Data recovery services? Broken seagate 1tb hard drive - where to get it fixed?

Hi all! Can anyone help me with recommending a hard drive Seagate 1TB data recovery company please? I went to a forensic lab (quoting over £400) but he is now saying the platters aren't damaged (it was making a whirring and clicking sound and would not show up on my pc when plugged in) but that he h to find replacement head parts etc. I HAVE no idea what any of this means. I called a company called Fields Data Recovery and the guy sounded nice enough and confident on the phone but I am now vvv wary of being scammed or losing my data (precious photos/ videos) as I have seen so many companies online, some with labs on site, some with none. Does anyone know someone who can please help? Or have you had this problem before? Many thanks.


  • Long thread HERE why you should avoid Fields
  • JJ_Egan
    JJ_Egan Posts: 20,281 Forumite
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    Do you really need the data recovered ?? is it worth £500 .
    If the platters are ok then the first lab will need to find components for the drive .Usually electronic controller and or the data pickup arm and components .Much like a record player a drive contains the platter / LP and a swinging arm and head to read the data plus the electronic components to do so .
    Recovery is carried out in a Clean Room .
  • TonyMMM
    TonyMMM Posts: 3,379 Forumite
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    Data recovery is expensive - and not guaranteed to work, but if you are going to pay you need to make sure the company you employ really are experts and have all the proper equipment and a clean room environment.

    I would have thought £400 is on the low side for that type of work.
  • AndyPix
    AndyPix Posts: 4,847 Forumite
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    These guys are brilliant, thorough and cheap .

    I have used them many times and cant recommend them highly enough.

    No fee if your files cant be recovered (iv always had 100% recovery anyway)
    Cost around £260
  • S0litaire
    S0litaire Posts: 3,535 Forumite
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    check out this guy based in Glasgow. Does not charge for taking a look, but repairs are around £350 fir a simple job and no more than £450 if he needs to replace bits inside (the heads that read the data usually!)

    He usually posts interesting repairs on FB and his own site.
    looks reliable. (Never used him though!)


    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
  • Before Dr Solomon was bought out by McAfee, they had a hard disk recovery service which at least one government department had an account with - they were used to recover dumped disk drives and provide expert witness testimony. Their white rooms routinely spun and read disks.

    So long as you have the unit yourself, you can always ask around. One chap in a backroom can be as technically proficient as a Major Name, but the costs will be seriously different.

    Hoping you recover your data and that you move to double backups? This article has a handy infographic as to estimated lifespan of assorted media at the bottom of the page.
  • System
    System Posts: 178,093 Community Admin
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    Ah the good ole daze.

    Remember the Vogons?
    The Vogons are a fictional alien race from the planet
    Vogsphere in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

  • Naf
    Naf Posts: 3,160 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Unless the guy you've spoken with has actually taken the drive apart, he can't say for sure that the platters are not damaged. With your whirring clicking noise, there's a decent chance they are not, however.
    As a minimum this recovery will need replacement read-heads to be sourced, and probably the controller circuits too. The drive needs to be stripped down in a clean room, the parts transferred over, and the drive attached to a computer to recover the data to another hard drive.

    I only go into this to point out the reason this is so expensive - it will certainly run you over £300, and I was quoted £70 in the past. It also relies on the ability to source the right components (with a 1TB drive, you're probably OK). If this doesn't work, the cost goes up significantly.

    Remember top check with the company if their price includes another drive to return the data to you. I found they often didn't.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.
    - Mark Twain
    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon: no matter how good you are at chess, its just going to knock over the pieces and strut around like its victorious.
  • The problem you suggested is symptomatic of a classic case of a mechanical failure of the drive heads and £400 sounds reasonable to repair that.
  • Doshwaster
    Doshwaster Posts: 6,136 Forumite
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    AndyPix wrote: »
    I have used them many times and cant recommend them highly enough.

    No fee if your files cant be recovered (iv always had 100% recovery anyway)
    Cost around £260

    If you have used them "many times" then maybe that indicates you need a better backup strategy. If I have a hard disk failure then it never really affects me as the data is always somewhere else.

    My philosophy which hard drives is that they will all fail - it's just a matter of when.
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