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View Full Version : Data Recovery, what do the techs do



Myth
09-01-2009, 07:20 AM
I was just wondering what the likes of wanui, pctek and co do when they come across a harddrive that fails to load the OS (as in drive failure)

The only thing I really try to do is connect the drive as a secondary, and get info off the drive onto the primary boot harddrive.
What other things are there that one can do?

Speedy Gonzales
09-01-2009, 07:38 AM
Well theres not much you can. Besides (hopefully) what you said

Try and get whatever off it. Then replace the hdd

CYaBro
09-01-2009, 09:11 AM
Yea that's about all you can do.
Sometimes leaving the drive off for a day or two and trying again can give you another chance of getting any data off.
If I knew that the drive heads etc were OK and it was a circuit board fault I would try another one of I had the same model HDD handy.

Otherwise send it to one of the data forensics places but that is not cheap!

MushHead
09-01-2009, 09:19 AM
Depends what's wrong.

For a drive which has just lost the ability to boot, you may be able to slave it to a working PC easily (or just boot off a live Linux CD) & copy the data off. Hopefully you can then just reformat & reinstall. Mind you, if this is the case, there's other things to try beforehand, such as restoring the MBR of the drive, etc.

For genuine drive failures, then things get tricky:

I've seen reference to people buying an identical sacrificial drive (simpler if you've got a reasonably old one - otherwise nobody will be selling...) & doing a DIY platter replacement to get data off a drive with a seized motor here (http://www.freewebs.com/bgotchall/index.htm), but not for the faint of heart!

A similar, but easier, solution may be to buy (or possibly borrow from a good friend) an identical good drive, but do a controller board swap. This one should be pretty easy to do & once you've got the data off, can swap the controller board back to the good drive. This of course assumes that it's the controller board at fault. I've done this myself with a drive that had a short inadvertently made across some pins on the controller, resulting in a blown component on one controller. Fortunately I had another identical drive available & was able to save data from the broken drive & keep the good one operational.

pctek
09-01-2009, 09:39 AM
I was just wondering what the likes of wanui, pctek and co do when they come across a harddrive that fails to load the OS (as in drive failure)

Take it out, see if their data can be retreived (on extremely rare occasions I'm surprised to find one that actually backed it up first).

As for controller boards and stuff - get real, most people don't want to pay for my time spent trying to revive the thing................

lakewoodlady
09-01-2009, 10:12 AM
So would it be a good idea to back up my entire c drive to my Seagate external hdd? At the moment I only have selected files and folders on it.

Cheers LL

Greven
09-01-2009, 10:15 AM
We usually try ghosting to a new drive (if we think the computer is worth the cost) & if that fails, we contact the customer & give them an estimate of how much it would cost for us to look through our hard drive graveyard for another drive with the same controller. We don't have very high success rates with that & nobody wants to pay $2000 to send it to computer forensics, so sometimes they just have to accept that their data is gone.

Greven
09-01-2009, 10:17 AM
So would it be a good idea to back up my entire c drive to my Seagate external hdd? At the moment I only have selected files and folders on it.

Cheers LL

As long as you back up everything you need then there is no point doing a file copy of the entire C drive. Most people miss out email, address book, favourites & firefox profile when they set up a backup themselves.

lakewoodlady
09-01-2009, 10:22 AM
Thanks Greven, will give that a go!

Cheers LL

CYaBro
09-01-2009, 10:29 AM
So would it be a good idea to back up my entire c drive to my Seagate external hdd? At the moment I only have selected files and folders on it.

Cheers LL

It depends how quickly you need to be up and running again if the HDD fails.
A full copy of the C: (system drive) would allow a full restore to a new HDD and be up and running again in about 1/2 hour.
Otherwise you would need to reinstall your operating system, get it set up again then restore your data. So could take a couple of hours.

robsonde
09-01-2009, 11:00 AM
I was just wondering what the likes of wanui, pctek and co do when they come across a harddrive that fails to load the OS (as in drive failure)

The only thing I really try to do is connect the drive as a secondary, and get info off the drive onto the primary boot harddrive.
What other things are there that one can do?

any harddrive issues of any kind and i ALWAYS hit it with spinrite.
www.grc.com

often I have seen OS wont boot, BSOD 'can't mount boot volume" or other such messages. in a case like this I have about 90% win rate with spinrite.

for other drive issues about 60% of the time this fixes it, then I get the data off and replace the drive.

spinrite costs a good chunk of $$ but you can make it back of customers in a few jobs.


some people have had luck with "finding" a copy of spinrite on something called a torrent, but i dont know anything about this.


.

Speedy Gonzales
09-01-2009, 11:30 AM
some people have had luck with "finding" a copy of spinrite on something called a torrent, but i dont know anything about this.

.

Yup its probably pirated

wainuitech
09-01-2009, 01:00 PM
Take it out, see if their data can be retreived (on extremely rare occasions I'm surprised to find one that actually backed it up first).

As for controller boards and stuff - get real, most people don't want to pay for my time spent trying to revive the thing................ That about sums it up perfectly :thumbs:

On the odd occasion people want to try - but don't want to spend a lot of money doing so.
Earlier this week I had a drive with the click of death -- clickety click etc. Nothing would work so Just for the hell of it - I dismantled the Dive took the platter out, and installed it in another HD case that I had laying about ( exact same model/make/size) - it read the drive for about 10 minutes - just enough to get some data off - then rraasppppppp died again.