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Company that retrieves data from External HDD

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Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by Catoca on Mon Feb 15, 2016 7:07 pm

I carry an external Hard Disk Drive from Canada to here and back every year and store all my information on it. The HDD failed a week ago and a local attempt to retrieve the data failed, and I am now looking at possibly losing about 1 Terabyte of documents, photographs and video. Locally I have been advised that a company in Guadalajara might be able to retrieve the data at a cost of  about 6.000 Mxpesos, no guarantee.

Anybody who has any experience of this with a firm in GDL, either positive or negative. About 75% of the data is probably backed up at my home in Canada but I am loath to lose anything.

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by jrm30655 on Mon Feb 15, 2016 8:21 pm

When you say "failed", how did it fail. Just not work when plugged in? Quit working while plugged in?

A HDD has basically 4 parts; motor, heads, control board and platters.

If you are lucky, it could be that the motor is stuck or the heads are wedged in the parked position. Most of the time you can get the motor to run again simply by moving it a bit and getting heads unstuck is easy also.

A control board is just a replacement part

If you dropped or bumped it while spinning, you could have ruined the heads (which can be replaced) or scarred the platters (bad news).

DO NOT OPEN THE CASE UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO LOSE EVERYTHING. The actual tensioning of the screws makes a big difference and once removed can be almost impossible to restore correctly.

If you are Lois Lerner and want to destroy a disk, have the disk searching and drop the laptop on the RIGHT HAND side. That will almost always scratch the platters. Recovery can be done but you will lose some and it will be expensive.

Before you do anything else, replace the cord. If that does not work, put the HDD in a plastic freezer bag, get as much air out of the bag as possible and put in the freezer overnight. Let it rewarm to room temp and try. If that doesn't work, put it back in the bag and leave in the sun until hot and try it.

If none of that works look for an expert.

I'd suggest that if you are going to travel with a HDD. look at a solid state drive. Much more rugged.

I've salvaged HDD before and sometimes it is simple as moving the motor or releasing stuck heads, sometimes impossible. My daughter works for the IT lab at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and has a $20,000 program that she claims will reclaim almost anything but she will not give me a copy.






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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by Catoca on Mon Feb 15, 2016 9:43 pm

The desktop computer suddenly no longer recognized the drive as a device, and I could not access it. There was no history of trauma.  I replaced the micro-USB cabling (had another external HDD on hand) but it made no difference. The HDD is essentially untouched except for the fact that the plastic surround casing has been removed. I was told that a small circuitboard had failed powering the drive and possibly a small surge could have affected the HDD. Even directly connecting the HDD into a desktop computer with power and SATA cabling failed to resolve the problem. The HDD was partinioned and I was told that the partition has failed.

Sounds to me as though I should be looking for an expert, possibly in Guadalajara.

I would love to back it up into a cloud but upload speeds here are so slow that it would probably take days.

I wasn't aware that SSD were available in large format as external drives, but certainly useful to keep in mind. Life become a lot easier if one snowbirds and has an external drive to carry to and fro (well, until this happens).

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by CanuckBob on Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:44 am

The HD crashed in my laptop a couple of weeks ago. The guys at Computer Land were able to retrieve the data and transfer it to a new HD.
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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by oatsie on Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:28 am

When I first plug in  my old Trekstar and turn on my HDD, it isn't recognized.  I noticed that the power light was flashing red and blue.  I leave it for a few minutes, and the power light turns a solid blue and it does appear.

Keep your fingers crossed....
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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by juanrey on Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:31 pm

Just so you know, the hard drive in the freezer thing does work. I've had failed drives that I put in the freezer and then when I hooked them up they worked. Which gave me enough time to transfer off the data I needed before it crapped out again.

It's worth a try.

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by jrm30655 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:46 pm

Catoca wrote:The desktop computer suddenly no longer recognized the drive as a device, and I could not access it. There was no history of trauma.  I replaced the micro-USB cabling (had another external HDD on hand) but it made no difference. The HDD is essentially untouched except for the fact that the plastic surround casing has been removed. I was told that a small circuitboard had failed powering the drive and possibly a small surge could have affected the HDD. Even directly connecting the HDD into a desktop computer with power and SATA cabling failed to resolve the problem. The HDD was partinioned and I was told that the partition has failed.

Sounds to me as though I should be looking for an expert, possibly in Guadalajara.

I would love to back it up into a cloud but upload speeds here are so slow that it would probably take days.

I wasn't aware that SSD were available in large format as external drives, but certainly useful to keep in mind. Life become a lot easier if one snowbirds and has an external drive to carry to and fro (well, until this happens).

Sounds like control board or motor. Try the heat and cool cycle and if that doesn't work, find a really good repair shop. 6000MXN doesn't sound out of line.

SSD prices are falling like a rock. Bought some 128gb for $40 each. They actually built a 7gb but it is horrible in price. Go on Amazon and look at the prices. There will be a dip where you get the most for the money, probably 256gb. Buy a couple of them. Much cheaper than a larger one.

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by Kiri on Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:24 pm

Regardless of what format is being used as a b/u, multiple units should be used as an insurance to safeguarding the data. Can't have too many b/u...
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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by jrm30655 on Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:42 pm

jrm30655 wrote:
Catoca wrote:The desktop computer suddenly no longer recognized the drive as a device, and I could not access it. There was no history of trauma.  I replaced the micro-USB cabling (had another external HDD on hand) but it made no difference. The HDD is essentially untouched except for the fact that the plastic surround casing has been removed. I was told that a small circuitboard had failed powering the drive and possibly a small surge could have affected the HDD. Even directly connecting the HDD into a desktop computer with power and SATA cabling failed to resolve the problem. The HDD was partinioned and I was told that the partition has failed.

Sounds to me as though I should be looking for an expert, possibly in Guadalajara.

I would love to back it up into a cloud but upload speeds here are so slow that it would probably take days.

I wasn't aware that SSD were available in large format as external drives, but certainly useful to keep in mind. Life become a lot easier if one snowbirds and has an external drive to carry to and fro (well, until this happens).

Sounds like control board or motor.  Try the heat and cool cycle and if that doesn't work, find a really good repair shop.  6000MXN doesn't sound out of line.

SSD prices are falling like a rock.  Bought some 128gb for $40 each.  They actually built a 7gb but it is horrible in price.  Go on Amazon and look at the prices.  There will be a dip where you get the most for the money, probably 256gb.  Buy a couple of them.  Much cheaper than a larger one.

Plug the unit up and place it on a flat surface. Pick it up and tilt the drive to the left and right. If you can feel it resist the tilt, the motor is turning. Then listen carefully for a click, click, click. If you don't get either, the circuit board is probably shot and that is a good thing, easy to fix or the motor could be stuck or the heads could be stuck.

If you get both, it could be a circuit board or a scratched platter or a bad head. If it is a scratched platter, you are looking for a lot of money to recover. Replacing heads is a delicate operation and iffy at best.

At least you will know a little when you talk to the repair shop.

If you run Windows, SyncToy is free from Microsoft as a backup tool and if you run Linux, Lucky Backup works well. Both can be setup to do multiple backups.

I run small SSD drives for the main operating system and use a program called "Reflect" to clone the drive. If the main drive fails, I just pop in the clone and go on.



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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by Catoca on Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:46 am

Thanks to everybody for the feedback, much appreciated. I will try the freeze cycle first and if that fails to restore readability of the drive, I will try sending it to GDL and getting a company there to try and rescue the data.

In any event, I will be back to report on what transpires.

I find the large capacity drives useful because I do home video-editing as a hobby and video swallows about 2Gb/min. I made a decision originally to keep the large capacity memory cards on which the video in the camera is stored as masters and so all is not lost.

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by DaveP on Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:45 am

Online backup is probably the best if you store a lot of files. You need to spend a little time organising your file storage on your computer but I used carbonite for my business in Canada and it worked fine. That was some years ago and there are more options available now

The following provides a synopsis of available online storage programs

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/maintenance/tp/online_backup_services.htm
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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by jrm30655 on Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:01 pm

Catoca wrote:I carry an external Hard Disk Drive from Canada to here and back every year and store all my information on it. The HDD failed a week ago and a local attempt to retrieve the data failed, and I am now looking at possibly losing about 1 Terabyte of documents, photographs and video. Locally I have been advised that a company in Guadalajara might be able to retrieve the data at a cost of  about 6.000 Mxpesos, no guarantee.

Anybody who has any experience of this with a firm in GDL, either positive or negative. About 75% of the data is probably backed up at my home in Canada but I am loath to lose anything.

Did you get your data back? if so, who and how much did it cost?

Upload speeds around here are so poor that using them is almost useless. You can almost send it snail mail faster

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Re: Company that retrieves data from External HDD

Post by Canada_Mike on Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:10 pm

If all else fails, wait until you're home. I used these guys once on a bunch of old 3.5# floppies and they were great:
http://www.takingitmobile.com/
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