This Toshiba drive would spin up, but would not be recognized by any computer. When connected to the PC-3000 data recovery rig, the drive would ID itself but would not allow access to the data on the platters.
A likely firmware issue on this Toshiba recovery
This type of symptom is usually caused by a firmware issue on the drive. In this case the G-List had a lot of data present and could be corrupt. After clearing that firmware module I had access to the data on the platter! Doing a head test on the drive, I could see that Head 2 was weak.
Imaging the data with a weak head
Now that the data on the platters was accessible, I began the process of imaging all the sectors from this failing drive to a good drive. Because Head 2 was weak and slow, I imaged all the other heads first. Each head is in charge of its own data on the platters, so if a head is weak or slow you can get all the other data first, which is safer than stressing out a weak or slow head.
Once I had all the data possible from the other good heads, I started the imager on Head 4 using very gentle settings. After some tweaks to the imaging settings and a few passes, I was able to get 99.9999% of the sectors on the drive.
Recovering the data
The catalog file was intact so I was able to see what data was on the drive and also see what files were part of the missing .0001%. The only missing files were in the system file area, which had no user data! This is a best case scenario as it means all user data was recovered 100%.
This particular recovery took about 2 days to complete and get back to the client. It fell under our Standard Recovery Tier and the client was happy to have their data back.
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