Burned, Dropped, Drowned: HDD Recovery In Pictures

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Have to question why in this day and age anybody with any critical data doesn't go for an automatic remote backup system.

I run a small it business and we offer a remote backup system which is ten replicated again so the data is moved to a third location. The third location is 150 miles from our area of operations (so a larger area disasters like floding means we won't take out more than 2 data locations).

That said I have used recovery experts in the past and they are near magicans. The clean room stuff is amazing. Still I guess disk technology has improved since the days of 8" winchesters...

Nice article - thanks
 

neiroatopelcc

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I kinda agree with babbage.
We're a company with storage in 4 different towns and a center on the top of a hill. The two towns futhest apart are about 80km from each other. In the two big locations data is backed up locally and then the backup medium are locked in a firesafe box. Wouldn't prevent damage from being submerged for a longer duration, but in almost all other cases would prevent loss of data. In the two smallest locations we've opted for backup via internet. And I think that's actually reasonably cheap. The company providing this service to us has huge datacenters in two cities that are a big bit apart (for our standards), and it's relatively cheap. You pay for the amount of data you backup - and it's using ibm's tivoli system, so it'll keep working till the end of the internet. IMO any smaller company would appreaciate this kind of backup. It doesn't cost much, and not only your current data, but also the 5 most recent revisions are stored (changable by the customer). All in all it's a brilliant solution for companies that don't want to spend huge amounts on inhouse backup and maintainance thereof.
 

jimmysmitty

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[citation][nom]Babbage[/nom]Have to question why in this day and age anybody with any critical data doesn't go for an automatic remote backup system.I run a small it business and we offer a remote backup system which is ten replicated again so the data is moved to a third location. The third location is 150 miles from our area of operations (so a larger area disasters like floding means we won't take out more than 2 data locations).That said I have used recovery experts in the past and they are near magicans. The clean room stuff is amazing. Still I guess disk technology has improved since the days of 8" winchesters... Nice article - thanks[/citation]

The clean rooms are normally used for dust sensative technologies like CPUs, GPUs and the such.

The first clean room I ever saw was a tour of Intels Chandler FAB. Quite amazing to see a room where no dust can get in.
 

reasonablevoice

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Not cheap is right, their cheapest data recovery services start at around $1000.
I've got to comment, even though my shop partners with DriveSavers, this whole thing kind of seemed like an ad for driver savers. It makes me wonder if Tom's accepted any money for this article. Can the author please comment?
Besides that, they are a good company, but 90% of cases can be solved by either a PCB swap or using something like GetDataBack for much cheaper.
 

antonydbond

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You can see how much care and attention that has gone into the process, now I understand the price tag on such a service. Such a delicate process with a lot of steps.

 

antonydbond

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[citation][nom]neiroatopelcc[/nom]I kinda agree with babbage. We're a company with storage in 4 different towns and a center on the top of a hill. The two towns futhest apart are about 80km from each other. In the two big locations data is backed up locally and then the backup medium are locked in a firesafe box. Wouldn't prevent damage from being submerged for a longer duration, but in almost all other cases would prevent loss of data. In the two smallest locations we've opted for backup via internet. And I think that's actually reasonably cheap. The company providing this service to us has huge datacenters in two cities that are a big bit apart (for our standards), and it's relatively cheap. You pay for the amount of data you backup - and it's using ibm's tivoli system, so it'll keep working till the end of the internet. IMO any smaller company would appreaciate this kind of backup. It doesn't cost much, and not only your current data, but also the 5 most recent revisions are stored (changable by the customer). All in all it's a brilliant solution for companies that don't want to spend huge amounts on inhouse backup and maintainance thereof.[/citation]


Maybe at the time they did not have enough time, effort or money for a backup system. It is extremely recommended but you will always get people who won't or cannot do it. Very good point though
 

tpi2007

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I wonder what will happen to this and other companies' business model when in a few years SSD's start becoming the norm.

Which brings another question and article suggestion: how do you do recovery of a water submerged SSD ? Sure, there are no platters, so the only thing to care might be rust on the pcb's, contacts, etc. Is it so ? Or is there more to it ?

Some people who are considering buying SSD's for certain tasks might like to know if such companies already do this kind of stuff. I visited DriveSavers and they don't refer to it explicitly. They do recover from usb flash drives or memory cards. So they should be able, right ? Or not right ?
 

antonydbond

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[citation][nom]tpi2007[/nom]I wonder what will happen to this and other companies' business model when in a few years SSD's start becoming the norm.Which brings another question and article suggestion: how do you do recovery of a water submerged SSD ? Sure, there are no platters, so the only thing to care might be rust on the pcb's, contacts, etc. Is it so ? Or is there more to it ?Some people who are considering buying SSD's for certain tasks might like to know if such companies already do this kind of stuff. I visited DriveSavers and they don't refer to it explicitly. They do recover from usb flash drives or memory cards. So they should be able, right ? Or not right ?[/citation]

It will be a harder process I would imagine but they will find a procedure but it will take more time and will most probably be harder.
 
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I realize DriverSavers is most likely a reputable place and probably provided exclusive access for this story but I feel like I just read one big brochure or advertisement. Why not include cost or would that just ruin the hype? I'm disappointed on this one, TH.
 
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I remember a plug on Toms for Data Savers, but I am glad an article was made with pictures and such. I'm not sure why, but data recovery excites me! I once got a txt from a friend that was having hard drive issues, told them to do chkdsk, but to no avail. I told her to bring the drive to me (consequently it was her boyfriend that messed up the drive, running two two antivirus programs at the same time while downloading torrents and looking at.. inappropriate webpages). She had just downloaded pictures off her camera (she was commissioned to take wedding photos and deleted the pictures off the memory card), so if she lost those pictures she would have lost her job. Thankfully, it was only corruption on the drive, and I was able to restore all 400+ pictures save two, and also all the music/etc on her drive using recovery software (if it had been hardware failure, I couldn't have done it). All I got was a 'thanks'. When I told her if she had brought it to Best Buy she would be out $300, she was a little more grateful :p
 

cadder

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Back in the days when drives were so incredibly expensive it was worthwhile to buy failed drives and repair them. I've had a couple repaired by different companies, sometimes involving cleanroom repairs.

As for data recovery, if you don't have backups then you pay the price. I couldn't believe that the print shop didn't take the computers elsewhere. If you have time to put them on top of tall furniture then you have time to put them in the trunk of your car and take them elsewhere. Or at least bag them in heavy plastic bags.
 
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[citation][nom]Babbage[/nom]Have to question why in this day and age anybody with any critical data doesn't go for an automatic remote backup system.I run a small it business and we offer a remote backup system which is ten replicated again so the data is moved to a third location. The third location is 150 miles from our area of operations (so a larger area disasters like floding means we won't take out more than 2 data locations).That said I have used recovery experts in the past and they are near magicans. The clean room stuff is amazing. Still I guess disk technology has improved since the days of 8" winchesters... Nice article - thanks[/citation]
Because not every company is prone to sending their valuable data over internet, or even connecting their network to the internet, left open for hackers, trojans or virusses.
Staying offline with company sensitive data is the securest!
Also, if you get to know 2 hours in advance to start backing up a 20-100 computer company over a network, you probably can imagine that would be too late.

But I do agree, they should have backed everything up on a local server using daily or weekly incremental backups (take less space and time to backup)so in case of a flood they could back up, and take the server with them, and get out of there.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]reasonablevoice[/nom]Not cheap is right, their cheapest data recovery services start at around $1000. I've got to comment, even though my shop partners with DriveSavers, this whole thing kind of seemed like an ad for driver savers. It makes me wonder if Tom's accepted any money for this article. Can the author please comment?Besides that, they are a good company, but 90% of cases can be solved by either a PCB swap or using something like GetDataBack for much cheaper.[/citation]

Nope, in fact, I asked to help with the story myself. I'd never seen what went on in a drive recovery and used their people/facilities as the "example."
 

HolyCrusader

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[citation][nom]tpi2007[/nom]I wonder what will happen to this and other companies' business model when in a few years SSD's start becoming the norm.Which brings another question and article suggestion: how do you do recovery of a water submerged SSD ? Sure, there are no platters, so the only thing to care might be rust on the pcb's, contacts, etc. Is it so ? Or is there more to it ?Some people who are considering buying SSD's for certain tasks might like to know if such companies already do this kind of stuff. I visited DriveSavers and they don't refer to it explicitly. They do recover from usb flash drives or memory cards. So they should be able, right ? Or not right ?[/citation]


I've read occasionally that SSD's or Hybrid SSD's (half traditional drive, half SSD as a type of cache) are considerably more difficult to recover data from, if not outright impossible in many of the situations that a traditional HDD could be saved from.

USB sticks, on the other hand are usually(relatively) easy to repair - a little harder than a normal HDD, but far easier than an SSD as long as the main data chip(s) is intact.
 

reasonablevoice

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[citation][nom]cangelini[/nom]Nope, in fact, I asked to help with the story myself. I'd never seen what went on in a drive recovery and used their people/facilities as the "example."[/citation]

Great, that is good to know. They are a good company and worth every penny when someone has mission critical data they need recovered. If DriverSavers can't get your data back, then you better hope God gets into the data recovery market.

Keep up the good work Tom's, I read you daily.
 

cangelini

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Thanks Reasonable--I'm actually working on more of these "behind-the-scenes" type stories where we go somewhere most people can't just stroll in and see. My next goal is an AMD or Intel fab, but they seem too well-guarded!
 

rockerrb

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This was a great article. I had an external Maxtor hard drive crash once and while I still have it, I have never gotten the data back off of it. I have heard of another data recovery software called SpinRite so I might give it or GetDataBack a try at some point in the future.

I have since purchased 2 external Western Digital drives and back up my files every time there is a change. I was using Streamload which changed it's name to MediaMax until they went out of business. I have yet to find another online backup service that is cost effective for me since I would need at least 500 GB of space. I am a home user with 20 years experience with computers and not a business.
 
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