This was a mail-in recovery that we received after another recovery shop failed to recover the needed data. The previous recovery company said they were not able to get anything from the drive and gave it back to the client. The client in this case was a computer repair shop that had heard about us and decided to give us a try! The repair shop mentioned our affordable quote for lab recovery was way less than half of what the other shop had quoted for the recovery.
MQ01ABF050 Toshiba Recovery
The hard drive came in as spinning normally but not being recognized on a computer. Connected to the PC-3000, it initialized properly and gave the correct drive ID. Doing a heads test showed that there was a weak head that was causing access to the data to be extremely slow or even not possible for some of the drive.
Swapping the bad head
I recommended to the customer that we complete a head swap to get a set of working heads in the drive, then get the data from the Toshiba recovered. The client approved and I completed the head swap without issue. Donor head stacks can be picky on drives, but this one was a perfect match and worked just great.
Imaging the drive
I always configure the drive for imaging before I start getting any data back. This step helps ensure a safe and successful recovery. Once the drive was configured for imaging, I started with an easy fast pass as always. This fast pass got over 99.9999% of the sectors, but I went back and did another more intense pass to get back as many of these bad sectors as possible. After this second pass, I had 100% of the sectors recovered!
The next step after the imaging is complete is to run data recovery software on the image to get back all the data possible from those recovered sectors. In this case, all the data came back with folder structure and file names, so this was a best case scenario with 100% recovered and all files present.
Large vs Small data recovery labs
I have a page where I talk about some things to think about when you are considering getting data recovery, and one of the main things to consider is who will be working on your drive. This recovery was not particularly difficult, and yet a large, well-known data recovery shop failed. This recovery company returned the drive to the customer as “not recoverable”. It could be that a newer tech was working on the drive who didn’t know the required information to complete the recovery successfully or some other issue. But the moral here is to pick what recovery company you send your drive to carefully.
Recovery shop failed? Get a second opinion!
I try to be completely upfront and honest about the recoveries I can’t complete. It is rare, but some drives are just beyond my expertise. When this happens I do not say “the drive is unrecoverable”, I say that I am not able to recover the data and why it might be possible for somebody else to recover it. If I know of a recovery technician that might be able to help, I recommend them.
If you would like me to get the data back off your drive, please fill out my Request a Quote form. This allows me to see what sort of issue you have and let you know what I recommend for getting the data back.
Thanks for reading!
Drive info: Toshiba MQ01ABF050, DRIVE REV AAT AB20/AM0P3M, DATE 03MAR2015