Discussion:
Recommend data recovery company?
(too old to reply)
B00ze
2018-04-21 04:09:33 UTC
Permalink
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
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nospam
2018-04-21 04:47:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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?
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
Was planning to move the data off but kept
delaying since it showed no sign of problems...
all drives fail. the question is when. 15 years is *much* longer than
normal. consider yourself lucky it lasted that long. you were on
borrowed time. unfortunately, your luck ran out, and without a backup,
you're in the situation you're in.
Post by B00ze
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.

a clicking drive is relatively easy compared to a computer melting in a
fire or being under water for a couple of days:
<https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/company/museum-of-bizarre-disk-
asters/>
Post by B00ze
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.
they don't need one for each model drive and the controller isn't what
usually fails.
Diesel
2018-04-23 01:14:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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?
Post by B00ze
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.

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.

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.
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience
with one and can recommend?
<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?
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
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===================================================
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nospam
2018-04-23 11:03:06 UTC
Permalink
In article
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by Diesel
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.
Post by Diesel
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.
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience
with one and can recommend?
<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.
B00ze
2018-04-28 03:46:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
In article
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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...
Post by nospam
the chances of a home remedy working are very low, and with a
significant risk of making it worse.
Post by Diesel
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:

Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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.
Post by nospam
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.
Post by nospam
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.
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
Now need a data recovery company; anyone have good experience
with one and can recommend?
<https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com>
Thanks, will see if perhaps they have an outlet in Canada...
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
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.
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo JUST DISCOVERED - Research causes cancer in rats!
nospam
2018-04-28 13:33:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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.
Diesel
2018-05-03 01:08:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
In article
8DRo>,
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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.
Sometimes, again, from 1st hand experience as a field tech has shown
me that what you're describing as the click of death isn't always a
mechanical failure. A bad controller board can also do it.
Post by nospam
the chances of a home remedy working are very low, and with a
significant risk of making it worse.
Swapping identical controller boards isn't what I'd call a home
remedy. It's a common thing in a lot of tech shops that actually do
in house repairs and don't ship the machine off someplace.
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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.
Well, it depends on the person, the gear they have access to, AND,
how valuable the data might be to them as to what methods they'll use
to retrieve it, if possible.
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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.
I've learned not to under estimate people, because I've seen people
make things much much worse attempting to perform a repair on their
own in IT and electrical too many times to count.

Sometimes, it doesn't result in catastrophic damage and the story can
be quite funny to listen to the owner/client tell it. Other times,
the fire department was necessary... So..
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
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.
Kewl Beans...
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
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===================================================
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anytime you need them. --Ben Lichtenberg
B00ze
2018-04-28 04:22:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Windows error 05 Multitasking attempted; system confused.
nospam
2018-04-28 13:33:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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>
Diesel
2018-05-03 01:08:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
Post by nospam
Post by B00ze
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 shit 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.
Post by nospam
<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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nospam
2018-05-03 02:49:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
<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.
he wants to try homebrew solutions, and of those, spinrite has a *much*
higher chance of success than physically opening the case and moving
platters, especially without it being done in a cleanroom.

if he actually wants the data, the best choice is a recovery company,
who is almost certain to recover it (they've recovered drives in far
worse condition), but as has been noted, it ain't cheap.
Post by Diesel
Spinrite is also a DOS native program; You can't make full use of it
under Windows.
that's the whole point. it's as close to the metal as it can get.
Diesel
2018-05-03 16:08:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
Post by nospam
<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.
he wants to try homebrew solutions, and of those, spinrite has a
*much* higher chance of success than physically opening the case
and moving platters, especially without it being done in a
cleanroom.
Umm, if the drive is making physical clicking noises and refusing to
read data, Spinrite isn't going to be able to do anything positive
for the drive. You seem to be very confused on what Spinrite can and
cannot do, and why. If you have failing sectors, and/or sectors
marked as bad, Spinrite might be able to help you recover some data.
For the sectors that are toast, it 'fills in' the missing data with
zero's. So, it doesn't provide a full recovery in all cases. There's
only so much you can do.

HOWEVER, Running spinrite on a drive that's making noises and
refusing to pull data outright will NOT help the drive. It can make
things worse, faster. Spinrites a nice program, written in pure
assembly language, but, even that doesn't give it magical powers over
the hard drive or mechanics of it.
Post by nospam
if he actually wants the data, the best choice is a recovery
company, who is almost certain to recover it (they've recovered
drives in far worse condition), but as has been noted, it ain't
cheap.
It won't hurt anything by swapping the controller board and trying to
read from the drive. As I wrote previously. And, that's not a 'home
brew' fix, either.
Post by nospam
Post by Diesel
Spinrite is also a DOS native program; You can't make full use of
it under Windows.
that's the whole point. it's as close to the metal as it can get.
I'm well aware of the advantage DOS has in so far as getting you very
close to the bare metal. Linux could also be subsituted for DOS with
the right software, but, that's besides the point.

While Spinrite is a nice utility, it's NOT a miracle worker and you
do NOT use it on a drive you think is outright failing; IT can AND
DOES stress the drive and that can make things alot worse, faster. It
also lessens the chance (when you give up) that a 'professional' data
recovery service can help you at this point.

Either swap the controller and give that a try, or, take the drive to
a professional company. Spinrite is the WRONG TOOL for this
particular job. I don't believe that him opening the drive enclosure
to get the data back is going to help a bit. Either a mechanical
component inside the drive has failed, or the controller board has.
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
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Paul
2018-04-21 06:40:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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,
The big-name companies are listed here.

https://support.wdc.com/warranty/datarecovery.aspx?selregion=americas&lang=en

*******

And you can find sites with chit-chat about recovery.

https://www.data-medics.com/forum/wd800-sabre58-t746.html

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.

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 :-)

*******

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.

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...

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).

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.

Paul
nospam
2018-04-21 10:55:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
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.
it won't be a mess at all nor will it take a rocket scientist.

drivesavers has been able to recover helium drives for nearly four
years, only about one year after helium drives were first introduced.

<https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/2014/09/03/drivesavers-data-rec
overy-services-now-available-for-helium-hard-disk-drives/>
NOVATO, Calif. ­ August 28, 2014 ­ DriveSavers, the worldwide leader
in data recovery, eDiscovery and digital forensic solutions,
announced today data recovery services for helium-filled hard disk
drives (HDD) are now available. DriveSavers Data Recovery experts are
available 24/7 to help users recover files from drives should data
loss occur while utilizing this recent technological development.

they also can recover failed ssds, which is a *lot* more difficult than
spinning rust.
Zaidy036
2018-04-21 11:15:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by Paul
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.
it won't be a mess at all nor will it take a rocket scientist.
drivesavers has been able to recover helium drives for nearly four
years, only about one year after helium drives were first introduced.
<https://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/2014/09/03/drivesavers-data-rec
overy-services-now-available-for-helium-hard-disk-drives/>
NOVATO, Calif. ­ August 28, 2014 ­ DriveSavers, the worldwide leader
in data recovery, eDiscovery and digital forensic solutions,
announced today data recovery services for helium-filled hard disk
drives (HDD) are now available. DriveSavers Data Recovery experts are
available 24/7 to help users recover files from drives should data
loss occur while utilizing this recent technological development.
they also can recover failed ssds, which is a *lot* more difficult than
spinning rust.
One last effort?
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.
--
Zaidy036
nospam
2018-04-21 11:22:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zaidy036
One last effort?
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.
do *not* even think about doing that if the data is at all valuable.
Jonathan N. Little
2018-04-21 12:15:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zaidy036
One last effort?
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.
Believe or not I have done that and is sometimes works.
--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
Art Todesco
2018-04-21 12:23:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan N. Little
Post by Zaidy036
One last effort?
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.
Believe or not I have done that and is sometimes works.
I too have had luck doing that. And, I told a friend who told some
other clients and they all seemed to have success. I think I might try
a USB to IDE adapter and put the whole thing in a plastic bag in the
fridge to see if that works. Then graduate to the freezer if necessary.
nospam
2018-04-21 13:02:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan N. Little
Post by Zaidy036
Place drive in zip lock bag overnight in freezer. Quickly attach to PC and
try to transfer files.
Believe or not I have done that and is sometimes works.
more often, it makes it worse. you were lucky.

it's a *very* bad idea for all sorts of reasons. ask the drive recovery
companies how many drives they get from people who thought they could
do it themselves by freezing them.

<https://www.gillware.com/blog/data-recovery/hard-drive-freezer-data-rec
overy-myth/>
Just like pseudoscience in the world of medicine, the freezer trick
³works² just barely often enough to encourage people to spread the
idea to friends and neighbors. And when it ³works² it is only because
the drive exhibits intermittent behavior. There¹s a 99.9% chance that
not putting it in the freezer also would have resulted in the same
data recovery outcome.
...
When a failed drive comes out of the freezer and works again, it¹s
only a matter of luck. Exposure to cold will not restore a dead
sector¹s magnetic field or fix a corrupted partition table. It won¹t
make blind read/write heads suddenly see, nor will it salve the burn
on a fried control board. Quite frankly, people with freezer trick
³success stories² are just lucky they did not make their hard drives¹
problems worse.
B00ze
2018-04-28 04:11:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Zaidy036
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo God made the world in 6 days and was arrested on the 7th.
B00ze
2018-04-28 04:08:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
The big-name companies are listed here.
https://support.wdc.com/warranty/datarecovery.aspx?selregion=americas&lang=en
Thanks, I will look into those "official" recovery centres.
Post by Paul
And you can find sites with chit-chat about recovery.
https://www.data-medics.com/forum/wd800-sabre58-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 :-)
Post by Paul
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 ;-)
Post by Paul
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.
Post by Paul
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.
Post by Paul
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.
Post by Paul
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...
Post by Paul
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Friends don't let friends use Windoze.
VanguardLH
2018-04-21 14:26:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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.

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.

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.

https://www.geek.com/chips/drivesavers-breathes-life-into-a-dead-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.

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.

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.

I did a search at Newegg on IDE, new, sold by Newegg and they don't
carry any of those. If I removed "sold by Newegg" then a few were
found; however, since they are sold by others using Newegg as their
storefront, any delivery, condition, or warranty problems will have you
dealing with the 3rd party seller, not with Newegg. There needs to be a
drive available for purchase now (no, DriveSavers isn't going to
computer swap meets) onto which your recovered data files can be stored.
You have to determine if the new drive will be usable in your ancient
computer.
Larc
2018-04-21 15:40:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 21 Apr 2018 09:26:45 -0500, VanguardLH <***@nguard.LH> wrote:

| https://www.geek.com/chips/drivesavers-breathes-life-into-a-dead-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."

And those prices aren't necessarily reflective of the amount of work that has to be
done as much as their being among the few who can do it and that, as such, they have
you held by super sensitive body parts. ;)

Larc
nospam
2018-04-21 17:16:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Also, it is highly unlikely that they can recover 100% of
the data from the platters.
it's very likely they can recover 100% unless there's a head crash that
gouged the platter, in which case, they can recover everything except
what was in the damaged area. the rest of the platter is fine. in other
words, almost 100%.
Post by VanguardLH
With luck being against you, likely the
majority of the files you want to recover will be unrecoverable.
wrong.
Post by VanguardLH
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.
https://www.geek.com/chips/drivesavers-breathes-life-into-a-dead-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."
except that's from 2008.

prices will be higher now, however, one mitigating factor is that the
drive in question is 15 years old and easier to recover and much
smaller capacity than modern drives.
Post by VanguardLH
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.
they don't need to put the data on the same type/size as the original.

any drive whose capacity is as big or bigger than the failed drive will
suffice. even a usb stick will work.
VanguardLH
2018-04-22 01:07:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by VanguardLH
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.
they don't need to put the data on the same type/size as the original.
They don't but how is the OP going to use the new drive unless it mates
with his old PC from which the failed drive came? What good would
getting recovered files put on a SATA drive when the OP said an IDE
drive failed? With a ~15-year old computer, we don't know that it will
have USB ports in which to use a flash drive. If the OP goes the lab
recovery path, he'll need to discuss with the lab on what type of media
the files can be saved that would usable to him.
nospam
2018-04-22 01:42:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by nospam
Post by VanguardLH
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.
they don't need to put the data on the same type/size as the original.
They don't but how is the OP going to use the new drive unless it mates
with his old PC from which the failed drive came? What good would
getting recovered files put on a SATA drive when the OP said an IDE
drive failed?
sata first appeared nearly 20 years ago, so he almost certainly can use
a sata drive. if not, a sata card or adapter is cheap. he could also
put the drive in a usb enclosure and connect via usb.
Post by VanguardLH
With a ~15-year old computer, we don't know that it will
have USB ports in which to use a flash drive.
yes we do. a 15 year old computer has usb, which first appeared about
20 years ago.

he also didn't say he had a 15 year old computer. he said he had a 15
year old drive. his computer could be (and likely is) more recent, but
if he really does have a 15 year old computer, it's long overdue to
upgrade.
Post by VanguardLH
If the OP goes the lab
recovery path, he'll need to discuss with the lab on what type of media
the files can be saved that would usable to him.
of course, and the choices are a new drive or supply one.

it's *extremely* unlikely they'll recover to another 15 year old drive
because of the risk for *it* to *also* fail is *very* high.
VanguardLH
2018-04-22 11:43:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by nospam
Post by VanguardLH
They don't but how is the OP going to use the new drive unless it mates
with his old PC from which the failed drive came? What good would
getting recovered files put on a SATA drive when the OP said an IDE
drive failed?
sata first appeared nearly 20 years ago, so he almost certainly can use
a sata drive.
That a technology appeared does not mandate it is immediately captured
by consumers. We will have to wait and see what the OP says he has for
hardware in his old computer. How long did it take after CD drives
appeared before consumers felt it was at an affordable price point to
start adopting that technology? How long after writable CD drives
showed up before they became priced where the market would adopt en
masse.
Post by nospam
if not, a sata card or adapter is cheap. he could also
put the drive in a usb enclosure and connect via usb.
But why have the lab put the files on media that requires special
equipment by their customer? Again you are making assumption. How do
you know there is a spare daughtercard slot in his motherboard? How do
you know if a daughtercard compatible with the protocol of his mobo's
slots still has drivers for Windows XP? He posted in a Windows XP
newsgroup but that does not dictate that Windows XP was the target OS
for which his computer was built. Could be that old computer was reused
from MS-DOS to Windows 3.1 to Windows 9x to Windows ME. We, and that
means you, too, do not know what hardware is inside the OP's computer.
All we know, so far, is that an IDE drive (which ATA version is unknown)
came out of it.

We aren't discussing what YOU can do with your computer.
Post by nospam
Post by VanguardLH
With a ~15-year old computer, we don't know that it will
have USB ports in which to use a flash drive.
yes we do. a 15 year old computer has usb, which first appeared about
20 years ago.
Again, unimportant to this discussion what YOU have. You're not the one
with the failed drive inquiring about costs to recover files from it.
Not worth a gnat's fart what you have.
Post by nospam
he also didn't say he had a 15 year old computer. he said he had a 15
year old drive. his computer could be (and likely is) more recent, but
if he really does have a 15 year old computer, it's long overdue to
upgrade.
Ah, now you're starting to see my point. We don't know what hardware
the OP has other than a vague mention of an IDE drive.
nospam
2018-04-22 14:20:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by nospam
Post by VanguardLH
They don't but how is the OP going to use the new drive unless it mates
with his old PC from which the failed drive came? What good would
getting recovered files put on a SATA drive when the OP said an IDE
drive failed?
sata first appeared nearly 20 years ago, so he almost certainly can use
a sata drive.
That a technology appeared does not mandate it is immediately captured
by consumers.
except in this case, it was. sata became common a couple of years
later, in the early 2000s, and by the mid- to late 2000s, it was
standard just about everywhere.
Post by VanguardLH
We will have to wait and see what the OP says he has for
hardware in his old computer. How long did it take after CD drives
appeared before consumers felt it was at an affordable price point to
start adopting that technology? How long after writable CD drives
showed up before they became priced where the market would adopt en
masse.
it was a couple of years for both, but cd drives are not relevant.
Post by VanguardLH
Post by nospam
if not, a sata card or adapter is cheap. he could also
put the drive in a usb enclosure and connect via usb.
But why have the lab put the files on media that requires special
equipment by their customer?
sata drives do not require any special equipment.

just about every computer made in the past 15-20 years can read a sata
drive, either internally or externally via usb.

the only 'special equipment' *might* be a $10 enclosure, which he
probably already has, but if not, it's useful to have one for backups
so it's a worthwhile purchase. since the recovery cost is going to be
in the $2000 range, possibly more, $10 is nothing.

or just put the files on a usb stick. a 15 year old drive is probably
around 100 gig, so all that would be needed is a 128 gig usb stick,
which is cheap. a 64 gig might even suffice.
B00ze
2018-04-28 04:48:42 UTC
Permalink
Hi Vanguard.
Post by VanguardLH
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by VanguardLH
https://www.geek.com/chips/drivesavers-breathes-life-into-a-dead-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:
http://youtu.be/GZx-tU1_gOw
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Sex is not the answer, it's the question. Yes is the answer.
David Samuel Barr
2018-04-22 06:52:11 UTC
Permalink
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.
Post by B00ze
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,
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-04-22 09:39:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Samuel Barr
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.
Post by B00ze
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.

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.)
Post by David Samuel Barr
Post by B00ze
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 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.)
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

What's awful about weird views is not the views. It's the intolerance. If
someone wants to worship the Duke of Edinburgh or a pineapple, fine. But don't
kill me if I don't agree. - Tim Rice, Radio Times 15-21 October 2011.
VanguardLH
2018-04-22 12:35:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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


Timemark 5:40 - Swap doesn't work.
Timemark 7:12 - Gotta swap the ROM chip.

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.

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.

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.
Paul
2018-04-22 13:41:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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
http://youtu.be/Yn2eL4o-6Eo
Timemark 5:40 - Swap doesn't work.
Timemark 7:12 - Gotta swap the ROM chip.
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.
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.
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.
According to this, the main chip has firmware.

As well as the external 8-pin 25P05AV flash chip.

The 25P05AV is a 64KB chip, too big to be a config ROM, too small to
hold a decent amount of code. I looked at an 80GB Seagate here,
as the first drive I could find that has a chip like that.
("Modern" drives flip the PCB upside-down, so easy visual
inspection is not possible on those.)

Some of the eight pin chips, are actually power MOSFETs
and not ROMS at all. So if you spot an eight pin one, get
out your magnifying glass and look up the part number.

That's how I got to this thread, using 25P05AV as a search term.

https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35678&p=249841

As near as I could tell, the main chip (the "MCU") is a mask ROM
processor of some sort. And I don't think flashing ever changes
that chip. I got this idea, from seeing different MCUs with
different 9 digit part numbers on them. Normally, silicon companies
don't like to make a ton of SKUs like that. Bad for business.
Which implies a standard part, with a custom layer 1 metal
for the ROM. Using ROMmed parts like that, makes sense if you
plan on buying 50,000 of them (you have to place a minimum order).
For some reason, there's a price penalty for having parts with
EEPROM inside instead. A masked ROM is about the ugliest way
of doing things, you can think of (i.e. not very practical,
not flexible).

Adding an external EEPROM, implies the product has variants,
and you weren't clever enough with the ROM code to cover
all of them.

My failed 40GB Maxtor didn't have a problem with this.
If the MCU cannot access the Service Area, the MCU declares
"this drive is 10GB in capacity and the product name is Falcon".
Which of course, it isn't. That's the internal critical data,
before the MCU loads the Service Area. Once the Service Area
is loaded, then it changes to a Maxtor part number and the
proper 40GB capacity. The implication was, that controller
could have worked with a single platter 10GB setup, or
a four platter 40Gb setup.

I wouldn't know this, and the part wouldn't normally do that,
but, while that drive was powered, it was dying while running.
And it revealed its new name, because it was already spinning
and didn't have the common sense to stop responding. That's
how I got the name "Falcon" out of it. It shouldn't really
have responded and given away its "secret identity".

Paul
VanguardLH
2018-04-22 15:20:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Paul
Post by VanguardLH
https://www.hddzone.com/fix_hard_drive_pcb_board.html
http://youtu.be/Yn2eL4o-6Eo
Timemark 5:40 - Swap doesn't work.
Timemark 7:12 - Gotta swap the ROM chip.
You'll end up having to move the ROM chip, if still usabled, from the
failed drive's PCB to the identical replacement PCB. ...
According to this, the main chip has firmware.
Yes, some microcontrollers chips have a ROM section. The Youtube guy
mentioned that. Instead of transplanting a ROM chip, you have to
transplant the microcontroller chip assuming the PCBs are clones so the
surrounding logic is the same.

Knowing all the architectures used in different brands, models, and
submodels, especially since some same-brand drives come from different
factories can make you go crazy. Some have separate ROM chips. Some
have ROM inside the microcontroller chip. The point was that the drive
data on one PCB may not be usable or be incorrect for another drive.
B00ze
2018-04-28 06:16:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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
http://youtu.be/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!
Post by VanguardLH
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...
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo You! In the red, investigate that noise! -Kirk
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-04-28 09:40:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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
http://youtu.be/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!
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
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.
[]
Post by B00ze
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).
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
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)***@T+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)
VanguardLH
2018-04-28 18:18:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.
B00ze
2018-04-30 06:02:06 UTC
Permalink
On 2018-04-28 05:40, J. P. Gilliver (John) <G6JPG-***@255soft.uk> wrote:

[snip]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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?
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
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...
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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...
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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 / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Gravity is a myth <> The earth sucks.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-04-30 11:33:22 UTC
Permalink
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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
[]
Post by B00ze
Yeah, Vanguard says the same thing lol. Guess I'll go get one if I
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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.
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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!
Post by B00ze
Best Regards,
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

"Does Barbie come with Ken?"
"Barbie comes with G.I. Joe. She fakes it with Ken." - anonymous
B00ze
2018-05-01 01:19:55 UTC
Permalink
On 2018-04-30 07:33, J. P. Gilliver (John) <G6JPG-***@255soft.uk> wrote:

[snip]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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...
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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 / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Is there another word for synonym?
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-05-01 01:35:43 UTC
Permalink
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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)***@T+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.
B00ze
2018-05-01 01:50:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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...
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
Sjouke Burry
2018-05-01 03:51:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
[]
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.............
Paul
2018-05-01 01:50:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
[snip]
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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
B00ze
2018-04-28 05:13:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
Post by B00ze
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Windows error 04 Erroneous error, nothing wrong.
VanguardLH
2018-04-28 18:56:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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/data-recovery-engineer-salary-SRCH_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?
B00ze
2018-04-30 06:20:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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...
Post by VanguardLH
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...
Post by VanguardLH
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...
Post by VanguardLH
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 / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.
nospam
2018-04-30 13:23:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
Post by B00ze
Post by J. P. Gilliver (John)
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.
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by B00ze
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.
VanguardLH
2018-04-30 15:10:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
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).
B00ze
2018-05-01 01:39:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by VanguardLH
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by B00ze
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...
Post by VanguardLH
Post by B00ze
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.
Post by B00ze
Post by VanguardLH
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.
Post by VanguardLH
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo I don't kill my enemies: I slime them! -Odo
VanguardLH
2018-05-01 15:34:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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).
B00ze
2018-04-28 04:57:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Samuel Barr
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Light speed! Ridiculous speed! Ludicrous speed!
David Samuel Barr
2018-05-10 01:07:52 UTC
Permalink
Very sorry for the delay in replying;
haven't been able to catch up on Usenet
the last couple of weeks.

To answer your question, it ended up
costing me $400.00 plus tax. He had
originally thought it would be about
$135.00 but it turned out to require
much more extensive work than he had
anticipated before he started on it.
He was quite straightforward about
it and obtained my approval before
he went ahead with it; there was no
after-the-fact bait-and-switch. I
was very impressed with his work and
his manner of doing business.
Post by B00ze
Post by David Samuel Barr
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,
Peter Jason
2018-04-23 00:44:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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.
Diesel
2018-04-23 01:14:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Jason
Post by B00ze
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.
:) It's one of the tricks of the trade, actually. Works quite nicely
in some cases. I tend not to write to the drive while I'm doing this
mind you, it's ONLY for read only data recovery. As by doing the PCB
swap, the drive has the wrong manufacturer mappings now for those
platters.
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php
===================================================
'I love you, you love me, I will eat your family.' --Barney
a***@internet.none
2018-04-23 07:17:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Jason
Post by B00ze
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).
Diesel
2018-04-23 01:14:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
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.
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php
===================================================
Be seeing you... -- #6
B00ze
2018-04-28 06:23:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Diesel
Post by B00ze
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,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo BUREAUCRACY: Transforming energy into solid waste.
VanguardLH
2018-04-28 19:21:33 UTC
Permalink
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
B00ze
2018-05-23 03:50:50 UTC
Permalink
Good day all.

Finally took the drives out of the old PC. The one that won't calibrate
anymore, the spindle makes an awful whine, but it seems to spin OK (last
time I checked SMART, there were no spin-up errors.) It was really going
to die soon no matter what. So right now it kicks the heads back and
forth for 5 minutes before giving up. I swapped the controller board
with another of the same model, made the same day. Now the drive kicks 2
or 3 times and settles down, and makes those "I'm reading a sector"
noises. Unfortunately, it is not enough, it never really becomes ready
so it never appears in Windows (I am forced to use a USB adapter, I
might be able to access it on a real IDE PC). I'd maybe have to swap
that tiny ROM chip between the boards, but I do not like where it is
located, it's going to be a pain using a soldering iron and I'm afraid
I'll un-solder half the board if I use a heat gun (never tried that on
electronics, and I don't think now is a good time to try.)

Since I'm not sure what's wrong, I'm not going to attempt swapping the
heads between my 2 drives. If I mess-up, I won't even know, because the
problem could be something other than the heads. So I'll be sending it
away. Found a place with a fixed price depending on hard drive size.
Since this is a really small drive, the price is good. I'll give'em the
donor drive too. I will report back.

Best Regards,
--
! _\|/_ Sylvain / ***@hotmail.com
! (o o) Member:David-Suzuki-Fdn/EFF/Red+Cross/SPCA/Planetary-Society
oO-( )-Oo Funny, I don't remember being absent minded.
VanguardLH
2018-05-23 04:34:14 UTC
Permalink
So I'll be sending it away. Found a place with a fixed price depending
on hard drive size. Since this is a really small drive, the price is
good. I'll give'em the donor drive too. I will report back.
I don't think you ever mentioned the drive's size. What is it? And how
much did the unidentified repair service center they would charge? Be
interesting to know what they are charging per MB or GB. Do they have a
web site? Also be interesting would be for you to return here to say if
they repaired the drive okay or were able to read everything off the old
one to put on a new one.
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2018-05-23 23:39:29 UTC
Permalink
In message <pe2oeu$1il$***@dont-email.me>, B00ze <***@hotmail.com>
writes:
[]
like where it is located, it's going to be a pain using a soldering
iron and I'm afraid I'll un-solder half the board if I use a heat gun
(never tried that on electronics, and I don't think now is a good time
to try.)
[]
You've found an alternative solution, but just for completeness: I know
what you mean about blowing away other components; some of those
resistors and capacitors look like large grains of salt! What we tended
to do when removing a chip with a heat gun where there are lots of
adjacent components was cover them (the nearby components, not the one
we're removing) with "Kapton" tape (I don't know if that's a trade name
- probably). It's heat-resistant adhesive tape - dark yellow in colour,
looks a bit coppery when still on the roll.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

If you bate your breath do you catch a lung fish? (Glynn Greenwood 1996-8-23.)
Diesel
2018-05-28 08:02:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by B00ze
Good day all.
Finally took the drives out of the old PC. The one that won't
calibrate anymore, the spindle makes an awful whine, but it seems
to spin OK (last time I checked SMART, there were no spin-up
errors.) It was really going to die soon no matter what. So right
now it kicks the heads back and forth for 5 minutes before giving
up. I swapped the controller board with another of the same model,
made the same day. Now the drive kicks 2 or 3 times and settles
down, and makes those "I'm reading a sector" noises.
Unfortunately, it is not enough, it never really becomes ready so
it never appears in Windows (I am forced to use a USB adapter, I
might be able to access it on a real IDE PC). I'd maybe have to
swap that tiny ROM chip between the boards, but I do not like
where it is located, it's going to be a pain using a soldering
iron and I'm afraid I'll un-solder half the board if I use a heat
gun (never tried that on electronics, and I don't think now is a
good time to try.)
There's no point in swapping components on the boards themselves at
this point. Your drive has a mechanical issue and exchanging the ROM
isn't going to fix that.
Post by B00ze
Since I'm not sure what's wrong, I'm not going to attempt swapping
the heads between my 2 drives. If I mess-up, I won't even know,
because the problem could be something other than the heads. So
I'll be sending it away. Found a place with a fixed price
depending on hard drive size. Since this is a really small drive,
the price is good. I'll give'em the donor drive too. I will report
back.
Please do. If possible and they're willing to tell you, please share
what they determine the problem turned out being. Thanks!
--
To prevent yourself from being a victim of cyber
stalking, it's highly recommended you visit here:
https://tekrider.net/pages/david-brooks-stalker.php
===================================================
'We already *know* who your friends and family are.'-AT&T
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