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A Firmware Affair (RAID 0 Case Study)

Firmware issues

Sometimes it is very difficult to correctly diagnose a drive: the symptoms one is facing can be confusing and can lead you in the wrong direction.

We received a RAID 0 system, made up of 2 drives. One of them was completely unresponsive, it had no sign of life when powered on.

In such situations, the first issue that comes to mind is a major PCB failure; so you have two solutions: replace it with a matching PCB that you know works, or try to repair the damaged board.

Well, this time the PCB swap didn’t help at all.

We checked all the other components and they were fine; at the end of a long process we found that the problem was in the ROM chip: the firmware had suffered a severe corruption.

The word Firmware is related to a collection of small programs, this is what “controls" the hardware to put it simply. Usually, such microprograms are stored mainly on a Read Only Memory chip and partly on the platters.

Nowadays almost all modern intelligent devices have a firmware onboard that oversees the proper functioning of the device.

Maybe you have experienced it with your digital camera or mobile phone: A Firmware upgrade results in a totally new behaviour (hopefully better) of your device.

Well, in our drives case, the FW damages prevented the PCB working at all.
Here come the real issues. Every Hard disk firmware stores some unique information, belonging to that specific drive, vital to its correct functioning: you cannot simply take a FW from another drive and overwrite it.

So, we started a real handcraft job trying to reconstruct the damaged FW modules cutting and sewing from other drives.

Our efforts have been rewarded: the customer was very pleased to be able to have his data back in fully working condition!

R3 Data Recovery is real lab that deals with real disasters each an every day. If you have RAID that has failed or any data storage device, we are the people to contact. Call us today on 0800 999 3282 for immediate help and assistance.

Posted In: Case Studies | RAID

What Our Customers Say About Us

Firstly, I truly thought all my data was lost (work and private).

But, I would like to thank your company and Andy Butler for the excellent service you gave me for the data recovery from my corrupted NESO (HITACHI) External 500Gb HDD in terms of:

  • The speed of action
  • Going over and above what is expected in terms of customer service
  • Ensuring that I received the software the same day even that the server had experienced some technical difficulties!

Having reviewed the data that I saved from my drive, I found all of the data in there that would have been lost forever.

I can only all heartedly recommend your services to everybody after what I have experienced. It is re-assuring to know that there are still companies and people out there that take their work seriously and are prepared to help other people in their hour of need!

Once again a MASSIVE thank you for all your help, without you I would have been in deep trouble with work and would have lost lots of very valuable and irreplaceable memories forever!

Tasso Papadopoulos (Registered Hearing Aid Audiologist)

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R3 Data Recovery Services are designed to meet the needs of businesses and home users requiring a fixed cost, highly successful data recovery solution.

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