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Britains best british data recovery company

R3 Provide data recovery throughout the British Isles, Northern Ireland, Eire, Europe, US & Worldwide.

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R3 is a real data recovery lab in the UK

Hard Drive Data Recovery & Repair Services *updating*

The hard disk data recovery services provided by R3 are second to none. We understand how important your data is to you and leave no stone unturned in recovering your data.

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I had an issue with a memory stick and lost 2 years' worth of designs. sent the damage stick to R3 and they recovered everything in less than 2 days. Fast and professional service, and was kept informed throughout the process.

Andrew from Coventry, United Kingdom

The hard disk data recovery services provided by R3 Data Recovery are second to none. We understand how important your data is to you and leave no stone unturned in recovering it.

Using the very latest technology and recovery techniques, we rescue data from every conceivable problem!

  • Operating Systems - Windows, Apple MAC, Linux, Unix
  • Computer Types - Desktop, Server, Laptop, Apple MAC
  • Drive Types - Serial ATA (SATA), (IDE, EIDE), SCSI, and SAS

Data loss can occur at any time and in the most unexpected ways. We can recover your data from the most unlikely disasters.

At R3 Data Recovery, we think we've seen every possible method of losing data: flood-damaged drives with severe platter damage due to the disaster, phones dropped in toilets during a good night out, and pen drives that have been run over by cars. We've even been asked to recover data from a hard drive that was physically lost. We're good, but not that good!

Data recovery technician in the lab

Four common issues cause hard drives to fail, subsequently necessitating data recovery.

  • Degraded Hard Drives - Deleted Files, Deleted Partitions, Formatted Drives, Lost BIOS
  • Mechanically Failed Hard Drives - Clicking or Ticking Noises, Power Failures, Head Crashes
  • Electronically Failed Hard Drives - Power Surges, Incorrect Power Supplies
  • Heart Stopping - Dropped / Knocked Drives, Fire Damage, Water / Flood Damage

Hard drive failures demand immediate action. For fast, secure results, R3 provides the solutions necessary to effectively preserve your data and system integrity following any type of failure. Call us today at 0800 999 3282 to get started with your unique case.

Degraded Hard Drives

A hard drive contains millions of storage sectors where data is stored. Unfortunately, these sectors can fail, rendering the data within unreadable by a computer. When sectors fail, the computer attempts to communicate with them but will eventually cease trying. This issue can manifest as a computer operating at reduced speeds or failing to boot up, possibly due to essential boot files being stored in a bad sector. The computer will attempt to reallocate the contents of the bad sector, but with a limited number of sectors available for reallocation, problems will arise once these sectors are exhausted.

To recover data from a failed hard drive, we attach it to a specialized computer that allows us to control the read speeds and the manner in which the hard drive spins. This approach gives us additional time to access the failed storage sectors and employs a backdoor method for reading the data. After completing this process, we obtain an identical image of the degraded drive from which we can recover the data.

This issue is also common in USB Pen Drives and flash Media Drives such as CF Cards, SD Cards, Micro SD Cards, and SSDs. Although the recovery process differs from that of traditional hard drives, we are still able to recover the data successfully.

Electronically Failed Hard Drives

There’s nothing more frustrating than powering on a computer or connecting a hard drive, only to find that nothing happens. No noises, no flashing lights—no signs of life whatsoever. It appears the hard drive is completely dead.

This situation typically indicates an issue with the hard drive's electronics. While it's true that fixing an electronic fault may sometimes reveal further problems, the root cause often lies with the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) attached to the hard drive. The PCB acts as the hard drive's heartbeat; if it fails, the hard drive ceases to function.

PCB failures can occur due to various reasons, including electricity spikes, firmware bugs, failed components, and overheating, among others.

Recovering data from an electronically failed hard drive can range from straightforward solutions, such as replacing the PCB with an exact match from a donor, to more complex procedures like reprogramming the hard drive's firmware. The firmware, essentially the hard drive’s operating software, ensures its correct operation. If the firmware is corrupted or contains bugs, our engineers work to reprogram this crucial element, either by using backup firmware or by manual adjustments.

Sometimes, individual components on the PCB fail, requiring our engineers to replace them using intricate electronic techniques. This process can be complex, particularly when it involves soldering tiny parts under a microscope.

However, once the PCB is operational again, we image the hard drive and recover data from that image, effectively salvaging what was once thought to be lost.

R3 hard drive failures

Mechanically Failed Hard Drives

Mechanical failures present the most technically demanding challenges for our engineers, not just in terms of time but also due to the variety of issues that can arise. Consequently, this type of data recovery is the most costly.

We refer to these procedures as "operations," a term that accurately reflects the meticulous and precise nature of the work involved. Our engineers operate in a clean room environment, wearing surgical gloves and face masks, akin to medical professionals. Sometimes, they encounter hard drives so severely damaged that there is only one opportunity to recover the essential data.

The most frequent cause of mechanical failure in hard drives is physical impact, such as being dropped or knocked over. Occasionally, out of frustration, some clients may hit their computers, and the shock from such impacts can lead to hard drive failure. We understand the frustration that leads to such actions and cast no judgment.

It's crucial to appreciate the engineering marvel that is a hard drive. The precision involved in its design and function is astounding. Most hard drives operate at speeds of 5400 to 7200 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM). The Read-Write Heads float above the storage platters on a cushion of air, never making physical contact. The gap between the heads and the platters is incredibly small, measuring just 3 to 6 nanometers—a stark contrast to the thickness of a strand of hair at 80,000 nanometers, or a fingerprint at 10,000 nanometers. This highlights the delicacy and precision engineering of hard drives.

So, what can mechanically go wrong with a hard drive? Here are the main issues...

  • Read Write Head Failure

    When the read-write heads fail or become weakened, they must be replaced with an exact match from a donor drive. After successful replacement, the hard drive is reassembled, and a complete image of the drive is created to facilitate data recovery.

  • Stiction

    Stiction occurs when the read-write heads become adhered to the storage platters. To resolve this, the heads are carefully removed and replaced with matching ones from a donor drive. Following this, the hard drive is reconstructed, and an image is extracted from the drive for data recovery purposes.

  • Vibrating Storage Platters

    This issue arises when the storage platters develop a wobble, preventing the read-write heads from smoothly gliding over them. The affected platters are transferred to a donor hard drive for stability. Afterwards, the hard drive is reassembled, and a drive image is captured for data retrieval.

  • Hard Drive Motor Failure

    In cases where the motor responsible for the platters' rotation fails, the storage platters are relocated to a compatible donor hard drive. The reassembly of the hard drive follows, culminating in the creation of a drive image from which data can be recovered.

  • Storage Platter Damage

    Occasionally, the read-write heads come into direct contact with the storage platters, causing scratches, rings, or even the detachment of the heads. Such incidents lead to highly complex data recovery efforts, involving the use of multiple donor drives and intricate procedures.

What is paramount is ensuring our clients understand that their data recovery requirements are managed by the UK's finest engineers. We excel in recovering data where others have faltered.

R3 Data Recovery operates a genuine laboratory, addressing real disasters daily. Should you encounter any issues with a hard drive or any data storage device, we are your go-to experts.

 Call us today at 0800 999 3282 to get started with your unique case.

Drive Heads and Platters

All drive manufacturers incorporate varying numbers of heads and platters in their designs. Typically, 3.5” drives, being larger, contain more heads and platters compared to 2.5” drives. However, the ease of performing head swaps can vary, with some 3.5” drives being simpler to work on than certain 2.5” drives, and vice versa.

Due to the diversity in head geometries across different models, certain drives require more delicate handling than others. This is especially true for 2.5” drives, which are inherently delicate. Extra caution and time are necessary when swapping heads on these drives, particularly with older and more obscure models that are even more fragile than the standard 2.5” drive.

Occasionally, a drive's issues extend beyond the heads to problems with the platters themselves. For example, platters may exhibit a wobble due to the drive being dropped or mishandled. In such cases, a matching donor drive with stable platters is sought for a platter swap. Our equipment, designed for this purpose, securely clamps the platters during the transfer process, ensuring no damage or movement occurs.

It's also crucial to note that some drives may have sustained internal damage, making them more prone to further damage upon being powered up without prior inspection. A dropped drive can result in bent heads and misalignment with the platters, and upon powering up, you may hear screeching and clicking noises. These sounds indicate the heads catching on the platters, causing scratches and potentially bending the heads further or even shearing them off.

R3 hard drive failures

Data Recovery Donor Parts

Except for logical data loss, most data loss incidents are due to failures within a hard disk(s) inside a storage array or on devices like your local computer, server, etc.

As outlined earlier, hard disk failures can generally be categorized into a few types: Media Degradation, Firmware Issues, Mechanical Failures, or Electronic Problems.

Excluding Media Degradation and certain firmware issues, the resolution of hard disk failures often necessitates sourcing replacement parts from other hard disks. This step is critical in recovering lost data from the affected storage device.

However, matching donor parts for disks is far from straightforward. When a disk fails, it's insufficient to merely find another disk with the same capacity from the same manufacturer. Hard disks are produced in various locations, using different components and manufacturing processes, even within the same model line. As a result, two disks that appear identical on the surface may have significant internal differences, complicating the process of finding a compatible donor.

R3 has built an in-depth knowledge of how to match donor disks and built a large stock of donor disks held at our storage facility in Sheffield.

Don't Risk Losing All Your Data From Your Failed Hard Drive

Understanding the criticality of your situation, it's imperative that you reach out to us for guidance. We are here to diagnose the most effective and cost-efficient path to recovery. Attempting data retrieval on your own could exacerbate the problem, depending on the nature of the failure. This is why contacting us at the earliest opportunity is crucial.

We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer support, and keeping you informed about the progress of your recovery every step of the way.

Remember, when you choose us, you're not dealing with a middleman. You'll communicate directly with the technician dedicated to retrieving your data, ensuring a personalized and informed recovery process.

In the Event of Hard Drive Failure, Reach Out to Our Expert Team at 0800 999 3282 . Our team of highly skilled professionals is equipped to reliably recover data from your failed hard drive, offering industry-leading turnaround times. This ensures that you can quickly regain confidence, allowing us to develop a robust and effective recovery plan tailored to your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why is My Hard Drive Not Showing Up?
  • Can Hard Drives Be Fixed?
  • How Can I Repair My Hard Disk?
  • Can You Recover Data From A Damaged Hard Drive?
  • How Much Does HDD Data Recovery Cost?
  • How Can I Remove Bad Sector From My Hard Disk?
  • Can I Power Up My Drive If I Suspect There Is A Problem With It?
  • It's Taking Me Hours To Copy A Small Amount Of Data, Is My Hard Drive Failing?
  • How To Recover Data From Formatted Devices?
  • How Can I Recover Files From A Formatted Hard Drive For Free?
  • How Do You Transfer Data From One Hard Drive To Another?