Over the years I have spoken to thousands of people in regards to their data recovery needs. For almost thirty years, and as the years have passed I have noticed two trends. First, there are more users trying to recover their own data using the internet as their guide. Through videos, tutorials, books and the like everyone who has some type of data loss prefers to try it on their own.
The second trend that I have noticed is the ability of a data recovery company to recover the data has shrunk.
In other words, when we receive a drive, almost always someone has done something on their own to recover the data, and that in turn has degraded their chance of a successful recovery.
I bring this up now as I received a request for a quote with the following text. I wish I could say this was unusual, but many of the requests we get at DTI Data Recovery Company have this ring to it. The following is the text.
I dropped my hard drive late last year. I plugged it back it and it made a repeated beep, so I decided not to touch it again. Since then I’ve researched data recovery/hard drive repair and have found the prices to be astronomical. I brought the hard drive to a local repair guy, but he had no luck and thinks the hard drive “arm” needs to be replaced. The disk itself does not seem to have damage. The drop was not far and it landed softly. However, I think the repair guy may have furthered the damage; I hate to say it, but when he powered it back up the sound was worse.
This hard drive holds ALL of my professional work from the past 10 years. I happened to be uploading my entire drive to Google Drive when it was dropped, and unfortunately only the folders were uploaded with NO files. Needless to say, I am desperate to get the data off of this disk somehow, some way! Even if I need to purchase the same exact hard drive to place the disk with my data into I will (if it is possible).
The local repair guy gave all components of the drive back to me and advised me to not plug it back in until it is repaired. Do you offer this service?
My hard drive is a Seagate External 1TB Hard Drive
As you can see, there have been things done to this drive that should have never been done. Even though she took it to a local technician, there was no clean room involved, no real diagnostic, and no real understanding of what is necessary to recover their data. The data on the drive is ‘of my professional work from the past 10 yrs’. The following is the email I sent in answer to their request.
There are several situations that are affecting your possibility of recovery.
- I am assuming the drive has been opened since you state that the platters are not damaged and the actuator arm needs to be replaced. If it was not opened in a clean room then that is dangerous as the drive could have become contaminated with dust particles that can land on the platter surface. They may appear virtually invisible to us, but can cause irreparable damage to the heads and platter surface.
- The drive was dropped. Even from a very small height this will damage a drive and knock several of the internals out of synchronization and balance.
- The drive was making a beeping noise. That was the sound of the drive being stuck because the spindle motor was jammed, or the heads were embedded in the platter surface. This was actually a good thing, however, the drive now spins. Once the drive spins from a drop it is usually very difficult to recover the data since the actuator arm can in fact scratch the platters.
- Drive makes an even worse sound now. The drive was probably knocked out of balance, spun back up, and is now the heads are scraping the platter, or the bearings in the spindle are damaged. Both of these conditions degrade the possibility of recovery and may even make it impossible to recover any data.
All of the above scenarios are very bad. The possibility of recovery deteriorates every time the drive is turned on. That being said in situations like this DTI offers the following pricing.
$200.00 Nonrefundable diagnostic fee. The drive has been tampered with so much that it affects the technician’s ability to diagnose the drive. The technician cannot be sure if the damage they are viewing is something that happened with the initial drop, or something that may have happened when the drive was opened and looked at.
$795.00 if we recover the data. If not, then we can send the drive back to you or we can destroy the drive here.
The recovered data is copied to a drive that either you ship with the damaged drive or purchase from us.
We do work for banks, lawyers, the government, the military, and hospitals. All of these entities have sensitive data. We are very cognizant of the fact that your data is private, and important and we take all steps necessary that your data remains confidential.
I cannot hazard a guess as to the possibility of a recovery. We normally have a high success rate for dropped drives that are beeping. However, now that the drive is spinning there is a high possibility that the platters are scratched. There are minimal methods for recovering data from a scratched platter and the success rate is very small.
I hope this answers your questions. If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.
Over and over again end users place their data in a situation that makes it near impossible to recover the data. In addition, the cost of the recovery changes and how it is applied since DTI Data does not normally apply a nonrefundable diagnostic fee. If your data is important, and you want to optimize your chances for a recovery the one piece of advice I can give is to not touch the drive.