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Recommend data recovery company?



 
 
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  #31  
Old April 23rd 18, 08:17 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
No_Name
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Posts: 30
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:44:35 +1000, Peter Jason wrote:

On Sat, 21 Apr 2018 00:09:33 -0400, B00ze wrote:

Good day.

Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO problems in
SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it can't read
anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's wrong. Hard drive
"clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk) then quits trying. Have
another of the same model, but hesitant moving the platters myself;
apparently platters are not really "stuck" together and I could
mis-align them (rotate them in relation to each other) rendering the
whole thing un-readable. Was planning to move the data off but kept
delaying since it showed no sign of problems...

Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience with one
and can recommend?

I'm also curious about how they recover drives if not by using another
of the same model (where they hell how they going to find one as old as
mine, and can they really keep one of each model of ALL drives?) If you
can enlighten me on that too, would be great.

Thank you.
Best Regards,



I had such a damaged HDD a long time ago.

It was the attached HDD control card that was faulty.

I found another identical HDD and swapped over the control card using
a small star-screw driver.

This worked.

This might be the cheapest way out.


I had a drive that did spin but somehow the data got lost. Something
about the boot record. I could access some, but not all of tha data. I
plugged the drive into an IDE to USB adaptor. Booted up a different
computer using a Puppy Linux Flash drive. Then plugged that IDE hard
drive into the USB port. I was able to access a lot more of the data,
which I quickly copied to a 64gb flash drive (the Bad drive was only
40gb).

Aside from buying one of them IDE to USB adapters (under $10 on ebay),
you can download Puppy Linux for free. Thnn just have e small falsh
drive to make your Puppy boot and another flash drive big enough to copy
your data to.

Note: The bad drive was from a Windows 98 computer and had Fat32 format.
The computer I used to do the linux boot and transfer was a much newer
one, which would boot XP, Viata or Windows 7. (whether that matters).


Ads
  #32  
Old April 23rd 18, 12:03 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
nospam
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Posts: 1,875
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In article
5n4tY76H10y83Lr618DRo,
Diesel wrote:

Hard drive
"clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk) then quits trying.
Have another of the same model, but hesitant moving the platters
myself; apparently platters are not really "stuck" together and I
could mis-align them (rotate them in relation to each other)
rendering the whole thing un-readable.


swapping controllers (which is what i assume you mean by moving
platters) won't make a difference and risks making things worse.


First hand experience tells me otherwise. Swapping the controllers if
they're identical and the controller is at fault can result in
regaining access to his data. I wouldn't perform any writes on a
drive using a 'borrowed' controller, but I'd certainly take full
advantage if it regains access to the drive and copy data over.


swapping a controller isn't going to fix a clicking sound. that's a
mechanical issue internal to the drive.

the chances of a home remedy working are very low, and with a
significant risk of making it worse.

Taking the drive apart physically to gain access to the platters
though would be a very bad idea and will almost certainly result in
further damaging the drive.


incredibly stupid.

It's pretty clear by his descriptive theory that he was thinking of
physically opening the drive and moving things around. Not swapping
out the controller.


it may have sounded that way, but it's hard to believe anyone would be
foolish enough to even consider physically opening a hard drive
mechanism outside of a clean room, let alone actually try it.

unless of course, the goal was to destroy the platters or use them for
clocks or something, and/or repurpose the magnets, but that's not the
case here.

Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience
with one and can recommend?


without question, drive savers:
https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com

they aren't cheap (none of the good ones are), but if for some
reason they can't recover the drive (possible, but highly
unlikely), you don't pay anything.


Your actual experience with the company is?


extensive. i've known about the company for more than 20 years, i've
met several of their techs at trade shows over the years and talked
with them at length* and i also know several people who have had the
unfortunate need to use their services. recovery was 100% (and $$$).

backups are *much* cheaper and also much faster to restore. turnaround
time can be as short as a minute or so.

* it was quite interesting to learn how they can handle recovery from
multiple drives in a raid array as well as from ssds, skipping the ssd
controller entirely.
  #33  
Old April 28th 18, 04:46 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-23 07:03, nospam wrote:

In article
5n4tY76H10y83Lr618DRo,
Diesel wrote:

Hard drive
"clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk) then quits trying.
Have another of the same model, but hesitant moving the platters
myself; apparently platters are not really "stuck" together and I
could mis-align them (rotate them in relation to each other)
rendering the whole thing un-readable.

swapping controllers (which is what i assume you mean by moving
platters) won't make a difference and risks making things worse.


I don't think it's a controller issue, but I could try that first. It's
the exact same model, it won't make things worse.

First hand experience tells me otherwise. Swapping the controllers if
they're identical and the controller is at fault can result in
regaining access to his data. I wouldn't perform any writes on a
drive using a 'borrowed' controller, but I'd certainly take full
advantage if it regains access to the drive and copy data over.


swapping a controller isn't going to fix a clicking sound. that's a
mechanical issue internal to the drive.


Clicking means the drive is moving the heads the full width of the
platters in an attempt to find what it needs to start reading (embbeded
servo information I presume). It could be the controller board, I don't
know, but I do think this is the first thing I should try if I do this
myself...

the chances of a home remedy working are very low, and with a
significant risk of making it worse.

Taking the drive apart physically to gain access to the platters
though would be a very bad idea and will almost certainly result in
further damaging the drive.


incredibly stupid.


First of all, this is a 15 year old drive, things were bigger then
(bigger heads, bigger area for each bit on the platter, etc.) so it is
not as fragile as more recent drives (still pretty fragile however.) I
have opened and played around inside hard drives before, and did not
loose the drive. A clean room is nice, but not necessary if all I want
to do is read whatever I can ONCE from the drive.

Here's a little video that will help you see how easy it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZx-tU1_gOw

It's pretty clear by his descriptive theory that he was thinking of
physically opening the drive and moving things around. Not swapping
out the controller.


Indeed.

it may have sounded that way, but it's hard to believe anyone would be
foolish enough to even consider physically opening a hard drive
mechanism outside of a clean room, let alone actually try it.


Done it before, no issues.

unless of course, the goal was to destroy the platters or use them for
clocks or something, and/or repurpose the magnets, but that's not the
case here.

Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience
with one and can recommend?

without question, drive savers:
https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com


Thanks, will see if perhaps they have an outlet in Canada...

they aren't cheap (none of the good ones are), but if for some
reason they can't recover the drive (possible, but highly
unlikely), you don't pay anything.


Yeah, I don't really care for that - i.e. If we break it beyond repair
you won't pay anything is not an important consideration as far as I'm
concerned, since they will have rendered the thing unrecoverable.

Your actual experience with the company is?


extensive. i've known about the company for more than 20 years, i've
met several of their techs at trade shows over the years and talked
with them at length* and i also know several people who have had the
unfortunate need to use their services. recovery was 100% (and $$$).

backups are *much* cheaper and also much faster to restore. turnaround
time can be as short as a minute or so.

* it was quite interesting to learn how they can handle recovery from
multiple drives in a raid array as well as from ssds, skipping the ssd
controller entirely.


I'm skeptic about this, but feel free not to doubt, you're the one who
heard them explain. I need more data.

Best Regards,

--
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  #34  
Old April 28th 18, 05:08 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-21 02:40, Paul wrote:

The big-name companies are listed here.
https://support.wdc.com/warranty/dat...ericas&lang=en


Thanks, I will look into those "official" recovery centres.

And you can find sites with chit-chat about recovery.
https://www.data-medics.com/forum/wd...re58-t746.html


Interesting, he's accessing the drive RAM and fiddling with reading only
from 1 head at a time etc. The things you can do :-)

And there is gear people hint at, but don't describe in detail.
I even found a site in India, selling things like "head stack
holders" for when you change out a head stack. If you want to
get into the business, there's always someone selling the
bits and pieces needed.


Yeah, I know there are things like head "spreaders" etc making it easier
to rebuild drives, but of course I don't have any of that here ;-)

http://www.acelaboratory.com/pc3000.udma.php

One interesting tidbit, is there is a three wire TTL level
serial port on the controller board. Which accepts a cryptic
language of some sort (parameter list, comma separated), There
is at least one web page, which describes temporarily
interrupting some electrical connections on a drive,
issuing a couple commands into that serial port, and actually
recovering a drive where the firmware has damaged a data
structure stored in the Service Area. That was the first hint
I got, that a hard drive has an interface like some home
routers do. And it's not a port that responds to "help" either :-)


Lol, yeah I'm not going there. Either I fix it physically or I have it
recovered; not learning hard drive controller language.

An industry practice seems to be "no charge unless I
recover your data". You'd probably have to pay for shipping
in cases where you want the carcass back, if they fail
at the task.


Yeah but like I said to the other dude, that doesn't impress me as much
as people telling me they are a good experience with so and so. All it
means is: if I break it, so that you can not EVER recover from it, then
I won't charge you. It is better than nothing, it is an incentive to the
vendor to recover, but it doesn't make me all warm and fuzzy inside as
much as you'd think.

I've never used data recovery myself, so have not gone through
the selection process of picking a repair/recovery facility. My
phone book has three entries, claiming to be local service, but
my guess is they just mail your drive to a larger facility somewhere.
The listing for Florida, had maybe 30-40 providers. That's a lot
of basements, with glove boxes in them...


I got a few in my city here, but don't know how reputable they are which
is why I asked around here.

They should really be using a Class 100 or Class 10 Clean Room or
Air Curtain for this work. But there are also glove boxes with
HEPA air supplies, for doing the work. I think you could only get
away with sloppy cleanliness, on the old drives (the ones with
10u flying height).


If I do it myself dusty air is going to have to do. It is quite an old
drive, I think it could survive colliding with a few particles, all I
need is to read it once...

And I think it'll be interesting, when someone asks this question,
and he has a Helium drive. Who can handle one of those ? That
will take a rocket scientist, as the HDA has a seal to keep the
Helium in. What a mess that's going to be. Do they use a can
opener on those ? :-) Conventional air-filled drives with breather
holes, are a lot easier to open up (the breather hole has a HEPA
filter underneath the cover). There is no "vacuum" inside
a hard drive, as the heads actually "fly" on a cushion of
some gas, whether it's 1 ATM air, or it's helium.


Well the helium is to make sure it's easier to spin the platters and the
temp doesn't go up. Maybe they can just run the drive in an
appropriately cold room, provided the rotor can take the extra drag...

Regards,

--
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  #35  
Old April 28th 18, 05:11 AM posted to alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-21 07:15, Zaidy036 wrote:

One last effort?
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.


I "recovered" a 1TB USB drive that would no longer spin-up that way last
week, suspect a controller-board power-delivery issue, which apparently
the cold temperature helped, because it had done this before and once it
managed to spin-up it was good for months. But I'm not sure it would be
enough for a drive that can't read anymore.

Regards,

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  #36  
Old April 28th 18, 05:22 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-21 00:47, nospam wrote:

In article , B00ze
wrote:

Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO problems in
SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it can't read
anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's wrong.


what specifically is smart showing? do you have more than a pass/fail?


Calibrate and Read, they're both like 1 or 2 (out of 100 or 199 or
whatever) - it can't read, spinning-up is fine. The drive shows-up in
Windows, so the interface to the computer works fine, but since it can't
read, Windows keeps freezing-up. It's still running in that old
computer, I just disabled it in the BIOS for now.

Regards,

--
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  #37  
Old April 28th 18, 05:48 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

Hi Vanguard.

On 2018-04-21 10:26, VanguardLH wrote:

B00ze wrote:

Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO problems in
SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it can't read
anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's wrong. Hard drive
"clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk) then quits trying. Have
another of the same model, but hesitant moving the platters myself;
apparently platters are not really "stuck" together and I could
mis-align them (rotate them in relation to each other) rendering the
whole thing un-readable. Was planning to move the data off but kept
delaying since it showed no sign of problems...

Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience with one
and can recommend?


How much are you willing to spend? Could be a few hundred dollars or a
couple thousand depending on whether advanced (expensive) software could
be used or they have to disassemble the drive in a clean room and use
special equipment to read the magnetic dipoles from the platters.


Max I'm paying is $500 Canadian. If they try to charge me $1500-$2000,
I'm doing it myself.

When my aunt found out it would cost $1500 to recover old data files
from her defective HDD, she decided that old data wasn't really worth
that much. Also, it is highly unlikely that they can recover 100% of
the data from the platters. With luck being against you, likely the
majority of the files you want to recover will be unrecoverable.


It's not damaged because I had a fire or because the heads crashed into
the platters and left nice circular traces into it. I suspect something
like one of the heads just doesn't work anymore, nothing more than that.
Recovery should be fairly simple. It was working fine on 100% of its
surface in the morning, couldn't calibrate when I came home from work. I
think it's just age - something failed, and it's not the spindle motor,
and I don't think it's the actuator/voice-coil that drives the heads,
since they still move back and forth.

nospam mentioned DriveSavers. They seem to be about what was estimated
to rescue data from my aunt's HDD and the company name sounds familiar.


Yeah, we'll see; that dude in your link paid them $1900, no way I'm
paying that. I have an exact same drive/model they can use for parts, if
they can't be reasonable I'm not playing.

https://www.geek.com/chips/drivesave...-drive-574764/


"Pricing is determined by the drive capacity, complexity and
completeness of the data recovery. The cost for recovering data from a
drive with severe media damage, like mine, is about $1900. An average
single drive data recovery costs about $1500."

https://acsdata.com/drivesavers-data-recovery/

That has ACS extolling DriveSavers, a competitor.


ACS has an interesting video of how to move platters from one drive to
another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZx-tU1_gOw

Considering the how expensive it is to use physical recovery services, I
find regular scheduled backups (which eliminates user intervention since
humans are unreliable in saving backups at critical moments in change of
state to their drives) to other internal media (for fast restores) and a
2nd copy of offline media to be far cheaper and the shortest time to
recover.


Yeah, I'm more careful now (duplication and SnapRAID) but that computer
with the failed drive was old, and I kept reporting copying the files
over the network (slow) to later. Shoulda taken the time to do it lol.

Can you find a seller of the same type (IDE) of drive at the same
capacity (or a minimum size that would encompass the data files you
think are on the failed drive)? The rescue service provider might get
some of the data files off the failed drive but they may not be able to
put them back on the same type and size of drive you had. How accurate
is your measure of 15 years old for the failed drive? Up until
somewhere to the 80's, MFM was used. That got replaced by RLL by the
early 90's. Then came PATA and SATA (and some others). Since you
mentioned IDE, yours is using PATA which was called ATA or [E]IDE before
SATA came out.


It's not so old as to use MFM or RLL; it probably uses PRML. It's a PATA
drive, it does PATA-100 if I recall, interface-side - i.e. it uses the
80-wires cables. I don't really need another drive, once I have the data
the old computer goes to recycling. I'm keeping the computer now in case
I want to do recovery myself and need it to read back the drive.

Regards,

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  #38  
Old April 28th 18, 05:57 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-22 02:52, David Samuel Barr wrote:

I can recommend https://sherlockdatarecovery.com/
which last year recovered data for me from an
11-year-old WD drive which, right after producing
a clean SMART report, suddenly became completely
unreadable.


Thanks David. Do you recall how much you had to pay?

Thank you.
Best Regards,

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  #39  
Old April 28th 18, 06:13 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-22 05:39, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

On 4/21/2018 12:09 AM, B00ze wrote:
Good day.
Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO problems
in SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it can't read
anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's wrong. Hard drive
"clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk) then quits trying. Have
another of the same model, but hesitant moving the platters myself;
apparently platters are not really "stuck" together and I could
mis-align them (rotate them in relation to each other) rendering the
whole thing un-readable. Was planning to move the data off but kept


Rather than move the platters, why not move the controller (from the
good drive to the dud), if you think that's what's faulty? Doing that
might also be possible without breaking the seal on the housings.


Yeah, I will try that first if I decide the recovery labs practice
extortion.

You can hear head movement, but can you hear platter rotation? They
might perhaps just be stuck. (I had that, but in my case one at least of
the heads had stuck to the platter - I think; after all the recommended
things [freezing, shaking in various ways, ...] I finally bit the bullet
and opened up the drive in a clean cabinet at work: I could see the
heads weren't in the park position. When I attempted to turn the pack
[the spindle took the same Torx driver as the screws holding the case
shut - don't know if that's always the case], I felt something unstick,
and the heads then were free. Fortunately, after putting it all back
together, I was able to recover 95% or more of the data, so it must have
only been a tiny spot-weld somewhere. [I considered the drive junk after
that.] Obviously not stuck heads in your case if you can hear them
moving, but the platters might be stuck rotation-wise? Just a guess.)


It spins fine, no SMART issues there, but it can't read.

I'm also curious about how they recover drives if not by using
another of the same model (where they hell how they going to find
one as old as mine, and can they really keep one of each model of
ALL drives?) If you can enlighten me on that too, would be great.
Thank you.
Best Regards,


I would imagine there are "families" of drives, so they can use common
controllers - possibly using a master, versatile, controller. (I also
suspect that a _lot_ of the companies do little more than we do, other
than perhaps having "clean" facilities so they can open up to see if
faults like I had are the problem.)


Yeah, I read in a link someone posted in this thread, all they need is a
drive in the same family, not necessarily the exact same model. But will
they have such an old drive family around? I DO have another drive
anyway, they could use that. As far as what they do, they can do more
than we can (like Paul posted, they can address the drive via a serial
interface) but I don't think they have a programmable "master" drive
that can read any platter, any sector size, any track size, etc.

Regards,

--
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! (o o) Memberavid-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
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  #40  
Old April 28th 18, 07:16 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-22 08:35, VanguardLH wrote:

J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

Rather than move the platters, why not move the controller (from the
good drive to the dud), if you think that's what's faulty? Doing that
might also be possible without breaking the seal on the housings.


The problem with swapping PCBs (assuming you can find a replacement that
matches the old one) is the calibration and low-level bad-sector mapping
recorded by the factory during manufacture and testing won't match from
the replacement PCB to what is on the failed drive's PCB. Sectors
marked and masked out by the replacement drive's minicontroller will
prevent access to sectors for files you want to recover on the failed
drive, and you would end up trying to use the bad sectors no longer
mapped out to the minicontroller on the failed drive.

https://www.hddzone.com/fix_hard_drive_pcb_board.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn2eL4o-6Eo
Timemark 5:40 - Swap doesn't work.
Timemark 7:12 - Gotta swap the ROM chip.


Nice info, didn't know about the calibration! Thanks!

You'll end up having to move the ROM chip, if still usabled, from the
failed drive's PCB to the identical replacement PCB. Easier and more
likely to succeed by repairing the failed drive's PCB, like replacing a
burnt TVS diode, than to replace the PCB and somehow transplant the
calibration and bad-sector tables to the replacement PCB.


The drive still spins and shows-up in Windows, so it's not a
power-delivery problem. I can swap the ROM chip, provided I am very very
patient with this (I don't have an air gun, so I'd be stuck with a
soldering iron.) If there was no possibility of a failed head then I'd
swap the boards right away...

Since the OP is asking about using a recovery lab on his failed drive, I
doubt he has the skills and gear to swap the ROM chip assuming he finds
a donor drive with EXACTLY the same PCB (same minicontroller, same
firmware) and even knows how to identify which is the ROM chip to move.


I have another drive of the same make and model, bought at the same
time. Identifying the chip might be a problem if there's a bunch of
similar chips on the board - the days where I could just look-up a chip
number in TTL books to see what it does are long gone.

There are lots of urban legends out there on swapping PCBs and magically
the replacement PCB on the failed drive suddenly works. The success
rate of a simple PCB swap is rare. Go to your nearest casino and you'll
have better odds of winning enough money to pay the recovery lab.


Well, I won't get nowhere if the problem is a failed head; then I'd have
to swap the head assembly and put the ROM chip back. It's all kinda
risky, those heads are very fragile, which is why I'm looking for a
cheap recovery place. But there's no way I'm paying $2000 just to get
old game ISOs and old documents - that drive has been in my old computer
for like 5 years with me not reading a single file from it (I used it as
a download slave, i.e. I downloaded on it and immediately copied the
stuff onto a USB drive. The data that was already there, I haven't
really touched in a long time.)

Best Regards,

--
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  #41  
Old April 28th 18, 07:23 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
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Posts: 446
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-22 21:14, Diesel wrote:

B00ze news Apr 2018 04:09:33 GMT in alt.windows7.general, wrote:

Good day.

Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO
problems in SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it
can't read anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's
wrong. Hard drive "clicks" (heads go back and forth full disk)
then quits trying. Have another of the same model, but hesitant
moving the platters myself; apparently platters are not really
"stuck" together and I could mis-align them (rotate them in
relation to each other) rendering the whole thing un-readable. Was
planning to move the data off but kept delaying since it showed no
sign of problems...


Hmm. If you have two identical drives, you can try temporarily swapping
the logic board. Sometimes, the board itself is the culprit and your
drives internals are actually okay; along with your data.


Yeah, if all I find are $2000 repair shops then that's what I'll do. Thanks,

--
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  #42  
Old April 28th 18, 10:40 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
J. P. Gilliver (John)[_4_]
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Posts: 1,886
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In message , B00ze
writes:
On 2018-04-22 08:35, VanguardLH wrote:

J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

Rather than move the platters, why not move the controller (from the
good drive to the dud), if you think that's what's faulty? Doing that
might also be possible without breaking the seal on the housings.


The problem with swapping PCBs (assuming you can find a replacement that
matches the old one) is the calibration and low-level bad-sector mapping
recorded by the factory during manufacture and testing won't match from
the replacement PCB to what is on the failed drive's PCB. Sectors
marked and masked out by the replacement drive's minicontroller will
prevent access to sectors for files you want to recover on the failed
drive, and you would end up trying to use the bad sectors no longer
mapped out to the minicontroller on the failed drive.

https://www.hddzone.com/fix_hard_drive_pcb_board.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn2eL4o-6Eo
Timemark 5:40 - Swap doesn't work.
Timemark 7:12 - Gotta swap the ROM chip.


Nice info, didn't know about the calibration! Thanks!

You'll end up having to move the ROM chip, if still usabled, from the
failed drive's PCB to the identical replacement PCB. Easier and more
likely to succeed by repairing the failed drive's PCB, like replacing a
burnt TVS diode, than to replace the PCB and somehow transplant the
calibration and bad-sector tables to the replacement PCB.


The drive still spins and shows-up in Windows, so it's not a
power-delivery problem. I can swap the ROM chip, provided I am very
very patient with this (I don't have an air gun, so I'd be stuck with a
soldering iron.) If there was no possibility of a failed head then I'd
swap the boards right away...


I'd say it's probably worth - if you're considering this route - getting
the hot-air gun. My last 6 months' employment (with a company which
repaired car electronics; I was mostly on dashboards [the bit behind the
dials - it's a lot of the computing in modern cars]) involved a lot of
replacement of surface-mount devices; the devices (packages) themselves
are surprisingly robust, it's the tracks - and especially pads - on the
board that tend to lift. Especially where it's a pad connected to a
track that only goes under the device.

Since the OP is asking about using a recovery lab on his failed drive, I
doubt he has the skills and gear to swap the ROM chip assuming he finds
a donor drive with EXACTLY the same PCB (same minicontroller, same
firmware) and even knows how to identify which is the ROM chip to move.


I have another drive of the same make and model, bought at the same
time. Identifying the chip might be a problem if there's a bunch of
similar chips on the board - the days where I could just look-up a chip
number in TTL books to see what it does are long gone.


Yes, even reading the part number may require optical aid - and it's
highly likely to be a proprietary one anyway, though if you ask (e. g.
here) there's likely to be someone who recognises part of the number.
[]
Well, I won't get nowhere if the problem is a failed head; then I'd


I wonder if a failed head could fail in such a way that it damages the
electronics to which it connects. I suspect open-circuit is more likely
than a short, but I don't actually know what the head technology _is_
these days (my mind still visualises some sort of coil - while the
technology still involves magnetism, it can't be _too_ far from that).

have to swap the head assembly and put the ROM chip back. It's all
kinda risky, those heads are very fragile, which is why I'm looking for
a cheap recovery place. But there's no way I'm paying $2000 just to get
old game ISOs and old documents - that drive has been in my old


Is that what's there? For game ISOs, presumably you could find copies of
the game CDs on ebay? The documents obviously not.

computer for like 5 years with me not reading a single file from it (I
used it as a download slave, i.e. I downloaded on it and immediately
copied the stuff onto a USB drive. The data that was already there, I
haven't really touched in a long time.)

Best Regards,

If you hadn't accessed it for 5 years, do you actually need it anyway? I
can see myself still wanting to access it for completeness (and
crossness with myself for not having backed it up), but ...
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

I'd rather trust the guys in the lab coats who aren't demanding that I get up
early on Sundays to apologize for being human.
-- Captain Splendid (quoted by "The Real Bev" in mozilla.general, 2014-11-16)
  #43  
Old April 28th 18, 02:33 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
nospam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,875
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In article , B00ze
wrote:

Got a 15 years old WD IDE hard drive, that was showing ZERO problems in
SMART data, suddenly can no longer calibrate (i.e. it can't read
anymore.) NOW the SMART data is showing something's wrong.


what specifically is smart showing? do you have more than a pass/fail?


Calibrate and Read, they're both like 1 or 2 (out of 100 or 199 or
whatever) - it can't read, spinning-up is fine. The drive shows-up in
Windows, so the interface to the computer works fine, but since it can't
read, Windows keeps freezing-up. It's still running in that old
computer, I just disabled it in the BIOS for now.


try it on a non-windows system.

if you don't have a non-windows system available, try spinrite:
https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm
  #44  
Old April 28th 18, 02:33 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
nospam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,875
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In article , B00ze
wrote:

Taking the drive apart physically to gain access to the platters
though would be a very bad idea and will almost certainly result in
further damaging the drive.


incredibly stupid.


First of all, this is a 15 year old drive, things were bigger then
(bigger heads, bigger area for each bit on the platter, etc.) so it is
not as fragile as more recent drives (still pretty fragile however.) I
have opened and played around inside hard drives before, and did not
loose the drive. A clean room is nice, but not necessary if all I want
to do is read whatever I can ONCE from the drive.


a clean room is necessary, but it's the only copy of your data and if
you want to risk it, go right ahead.
  #45  
Old April 28th 18, 07:18 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
VanguardLH[_2_]
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Posts: 9,511
Default Recommend data recovery company?

J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

I'd say it's probably worth - if you're considering this route - getting
the hot-air gun. My last 6 months' employment (with a company which
repaired car electronics; I was mostly on dashboards [the bit behind the
dials - it's a lot of the computing in modern cars]) involved a lot of
replacement of surface-mount devices; the devices (packages) themselves
are surprisingly robust, it's the tracks - and especially pads - on the
board that tend to lift. Especially where it's a pad connected to a
track that only goes under the device.


A hot air gun is part of my electronics toolbox. That I don't use it
often doesn't mean it has no value. I've found it handy for shrinking
heat-shrink tubing (rather than wrapping a wire splice with tape),
helped loosen siezed or rusted bolts, bend plastic without breaking it,
and many other uses. Like a hot-glue gun, a heat gun has lots of uses.

A soldering iron would need a super fine tip to solder the ROM chip so
it touched only one pin (and prevent solder bridges between pins). You
could only unsolder one pin at a time which means having to wick the
solder from other other pins but that probably will still have them
slightly soldered the pad. The heatgun lets you melt the solder on all
pins so you can lift off. Likely you won't have to apply more solder
when you heat the solder left on the pads to put on the new chip. Using
a soldering gun with microtip, solder sucker, and solder wick will be
exponentially more difficult than using a heatgun (about $25). It
becomes part of your tool collection. Guys love tools. Girls love
shoes. We both like to collect.

A got a Kill-a-watt meter just to determine if a fridge would work on
the same circuit as other electrics (I was surprised at how little
current the fridge draws). I've then used it on my computer and other
electrics. Sometimes you get a specialty tool and it never gets used
again (so check if you can rent it). Some tools you know will have
future potential use.

Yes, even reading the part number may require optical aid - and it's
highly likely to be a proprietary one anyway, though if you ask (e. g.
here) there's likely to be someone who recognises part of the number.


If the part number can be read. Seems chip manufacturers deliberately
use the palest white ink that makes in impossible to read.

I wonder if a failed head could fail in such a way that it damages the
electronics to which it connects.


Yep. A worn spindle bearing can burn out a diode or regulator because
of the continual higher current load to the motor. I had a PCB where a
tiny diode not only failed but must've exploded because only 1 end of it
was left wave-soldered to a minipad. Took me a while to realize what I
was looking for was not there.

Nowadays (well, for quite a while now) I do image backups (full,
differentials, incrementals) to internal storage and copied to external
storage and off-site media so I don't have to bother doing computer
repairs. Just replace, restore, and move on.
 




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