The hard drive repair industry has several facets that offer unique challenges to each data recovery company. These challenges range from the individual end user who has lost vital personal data that to them is as critical as any corporate data. Then there is the business owner who has their entire life’s blood stored on their hard drive and has no current back up or easy way to facilitate bringing their business back online. Finally, there is the high end enterprise corporate user who even with an army of technicians and specialists still manages to find a way to not only lose their data but have virtually no recent backup and or plan to bring their business back online in an expeditious manner. These types of recoveries are the bread and butter of the industry and can offer a stable influx of business for those willing to keep their methods current and their prices in line with the others in the industry. That being said, there is a segment of the industry that offers an opportunity not only for sustained business, but for growth; and it can help recycle some of the millions of drives currently in use. This is the Hard Drive Testing and Verification industry.
Not all drives are sold to end users in small quantities. There are times when drives are purchased in large lots in order to put them into service in multiple platforms. As an example, DVRs offered by cable companies have hard drives in them. This is also true for the satellite dish industry. These drives are normally replaced after use either because of age, device upgrades, or damage. There are millions of these drives and rather than recycling just the material such as the aluminum, there is a path for recycling the technology. In order to do that, a way must be found to test and verify a large number of drives in a timely and efficient manner. DTI Data has been a pioneer in this area and can offer a multi-pronged approach to the readying of drives for resale. In addition, DTI Data’s hard drive repair testing facility offers a scientific approach to analyzing new drives that may have had some anomaly that has rendered them unusable.
There are times when hard drives are purchased from a third party aftermarket vendor and once the drives enter the field, they begin to fail in a manner that is not in line with what is expected. This type of inconsistent failure can lead to several issues that can bring about the following situations.
The company that were sold the drives have now been placed in a position where they cannot in good conscience rely on the hardware the vendor has provided. This can cause many problems and in certain circumstances, grave repercussions in as much as the company may have been in a field that needed reliable hardware. As examples, hard drives that are sold to hospitals for testing equipment, sold to manufacturers of precision equipment and sold to manufacturers of security equipment. These types of clientele depend upon the hardware sold to them and if it fails, have recourse to file suit.
In as much as the failure of the drives may not in fact have been the seller’s fault they can still be held liable for any damages incurred through the failure of the hardware. It is therefore incumbent upon the seller to ensure that the hardware is exactly as advertised and will perform in the field as expected. In order to avoid this type of situation DTI Data has specialized in these three areas.
When purchasing or selling drives in large lots, it is of primary importance to analyze the drives and then grade them in a manner that will be consistent with in-the-field-use. As an example, if the drive is sold to a client as new, then there are indicators on the drive that will support that fact. SMART indicators as well as firmware versions, model number, and even serial numbers can in fact lend itself to a trail as to the age and use of the drive. That being said even the smartest sellers or buyers can be misled by these indicators. There is software that can in fact reset the drive to make it look like it just rolled off the factory floor. With these indicators reset it is sometimes difficult to ascertain if in fact the drives are new. DTI Data has developed a system where not only are the hard indicators looked at, but a trend during testing can be analyzed. The drives during the long run phase of testing can reveal anomalies that are not readily apparent to the buyer or the seller. This bleeding edge testing technique coupled with many years of experience, DTI Data can virtually ensure that the drives you are either buying or selling are exactly what you expect.
Hard drives depend upon a multitude of parts made by different manufacturers and place in an environment in hope that the tolerances as well as the science bring about a synergistic relationship that offers an excellent product that will last many years past its warranty date. DTI Data has established a set of techniques that not only ferret out the anomalies but also find ways to repair/update the drive so that it can be resold and used again in the field. For example, the TVS chip mounted on 500 GB Western Digital hard drives. These chips were designed to take a power surge when the drive woke up from its ‘green’ state. Many times, these drives would fail because the TVS chips failed in them. This problem needed a two pronged approach since not only did the chip need to be replaced, but the testing technique needed to be specialized in order to not cause further damage. DTI Data worked with chip and hardware manufacturers as well as in house programmers to develop a method that not only replaced the chip, but optimized the testing phase to bring about a higher return from each drive tested.
Mother Nature does not have favorites. Even hard drive circuitry and mechanics can fall prey to her relentless activities. Through flood, fire, and the like, drives will get damaged and they will fail in the field. DTI Data uses the scientific approach when analyzing these particular situations in order to first see if the drive can be made serviceable again, second, document the damage in order to present it to the proper parties involved and allow those parties to make an informed determination. As an example, hard drives cannot have moisture on them. Even the slightest amount. This is why the silica pack is placed in all anti-static bags. To ensure that the environment is in fact as dry as possible. If the drive has even the slightest bit of moisture, it will corrode and fail prematurely in the field. DTI Data, through its thorough and fact based testing techniques can bring all the data necessary for our clients to analyze the damage and make a determination of what happened and hopefully make sure that it does not happen again.
In the final analysis, DTI Data and it’s in house developed software and hardware offers our clientele the facts. These facts can then be analyzed through standard industry products which then be used to hypothesize what happened to this particular grouping of product, who was at fault, how can it be fixed, and most importantly what can be done to prevent in the future.