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  • FIRST POST
    • s2016
    • By s2016 22nd Sep 16, 11:36 AM
    • 42Posts
    • 11Thanks
    s2016
    Data recovery services? Broken seagate 1tb hard drive - where to get it fixed?
    • #1
    • 22nd Sep 16, 11:36 AM
    Data recovery services? Broken seagate 1tb hard drive - where to get it fixed? 22nd Sep 16 at 11:36 AM
    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.
Page 1
    • bob_a_builder
    • By bob_a_builder 22nd Sep 16, 12:01 PM
    • 1,660 Posts
    • 806 Thanks
    bob_a_builder
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:01 PM
    • #2
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:01 PM
    Long thread HERE why you should avoid Fields
    • JJ Egan
    • By JJ Egan 22nd Sep 16, 12:18 PM
    • 11,934 Posts
    • 5,347 Thanks
    JJ Egan
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:18 PM
    • #3
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:18 PM
    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
    • By TonyMMM 22nd Sep 16, 12:59 PM
    • 2,831 Posts
    • 3,207 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:59 PM
    • #4
    • 22nd Sep 16, 12:59 PM
    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
    • By AndyPix 22nd Sep 16, 1:31 PM
    • 4,168 Posts
    • 3,600 Thanks
    AndyPix
    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 16, 1:31 PM
    • #5
    • 22nd Sep 16, 1:31 PM
    These guys are brilliant, thorough and cheap .


    http://www.cheadledatarecovery.co.uk/


    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
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • S0litaire
    • By S0litaire 22nd Sep 16, 2:30 PM
    • 3,480 Posts
    • 2,200 Thanks
    S0litaire
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:30 PM
    • #6
    • 22nd Sep 16, 2:30 PM
    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!)

    http://www.datarecovery.co.uk

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

    http://www.datarecovery.co.uk/process-what-does-data-recovery-cost/

    https://www.facebook.com/DatabustersDataRecovery/?fref=ts
    Laters

    Sol

    "Have you found the secrets of the universe? Asked Zebade "I'm sure I left them here somewhere"
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 22nd Sep 16, 4:25 PM
    • 8,944 Posts
    • 29,328 Thanks
    DigForVictory
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 4:25 PM
    • #7
    • 22nd Sep 16, 4:25 PM
    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.
  • archived user
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 16, 5:17 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Sep 16, 5:17 PM
    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

    OR

    http://www.vogon-investigation.com/
    • Naf
    • By Naf 22nd Sep 16, 5:28 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    Naf
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 16, 5:28 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Sep 16, 5:28 PM
    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.
    • Energize
    • By Energize 23rd Sep 16, 4:45 AM
    • 460 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    Energize
    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
    • By Doshwaster 23rd Sep 16, 8:06 AM
    • 5,102 Posts
    • 4,226 Thanks
    Doshwaster
    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
    Originally posted by AndyPix
    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.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 23rd Sep 16, 9:08 AM
    • 4,168 Posts
    • 3,600 Thanks
    AndyPix
    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.
    Originally posted by Doshwaster

    Thanks for that tip.
    Unfortunately i manage a network of over 1000 computers just in the UK, and the times when i have had to use these services are on sales guys laptops who are permenantly out on the road and seem incapable of following advice to backup.
    Of course we have activesync in place to replicate their drives to one of our servers, but that is only useful if they have a network connection. Or decide to actually connect to the VPN..


    Thanks for the advice all the same


    As for effective backups - i implement a barracuda drip feed backup and daily backups to tape kept in a fire proof safe offsite - complemented by altero backups of all the VM's to partner servers in alternating countries..


    Is that a good enough strategy for you ? Have you any advice on how i can improve that ?
    Last edited by AndyPix; 23-09-2016 at 1:29 PM.
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • s2016
    • By s2016 23rd Sep 16, 1:13 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    s2016
    Thank you everyone for responding - sorry I could not get back to my laptop to reply yesterday as had no childcare after school pick up and then rushed to the lap - a two hour journey there and back - to get my hardrive back from the lab.

    @ jjegan "Do you really need the data recovered ?? is it worth £500 .YES! priceless family photos/ videos. I'd be guttted if I lost these :-(
    "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 ." Thanks for responding with that info - it's really helpful and backs up what I have researched. Yes platters seem ok - it is the data arms I think. Not sure. But I would not know where to find components or fix this myself. i was told by the lab gy to go on ebay and search for this and there is a huge industry dealing in second hand components but i would be lost for sure (and prob scammed too!)

    Solitaire and Andy pIx - again thank you for the recommendations. I am in the W Mids so feeling really nervous about sending the drive too far. Spoke to Fields and he said on the phone it sounded like an easy job - but then saw the webpage against the company! Will not be using!
    DIGFORVICTORY: "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." WOW, so kind of you. thank you. Yes I hope I recover the data too. I guess I had no idea about the double back up system until now. What does everyone else do? Save on desk top/ cloud and hard drive? Or SSD hard drive? They are super pricey however. My desktop doesn't have the capacity so I saved on harddrive.(ps buying a new laptop next week too - hoping to pick up a good one for under £300 via Which magazine recommendations if anyone has personal recommendations please let me know!) I have the drive back now (thankfully - but hopefully it hasn't been damaged by the company. The guy was a real slick sales guy, talking about working with police departments etc and HMRC but pretty rude once I chased up to ask if he had found the replacement parts - he didn't and couldn't).

    Naf: thanks for your insights - yes i totally agree. There is a reason why it's expensive! He did - well the technician did - open the top of the drive and said there wasn't any visible damage to the top but he hadn't opened the bottom so he didnt know. He said it was a 50/50 chance. The problem i'm having is choosing a reputable company. On trust pilot (does anyone use the site - i checked it out first time yesterday) and fields had the most sparkling reviews. I just dont know how easy it is to fake a good a review. And I guess I would like a company/ guy in a clean room who does profess to working with police departments etc or big companies just for peace of mind. What I''m terrified of is giving the drive to the wrong person and them causing irrevocable damage..

    Andy pix - thanks for the clarity too. I'm a one gal self employed outfit, so yes for me i think the idea would be to back up on either the Amazon unlimited or One drive or dropbox (that's another thread however unless anyone has any advice there too please! Need over 2tb storage for photos and would like to have additional users - ie buy for my parents too. Drop box doesn't seem to offer the service for small businesses - it's either 1tb or a huge hike in price for businesses with 20 + employees I think). Andy Pix I will check out your guy, does he offer free courier service?

    And finally - has anyone invested in a ssd card with high storage? Better than a hdd harddrive with moving components? Or you think cloud/ hardrive are good enough back ups?

    THANK YOU ALL for your help so far.... you are all very kind offering your time to help me and i'm really really grateful. Will watch the thread for anymore company recommendations and advice to above questions!!
    • Naf
    • By Naf 23rd Sep 16, 1:23 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    Naf
    "Opened the top"? What exactly and where? You can't just pop the top and have a peek without potentially doing some damage at the very least if he did this outside of a clean room, the drive will need to be thoroughly decontaminated before ever powering it up again
    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.
    • AndyPix
    • By AndyPix 23rd Sep 16, 1:25 PM
    • 4,168 Posts
    • 3,600 Thanks
    AndyPix
    You send the drive to them, they inspect it and tell you what it will cost.
    This depends on if it needs parts from a "donor drive" etc


    Then, they send the drive back to you (if you still want it) with an external HDD with all your files on.


    The guy is extremely professional and takes his work VERY seriously.
    You will be able to tell when you speak to him.


    I understand your concerns, but like i say these guys are VERY good and i would trust my most sensitive data with them


    Oh, and dont try to fix this yourself lol - It will deffinately end in tears


    Call Cheadle data recovery and speak to the guy. He is a doctor of physics and like i say he takes his work very very seriously - you will know you are in good hands
    Last edited by AndyPix; 23-09-2016 at 1:36 PM.
    Running with scissors since 1978
    • s2016
    • By s2016 23rd Sep 16, 1:36 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    s2016
    oh goodness no! I won't be trying to fix myself! lol. Ok will give your guy a call Andypix.. Thank you. He had a clean lab/ room in his offices (industrial unit looked super corporate etc) and said he took the top off in the clean room (he didn't the lab tech did in a clean air room). they had a facebook page i saw wit images etc. it's been fixed back on again.. I might try and upload a pic of the hard drive here if i can. praying he hasn't caused damage...
    • Zanzibar
    • By Zanzibar 25th Sep 16, 5:29 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    Zanzibar
    Im surprised no one has mentioned Kroll Ontrack who are known as the number one in this area. They aren't cheap but there inst anyone better in my experience. Which! used them to test data recoverability not that long ago.

    For basic drives like yours they recover the data and then they tell you exactly what was recovered (you get sent a virtual directory listing) so you have guaranteed knowledge of what you will get back - then its up to you if you want to pay whatever the charge is. The basic charge to look at the drive was something like £35 last time I used them and ~£850 to recover 900GB of data.
    • s2016
    • By s2016 26th Sep 16, 1:18 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    s2016
    Hi Zanzibar - I havent heard of Kroll on Track. Wow that's expensive however. Have you used them before? How many times? Can you please send me the link to the Which? UK review of their services too please? I'm a subscriber so will be able to log in. I wasn't able to find reviews on data recovery companies from Which UK when i checked last week. Thanks again.
    • s2016
    • By s2016 24th Oct 16, 7:27 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    s2016
    MY HARD DRIVE WAS SAVED!!!! 100 PERCENT FILE RECOVERY BY CHEADLE DATA RECOVERY IN MANCHESTER! JOHN C REID IS A MIRACLE WORKER!!

    Hi everyone who helped and advised on this thread: I have some AMAZING, AMAZING, BRILLIANT NEWS to share:
    My HDD drive has been fixed!!
    And ALL files - 100 per cent - have been recovered!!
    It's a miracle!
    [B][U]All thanks to John C Reid at Cheadle Data Recovery,

    I cannot recommend his company, his work ethic and customer service highly enough. I had lost all my accounts, photos, video and work on the hard drive. Devastated and nervous breakdown are light words for what would have happened to my state of mind if it proved to be unfixable (which it 100 per cent might have been in the wrong hands.)

    Sadly my local computer guy recommended me to Disk Labs in Tamworth at first who I will never, ever be returning to as the customer service was frightening and rude once I actually handed my HDD over at first. They did not find any damage to the disk, but once they had opened the drive and realised they did not have the donor parts, treated me with contempt and just awfully. To begin with, I dropped the disk off to them (a two hour round trip - so four hours in total) and they were quick to take the job on, quoting how much work they did for the police, HMRC etc. I don't doubt this, but now in hindsight realised that it was and is a good hard sales pitch and that LOTS of data recovery companies do this. The problem is once you hand your hard drive over, you are utterly and completely at the mercy of the company.

    For John it was no problem that I was upset and worried and sick to my core about recovering the hard drive – he totally understood and treated me with compassion as anyone in this industry should treat customers, very often like myself who are at risk of losing precious valuable data and photos. The other company sadly were rude an abrupt. I was made to feel an inconvenience. I literally turned into a sycophant for them, being overly kind and decent because they had my HDD and could hold me to ransom over it, so even when I was being spoken badly to, I just bit my lip and kept being nice. I even suggested trying to find the donor part they couldn’t find (nor gave details of) on Ebay as the sales manager said he couldn’t find it with his suppliers in America and the UK but I could look in china etc. He was totally fobbing me off and once he realised he could not do the job, treated me like a mug.. I would never do that in my industry so was upset.

    John told me that this was likely true – the donor part I needed was very rare as my model of hard drive was an early 1TB model and even for him he would have to look around. However before he even wasted my time and made me pay for a courier or drive to him, I gave him the details of the HDD and only after he had all those, did he agree to the job. If he knew early on that he might not have been able to get the donor parts, I know John would not have made me go to any expense to get the drive to him.

    He did not slate any company off in a bid to secure my custom – which I found a really super quality in him (other companies I spoke to DID do this) but he did warn me about going to drop off centres in various locations, using companies with remote booking offices and then even more remote labs where work is supposed to be undertaken. He was open and transparent and cared about the kind of important work he was doing. For the other companies I spoke to, I was literally just a pay cheque (which I know is the purpose of work in general) but when you are in a field that requires sensitivity and compassion and you are dealing with people’s personal data and asking them to pay an amount which for many is an unforeseen and unaccounted for cost, you really have to respect that your work means a lot to that person.
    As AndyPix rightly said, John at Cheadle takes his work super seriously. I did not courier the hdd as I was too nervous to do so and drove 1.45 hours to their offices in Manchester. John sat with me for a good 20 minutes and explained the ins and outs of hard drives so that I understood what I was dealing with and the work required. He showed my dummy hdd drives so I could see exactly what his work was. I had no idea before that a HDD was like a record player inside and one small knock could mean the disk being scratched irreparably. He outlined all of his costs up front. As my disk had been opened, there was a small fee, which I agreed to. What worried me most was that the other company might have damaged my HDD on purpose or further than it had been (they didn’t thank god, so to be fair to them, I think the lab might have handled the disk professionally, but that still does not excuse the way I was treated).
    He was kind, and always kept me updated – no question seemed to be too much for him and he was easy to contact, the communication was constant and truthful. He never promised he could recover the data but told me various scenarios and what he has done before so that kept my hopes up.
    And then I got the magic/ miracle email stating my disk had been fully recovered. I did not expect this (nor did John I don’t think as sometimes files can be broken/ destroyed in the donor part process) but needless to say was over the moon. I now have the HDD with me and am backing up to another drive and Amazon Cloud too and I have never felt so relieved or happy to work with a company. I am truly in awe of John’s work and also this thread/ forum as I would never have come across him if Andy Pix had not given me his details. AndyPix, if you are reading this, you saved the day and I am eternally grateful. Thank you.
    So I thought I’d write a quick mini guide of my experience, to share the good karma I feel blessed to have had.

    1) You need to go to a professional forensic company
    2) They will charge a fair whack – but the work is hard and time consuming
    3) Be careful of anyone who comes up top in google search engines. Be careful of a great many companies in this data recovery field sadly.
    4) Go to John at Cheadle. Seriously, there is no one else I would ever trust.
    5) Even when I told him I lived ,miles away, instead of the hard sales pitch other data companies gave, he spoke to me gently and reassuringly on the phone and even gave me the number and website of two other data recovery companies in the UK who he said he could vouch for.
    6) If someone says ‘Look at our reviews on trust pilot – be careful. Maybe a better option is Facebook reviews? I’m not sure but maybe it is more transparent with photos and real users.

    Finally, here is what John wrote to me a couple of days ago:
    “I think from your previous research you have probably gathered that not all data recovery companies act in a way that one might hope, particularly when it comes to transparency on pricing. There are some companies which effectively hold data to ransom for the largest sum they think they can obtain from a customer despite quoting in advance that data recovery will cost no more than £200. These companies usually dominate the paid Google Adwords marketing making it very difficult to compete in terms of search engine visibility. Over the ten years my business has been trading I have aimed to provide a clear service, whilst also making clear some of the limitations of what can be achieved (in some cases it is not possible to recover data). I am glad you felt that you could trust my business to recover your important data.”


    Now while I hope you never ever find yourself in my situation, I am confident there is a miracle worker company called Cheadle Data Recovery working in this field and that I would never go to any other company ever, except this one! Feeling super, super happy and back to work now too! Thank you AndyPIx can i PM you too please?
    • forgotmyname
    • By forgotmyname 25th Oct 16, 3:14 AM
    • 28,759 Posts
    • 11,764 Thanks
    forgotmyname
    Hope you backed up that data?

    I had to spend weeks recovering files after a brand new drive i bought to store all my photos on failed within a few weeks of purchase.

    I use RAID setups and had taken the drioves out of the old systems, i had to do a complete surface scan of each drive and there were a lot of them.

    I never delete anything.
    Punctuation, Spelling and Grammar will be used sparingly. Due to rising costs of inflation.

    My contribution to MSE. Other contributions will only be used if they cost me nothing.

    Due to me being a tight git.
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