At R3 Data Recovery Ltd we endeavour to always reach a positive outcome for each and every job that comes into the lab on a daily basis. But on occasion some jobs are just too severely damaged to be recovered.
For instance, a hard drive can suffer a head crash, platter damage, or a spindle motor problem. At R3 we commonly classify issues such as these as mechanical failures. Mechanical failures are some of the most complex problems associated with hard drives and quite often can be recovered, providing the client are willing and able to understand the drive needs multiple donors and extreme attention to rebuilding the drive and getting it to function as it once did before it was physically damaged.
However as mentioned before, from time to time the damage is so extreme it is beyond rescue no matter how much money the client is willing to donate to donors, or how skilled or dedicated the engineer tasked with recovering the hard drive is.
A few examples of this we see regularly at R3 are that the customer has dropped their hard drive whilst using it from their desk, or similarly the customer has dropped their laptop whilst moving with it from a decent height.
The primary reason for the data not being recoverable in these cases is that the hard drive inside the external enclosure or the laptop has platters made of glass that can shatter easily when the hard drive chassis suffers blunt trauma. Once the platter is shattered there is no way whatsoever to get the data back.
Another example of major damage is when the platters of the hard disk have been scratched by the read/write arm of the drive. This usually happens when anxious users try to start the computer/laptop again and again after the hard drive has failed (commonly caused by dropping it). Contrary to what most people may think when the drive crashes,
its read/write arm still rests on the platters and damages it when the drive starts to spin, causing deep scoring on the surface and visible rings.
An additional example could be due to the overheating. This is not that common in all honesty, especially with jobs that come into the R3 lab, but it is still a valid issue. Basically, the platters, after being used for a sustained period of time become expanded, not too hard to imagine when The faster hard drives come with rates of speed of 10,000 RPM, and ultimately the magnetic surface area on the platters will get damaged, which results in a loss of data files. If the physical area of the platters are damaged, it will result in unreadable sectors.
Other parts of hard drives that can be overwhelmed due to overheating, are the heads. It is important to remember that hard drives are extremely sophisticated collections of components, and just can’t tolerate overheating.
As outlined at the start of this article, the talented and dedicated engineers here at R3 always strive to garner a positive result when attempting to recover a hard drive. Even in some cases where the damage was so severe it was declared unrecoverable by other data recovery companies, we have managed to recover the data.
However, there will always be the unwanted possibility that a certain hard drive is beyond repair and it is absolutely impossible to recover the data. And this is something important to understand and hopefully accept from a client’s perspective, as everyone at R3 always wants to recover every job successfully, not just for professional gratification, but for the most important reason of all, for the customers happiness.
After all that personal data could be something small or sentimental or it could be someone’s entire life or livelihood. R3 Data recovery ultimately never loses sight of that.
The hard drive failed on my MacBook Pro. Applestore advised they couldn’t recover the data when they fixed the laptop, and that the data would be lost (including my photos that had not been backed up). I described the issue with R3 by phone, and they were confident they could recover the data and confirmed the cost. It took just 16 hours from registering with R3 that I wanted them to look at the failed drive, to being notified what data had been recovered. I was kept informed of progress throughout, and all my files were recovered.
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