Hard Disk Recovery Questions

I have 3 hard drives which need recovering.
x2 iMac Hard drives, (1TB & 2TB)
x1 Windows XP (40gb)
Could you provide me with information about how you recover the files? Do you simply repair the hard drives as stated on http://www.recover-deleted-data.co.uk/), or transfer the files on to a new hard drive?

hard drivesMy external hard drive (My Passport) has suddenly stopped working. The computer says that it is unreadable and needs to be formatted. The technician at my work has tried to recover my lost files, however he has had very limited luck. He has tried it using windows and again with a lennox [i think (s)he means Linux] based program (something about a DD system) but it doesn’t appear to have worked. I’m very keen to recover this information as it holds pretty much all of my pictures from the last decade and all of my files for work. Would you please be able to contact me with regards to collection of the hard drive and a quote for repair?

Over night my wd5000aac suddenly failed (get support at https://support.wdc.com/. The drive is not the system disk.
Initially xp could see the disk and opened the root directory. Attemting to open subdirectories caused lockups and reboots. Occasional pop ups indicated problems writing $mft. I also found system log entry stating that ftsata2 could not be found. I found a copy and installed. Since then bios does not even see disk. Ive disabled ftsata2, no change. Reset bios, no change. Have removed disk and inserted into docking station. Disk spins and i here soft click. To note, 6 months ago i had lots of read errors on this disk
Discovered PCB contacts to drive body tarnished, cleaned, errors gone. Have checked PCB again seems ok, cleaned any way, no change. To end on, i have been scilly enough to remove back as last resort, for a few moments. I would be interested in your views.

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Apple iPhone and iMac File Recovery

In this post I look at some example question from Mac users looking to recover their files from damaged Apple equipment.

Apple logoMy partner got in to a fresh water pool with her iPhone 5 in pocket ! For approx 5 mins before realising , she left it in rice over night and tried to turn in this morning , Apple logo came on and then screen when grey then blue then turned off, we believe we need a phone information recovery service like http://phone-recovery.pen.io/. We are currently on holiday in Greece and fly back today and it has all of our holiday pics on and wondered if this is something you can help with , it’s not the phone we want fixed just the holiday pics if possible

I have a portable hard drive connected to my iMac. the other day I wouldn’t show up so I sent the iMac for a check/repair to the services described at https://support.apple.com/mac/imac and it came back ok. The problem was the hard drive. it works but it won’t show up on the iMac. canny tell me the price of getting the info off it

Then my iPhone experienced water damage and is not turning on. Would like to recover photos from it.

After that liquid was spilt on macbook. Unable to power up at all. Diagnosis by Apple is that it would be more expensive to repair than buy a new one. My laptop now says “please install operating system“. I dont quite know what happened. I need a full data recovery of my photos music and videos

Do you have a problem like any of these? Just follow the links above for help or contact me direct.

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Latest Q&A

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500Gb installed as 2nd hard drive in a Windows PC.
Cooling fan in power supply failed leading to increased case temperature and possibly incorrect voltages.
Power Supply replaced.
Took longer and longer for files to appear in Windows Explorer. Eventually the hard drive stopped working.
Bought a replacement PC and tried installing the hard drive. It was found by the BIOS at initial boot but failed to be found by Windows.

I have a USB drive that is bent and no longer works. This was achieved by leaving the USB in the computer and the computer falling off the bed, landing on the USB stick. The computer can no longer detect the USB whatsoever. If i sent the USB in to repair, how long would the repair usually take? I really need it repairing by Thursday (20th Oct 2016).

I have 2 WD external drives that are both at least 5 years old.
They are (I think) 1.5 & 2TB in size.
When I connect them to the mac, I can no longer hear them spin up & they do not appear as connected drives.
From this I assume they have both failed.

Drive has stopped responding and cant be seen by the computer. I have also tried it in a USB enclosure and no joy.
Its a 2 TB Seagate drive around 2 years old and has loads of pictures, music, videos and other files on it
Model: ST2000DX001

I own Seagate 3TB drive from airport extreme router.
Disk failed. I opened the drive in clean room and saw that head is bad and need donor or replacement. What’s the price for that service ? Better for me is just to read platters if that’s possible.

I have an issues with a failed hard drive that will no longer spin. It’s a Seagate ‘Laptop Thin SSHD‘ 500GB (PN: 1EJ162-038).
When plugging the drive in it no longer spins up so we’re unable to retrieve anything off it. Do you think you could help? Any idea of the potential cost?

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HDD Problems

Here are some of the problems we’ve been looking at lately in the Risc Group’s data recovery lab.

  • Seagate Momentus 60GB. Tried HDD in several machines, hard drive is requesting to be formatted and cannot be read by windows.
  • WD MyBook Live HDDI have a problem with my external USB hard drive. When I connect to my computer, the external hard drive turns on, but the computer doesn’t recognise it. The problem started when the USB connector got stuck inside the external hard drive. I had to carefully remove it. Then, my cable was broken so I used a different one, but my computer wouldn’t recognise the external hard drive anymore. I think the external hard drive is still functional, but the USB port is damaged. The brand is SAMSUNG. I hope that’s enough information to understand the problem. Thanks for your help in advance.
  • My external hard drive has suffered mechanical failure. It turns on but is no longer recognised by my computer. I have tried new leads and other computers but to no avail. I was wondering if I could get a quote to recover my photographs from this hard drive. It comes up in device manager but not my computer. Is it possible to get a quote?
  • Dropped Western Digital External Hard Drive. Won’t open up on computer but info still says there is data on the disc so hopeful it can be recovered.
  • We have a Toshiba Hard drive. It was dropped and now we can’t access the data. Could you tell me if it might be retrievable, a potential cost and details of what i need to do next.
  • I have a WD My Book Live 1TB network drive that doesn’t seem to boot up (seems bricked). I would to recover the files of it. I tried connecting to the SATA drive contained within it to a SATA dock that i have however that couldn’t read that files. What is the cost to fix the drive? Reading online it seems its a common issue with WD NAS drives.

All these listed hdd problems have one thing in common. The hard drives require the attentions of Risc Group’s data recovery team to rescue the files from the hard drives. The hdd’s with mechanical failure are the most serious and will require clean room, others will be more straightforward to recover.

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Popping Sound from Hard Drive

Hello All – received this hard drive recovery enquiry a few hours ago and thought I’d reprint it here.

“Just wondering – I have a 3TB hard drive that sort of “popped” earlier and now my iMac won’t read it… managed to get it to open on the computer, but all the files have gone, yet the file names are still there… Is this a common thing you may be able to fix/get back?”

Photo of a popped or 'blown' circuit boardA popping noise is a clear indication that the circuit board on the hard drive has blown. This is usually caused by a power spike from the computer’s power supply or a defective component on the hard drive. To repair the hard drive, it’s not a case of just swapping the controller board with one from an identical drive. Modern hard drive controller boards contain a chip that holds the drive’s “adaptive data” – mapping data that is identical to each drive. Sometimes the popping can damage this chip also.

If the data on your hard drive is of no value, the easiest thing to do is to go and buy another hard drive. However if the data on your hard drive needs to be retrieved, don’t take it to a friend or a computer shop because they won’t have a clue about how to handle the adaptive data issue. Also don’t try to fix the problem and this is the job for a proper data recovery specialist who know what they are doing. We have used the recovery services of Data Recovery Tips for several months now and can recommend them to retrieve data from hard drives.

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Recover Data Help

Lately the Risc team of IT specialists have been busy helping the people of Liverpool with their broken hard drives and requests to retrieve their data. When we haven’t been able to fix the faults in house we’ve used the data recovery services of Datlabs a UK hard drive expert company.

Here are some of the enquiries:

  1. I have an external hard disk that is not doing any strange noise but it does not open. I tryed to recover the files using the Get Data Back programme and they were “recover” but not correctly and are not opening. Can you please tell me If you can recover this files and how much would cost?
  2. data recovery from hard driveI have a Samsung M3 USB3 external drive with a broken socket due to forced entry of wrong plug. Is it possible to get this working again? If so how much will it cost? Model: HX-M101TCB/G
  3. 240gb laptop HDD not spinning up, just clicking. Tried in external enclosure but still the same issue.
  4. Im looking for parts to fix my drive. Wonder if you could help! Model: WD20NMVW – 11AV354 S/N: WX61A63P9780 DCM: HBMTJHKB
  5. Hello, my USB hard drive was formatted and wiped of all files some personal and some business. i need to recover image, audio and video files, i have tried software recovery myself however i have repeatedly ran into problems (my girlfriend unplugged it without thinking twice) as it has been a lengthy procedure i was hoping to get professional help rather than hope to be third time lucky. would this be a problem you could help with?
  6. Seagate 3 Tb external HDD. Connected Seagate to incorrect power supply. Will not connect to PC, no light or noise from the drive. No burning or smell evident. Control Board looks ok (no burnt bits).
  7. 32gb SSD suddenly shows up as no media. Need to know the price for recovery.

The Risc team recovered 5 of these jobs and used the services of Datlabs to access the hard drives of the jobs we couldn’t. All in all, a good performance, with all the data from all enquiries retrieved.

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D-Link NAS Data Recovery

D-Link (or D’Link) make a few different types of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices, including the ShareCentre and ShareCentre Pro. Most popular in the D-Link ShareCentre range are the 2 and 4 bay NAS systems – the 2 bay systems use RAID 0 and RAID 1 data storage configurations, whilst the 4 bay D-Link NAS drives will often use RAID 5. The larger D-Link ShareCentre Pro systems are rack servers typically all running RAID 5, aimed at businesses. All D-Link servers are prone to the usual hard disk faults that require a data recovery service to retrieve the data. Manchester’s Data Clinic is the best company we’ve found for D-link data recovery (their main NAS recovery page is here). D-Link NAS hard drives are modern devices can house many Terabytes of data, which is great while they are working normally. Unfortunately, as you may know there are many ways data can be lost from a NAS device, all storage devices are very temperamental, requiring particular care and attention when faulty.

D-link serverCommon D-Link Data Loss Scenarios

  • Clicking / beeping / buzzing hard drives inside the NAS, that can no longer be accessed.
  • The NAS starts to run very slowly – file access takes a long time.
  • Connecting to the NAS is no longer possible.

Data Clinic’s D-Link NAS Data Recovery Services

With a D-Link NAS hard drives it’s imperative to have them repaired correctly when they go wrong. Placing a D-Link NAS in the hands of an unskilled person who ‘knows about IT stuff’ is to be avoided as D-Link NAS repair and data recovery is a highly skilled task. This means avoiding high street PC shops and colleagues who do not have sufficient knowledge or skills of the inner workings of D-Link NAS hard disk equipment. Doing the wrong thing will often lead to irreversible data loss.
Common D-Link NAS Models

For the 2 bay range (DNS-325 Model), it’s possible to store up to 2 TB data. This device includes a USB port and a single gigabit Ethernet connector. You can also implement a RAID 0, RAID 1, Basic RAID or JBOD.

The Pro 5-Bay version is a file sharing beast with 5 full 3.5” available hard drive bays and 2 gigabit Ethernet ports, this device offers great read and write speeds.

The DNS-345 (4 bays) supports a lot of RAID configurations, including RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 and RAID 5 with a hot spares. These devices have their own backup utilities, but they aren’t always the best. We have worked with many of the available devices from D-Link and with good experience and knowledge of them, we are able to offer a very good chance of getting your data back (depending on the fault and its severity).

There are also servers that we are confident at working on, including the 12 and 15 bay RackMount servers and iSCSI SANs.

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Donor Parts for Samsung Hard Drive

In this post we look at restoring the information from a Samsung hard drive and locating a spare hard drive for a broken Seagate HDD that needs spare parts in order to repair the drive and rescue the data from it.

Samsung Drive Recovery

A 2Tb Samsung portable drive is spinning up (LED light is turning on) but is no longer being recognised by any computer. The drive did not suffer any obvious direct damage. I have attempted using a different USB cable and re-seating the drive with no success. Most of the data on the drive has been backed up, but some (e.g. original RAW files) is unique to this drive. I am located in Reading and wonder if you could point me in the direction of a data recovery company?

Samsung hard drive’s a very common and there are a lot of spare parts and fixes available for people who need to recover the data from them. In Reading you’ll find Datlabs – they are based in Forbury Square – see their web page here: http://www.datlabsdatarecovery.co.uk/data-recovery-reading. Give them a call on 0871 977 2999 and ask them to help you.

Looking for Donor Parts

A large part of data recovery is the sourcing and using of ‘donor’ hard drives, the parts from which are used to replace parts in other drives that have become faulty. Specialist companies that sell hard drive donors are Data Clinic and Donordrives. Just Google them if you want more information.

I am looking for a Seagate Desktop HDD 4000GB to use as a donor drive.
The ST number on my drive is ST4000DM001 and the date is: 15304. The PN is: 1FK17N-568 and the SN is W4J0DE01. It is an external hard drive with damaged heads.

Any type of head problem on a drive will require the data recovery company to use and clean room when performing the head change. Work like this is very involved and should only be attempted by skilled data recovery people.

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Macbook Pro Data Recovery

Apple Macbook ProI have a 2011 Apple MacBook Pro (model no. A1286)
For a few months the base of the laptop had been overheating. Then the fan started to make loud whirring noises. Last week when I switched on the laptop all I received was the Apple chime noise and a blank white screen.
I made an appointment at an Apple store Genius Bar where they told me that both the logic board and hard drive are damaged. They can replace these components but are unable to retrieve the data from the damaged hard drive and have advised me to contact data retrieval specialists with regards to this.
I wonder if there is any chance that that data can be retrieved and how much is it likely to cost?

With these questions I initiated an internet search. For those of you who have never searched for anything like this before, I can tell you that there is a lot of information out there. Some sites I visited were rubbish but there were some gems in the search results. One the best was the Johnny Foreigner blog at http://johnnyforeigner.jimdo.com/ which taught me what I need to know about recovery of data from MacBooks. I must also give an honourable mention to http://thursdaynightblues.com/ web site which accurately and understandably explained to me what data recovery actually is and how it worked.

I’ve recently built up rather a mistrust of the information given at the Genius Bars. I think Apple used to try and make sure the staff who were part of these bars at least received some training in troubleshooting Mac problems, now it just seems these are populated by spotty kids fresh out of high school who know practically nothing about fixing Macs – I wouldn’t trust anything they said about data recovery.

A few enquiries to UK data recovery companies Recover Deleted Data (http://www.recover-deleted-data.co.uk/) and Computer Science Labs (http://computersciencelabs.com/) gave me a cost of between £350 and £600 for a Macbook Pro data recovery service. But don’t take my work for it, shop around and see what prices you come up with.

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External Hard Drive Stopped Working

Here’s a question we received about and old hard drive that recently died.

Dead hard drive“My old (~10 years old) external hard drive stopped working recently. I have tried to open it and connect the hard disk direclty to my computer but it did not work. My hard disk didn’t even start spinning.
Could you please tell me how long and how much it would take to recover the data that are on it?
Here are the details of my hard drive, I am in Coventry:

  • Iomega UltraMax Desktop Hard Disk Drive
  • 500GB Capacity
  • Interface: FireWire 400 (1394a) • USB 2.0
  • 7200 rpm Spindle Speed
  • 8MB data buffer”

Actually the Iomega Ultramax is an external hard drive, rather than a desktop type hard drive. To attempt to remove confusion, ‘desktop’ hard drives are the devices that you find inside desktop computers – you don’t see them as they are inside the computer case. ‘External’ hard drives are those that are external to the computer and are usually connected to it by either a USB or Firewire cable. They are also called ‘portable’ or ‘usb’ or ‘firewire’ hard drives. So even though these external devices frequently sit on a desktop, they are not referred to as desktop drives. A good example of one of these drives is the Western Digital series of My Passport disks.

From the problems you describe above it actually doesn’t sound too bad a fault, and should be easily rectifiable. The key part of your description is where you explain that the hard disk didn’t even start spinning when it was directly connected to a computer. Although it may sound a minor point, it enables me to identify the you’ve most probably got a problem with the electronics on the hard drive, rather than the mechanics, firmware or data. Once a solution is found, the data should be fully retrievable. The best advice would be for you to contact an external hard drive recovery company who should be able to sort the problem out and retrieve the data from the hard drive for you.

Electrical problems on hard drives usually revolve around the circuit board. Although robust, these are easily damaged by power fluctuations and spikes which can destroy a controller board. Fitting a new controller board to the hard drive is often the first thing most of us think about doing, but this will not work as some of the components on the original controller board contain unique ‘adaptive data’ about the hard drive and also need to transplanted onto the new controller board before the hard drive will start to work properly again.

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