Laptop drive not showing up, music files recovered

HTS541010A9E680 Audio Recovery 1

This 1TB HGST drive came to us from a shop locally here in Wichita. The Wichita shop received a drive that wasn’t showing up on the computers they would plug it into, and they were not able to complete software-based recovery on the drive. This shop likes to refer people to us as we are normally able to recover the data quickly and for a lot less than any competitor data recovery companies. This particular drive had some important audio files for a DJ that had created original music. The customer had tried geek squad first, but was told they were not able to recover anything from the drive without sending it out for recovery (expensive). They then brought the drive to their local computer repair shop who recommended trying us out. The main issue with the drive ended up being bad sectors. Bad sectors can be in just the wrong spots, as was the case with this drive. The bad sectors were keeping the drive from mounting partition information, and would cause the software-based … Read more

Samsung 850 PRO Solid State Drive that was not being recognized by the computer recovered

Samsung 850 PRO SSD 512GB

I received this Samsung 850 Pro as a mail-in recovery from Michigan. The client needed the data from their drive, but the drive was not mounting on their computer at all. In fact, the computer would not recognize the SSD when connected. The problem with this drive ended up being a firmware-based issue. These Samsung 850 PRO drives have a common firmware issue that you can address using the PC-3000. Unfortunately, the EVO versions of this drive also have firmware issues, but are still not repairable with the PC-3000 at this time. For this drive, the first step was to connect the proper points on the PCB to the terminal adapter. Then I had to short a couple pins on the PCB as part of the process of rebuilding the translator. Once that rebuild was complete, I had access to the data on the drive. Imaging the drive completed without any issues and I was able to get 100% of the data recovered on this project. The important Thunderbird email archives were fully intact and … Read more

Accidentally Erased SanDisk Pixtor 64GB SD Card Recovered

SanDisk Pixtor 64GB SD Card 1

A local photographer accidentally erased an SD card that had some important photos on it that had not been downloaded to their computer yet. This type of mistake is very common (I even did it once with some Christmas photos).  When you have a few SD cards that you are using with a digital camera, it is easy to get confused and accidentally format the wrong card. Especially when you have a process you follow and it is muscle memory to insert card into camera and format. In this case the photos were important enough that the photographer decided to have us complete a deleted files recovery on the SD card. In cases like this I like to run a few programs on the cards to make sure I get back all the data possible.  But as always, the first step is to image the card. Once the image was complete and I knew I had 100% of the sectors imaged, I chose to run R-Studio first, doing a full deep scan. I saw the … Read more

USB flash drive keeps disconnecting when connected to computer.

Transcend 16GB USB Flash Drive 1

I received a call from a client in Little River and he informed me his Transcend 16GB USB Flash Drive wouldn’t show up on his computer when he plugged it in, or if it did show up, would disconnect almost immediately. This behavior was keeping him from being able to access any of the important files he had stored on the drive. After receiving the USB flash drive, I did a visual inspection and everything looked good physically. There was debris in the USB port itself, which is common for these pocketable drives, so I cleaned that out with alcohol before starting the recovery attempt. I also reflowed the USB connector onto the board in case there was an issue with a connection there (another common issue with these drives). Once the touchups were done I connected it up to the recovery rig and disabled the MBR on the drive so the computer would not try to mount the volume. With the MBR disabled I was able to scan for files and recover the most … Read more

Memorex Floppy Disk Recovery. A blast from the past.

Floppy Recovery

It isn’t every day that I get a call about recovering data from a floppy drive that isn’t mounting, but I am always excited to try to recover important data that has aged to perfection. In this case I was contacted by a gentleman who had a short story that he had written over 20 years ago that was on a floppy disk that wouldn’t mount on his computer. I told him to mail-it in and I would do my best to recover the data. Once it arrived I inspected the media and it looked good… but after plugged it in, I found that, sure enough, it wasn’t mounting. I also noted the seek noises sounded receptive (as if it wasn’t finding the data it was looking for in order to mount the volume). I did have access to sectors on the media if I started at the end of the disk, so I started a slow imaging scan in reverse. That initial scan got back most of the sectors, but I completed a few … Read more

Can’t Access Data on a 2TB Seagate Laptop HDD

ST2000LM003 2BE10001 Top

This Seagate Drive went to a computer repair shop first. It was inside a laptop, and the laptop just stopped working randomly. The repair shop narrowed the issue down to the drive. While the hard drive itself was recognized by the computer, it would not mount and they were not able to recover any usable files with their standard data recovery software. For those keeping score this was a Samsung drive rebranded as Seagate ST2000LM003 SEAGATE HN-M201RAD/M1 F/W: 2BE10001 2TB drive. These 2TB laptop drives were popular for a while for inside some Windows-based laptops. After completing the initial inspection, I found that this drive was working properly hardware wise. The heads tested good, I was able to access the data on the platters, and I was able to turn off everything I needed to on the firmware to setup the drive for imaging. I was able to image 100% of the sectors from the drive. The partition information was badly corrupted, so the next step after the imaging was to run recovery software to … Read more

HGST Drive Just Stopped Working – Photos and Work Documents Recovery

HTS545050A7E680 500GB HGST Feb 14 Top

This HGST drive is an HTS545050A7E680 500GB drive that was made in February of 2014. This client took their computer into their local computer repair shop to find out why the computer had just suddenly stopped working. They used the computer for personal photo storage as well as work documents, so they needed all the data back and the computer to be back up and running. The computer repair shop found that the hard drive was not responding properly, which in turn caused the computer to not boot fully. They removed the hard drive from the computer and discovered the drive was not showing up on their data recovery rigs. The repair shop was able to get the computer working again with a new drive, but recommended the client contact us regarding getting the important photos and work documents recovered. Once we received the drive I diagnosed it with the PC-3000 and found that the heads were working properly and I had access to the data on the platters. I prepared the firmware of the … Read more

iMac Drive Just Stopped Working – Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 2TB 2011 Apple Drive

Hitachi HDS722020ALA330 Top

This 2TB Hitachi drive came from a Mac that stopped working randomly. The client brought the computer to a computer repair shop and the shop found the issue with the computer was the drive itself. They pulled the drive from the Mac and tested it with another computer, but the drive would not mount or be recognized when plugged into a computer. There were photos and work documents on this drive that were important to the client, so the computer repair shop in Wichita recommended their client bring the drive to us for data recovery. When I received the drive I connected it to the PC-3000 for diagnostics and found that while it was responding and I was able to read data from the platters, it was running very slowly. So slowly that it would take a very long time to mount on a computer running a standard operating system; then when it had fully mounted it would have taken months to image the drive fully. In this case the slowness was being caused by … Read more

Drive Completely Dead After Being Dropped

Toshiba 750GB MQ01ABD075 Top

This Toshiba drive was dropped and stopped working immediately after the drop. The drive was first brought to a computer repair shop that diagnosed it as having internal issues and needing a clean room. The shop recommended the customer contact us and after discussing the project they decided to drop it off for our cleanroom lab recovery service. The first step with a dropped drive is to open it up and take a look at it in the cleanroom environment. In this case I could see that the spindle was bent and causing the platters to not spin at all. The best way to move forward with this type of issue is to complete what is called a platter swap. A platter swap is when you take the platters from the drive you are recovering, and put them into a donor drive. There are a lot of things you need to pay attention to and know when you are doing a platter swap, so I really don’t recommend trying it on your own until you … Read more

Pioneer 120GB Solid State Drive Not Showing Up

Pioneer SSD APS SL2 120

This older Solid State Drive got referred to us by a shop that offers some data recovery services, but doesn’t have the more advanced tools or experience in the data recovery area. This particular SSD was an older 120GB Pioneer model APS-SL2-120. The computer that was in use with the drive stopped mounting it, and the repair shop reported that while their recovery software could “see” the drive and even get back some folder structure, they were not able to recover any usable data from it. After a quick diagnosis, I found that the likely main issue was bad sectors. If the sectors go bad that hold partition information, the drive will not be able to access this data when the computer asks for it. This causes the drive to not mount, or sometimes to mount but not show all the data and folders that are on the drive. In this case, the first step is to image the drive as much as possible. After a few passes I was able to get well over … Read more