Hard Drive Data Recovery
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Thread: Hard Drive Data Recovery

  1. #1
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    Hard Drive Data Recovery

    A guy who fixes electronics and computers came into my shop today and was telling me about how can recover data. He once sent out a hard drive that was dead to a service that cost 1500$ and when he got it back he asked how they did it. They told him they increased the voltage comming into the hard drive from 5v to 5.3 and it gives them ONE chance to grab data. He said he figured out how to do it and now can offer the same service for 700$.

    I was wondering if this is really possible and if so how?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well,

    A lot would depend on how the drive "died"...............if the control card or motor have burned out, that would do nothing for you IMO.

    The reliable method is to have a "clean lab", dismantle the drive and mount the platters on your recovery equipment then copy the data.

    Messing with the voltages is a bit like sticking the drive in the deep freeze for 30 minutes, sometimes it may work sometimes not.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
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  3. #3
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    Well yes sometimes drives dont even spin anymore but for the ones that do and you just cannot get data off of them I think it will help? I realised though, I know almost nothing about electronics, rofl.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Well, a lot depends on why you can't get the data off? If the heads are screwed increasing the voltage won't work. If the platters are damaged or corrupted your software probably won't work either.

    Take a look at this site for tools:

    http://www.roadkil.net/downloads.html

    Particularly "unstoppable copier" (there is now a Linux version as well )

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
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    Thanks, its another freeware tool I added to my collection. As far as the electronics. I cannot use a resistor on the 12v rail because the amount current a hard drive pulls is different depending on its load, correct?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    I can honestly say that I have never even thought about it. I have used the freezer and have replaced the control card, otherwise I have been able to use software.

    If the system has critical data on it I go for a surge protector, enhanced cooling/ventilation, twin HDDs and a RAID1 array, and a DVD writer. The marginal cost is far less than $1500 or even $700.

    You need a rather expensive set up to do professional data recovery, and I don't think that there is that much demand. That is why it is very expensive to get done.

    I go for prevention, and then I get to sell something

    You will be amazed how "unimportant" data becomes when they find out the price of recovery, and how reasonable and sensible your preventative solution is.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
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    Understood. I think it is a project I am going to give up on. I will just use the good old fashioned tapping, tilting, freezing, and software...

  8. #8
    I bet they opened up the drive and removed the Platters and put them into their machine and got the data like they usually do.

    There is a reason why data recovery costs a ton of money, it's the equipment that is need costs a fortune.

    That is also the reason why they drill holes through the Drives when they are RMAed before they trash them.

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    what Im wondering is, what is the 5v in on the HDD used for ? Conventional wisdom says the stepper motor. In which case I can see no benefit from increasing the voltage.

    I bet they opened up the drive and removed the Platters and put them into their machine and got the data like they usually do.
    Correct me if Im wrong, but doesn't the act of opening the HDD expose the platters to too much dust and keep the read/write heads from being able to 'skim' the surface ?

    Keep in mind, the guy could just be using standard 'un-delete' software to charge an arm and leg.
    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool - Good Ole Bill Shakespeare

  10. #10
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    Correct me if Im wrong, but doesn't the act of opening the HDD expose the platters to too much dust and keep the read/write heads from being able to 'skim' the surface ?
    I think this answers your question:

    The reliable method is to have a "clean lab", dismantle the drive and mount the platters on your recovery equipment then copy the data.
    I think the method of recovering data depends on how the drive was damaged, and to be honest I can't think of to many scenarios where increasing the voltage would help. If the drive still works then it's usually done with software, if it's physically trashed then operating on it in a "clean lab" is done.

    The only scenario I can think of where increasing the voltage is an option is if the motor is dying out... And I'm not even sure if that would work...

    Call me paranoid but honestly, I think your little friend is simply trying to hide the fact that he's using simple software and confusing his clients by spouting off high tech vocabulary... How else can he convince them to spend 700 dollars on a service that virtually costs him nothing? But hey, he can charge that much because people are willing to spend that much, they just want they're data...
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