Why Use Data Recovery Experts? Before attempting any form of self data recovery from information gathered from web sites that offer suggestions about hard drive recovery, you need to be informed about what data recovery is and why it takes an expert with a clean room for most data loss scenarios that involve repairing a hard drive.
Do it yourself Hard Drive Repair & the Risks
What is the problem?
Does the drive spin?
If so does it click?
Does the armature kick out?
Do the drives heads vibrate to initiate?
Is there an odd smell to the drive?
If it doesn’t spin do you here a slight or faint ticking sound?
Does the BIOS see the drive?
Does the BIOS see the drive as the correct model?
Are there funny characters showing on boot?
Does the operating system blue screen?
Important things you should be aware of before you do anything to a suspected failed hard drive
Static discharge will kill a hard drive when handling… especially the internal components Dust will destroy your data… DO NOT OPEN!
In my experience I see so many hard drives destroyed by helpful neighbors when the problem was not situated internal of the hard drive assembly. Just because it clicks doesn’t always represent an internal failure.
Swapping the electronics runs the risk of further damage, especially if the revision number of the PCB is different. You will have a greater success of recovery with less risk if the original electronics is repaired.
Full Diagnostic Imaging This is a bit by bit, sector by sector cloning operation of a failing hard drives with bad sector reporting & remapping System Area Repair at Manufacturing Levels The system area of a hard drive is NOT common knowledge.
This is an area of the hard drive that is purely communication between the internal workings of the hard drive assembly (HDDA) & the printed circuit board (PCB)… Unlike data that is stored from track zero, that most commercial data recovery software has access too.
The system area starts at minus zero that proprietary equipment is needed to gain full access to this area for data recovery PCB Chipset Replacement & Reprogramming There is a lot involved when a chip on the printed circuit board that shows signs of failure, this can be caused by a more serious fault or even daisy chain through circuitry when replaced… meaning if you repair one chip it only reveals others that were also affected by the failure Class 100 Dust Filtration Systems Essential for Platter Replacement This is very important if every other diagnostic has pointed to the extraction of the Platters internal of the drive hard disk drive assembly to be removed and reinserted into another matching HDDA.
Any form of contaminants on the platter surface will result on loss of data. but this is not the only precautionary matter, there is platter alignment and balancing to take into account as well. If you mis align a bottom platter to the top platter by a micron it is practically impossible to realign CRC Error Checking Control CRC also known as cyclic redundancy check is where an unreadable bad sector is skipped due to its error reporting system acknowledging that there is an error… if this is disabled there is a higher chance of retaining data Parts The correct parts are sometimes very hard to find… and when you do they are wrong.
One model of a hard drive can be manufactured in three different parts of the world with altered components… yet still retain the same model number, Also a hard drive is very smart; they are designed to work around imperfections of the platters surface.
They will move failing sectors without your knowledge causing what we call a shift point. What this means is there is now unique information hard-coded on the hard drive’s surface that is now unique to the drives electronics. So even if you have the exact printed circuit board with matching numbers on all components, there is no guarantee this will work. If you have suffered data loss and your hard disk is physically damaged, call DTI Data. We are experts at hard drive recovery.
24 Hour Hard Drive Recovery & Server/RAID Recovery Hotline:
Toll Free 1-866-438-6932 or direct 1-727-345-9665.
Extended Software Support:
8 AM to 11 PM EST 7days a week!
Good hard drive info. I would say if you have nothing to lose, then fool around with your hard drive all you want. However, time and time again, hard drives which could have been recovered get totally destroyed by attempting recovery without a professional.
Great info (most of it is the same info you get when googling various hdd repair phrases… That sometimes you see the exact same wording we’ll just leave to coincidence)
The grammar and punctuation is off, which (call me picky) always turns me off from any professional service that can’t professionally express themselves.
Bottom line: This article says NEVER NEVER do-it-yourself when it comes to hard-disc drives. Just like countless others on the web, and most of those are promoting their own data recover outfits.
Here’s my situation and see if you see why someone would STILL try to do-it-themselves.
I have a 250GB SATA Maxtor MaxLine Plus II that died on me. A bad PSU kill it and two dvdROM drives. Lets say we forget what I paid for the 250GB Maxtor almost 3 years ago (when they were the cream of the crop). On the drive is about 10K pictures from years of amateur photography, and maybe 3 times that in mp3s. Point being; there’s nothing I can’t live without but it sure was sentimental to me. Now lets look at the numbers:
Oct 2007 prices
250Gb Sata HD $70
this drive is still under warantee and Maxtor will recover my data and send it to me on a new/refurbished drive. The replacement warantee drive is of course free but the data recovery part would be at least $1500. (2006 est given over the phone).
To me that’s INSANE. Lets say we say they would do it for HALF price. For $750 I could buy THREE 1TB (1000GB) SATA drives and have enough left to buy a new 250GB SATA.
If I sent the drive in and they said; Sorry sir we couldn’t recover anything at all, please take these FOUR drives for a total of 3250GB for your troubles and thanks for choosing Maxtor… Let’s just said it would be a GROSS understatement to say I’d be “Happy”.
So finally, I want to see if I can replace a burnt chip on the controller board under the HDDA. If I fail all I’d did is voided the warantee and further lost a lost drive. If I succeed I will likely have a working 250GB SATA drive for the forseeable future and have all of my pics and music back.
Am I crazy or foolish for thinking this way? If it was a drive that had business critical stuff for work or my company I would surely swallow that huge cost of recovery. But I don’t and I won’t.
Ps: prices for HDD referenced from pricewatch.com. See for yourself if you don’t believe me.
Thanks for reading.
Not to make excuses, BUT that article was written by our engineer Malcolm who is from New Zealand. I will go through and correct the grammar and you are right I should have done that from the get go.
On to your question. Maxtor is owned by Seagate which in turn owns ActionFront Data Recovery. That purchase raised a lot of blood pressures in the industry since it seams unfair to sell someone a drive, then when it fails charge them $1500 – $3500 to recover the data! That being said, ActionFront is a good company from a success standpoint. If they were unable to recover the data for under $1000, more than likely it needed clean room work. They do have high prices to be sure, twice as much as us in fact, but they have a huge overhead and get their money back from people like you.
There is a lot more going on then just a burnt chip, especially when it comes to SATA drives. A surge to the System Area or Firmware area as it is sometimes called creates problems to all aspects of how the drive interacts with your computer. If it isn’t recognized by the BIOS then the SMART and defect tables are corrupted. These problems happen in just about every surge case that hits the door here. Since drive manufacturers are tight-lipped about the system area, data recovery companies have to hack the drive and often times re-write the system area. While you might be technically proficient enough to swap a chip, there is no way you will be able to access the system area or repair it without the type of equipment that we have.
Good hard drive info. I would say if you have nothing to lose, then fool around with your hard drive all you want. However, time and time again, hard drives which could have been recovered get totally destroyed by attempting recovery without a professional
Yes that is an accurate statement. We see at least 10 drives a week that have been sent to a cheap so called data recovery company that are trashed. Sometimes we can recover data even from an abused hard drive, but there are a lot of instances where the drive was rendered unrecoverable by idiots that think they know how to repair a hard drive after watching a you tube video!
my hard disk data have deleted. so i am recover my harddisk. plz tell me about this problem..
I have a WD2000jb with a damaged PCB from a bad power supply. Hard drive will not power up anymore. Do you know anyone that can repair my PCB?
there’s some risk if i use the error checking in my HD???