Hard drives are very delicate and are easy to damage, which is a good reason why you should have multiple sources of backup so that you never lose your personal data. Drives can be damaged but are generally repairable, for example when a job gets sent to us at R3, nine times out of ten we can get the drive into some form of working state, even if it’s for a few minutes or hours before the heads eventually die.
For a drive to be unrecoverable, it has to have sustained a certain amount of damage for it to be completely unrepairable.
Here are a few reasons as to why a drive can be deemed as unrecoverable:
( Large, deep rings on the platters )
Here at R3 Data Recovery, these days it is not very often we announce any type of device unrecoverable. Over the years technology has improved and our engineers have gained lots of experience, enough to deal with any failure of any device. However sometimes devices are that far past the recoverable stage we just have to say enough is enough and announce it unrecoverable (like mentioned earlier this is a rarity).
However, a few years back there wasn’t half as much technology and support for devices that we have access to at this present date, so a lot more devices were announced as unrecoverable as the technology and support just wasn’t there. Also, our donor stock was not as large as it is now. Our donor stock is what makes us one of the leading data recovery companies in the UK. The fact we can find out a drive has a mechanical failure, find a part, do the re-build and get the drive cloning again all in one day is pretty remarkable all because of our huge stock of donor drives and the experience our engineers have.
However, like said previously a few years ago this wasn’t the case. In this case for example, in 2013 a Hitachi drive came in (Model Number: IC35L120AVV207-1), the engineers diagnosed said drive and came to the conclusion that the drive needed a new set of read-write heads. So, we began looking for a matching donor parts for this particular drive, however no luck. Even out external suppliers did not have a matching drive in stock.
In situations like this now, the engineers would try and get the drive started by not using the damaged heads, however this requires experience and the correct hardware and software to do so. However, three years ago the technology and support wasn’t there for this particular drive. However now it is so it is possible that this drive may now be recoverable after all this time. At this point the drive is in the research and development stage, the customer wanted us to keep the drive to see if there was anything that we could do in the near future and it looks like we might be able to.
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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