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Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by Jon1962, Mar 30, 2017.
I have gotten the diagnosis back, it was a damaged platter..
The data in the damaged part of the platter may be unrecoverable, but a good data recovery specialist
will still be able to recover data from the drive.
Dear Spartacus, is it using a polishing tool to refurbish the scratched parts and then recover from the good parts? It was a small scratch on the outer rim of the HDD. What % of data is usually recoverable in this case?
Most hard drive write from the inside of the platter out, so likely very little data on the edge of the platter. Edit - I'm wrong.
Talk to Drive Savers. I used to use them at my old shop. They do good work.
Other way round.
The outer of the platter has the fastest data transfer rate due to the higher platter speed.
When you perform a data transfer test the start of the test (lowest sector number) is always the fastest, this is where data is written first.
where will the system area (critical area) of the HDD be stored at? I am hoping that wont be the area that is scratched
Near the first free sectors.
If the drive was empty, it should be close to the outer edge.
my drive had a
my drive had around 300 GB free out of 2tb
Thats not what I meant.
When the OS was installed, if the drive was empty, the system files will be on the outer edge of the drive.
Although I'm not sure why you think the system area is important for file recovery.
The only way to know for sure is to pay for data recovery. You may get lucky and get your files back. Or not. Or some of them. Between defrags, swap files, and who knows what else, files could be all over the drive. Someone I knew years ago had just MOVED all his family pictures to an external drive as a backup measure. Then managed to swap the 12v drive PS with the 19v laptop PS before he could burn DVD copies. The laptop survived. The drive lost the magic smoke. It was a marriage threatening event. Three months and several hundred dollars later, he got his pictures back. Cheaper then a divorce. Last I heard, the pictures were copied to multiple DVDs and stored in different locations.
If the system area is scratched or corrupted, wouldn't it make the entire drive unrecoverable? Or would it not?
Not if the recovery company knows what they are doing. A modern file system will contain some redundancy in the metadata. Also a recovery program can search for filesystem structures and go from there. This software recovery will be after they perform the hardware recovery and extract all the readable bits off the broken drive.
This thread is amazing. Ontrack (I guess they got bought or merged with kroll?) has been in the data recovery business since the 90's - I may have even used them in the 80's, I don't remember now. The have probably forgotten more about data recovery that most other companies have ever understood.
Data recovery services aren't magicians. If there is physical damage, the data simply doesn't exist to be recovered. This isn't the movies where if you ask "enhance" enough the data comes into focus as if by magic.
And if the damage is in the file system catalog, scanning the drive for missing pieces of files may or may not be successful - there is no guarantee. I've had very, very mixed results over the years - sometimes those strategies paid off, others I went sifting through my drives with a hex editor searching for whatever really essential bits I could glean by hand (that wasn't pleasant!)
Which comes back to the very start in the thread where the OP recognizes what he really needed - backups. Hey, we've all been there thinking we can get away without them. I was a pretty slow learner early in my tech career so I am far from being able to chastise anyone for not doing them. Then again before cheap unlimited continuous and automatic online backup it was a lot harder to perform backups. Today it requires literally zero effort other than coughing up a credit card number and avoiding going to the movies twice to offset the cost.
If you do get your data back or to protect any other data you have I really like Backblaze. Not only do they back up everything on your machine, they also backup any external hard drives you have attached - something few other unlimited cloud backup vendors do. For $50 a year it's hard to beat. If you are really uncomfortable with your data in the cloud you can make up your own encryption key and you will be the only one to recover anything you back up to them. So be sure to back that key up - store a printed copy in a safty deposit box, for example. Most of the other cloud vendors offer something similar.
Data loss stinks, and unfortunately it's a lesson many of us (I'd venture most) learn the hard way. At least you are aware of how to prevent it from happening in the future. That puts you ahead of most people.
They access the drive using recovery hardware and software (if they are any good).
The original OS installation and boot files will not be needed or used.
Thank you for the replies, in such a scenario, what are the chances or rather the % of data that is likely recoverable? There are a total of 4 surfaces, and a small scratch was found on one of the surfaces. Will video files be usable?
Impossible to tell without a drive inspection by a specialist.
can I ask if it is normal that a damaged platter media takes a long time to clone/image?
Yeah, it's normal.
Edit: It has to retry bad sectors over and over and over
I recovered a Spinpoint F3 twice using the freezer trick. This second and last time, I moved everything off of it
I have had good success using ddrescue (available on many linux live isos) to make a bit for bit copy working around unreadable sectors (it will make a log file of the unreadable sectors and retry them after the good data is read). You can reuse the log file several times if you want..
You kept using it after the first time? You must have some big ones
It was just steam games. Still, didn't want to redownload 500GB worth.
Ah, well then don't mind me
I know the HDD will never be 100% imaged as there is a scratch on the platter, but will we be able to image fully, the undamaged parts of the platters and recover what is left of it? If so, what will determine the recoverable % of the whole HDD?
Currently the hdd is about 75% imaged and will likely take another week or so. I am also concerned about my video files, mostly around 1-2gb large. May I know if there is a chance that it is unrecoverable? Probably due to the scratch being on crucial system area?
There is a chance that it is not recoverable.
That may or may not be a problem. No way for us to know.
There is never a chance of it going bad. There is a risk though.
Chance = probability of something good
Risk = probability for something bad
Anyway I'm curios what did you do to get access to make an image of the drive ?
What basically happened was that I sent my HDD to a company in Australia, they managed to refurbish the platter, and did a head swap to read parts of the platter that was not damaged. Apparently there are 2 platters in total (4 surfaces) and one of the surface had a very small scratch on the outer rims.
after a successful imaging, is there a chance that the data is unreadable due to system area damage? Are there any algorithms or software that can decipher it?
Why? Because you chose not to have backups. Thats why.
Yes some of the data can be unreadable due to system area damage. Some of the data can also be unreadable due to file corruption (files that occupied the sectors with physical damage).
Yes there exists software to try to recover from corrupt filesystems and corrupt files. I recommend you do all of your recovery from an image of the disk. Also make sure you take at least a second image so you have a backup of the image. This will be of great help if any of the software corrupts the data further. Also having more than 1 image allows you to use more than 1 recovery application. Perhaps 1 recovery program deals with 1 type of corruption better than a second program.
What are the chances of a good recovery with software?
I am not sure. I would however expect some files will be lost.
what are some of the software available out there to translate the data? Will it be successful?
If the data is really valuable to you, don't mess around with the consumer recovery software.
It's not going to work if the system won't recognize the drive anyway.
what do you suggest spartacus?
You can't hurt anything by trying the recovery on a clone of the original drive. Although I would make multiple copies of the clone first. If you are still messing with the original you should stop it. The more you power on the original you increase the chances that it will not be recoverable even by a professional recovery service.
I would talk to Drive Savers or Kroll Ontrack if I needed this type of service.
i would like to ask you guys if it is possible for a HDD to be imaged, and then find that the files are all messed up with no way of reading it? What steps would be needed to make it readable?
It's very difficult to suggest anything to try since the drive is not even recognized by the system.
There's no way to save an image of it at this point.
The drive needs to be repaired before any data will be accessible.
In my opinion, that's not a DIY type of project.
Any tampering on the drive by unqualified people will likely destroy the data.
If the data has high value, spend the money to have it recovered.