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Hard Drive Data Recovery

CDobyns
CDobyns asked
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Recently had the smaller of two hard drives in my system suffer an electronics failure.  Fortunately, I was using the smaller drive as a back-up device on just the chance of a failure of either the main or the back-up drive.

Regrettably, I had some small number of files on that back-up drive that were not duplicated on the main drive.  Like I said, I think the drive suffered an electronics failure, so I'm assuming the FAT and the other files on the platters are still intact.  Guess I'm wondering what anyone says about the effectiveness of some of these commercial software programs that claim to be able to recover data from failed hard drives.  Any thoughts there?

Second, in the alternative that the software approach is not tenable, what's the thinking about any outfits that do hard disk data recovery?  Any recommendations or record on success rate and more importantly what kind of fee you could anticipate paying for recovering maybe some number of MBs of data from the drive?

Thanks

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Commented:
In a case like the, the recovery of data by one of the "Data Recovery" service companies is likely to be quite simple.  It's still going to be costly as their services don't come cheaply.

One technique I've used successfully in the past in this situation is to locate an IDENTICAL drive and swap the electronics board.  In most cases this restores the drive to full operation and permits you to either continue using it or backup the data.

Be sure the drive you try this with is EXACTLY the same.  Check the model and rev. numbers.  Swapping in the wrong model could make matters worse.
CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2007

Commented:
Since the problems is probably electronics, a software recovery method will probably not work.
A lab like ontrack.com can replace the electronics and read the data on a bit by bit basis.
Expensive, but effective.

I hope this helps !

Author

Commented:
This is good input and I appreciate the importance of jhance's recommendation of using an identical set of electronics.  Guess what I was really sort of hoping for was some sort of report of people's experience on data recovery fees in a somewhat empirically-based value format ($$$), beyond just "expensive".  

You understand where I'm going with this, right? Just wonder given the non-critical nature of the "hostage data", whether the ransom is really worth it.

Thanks

CERTIFIED EXPERT
Top Expert 2007
Commented:
$125 for evaluation and $500 - $1000 for a simple recovery.
More complex stuff can be double or triple.

I hope this helps !

Commented:
CD, if you like, we may be able to help you with this situation.

Send me an e-mail at aqs12@mindspring.com we have the ability to recover drives with mechanical failure.

Joe

Author

Commented:
I'll go with SysExpert since it's the answer that attempted to quantify what the price tag might be.  Think that will be helpful to others.  

Thanks for everyone's input.

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