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Recommend data recovery company?



 
 
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  #46  
Old April 28th 18, 07:56 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,669
Default Recommend data recovery company?

B00ze 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.


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


Considering their costs, $1500 is cheap. It's not cheap when it is a
one-time cost out of your personal pocket. You could probably replace
your car's exhaust pipes for a hell of a lot cheaper than going to a
muffler shop but then it is irrelevant that your labor, materials, and
gear is cheaper to you because you can't do the job and have to pay
someone else. Just like you, they want a reasonable salary, too, and
they are in business to stay in business.

There's the cost of the personell.
https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/d...RCH_KO0,22.htm

The highly specialized lab equipment is very expensive. There's the
cost to train them on the lab equipment (unless they manage to hire
someone away from a competitor with the exactly the same gear). There's
the cost to setup, run, and continually maintain a clean room even when
there's no work being done. There's also the salaries of all the other
employees.

The typical recovery time runs 2 to 5 days (16 to 40 hours) in trying to
recover as much data as possible off your failed drive. What do you
earn per hour? And it's not just a tech's salary but all the operating
costs of a company that get rolled into factoring the price of sales.
Also, while they may quote a price, they have to be exorbitant and vague
over the phone because they don't yet know how much time and resources
they will have to invest in recovering your data. Could be cheaper.
Could be more expensive.

If they had millions of customers like McDonalds then they could spread
their costs over all those customers. A hundred customers over which
all those much higher salaries and much more expensive operating costs
are spread will not be so blessed with the economy of volume sales. I
don't how many sales might be typical in a year for drive recovery
services; however, I strongly suspect it is a hell of alot less than the
75 burgers per *SECOND* that McDonalds sells while using simpleton
equipment with minimum-wage employees instead of the very pricey
specialized lab gear along with employees that make 4-5 times, or much
more, per hour than that of a McDonalds employee. You want someone with
the expertise of a McDonalds employee using their toolbox gear to
recover your data?


Ads
  #47  
Old April 28th 18, 08:21 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,669
Default Recommend data recovery company?

As an aside to your failed drive issue, perhaps you might want to
consider running drive health monitors on your other computers. I use
HDD Sentinel but there are other choices. Some drives include
Calibration Retry Count (attribute 0B hex or 11 decimal) in their SMART
data. It measures the number of retries to calibrate a drive which can
indicate problems with the motor, bearings, or power supply of the
drive. My Western Digital drive do but no my Seagate drive (and it's
not relevant to the SSD drive).

Apparently this attribute is not rated as critical to the health of the
disk. Usually the Current Pending [Reallocation] Sector Count (number
of unstable sectors waiting to get remapped and copied to reserve
sectors) is more critical in measuring a drive's health. In HDD
Sentinel, both attributes are enabled (included) to affect its measure
of a drive's health but I don't know the weighting they give to each.

Here's the list of SMART attributes that HDD Sentinel will monitor:
https://www.hdsentinel.com/smart/smartattr.php

SMART really isn't that smart. A drive with an A-rating regarding its
health could immediately fail. A drive with an F-rating could continue
running for years. SMART is just trying to report some behaviors of the
drive and extrapolate might they might indicate. SMART is failure
prediction, not proof of imminent failure. A SMART health monitor might
say "green" but the drive still fails. However, if the monitor says
"red" then it's time to do backups (which should be regularly scheduled
for other than just hardware failure), move data, or clone the drive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.#Accuracy
  #48  
Old April 30th 18, 07:02 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 472
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-28 05:40, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[snip]

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.


Yeah, Vanguard says the same thing lol. Guess I'll go get one if I
decide to try to swap PCBs. Still gotta examine the drive's PCB to see
if there is something that's obviously burnt. But I want to call some
places first, see how cheap a quote I can get, see if I can get them to
play nice - i.e. I provide both drives, you swap the heads and the PCB
and ship it back, so how cheap can you make it?

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.
[]


Yup, I'll need a magnifying glass (besides, nowadays I need one anyway
lol). Hopefully it's readable...

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).


Yeah, well, if the failed head has started magnetizing everywhere it
goes, then it's too late now ;-) If it's burnt something on the PCB,
then it will burn it right away again on the replacement PCB. I should
really replace both the head stack and the PCB (then I would not need to
mock around with the calibration chip.) But I've never done that before;
chances are high I can screw something up...

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.
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 ...


Yup, haven't touched the stuff in years. I can live without it, but it
has all my saved games (from games I'll never play again lol) and I
don't know what documents (coz I haven't used it in so long.) It's
mostly for completeness that I want it back.

Best Regards,

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain /
! (o o) Memberavid-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Gravity is a myth The earth sucks.

  #49  
Old April 30th 18, 07:20 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 472
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-28 14:56, VanguardLH wrote:

B00ze 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.


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


Considering their costs, $1500 is cheap. It's not cheap when it is a
one-time cost out of your personal pocket. You could probably replace
your car's exhaust pipes for a hell of a lot cheaper than going to a
muffler shop but then it is irrelevant that your labor, materials, and
gear is cheaper to you because you can't do the job and have to pay
someone else. Just like you, they want a reasonable salary, too, and
they are in business to stay in business.


Considering that swapping heads/PCB (or moving the platters to a new
drive) is a one hour job, $1500 is a crazy per-hour salary. And charging
more for bigger drives is nonsense - fixing physical damage takes the
same amount of time no matter how much data's on the drive. I need a
place that's flexible, where I can negotiate how much work gets done
before we call it quits. I don't want them spending 3 days trying to
rebuild a failed NTFS filesystem; I don't want to pay for that...

The highly specialized lab equipment is very expensive. There's the
cost to train them on the lab equipment (unless they manage to hire
someone away from a competitor with the exactly the same gear). There's
the cost to setup, run, and continually maintain a clean room even when
there's no work being done. There's also the salaries of all the other
employees.


I think $500 for a one hour job is quite reasonable despite the
expenses. If they can call me after that and tell me if it will take
more, then I'm good, I can stop it there...

The typical recovery time runs 2 to 5 days (16 to 40 hours) in trying to
recover as much data as possible off your failed drive. What do you
earn per hour? And it's not just a tech's salary but all the operating
costs of a company that get rolled into factoring the price of sales.
Also, while they may quote a price, they have to be exorbitant and vague
over the phone because they don't yet know how much time and resources
they will have to invest in recovering your data. Could be cheaper.
Could be more expensive.


That's why I'm not really interested in places that say it'll cost
"$2000 or nothing" if they cannot do it - I don't want them spending 40
hours on this, all I need is an engineer that's swapped parts between
drives before. If it takes more than that, I'll just chuck the drive in
the trash...

If they had millions of customers like McDonalds then they could spread
their costs over all those customers. A hundred customers over which
all those much higher salaries and much more expensive operating costs
are spread will not be so blessed with the economy of volume sales. I
don't how many sales might be typical in a year for drive recovery
services; however, I strongly suspect it is a hell of alot less than the
75 burgers per *SECOND* that McDonalds sells while using simpleton
equipment with minimum-wage employees instead of the very pricey
specialized lab gear along with employees that make 4-5 times, or much
more, per hour than that of a McDonalds employee. You want someone with
the expertise of a McDonalds employee using their toolbox gear to
recover your data?


Yeah, there is that fact that they don't do that many recoveries a year...

Regards,

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain /
! (o o) Memberavid-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.

  #50  
Old April 30th 18, 12:33 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
J. P. Gilliver (John)[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,032
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In message , B00ze
writes:
On 2018-04-28 05:40, 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

[]
Yeah, Vanguard says the same thing lol. Guess I'll go get one if I

[]
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).


Yeah, well, if the failed head has started magnetizing everywhere it
goes, then it's too late now ;-) If it's burnt something on the PCB,
then it will burn it right away again on the replacement PCB. I should
really replace both the head stack and the PCB (then I would not need
to mock around with the calibration chip.) But I've never done that
before; chances are high I can screw something up...


Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.
[]
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.
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 ...


Yup, haven't touched the stuff in years. I can live without it, but it
has all my saved games (from games I'll never play again lol) and I
don't know what documents (coz I haven't used it in so long.) It's
mostly for completeness that I want it back.


We are alike. I paid 60 pounds for another netbook of the same model as
my XP one that died (it overheats within a few seconds of power on, and
shuts itself off), just so I can put the HD in and "see what's there"
(OS and software wise, and settings; the _data_ I read off it no
problem); it (the replacement netbook) is still sitting here as
delivered, I haven't opened the package!

Best Regards,

--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Does Barbie come with Ken?"
"Barbie comes with G.I. Joe. She fakes it with Ken." - anonymous
  #51  
Old April 30th 18, 02:23 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
nospam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,094
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In article , B00ze
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.

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


Considering their costs, $1500 is cheap. It's not cheap when it is a
one-time cost out of your personal pocket. You could probably replace
your car's exhaust pipes for a hell of a lot cheaper than going to a
muffler shop but then it is irrelevant that your labor, materials, and
gear is cheaper to you because you can't do the job and have to pay
someone else. Just like you, they want a reasonable salary, too, and
they are in business to stay in business.


Considering that swapping heads/PCB (or moving the platters to a new
drive) is a one hour job, $1500 is a crazy per-hour salary.


you're paying for their expertise and skill, not an hourly rate.

they also have the proper equipment to use, including a clean room,
which isn't cheap.

you're also assuming it only takes an hour to recover a drive. recovery
is nowhere near as easy as you think.

And charging
more for bigger drives is nonsense - fixing physical damage takes the
same amount of time no matter how much data's on the drive.


false.

I need a
place that's flexible, where I can negotiate how much work gets done
before we call it quits. I don't want them spending 3 days trying to
rebuild a failed NTFS filesystem; I don't want to pay for that...


do you want your data recovered or not?
simple yes or no question.



The typical recovery time runs 2 to 5 days (16 to 40 hours) in trying to
recover as much data as possible off your failed drive. What do you
earn per hour? And it's not just a tech's salary but all the operating
costs of a company that get rolled into factoring the price of sales.
Also, while they may quote a price, they have to be exorbitant and vague
over the phone because they don't yet know how much time and resources
they will have to invest in recovering your data. Could be cheaper.
Could be more expensive.


That's why I'm not really interested in places that say it'll cost
"$2000 or nothing" if they cannot do it -


if they can't do it, there is no cost.

I don't want them spending 40
hours on this, all I need is an engineer that's swapped parts between
drives before. If it takes more than that, I'll just chuck the drive in
the trash...


toss it.

it's clear that the data on it is not worth much to you.
  #52  
Old April 30th 18, 04:10 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,669
Default Recommend data recovery company?

B00ze wrote:

Considering that swapping heads/PCB (or moving the platters to a new
drive) is a one hour job, $1500 is a crazy per-hour salary.


Did you ask them if they charge a fixed fee regardless of what they end
up repairing? I doubt it. If a simple PCB swab (along with moving over
the ROM chip or microcontroller if the ROM is inside there) would take a
lot less time and be a lower price. What they quote over the phone is
going to be exhorbitant because they don't yet know what they have to
do. Once you ship the drive to them, they can provide a much more
accurate estimate and then you can decide if you want to go ahead or
have them ship the drive back to you.

How would they know how much work it would take until they see it? Do
you expect an over-the-phone estimate of repairing your car's exhaust
based on "it makes more noise" from the muffler shop? They probably
won't even give you an estimate. They must see first. A PCB (and chip
swap) doesn't require a clean room nor highly specialist techs working
with ferromagnetic microscopes or other specialized and other pricey
equipment.

And charging more for bigger drives is nonsense - fixing physical
damage takes the same amount of time no matter how much data's on the
drive.


Okay, you'll have to explain to me why trying to read through 10 GB of
sectors on a platter takes the same amount of time as trying to use a
ferromagneticscope on 1 TB of sectors. Ever format a driver? Yup, you
have, so you know it takes a lot longer to format a 10 GB drive than for
a 1 TB drive.

I need a place that's flexible, where I can negotiate how much work
gets done before we call it quits. I don't want them spending 3 days
trying to rebuild a failed NTFS filesystem; I don't want to pay for
that...


Once they get the drive and can do an inspection, they should be able to
provide a more accurate estimate.

The typical recovery time runs 2 to 5 days (16 to 40 hours) in trying to
recover as much data as possible off your failed drive. What do you
earn per hour? And it's not just a tech's salary but all the operating
costs of a company that get rolled into factoring the price of sales.
Also, while they may quote a price, they have to be exorbitant and vague
over the phone because they don't yet know how much time and resources
they will have to invest in recovering your data. Could be cheaper.
Could be more expensive.


That's why I'm not really interested in places that say it'll cost
"$2000 or nothing" if they cannot do it - I don't want them spending
40 hours on this, all I need is an engineer that's swapped parts
between drives before. If it takes more than that, I'll just chuck
the drive in the trash...


Hmm, I don't remember calling a drive recovery service that said they
charged a minimum fee of $2000 (or quoted a minimum fee). Maybe I was
blessed in who I called (sorry, been too many years to remember who it
was plus it was for someone else's failed drive).

Have you called any of the recovery companies mentioned so far to see
how they quote estimates of unseen devices? Pick one that sounds most
fair, check they pay for return shipping, and the worst you're out is
the cost to ship the drive to them if upon inspection they quote a price
that is extreme compared to the value of the data on the drive (which
doesn't sound of much value from your descriptions).
  #53  
Old May 1st 18, 02:19 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 472
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[snip]

Yeah, well, if the failed head has started magnetizing everywhere it
goes, then it's too late now ;-) If it's burnt something on the PCB,
then it will burn it right away again on the replacement PCB. I should
really replace both the head stack and the PCB (then I would not need
to mock around with the calibration chip.) But I've never done that
before; chances are high I can screw something up...


Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.


Ahhh, yes, now that's annoying; if calibration and bad sectors go into
the same chip I'm kinda stuck. But I guess it's OK, I can loose some
files, I just want the bulk of them...

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.
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 ...


Yup, haven't touched the stuff in years. I can live without it, but it
has all my saved games (from games I'll never play again lol) and I
don't know what documents (coz I haven't used it in so long.) It's
mostly for completeness that I want it back.


We are alike. I paid 60 pounds for another netbook of the same model as
my XP one that died (it overheats within a few seconds of power on, and
shuts itself off), just so I can put the HD in and "see what's there"
(OS and software wise, and settings; the _data_ I read off it no
problem); it (the replacement netbook) is still sitting here as
delivered, I haven't opened the package!


I once bought a C64 (I had sold mine years before) just so I'd have one
in case I wanted to hook it up. I carried the thing from apartment to
apartment, never opening it. Got rid of it one day never having opened
the box lol. For the hard drive, I do not need it for program settings,
because it was a DATA drive only in that system. I can still boot the
old PC and look at how programs are configured, as I ever so slowly
migrate everything to my new PC, since all the programs and registry are
on different drives. I should really hurry up with that tho, another
drive is bound to stop working soon...

Regards,

--
! _\|/_ Sylvain /
! (o o) Memberavid-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Is there another word for synonym?

  #54  
Old May 1st 18, 02:35 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
J. P. Gilliver (John)[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,032
Default Recommend data recovery company?

In message , B00ze
writes:
On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[]
Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.


Ahhh, yes, now that's annoying; if calibration and bad sectors go into
the same chip I'm kinda stuck. But I guess it's OK, I can loose some
files, I just want the bulk of them...

[]
Unless some of the swapped sectors - either in the dead drive or the one
whose boards you use - are ones that cover the partition table, master
file table, boot sectors, etcetera.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)[email protected]+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

I love the way Microsoft follows standards. In much the same manner that fish
follow migrating caribou. - Paul Tomblin, cited by "The Real Bev", 2017-2-18.
  #55  
Old May 1st 18, 02:39 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 472
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-30 11:10, VanguardLH wrote:

B00ze wrote:

Considering that swapping heads/PCB (or moving the platters to a new
drive) is a one hour job, $1500 is a crazy per-hour salary.


Did you ask them if they charge a fixed fee regardless of what they end
up repairing? I doubt it. If a simple PCB swab (along with moving over
the ROM chip or microcontroller if the ROM is inside there) would take a
lot less time and be a lower price. What they quote over the phone is
going to be exhorbitant because they don't yet know what they have to
do. Once you ship the drive to them, they can provide a much more
accurate estimate and then you can decide if you want to go ahead or
have them ship the drive back to you.


I'm sorry I haven't called any of them yet, I spend all my time here
discussing what will happen when I DO call lol. I will do so soon, I'll
report back here.

How would they know how much work it would take until they see it? Do
you expect an over-the-phone estimate of repairing your car's exhaust
based on "it makes more noise" from the muffler shop? They probably
won't even give you an estimate. They must see first. A PCB (and chip
swap) doesn't require a clean room nor highly specialist techs working
with ferromagnetic microscopes or other specialized and other pricey
equipment.


And charging more for bigger drives is nonsense - fixing physical
damage takes the same amount of time no matter how much data's on the
drive.


Okay, you'll have to explain to me why trying to read through 10 GB of
sectors on a platter takes the same amount of time as trying to use a
ferromagneticscope on 1 TB of sectors. Ever format a driver? Yup, you
have, so you know it takes a lot longer to format a 10 GB drive than for
a 1 TB drive.


I'm assuming the platters are intact. From what I can tell from our
discussions, they are like TV repairmen - they quote you a price that
depends on how big the TV is, regardless of the fact that it matters not
one bit how big the TV is. OF course if they have to rebuild everything
because the platters are damaged it will take longer the more data you
have...

I need a place that's flexible, where I can negotiate how much work
gets done before we call it quits. I don't want them spending 3 days
trying to rebuild a failed NTFS filesystem; I don't want to pay for
that...


Once they get the drive and can do an inspection, they should be able to
provide a more accurate estimate.

The typical recovery time runs 2 to 5 days (16 to 40 hours) in trying to
recover as much data as possible off your failed drive. What do you
earn per hour? And it's not just a tech's salary but all the operating
costs of a company that get rolled into factoring the price of sales.
Also, while they may quote a price, they have to be exorbitant and vague
over the phone because they don't yet know how much time and resources
they will have to invest in recovering your data. Could be cheaper.
Could be more expensive.


That's why I'm not really interested in places that say it'll cost
"$2000 or nothing" if they cannot do it - I don't want them spending
40 hours on this, all I need is an engineer that's swapped parts
between drives before. If it takes more than that, I'll just chuck
the drive in the trash...


Hmm, I don't remember calling a drive recovery service that said they
charged a minimum fee of $2000 (or quoted a minimum fee). Maybe I was
blessed in who I called (sorry, been too many years to remember who it
was plus it was for someone else's failed drive).


Yeah, I'll just have to call places and discuss.

Have you called any of the recovery companies mentioned so far to see
how they quote estimates of unseen devices? Pick one that sounds most
fair, check they pay for return shipping, and the worst you're out is
the cost to ship the drive to them if upon inspection they quote a price
that is extreme compared to the value of the data on the drive (which
doesn't sound of much value from your descriptions).


Most of the ones people suggested operate in the United States. I found
a few right here in my city. I shall have to call all of them, United
Stated And Canada, to see who is the most flexible and fair on price.
It's hard to judge right? They ALL say the same things: We're the best,
if we cannot do it no one can, we have the best clean room, we have the
best tools, etc...

Regards,

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  #56  
Old May 1st 18, 02:50 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
Paul[_32_]
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Posts: 7,284
Default Recommend data recovery company?

B00ze wrote:
On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[snip]

Yeah, well, if the failed head has started magnetizing everywhere it
goes, then it's too late now ;-) If it's burnt something on the PCB,
then it will burn it right away again on the replacement PCB. I should
really replace both the head stack and the PCB (then I would not need
to mock around with the calibration chip.) But I've never done that
before; chances are high I can screw something up...


Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.


Ahhh, yes, now that's annoying; if calibration and bad sectors go into
the same chip I'm kinda stuck. But I guess it's OK, I can loose some
files, I just want the bulk of them...


The PCB I looked at, the outboard chip had too small of a capacity
to hold a spare sector table.

One IBM drive, it was claimed it was using 1MB of cache RAM to
hold the spares table for that drive. The little 8 pin chip
I looked at, was only 64KB of storage.

Whatever is in there, is smaller. Maybe it's an add-on
code module. They could have gone smaller, to a 2KB config
EEPROM if they wanted, and save some money. That suggests
64KB was selected for a reason, and there's actually close
to 64KB of stuff in it. They wouldn't buy a 64KB chip, if
a 2KB chip could identify the number of platters and the capacity.

The service area on the platter, is normally where bulk information
is stored. You'd only resort to an external chip, if the main
chip needed to be "patched" to be able to finish the access routine
to get to the SA. Maybe you could store the entire bootstrap
in the 64KB chip, and not bother with a level 1 metal ROM inside
the controller SOC. But then, they wouldn't need that nine digit
part number on the controller, if it wasn't "custom". The main
chip would have a shorter part number if it was generic.

The Maxtor that died on me, if it cannot read the SA, the controller
defaults to "declaring itself as a 10GB drive". It only changed
the ID string, when it sees the SA and then it knows "this is a
40GB drive with four platters" or whatever. The controllers used
to be smart enough, to handle several model variants, with
different platter counts. You could do that, say, by always
accessing platter 0 to get the SA (platter 0 would always
be populated in the stack).

As drive capacities go up, the odds of holding a spares
table in that external EEPROM go down.

Paul
  #57  
Old May 1st 18, 02:50 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
B00ze
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 472
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 2018-04-30 21:35, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

In message , B00ze
writes:
On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[]
Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.


Ahhh, yes, now that's annoying; if calibration and bad sectors go into
the same chip I'm kinda stuck. But I guess it's OK, I can loose some
files, I just want the bulk of them...

[]
Unless some of the swapped sectors - either in the dead drive or the one
whose boards you use - are ones that cover the partition table, master
file table, boot sectors, etcetera.


Hahaha, you like dashing my hopes ;-) Yup, if that's the case then I'm
in trouble, and the recovery company will be charging me to rebuild the
filesystem. Oh well, I can always (hopefully) ask them for the raw disk
image and do it myself...

--
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! (o o) Memberavid-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

  #58  
Old May 1st 18, 04:51 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
Sjouke Burry[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 174
Default Recommend data recovery company?

On 1-5-2018 3:50, B00ze wrote:
On 2018-04-30 21:35, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

In message , B00ze
writes:
On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:

[]
Well, not calibration, but you'd still need whichever chip holds the
list of bad sectors and which ones have been swapped in their place.

Ahhh, yes, now that's annoying; if calibration and bad sectors go into
the same chip I'm kinda stuck. But I guess it's OK, I can loose some
files, I just want the bulk of them...

[]
Unless some of the swapped sectors - either in the dead drive or the one
whose boards you use - are ones that cover the partition table, master
file table, boot sectors, etcetera.


Hahaha, you like dashing my hopes ;-) Yup, if that's the case then I'm
in trouble, and the recovery company will be charging me to rebuild the
filesystem. Oh well, I can always (hopefully) ask them for the raw disk
image and do it myself...

On an old dos system we used the NORTON utilities 8.0
to produce an image file. Most program files on the disk could
be found, because each file ended with (tab)end cr/lf (fortran programs).
Luck has it that disks were only 20-40 MB.............
  #59  
Old May 1st 18, 04:34 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,669
Default Recommend data recovery company?

B00ze wrote:

It's hard to judge right? They ALL say the same things: We're the best,
if we cannot do it no one can, we have the best clean room, we have the
best tools, etc...


I gave an example of one recovery service, ACS, touting the expertise of
another one, Data Savers. They might be able to tell by telephoned
description whether or not they have the resources to perform the
recovery. Upon inspection, they should also tell you that. If they
cannot recover, there should be no charge. They may even recommend
someone else (who'll probably be more expensive to perform the more
complicated recovery).

Some places don't have a clean room or ferromagnetic microscopes. Like
the video that I showed, some just attempt exterior repair, like
replacing the PCB with those from matching donor drives and swapping the
ROM or microcontroller chip from the old to new PCB (if needed which is
not always a requirement).
  #60  
Old May 3rd 18, 02:08 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,alt.windows7.general,alt.comp.os.windows-10
Diesel
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Posts: 849
Default Recommend data recovery company?

nospam
Sat, 28 Apr 2018
13:33:39 GMT in alt.windows7.general, 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.


try it on a non-windows system.


I've had success using Linux to assist in data recovery efforts on a
failing/suspected failing hard drive, several times. It works when
windows doesn't wanna play nice. Not saying that Linux plays really
well on failing hardware either. I had a 1tb drive go south on me,
without prior warning.. Toasting the superblock and the backup of said
superblock. I lost the road map to my data obviously, but my data
itself is still intact. Luckily for me though, I'm almost uber
religious about backing up important files and making system images so
I didn't actually lose anything when that system went down.

I've kept the drive for the learning opportunity it presents for me.
Recover my **** on a linux native file system that's sustained
irreversable damage to the superblock and it's backup due to bad
sectors being present in the worst place possible, imho.

if you don't have a non-windows system available, try spinrite:
https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm


I have a legit regged copy of Spinrite 6...It's quite a program, but,
it's not a miracle worker. If the drives in rough shape (clicking
sounds) I dunno if I'd go that route first...As the last thing you want
to do is stress that drive further. It could indeed be a mechanical
failure in progress, and that can be very bad for the data on the
platters, IF, it's still intact.

Spinrite is also a DOS native program; You can't make full use of it
under Windows. It's really two exe's combined into one. The MZ (Dos
stub) is the actual program, and the win32PE file will tell you all
about it. I think it offers to help you create a bootable diskette.
It's been a very very long time since I've executed it under windows.

What I wound up doing, years ago, originally for a former employer was
to create the bootable floppy (DOS 6.2 I think it is) with spinrite on
it, etc. Then, I read the floppy track by track and saved it as an iso
of itself. I used that as my 'boot sector' for a bootable CDROM. And,
it works. The cdrom contains other diagnostic tools, so generic cdrom
drivers are loaded and mscdex mounts a drive letter for you. Pretty
standard little floppy that's not so floppy anymore. These days, it's
typically a dvd, but those can be treated like a bootable cdrom too.



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