head crash

ricktearicktea Inactive Imported Users Posts: 118
my hard drive crashed last week on my other system and 20 gigs of valuable data was lost, I was told there is head damage, but the price was too high, are there any reliable and inexpensive data recovery companies that you can recommend. thankyou
Richard Krenzel

Comments

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    ricktea wrote:
    my hard drive crashed last week on my other system and 20 gigs of valuable data was lost, I was told there is head damage, but the price was too high, are there any reliable and inexpensive data recovery companies that you can recommend. thankyou

    So, no backups? icon_sad.gif

    Business data...depending on the business...the information could be worth every penny.

    Personal data...I've not seen anything worth the expense and just consider a lesson learned about doing good backups.

    But, no, I've not heard of anyone doing 'inexpensive' data recovery.
    One place I worked we worked with a lab in TX (??) and ship them the drive and a week or so later they'd send back a backup if they were able to recover data...most of the time they could. This was only used by a few business clients, even many of them figured it wasn't worth the cost and ensured they had good tape backups/off-site protection/and tested it to ensure they could recover from a disaster.

    20GB?? That's quite a bit of data for an individual. icon_eek.gif

    FWIW
    Plantwiz
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    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Plantwiz wrote:
    20GB?? That's quite a bit of data for an individual. icon_eek.gif

    Heck, my data folder runs to about 60 GB - I replicate to a second drive for security and do a ghost every month.
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  • SleepsalotSleepsalot Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I did a goggle Search This one looks like they can help. They will give you a free up front quote.

    http://www.rescuemydata.com/index-1.html

    Wayne
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,671 Admin
    Physical hardware problems require more expensive recovery solutions. With a real head crash, you've irreparably lost data because the disk heads have literally scraped the metallic oxide off the platens. Many "head crashes" that I've seen did not involve the heads actually coming in contact with the platens, but instead were simply a failure of the servo actuator motor (and usually preceded by a "tick tick tick" sound). This type of crash recovery is performed by just transferring the platens to a new disk enclosure and imaging their surfaces to a good drive. Fairly simple, but still expensive.

    I know several people that have used this company with excellent results: http://www.datamechanix.com/
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Has anyone attempted to swap their own platens?

    I've changed out boards with success (when I can find a match), but haven't attempted to install them to a new drive...assuming one can have a clean uncontaminated area...it shouldn't be too bad?? Just never wanted to toss away $50-$100 on drives just to try. Though I'm thinking it would be a handy 'skill' to have for local stuff.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    Plantwiz wrote:
    Has anyone attempted to swap their own platens?

    I've done it once, and once only. I will never do it again, for the pain was too much, and I fear I shant live through another ordeal like it. . .

    No, seriously. I've done it, it was a pain, and it was far more trouble than it was worth. Back up your data a head of time, protect yourself from hardware failure that way.

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  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Slowhand wrote:
    Plantwiz wrote:
    Has anyone attempted to swap their own platens?

    I've done it once, and once only. I will never do it again, for the pain was too much, and I fear I shant live through another ordeal like it. . .

    No, seriously. I've done it, it was a pain, and it was far more trouble than it was worth. Back up your data a head of time, protect yourself from hardware failure that way.

    What type of drive?
    SCSI, IDE, SATA?

    Obviously it worked for you, did you happen to find a matching model? Did you try a different one?

    just curious :)
    Thanks in advance
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have swapped platters a couple times - once to recover data for a client and another time to bring a drive back to life for forensic investigation. Personally I hate doing that and believe it sould only be done if you have a proper lab as one minor spec of dust can cause havoc.
    www.supercross.com
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  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Oh yes, a clean (sterile) space goes without question.

    How did you handle the platters? Lint free gloves? Fingerprints can't be good either??
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used special rubber blend gloves that had no talc in them - once finished they had to be cut off as they sure did not want to release icon_lol.gif
    I actually did the job in a science lab using a special clean room.
    www.supercross.com
    FIM website of the year 2007
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    RussS wrote:
    I used special rubber blend gloves that had no talc in them - once finished they had to be cut off as they sure did not want to release icon_lol.gif
    I actually did the job in a science lab using a special clean room.

    Thanks :)

    Optaining the clean room would be the trickiest part, but still it would be fun as well as educational to go through the process at least once.

    Thanks for the comments :D
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,671 Admin
    Maybe there's a special, transparent "clean room" bag that you can put the drives into, and has built-in gloves for your hands to perform the actual disassembly/swap/reassembly (don't forget to put your tools in the bag too!). Something like that would come in handy for collecting forensic evidence in the field--or swapping hard drive platens in your garage.
  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I believe that such things exist but are expensive. The cage is not the problem it is the filter. Disk drives are assembled in class A clean rooms which spec to 1 micron filtration. A human hair averages 100 microns and i believe there are virus larger than 1 micron. Disk drive heads fly via laminar flow at 50 micro inches. That is smaller than finger prints or the particles in cigarette smoke. Just changing them out in a semi clean area is a crap shoot as to if you will not crash the replacement heads before you can remove data.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    jdmurray wrote:
    Maybe there's a special, transparent "clean room" bag that you can put the drives into, and has built-in gloves for your hands to perform the actual disassembly/swap/reassembly (don't forget to put your tools in the bag too!). Something like that would come in handy for collecting forensic evidence in the field--or swapping hard drive platens in your garage.

    Yes, this is a cool idea!!

    I personally wouldn't look to do it as a mainstay of my day job, but there are times it's worth knowing how to do this sort of thing.

    A desk bubble. Heck, could be a whole 'kit' :)

    This is definately marketable JD!!
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,671 Admin
    TheShadow wrote:
    Disk drive heads fly via laminar flow at 50 micro inches. That is smaller than finger prints or the particles in cigarette smoke. Just changing them out in a semi clean area is a crap shoot as to if you will not crash the replacement heads before you can remove data.
    Yes, but a hard drive auto-parks its heads over a landing area off the platens. If the heads are properly parked, it should be easy to remove the entire platen assembly without disturbing the heads. If the actuator arms are jammed, and the heads are over--and scraping--the platens, you'll need to disassemble and (carefully) remove the arm assembly before you can remove the platens.

    It seems that this type of operation could be better performed if the drive were submerged in some sort of lubricating fluid that would prevent the heads from scraping the platens as they were being removed. I think they experimented with liquid-filled disk drives for the same reason (that, and better heat transfer).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Head_crash

    I've taken plenty of hard drives apart, but never in a clean room. And only once did one actually work properly once I got it back together.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    So did you just take them apart to reassemble? Or did you try to swap parts?

    I'm guessing things need to match (like the controller board if you try to replace that component), but how much does it matter on the inside?

    same mfg only?
    same model?
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I do not disagree with anything that you said JD. My comment was that the air internal to the drive would be contaminated. The drive even has its own 1micron filter for air pressurization. Even if you did not damage anything in the removal process, my concern is that it would crash again on spin-up when the case starts to re-pressurize and microscopic trash starts flying around.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    TheShadow wrote:
    I do not disagree with anything that you said JD. My comment was that the air internal to the drive would be contaminated. The drive even has its own 1micron filter for air pressurization. Even if you did not damage anything in the removal process, my concern is that it would crash again on spin-up when the case starts to re-pressurize and microscopic trash starts flying around.

    My questions/interests are mainly for a 1 time to backup/salvadge data and not for absolute replacement use. I'd be interested in trying it on a 'dead' drive ... last ditch effort to recover data onto a new drive/device/media. So in this case, I think a 'clean' environment would be satisfatory.

    I would guess that it goes without saying that if this attempt failed...then there is little chance a real lab could retrieve the data.

    So this would be somewhere between...oops I forgot to back up and my files are there (but I'm not paying hundreds - thousands to retrieve the stuff) ....up to give it a try and if that doesn't work, next time I'll do backups.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Then in that case it would be best to change the platters and spin it up with the cover off where things would tend to fly away from the heads. I have seen drives run for several hours before the inevitable.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,671 Admin
    Plantwiz wrote:
    So did you just take them apart to reassemble? Or did you try to swap parts?
    I attempted to swap the platen assemblies from drives with a bad servo motor to identical good drives (we typically bought quite a few drives of the same make/model). I've tried this on both Maxtor and WD drives, but only had it work on WD drives--and just long enough to copy the disk, but not use for production work.

    I noticed that the (old) WD drives had vent holes that were covered with air filtering material, so the drives were not internally pressurized. The Maxtor drives seemed to be completely sealed. Maxtor drives also seemed to have much better success with freezing as a temporary repair than the WDs.
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    Well my opinion of WD is that they....SUCK :P

    But now that you mention the freezing thing, I guess the times it fails it happens on that brand of drive.

    Our drives are exclusively Maxtor. And the Maxtor/Seagate merger makes me pretty happe (FWIW)


    *******
    theshadow wrote:
    Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:17 pm Post subject:


    Then in that case it would be best to change the platters and spin it up with the cover off where things would tend to fly away from the heads. I have seen drives run for several hours before the inevitable.

    Thanks. Sure, why not. The point isn't to rebuild, it's to merely get the last bits of data off...if there is a way.

    This isn't something that happens frequently. 90% of our clients are Business Clients with the balance coming from their personal systems and occassional smaller clients with poor or limited computer knowledge (yet they fail to call us until they fail completely).

    Make for a nice discussion :)
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • endersftdendersftd Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I wish I was on my other laptop - I had a link to a guy who had pictures of when he swapped the platens of a failed notebook hard disk. Essentially, his goal was to swap the platens into an identical drive, power up the drive and image off as much as possible, understanding that his swapped platens would eventually fail.

    He used some kind of Linux self-booting toolkit and an external hard drive to backup whatever the imaging software could salvage. My point is, swapping the platens to recover the data (at least a do-it-yourself job) assumes that you'll probably get another crash or worse in the process. If you can get it working enough to pull some image data off of it before it goes bad, I would consider that a success.

    I've got a 60GB Maxtor that has, I believe, a bad servo arm (the hard drive will start tick...tick...tick for a minute once the computer is powered on and that's all it ever does). It's got some personal data that I would like to recover, but not pay much money for. At some point, I will probably experiment with swapping the platens myself.
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