discs at 7200rpm.

Huh? what? What you both said may be true in and of itself BUT He said he removed an external drive from its case.
I doubt he is insane enough to actually crack open the drive itself – besides they nearly all have at least one torx screw holding them together to slow down the curious.

As to static, that won’t kill the data unless you are really unlucky or a walking Tesla-coil, but it will fry the electronics. If it is only a partial failure of the electronics then hooking it into a PC could be enough to get it running and salvage the data. Simple solution the shops I use have is just temporarily replace the electronics with a known good board, hook to a PC and clone the data.

The technique of cracking the case in a clean-room [class 100 or better] and directly reading the disks is a last resort and goes into the hundreds of dollars per disk/platter. The actual methodology used for reading varies from lab to lab and has a huge impact on cost.

You would be surprised just how much damage a drive can take before it is totally unrecoverable. Think ninja star cutout due to a catastrophic head-crash on a 10Krpm 8 platter drive. These days the disks are glass so DON’T DROP Them =P


I can’t elaborate much more on what @Vampyrr and @ITgeek have already said, but I will say,

Do Not Open the Drive Itself!

The contents are very fragile, and hypersensitive to dust and static. If the issue is electronic — something like the power supply or the data cable and interface, it’s a cinch to recover what’s on the drive. If, like my dear, departed WD MyBook it’s hit the floor once too often and something physical inside the drive is broken, or if the bearings have seized up, Thou Art Screw’d. Yes, there are data recovery services, but clean rooms don’t come cheap. The best deal I ever saw was $250 in the back of a magazine, but that’s been a while.

Trying to attach the drive directly to your new computer is the best idea. This takes the (possibly buggy) power and data interface out of the equation. I’m sure you know a geek who could help you through it the first time. I’d be glad to help, (Bachelor’s in Computer Science, yo — build my own desktops and external drives) but I’m out here on the Eastern Seaboard.

Good luck. Keep us apprised of your success — or otherwise.

I think the person in the background is Reggie. I expect him to be taken out by Ed, who is covering Nina’s…ah…rear.

(Using “flank” would be less amusing.)

Crave, this has nothing to do with the comic, your HDD issue, or … Well, anything discussed for the past five pages or so.

But you expressed interest in Batman: Arkham City, and I thought you should know that the GOTY version is due out the 29th of May.

Just in case you hadn’t already heard, you understand.

I like your comment about the instructions on the internet. I know how you feel. Recently, I purchased a box of old Super Nintendo, and old Gameboy Color games. Almost half the games, have a dead Save Battery. unfortunately, to get into the battery, I needed a special screwdriver that is manufactured specifically for getting into the cartridges.

It is a wonder, because I spent years thinking that when the save batter died, that was it.

Installing a hard drive in a PC is a matter of plugging in two cables. For a data transfer you don’t even need to screw it into place.

For a drive that won’t work… there’s a last-ditch effort. Put it in a plastic bag, put it in the freezer for 24 hrs, then put it in the PC and get as much data off it as you can before it quits again.

Yes, I know this is two years too late… but maybe you saved it on a shelf, for all I know??

Can’t decide if that silhouette in the last panel is Ed watching the perimeter or Brooksie sneaking away. The shape of the gun would suggest it’s Ed, but something about the head just says “Brooksie” to me.

This is way way late but I LOVE what you’ve done on this page. The dialog is hilarious, but what makes it work is the interesting perspectives, and the closeup of Nina’s smile.

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