This Seagate model ST2000LM007 drive came in as a referral from a local computer repair shop. After completing a visual inspection in the clean room environment I let the customer know it was unlikely to be recovered unfortunately. There was visible damage to the top platter from a failed head and there was a good chance if I completed a head swap there would still be no data recovered from this drive as some firmware modules may be inaccessible due to damage.
The client decided to go ahead with the head swap anyway so I ordered he correct donor and waited for it to arrive. Once the donor arrived I completed the head swap and was surprised to find the drive was responding properly and I was able to start the imaging process! When there is damage on a platter it is not unusual for a good head stack to go bad during the imaging process, so I went after the most important files first and got most of it back before the head stack did indeed fail again.
I knew that while I got most of the important files, there was some data (baby photos in this case) that I was not able to get before the head stack went bad. In this case I requested to order another donor drive so I could complete the headstock a second time with the hope it would work again long enough to get more of that important data.
After receiving approval I ordered another donor drive and once it arrived completed the second head swap on this drive. Replacing the heads again with another head stack allowed me to get even more data back and I ended up getting almost everything the client wanted before the heads stopped working yet again. The client was very pleased to get irreplaceable data back from this drive. It is rare for a drive with this kind of platter damage to be successfully recovered, but sometimes you just can’t know for sure until you try!
If you would like help getting the data from your drive, please fill out my quote request form and I will get back to you on what I recommend.