1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

hard drive recovery

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by azureblue, Mar 31, 2009.


  1. Trying to recover Pro tools data from a pair of IDE drives flooded in Katrina (still). An entire CD is on them, never mastered, and was almost done, when the flood hit. The drowned studio did not have backups, so this is what we have to work with. And it would mean a lot to get this project finished and released, if just to put the last of Katrina behind us...


    A two second look at the platters doesn't show damage, but both the circuit boards have crud and corrosion on them, and neither will boot. No head chatter, but I can hear both platters spin up . 'Net advice is to send them off & have the circuit boards repaired, but this is kind of out of my price range @ $500 per drive.

    Advice? maybe some business that can fix the PCB for less money?
     
  2. uaudio

    uaudio

    Apr 11, 2008
    Arizona
    How do you know the plates aren't damaged? You looked at them?
     
  3. crayzee

    crayzee

    Feb 12, 2009
    Mississauga, ON
    Hard to say, but if the platters look ok but it's not accessible to be read, you kinda have to go the pro route, just know that it's no guarantee that anything will be recovered.
     
  4. slap2much

    slap2much Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2004
    Chicago
    If you absolutely don't have the financial means for a data recovery service and can find identical part # hard drives used on eBay or some other secondary source, you could try swapping the drive assemblies yourself. I guess it goes without saying, though, that you only get one shot.
     
  5. Nick Kay

    Nick Kay

    Jul 26, 2007
    Toronto, Ontario
    Your best bet is to go with a professional recovery effort. Any DIY solution would be sketchy at best. Mind you, I've done platter swaps to recover data from dead drives at home before with good results. They almost always ended in the secondary drive failing, but never before I had the chance to copy the data to an undoctored drive. That's no operation for the inexperienced, though.

    I don't understand why you'd want to repair the PCB, though. There's gunk all over the drive, and that will effect operation regardless of the condition of the PCB. I'd bet dollars to donuts that a recovery centre would just do a platter swap, and possibly copy to an unmodified drive after.
     
  6. meta

    meta

    Mar 11, 2009
    Water itself won't damage the platters. The board won't necessarily be damaged by water, but corrosion (or turning it on while it is still wet!) As Nick Kay indicated, best bet is to go with the professional recovery services offered by the hard drive manufacturer. If they are seagate drives, send them to seagate. If they are western digital, send them to western digital. You can tell them you don't even need the hard drives in functioning order, just to get the data onto dvds or another new drive. that **should** be cheaper.
     
  7. I read up on DIY recovery, PCB swap and the like, and it reads like it is a dicey thing to try, and may risk damaging the platters. I doubt I would even be able to find a replacement PCB from the same batch. BTW, both these drives are both 120GB's. One is WD Caviar 1200, made 2003, the other a Seagate barracuda made 2003.

    Before I even attempted to try them out, I pulled the PCBs off and toothbrushed them with soap and water, then a PCB cleaner. One has rust behind the IDE connector on the left corner of the PCB board, the other has corrosion around the resistor array.

    Never thought of the obvious- sending them back to the makers. Duh on me. Any idea what a manufacture would charge for this? I still have the cost to deal with.

    PS- is there a direct contact phone number or email for this service for btoh WD and Seagate?
     
  8. DocBop

    DocBop

    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    Best bet is to find two identical drives then call and see what someone would charge to move the platters from bad one to the other.
     
  9. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    +1 send it to a company that recovers hard drives. they will fix almost anything. so yes it would be expensive. Expect to pay at least $100

    you would need to say, how much $ on work did you put to do this recording vs how much $ would it cost to recover it. Or if it would be cheaper to do the work again from scratch.

    I would say no to do it yourself if you don't know what you are doing. messing up with it might just make it worse.

    check out: http://www.i365.com/data-recovery/priority.html
     
  10. This is a complete CD- 12 tracks, done by long scattered New Orleans musicians, and one who died right after the flood- in fact, his last recording. The person whose project it is is not in New Orleans anymore, either. The project was almost done- they took a break, with plans to finish the project after a short breather, but Katrina hit. All that was left was to redo a couple of vocal tracks, fix some flubs, then mixdown and master. There was a fair amount of money into the project at flood time- a few thousand- not much by some standards, but too much to dump and start over. All that is left to show is the scratch tracks- ruffs of 9 of the songs- and the two drives.

    I read up on DIY recovery, PCB swap and the like, and it reads like it is a dicey thing to try, and may risk damaging the platters. I doubt I would even be able to find a replacement PCB from the same batch. BTW, both these drives are both 120GB's. One is WD Caviar 1200, made 2003, the other a Seagate barracuda made 2003.

    Before I even attempted to try them out, I pulled the PCBs off and toothbrushed them with soap and water, then a PCB cleaner. One has rust behind the IDE connector on the left corner of the PCB board, the other has corrosion around the resistor array.

    Never thought of the obvious- sending them back to the makers. Duh on me. Any idea what a manufacture would charge for this? I still have the cost to deal with.

    PS- is there a direct contact phone number or email for this service for btoh WD and Seagate?
     
  11. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    you could do this,

    take some pictures to the hard drives. write down a detail description of what you can see it might be wrong. rust, it makes weird sounds, stuff like that. Write down the models and serial numbers.

    When you contact those people, send them an email so they can send you an estimate. I think the link i put here was only for Seagate, you could ask them if they also do the other one.

    Get a quote from another company that is not the factory. But lookup if they have a certification, like ISO or some type of certification by the manufacturer.

    Without a detail description of the problem, it would be hard for them to make an estimate. They will just quote you a low fee. And when you send the stuff, they will hike the prices and you will be like. what the @X?
     
  12. This is what I'm afraid of. I'm not going to insist on an exact quote, but within a hundred per drive would be fair, I think.

    I think this is a simple platter swap, the more I look into it..
     
  13. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    If there is any type of insurance coverage, they will often pay for recovery.

    This is really not something to fool with yourself. It sounds like you have already compromised the integrity of the platters and heads by opening the drive, even for a moment. Bad idea.

    Consider a firm like DriveSavers for recovery. They can recover both drives, instead of you dealing with both manufacturers. The manufacturers probably send out the drives anyway.

    If the project is worth the additional money, then do it. There is already several thousand invested in the recording process.
     
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Do not even try to recover these yourself. You will fail.

    There are companies that do this and can help you.

    Now, you mentioned you had 2 drives - - were they RAID or RAID 0 (or just 2 drives?)

    that will make a difference....
     
  15. just two IDE's
     
  16. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Recovery of separate drives is much more likely to succeed than recovering a RAID array. It should also be cheaper, because there is no need to consider both drives together when recovering data.
     
  17. $500 to $2700 per drive, sound like the going rate?
     
  18. beardo

    beardo

    Jan 16, 2009
    Yes, $500-$2700 are reasonable estimates. A lot of times you'll send your drive into the company, and they'll send you a list of what they can recover and how much each file would cost. If the data is actually intact on the platters, and they're just swapping out parts in a clean room, then it would be on the low end. If there's any internal damage the price and go up pretty quickly.

    In 2002 my company paid about $20k to have all the files restored off a 160GB drive. This was due to hardware failure, and we still didn't get everything back.
     
  19. crow01

    crow01

    Sep 1, 2008
    chicago
    it happens that companies do pay a lot of money. well it's either that or they go out of business. data is of most importance. i heard of many of them.
     
  20. meta

    meta

    Mar 11, 2009
    well.... here is a story. I'm a computer geek full time, just play the bass for fun, record some stuff, play a few live gigs, but mostly i'm a computer geek slash programmer nerd. I originally just indicated to send it to the manufacturer, as that is the most chance of success. but there are other options, and you can be in control the whole time with what you authorize the manufacturer to do. anyways, here is a story to help illustrate the point:

    i work a lot with hard drives. only had 1 scsi / sis drive fail, but lots of ide drives. This particular ide was in a software mirror on my linux server (i know software mirrors aren't the best performance wise, but who cares on a mirror for a backup server?). anyways, the ide drive failed. it was a seagate. I took it to a local shop first, to see if they could just put a new circuit on the hard drive (that's the thing that the cables connect to) and then read the data and put it on a dvd for me. they replaced the circuit. it cost me $50. I got the mirror operational again (or at least another usable drive I could use for a different mirror) for less than a new hard drive.

    Now if they couldn't have done that (which has happened to me as well), and the drive wasn't mirrored, I would send it to seagate or the manufacturer, and get them to do an analysis. If it is just the circuit for the cables (ie. the electronics) then it would only cost maybe $50 for a new circuit (the might be better than the local shop at fixing a simple problem), or so... maybe $100. If the problem isn't the circuit, then it is a platter problem. If it is a platter problem then it costs more and the data might already be gone. but you can just get them to give you a call once they find that out. But just a fyi, if it's a platter problem, the chances of getting the data back fall dramatically, and that's when it gets expensive. It may cost thousands of dollars. For some people it is worth it. And even for thousands of dollars there is no guarantee you can get the data back, as if it is platter erosion you are ****ed. so don't touch the platters yourself, unless you know what you are doing. or if seagate says it isn't the circuit and it will cost thousands of dollars, and you're not going to pay then you may as well try it yourself as you've got nothing to lose.

    anyways, that was my best slahsdot / geek go at it. in summary:
    1. take it to a cheap local shop that sells hard drives to do it cheap.
    2. if they can't do it, send it to seagate. give them an amount you are willing to pay (talk to them first obviously)
    3. if seagate / manufacturer can't do it easily (ie. it isn't circuit swapping that will fix it, or some smaller easy to replace component), you are ****ed as it is a platter problem. your data is probably gone.
    4. if you are willing to pay more, have them try with no guarantee to get the data. You only pay if they recover the data, but you have to be willing to pay if they can recover it.
    5. if you aren't willing to pay more, have them ship it back, but it may not be in a state that you can use without a dyi method. but at this point the data is gone more than likely. platter problems are almost NEVER fixed. for a lot of money you can try to get them to read one platter at a time and see if they can get something, but once one platter goes, it effects other ones (as the synchrony gets out of wack, depends what happens on the hd)

    cheers,
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.