There are some times where recoveries just work out better than you expect! This drive came in as a referral by a local computer repair shop who had diagnosed it as likely a heads issue. During diagnosis I confirmed that while there wasn’t any platter damage and the heads looked good physically, one of the heads would not read.
This Thin model of the Momentus 500GB drive only has a total of 2 heads, so the most I can get without swapping the head stack is 50%.
Because the non-functioning head wasn’t causing any damage I was able to image 50% of the drive with the other working head. Once I completed the first 50% I turned the bad head back on in firmware and it it started to read! I made sure to not power cycle the drive and just started imaging the “bad head” right away.
Having a head that tested bad start working for no reason at all is very rare, but I have had it happen in the past. In this case, 100% of the sectors were recovered, no head swap necessary! I am happy because the recovery was easier than I expected it would be (finding donors for head swaps on older drives is time intensive and expensive), and the client was happy because the total was far less than originally quoted!
It is important to note that you should not image a drive partially without checking the heads for any signs of damage. You don’t want the platters under the bad heads to get damaged during the imaging process before swapping out the entire head stack.
I work with a lot of shops that send customers to us for recoveries they are not able to complete themselves. We have a couple options for referral programs, so please contact me if you are interested in referring recovery clients!