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Old 11-12-2005, 02:48 AM   #1
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Default Data Recovery Myths

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Title: Data Recovery Myths
URL: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/245

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"Some are users who are desperate because they’ve lost their data, and others are maintenance technicians who aren’t specialized in data recovery, but all face situations when every attempt to recover ..."

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Old 11-12-2005, 06:11 PM   #2
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I have successfully used the freeze technique to get non critical but highly desired data from a drive when there was no chance of paying for a professional recovery. The premise is that the metal will shrink and any seized parts will become unstuck.

Rather than tapping or thumping, I have used a spinning technique to jump start a seized drive. A very quick flick at the center of the platter spin point can get a drive going sometimes.

Both of these have been used on drives that were running for a very long time and then turned off. The drive bearings are presumed to be seized up and getting things moving again will let the drive work for a short time or even until it is turned off again.

They may be desperate measures and of questionable judgment, but they aren't really myths in my book. I thought myths were methods that didn't work at all. If you don't have the money for professional repair then there isn't much to loose from trying these tricks. Just don't electrocute yourself trying any that involve a powered drive.

One other point I might add. Knowing these sometimes do work might make you think twice about throwing away a drive intact just because you can't make it work. Someone else might be able to and it wouldn't cost them tons of money to try. I always open the drive and destroy the platters, just in case.

If only we all had access to a clean room and all the toys!
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Old 11-13-2005, 08:01 AM   #3
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The author has obviously enjoyed a environment flush with cash to have the necessary funds to operate in a clean room environment - congratulations.

Welcome to the real world, most data recovery is accomplished in less than ideal environments, and it is done sucessfully. The goal of field data recovery is never to "fix" the drive. But to get the data as quickly as possible - making the drive's operating environment less critical as it will be tossed when the procedure is complete.

This would seem to be an article more geared towards scaring consumers towards laying out large sums of cash rather than one that is said to "dispel myths" calling tried and true methods (some more sucessful than others) myths is the epitome of arrogant and borders on deceitful.
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Old 04-07-2006, 02:15 PM   #4
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Hello,

Sometimes it is truly useful to try data recovery tools. Once I thought the data was gone completely it was able to restore. The one I prefer is Undelete, it never failed me. If you wish, you can also try it out.
http://www.active-undelete.com/
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:06 AM   #5
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I found this article by coincident, and want to drop a comment on the "Freeze it" myth. I totally agree with some of the other commentators. If your hard drive is broken and you want to rescue the data that is stored on it, freeze it actually worked. I managed to save about 40 GB of data when my hard drive failed in 2008. I wrote a blog article about it: http://arton.no/2008/12/06/frozen-ha...ry-mythbuster/
If the data is critical, don't do this! If your data is something you want to recover but don't want to pay often more than 1000 USD or more for a recover with non guarantee, putting your hard drive in the freezer is worth trying. Besides I can't see why a professional data recovery company still can't recover the data after freezing it. Most of the time when the data is recovered professionally they are opening the hard drive, removes the disks and mount them in a rig and recover data using that rig. This is extremely expensive. As I wrote in my article, this myth is at least plausible and helped me recover all the data I needed for free!
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
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Freezing the HDD isn't a valid solution. There're a few technics to data recovery regarding HDD failure. The disk doesn't always have to physically be opened. There's a known PCI recovery card called PC-3000 UDMA, which data centers use. It can recover useable data out of a bad sectored, unfunctional drive.

Though, that card costs at least a few thousand dollars. So data centers usually still charge say a hundred for recovering a drive using PC-3000.

The times the disk needs to be opened in a clean room are when it's physically damaged. So freezing the drive isn't the best solution to every case. One must first understand the basics of data recovery processes before claiming what is a myth and what not.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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As I wrote in my previous comment: "If the data is critical, don't do this!"
Yes I'm aware of other recover methods without opening the hard drive, I've tried it. They charged me over 200 USD without any guarantee, and guess what: They didn't recover a single bit (literally).

As I wrote in the blog post I noticed that the hard drive failed after some minutes = when the hard drive started to get warmer. Freezing the hard drive and wrap it in cooling pads made it work long enough to copy 40 GB of "nice to have" data. I had of course a backup of the critical data.

Today I have backup of all data because online backup has become very cheap. I pay 85 dollars for unlimited online backup and has currently backup of more than a terabyte. The best advice I give people is to buy a online backup plan before your hard drives crashes instead of paying loads of money for data recovery without no warranty.
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
As I wrote in my previous comment: "If the data is critical, don't do this!"
Yes I'm aware of other recover methods without opening the hard drive, I've tried it. They charged me over 200 USD without any guarantee, and guess what: They didn't recover a single bit (literally).
Then either your data wasn't logically recoverable or they ripped you off. My point was that, you mentioned freezing the data as a valid solution. It's not. They don't always open up the drive in a clean room.

IF the data is logically recoverable, then freezing it will cause more issues than it solves. This is something you didn't mention/don't understand. The point isn't whether the data is important or not. The point is that freezing isn't a VALID solution. If you told a data center that you froze the drive in a freezer, they might just tell you to kiss off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
Today I have backup of all data because online backup has become very cheap. I pay 85 dollars for unlimited online backup and has currently backup of more than a terabyte. The best advice I give people is to buy a online backup plan before your hard drives crashes instead of paying loads of money for data recovery without no warranty.
Well... and that makes me wonder why haven't you paid those $85's towards a 1 TB drive to take your own backup's...
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoe View Post
Then either your data wasn't logically recoverable or they ripped you off. My point was that, you mentioned freezing the data as a valid solution. It's not. They don't always open up the drive in a clean room.

IF the data is logically recoverable, then freezing it will cause more issues than it solves. This is something you didn't mention/don't understand. The point isn't whether the data is important or not. The point is that freezing isn't a VALID solution. If you told a data center that you froze the drive in a freezer, they might just tell you to kiss off.
I wrote this as an comment to an article about data recovery myths. I didn't mention that this is a "valid solution". If you read the whole comment you should be able understand what I meant. I wrote: "If the data is critical, don't do this!". My point was that freezing the hard drive can make it work long enough to recover a lot of data. I do agree that this is not a "valid recovery solution". I have done this only once, and first of all for fun to see if the myth was true. I was able to recover 40GB of data and based on this result my conclusion was that the myth is plausible (as are reference to MythBusters).

Why not try this before you send in your hard drive for replacement and then loose all your data if that is the only other affordable alternative? That is, if your hard drive's warrenty has not expired. Do not come and argue about that the manufacturer actually opens the hard drive to check the cause of the failure. They only check if it is working and is sending you a new one if it is broken.

Data recovery is very expensive and is often done without no guarantee that they will recover any data. You still have to pay for them their work. The hard drive I put in my freezer and the one I sent to a company using Ibas' data recovery equipment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibas_(company)), a professional data recovery company, was not the same. The symptoms was the same, but that doesn't mean that the reason for hard drive failure actually was the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johndoe View Post
Well... and that makes me wonder why haven't you paid those $85's towards a 1 TB drive to take your own backup's...
Yes, you can sit there and wonder about that till your house burn down, someone steals your laptop or breaks into your house and steals all your hardware.

I have a synchronous 25 Mbps fiber connection and at the university it is way faster making realtime backup seamless with 10 revisions of every file I back up. Besides from that, I have two 1.5 TB hard drives mounted up in RAID 1 on my Ubuntu server which I use to make my own backup. Simply because I don't rely on one backup set.

I wont bother to continue this arguing. I think most people (who doesn't makes lots of unreasonable asumptions) already has taken my point.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
I wrote this as an comment to an article about data recovery myths. I didn't mention that this is a "valid solution". If you read the whole comment you should be able understand what I meant
I did, multiple times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
Why not try this before you send in your hard drive for replacement and then loose all your data if that is the only other affordable alternative? That is, if your hard drive's warrenty has not expired. Do not come and argue about that the manufacturer actually opens the hard drive to check the cause of the failure. They only check if it is working and is sending you a new one if it is broken.
If your data is LOGICALLY RECOVERABLE, you damage it PHYSICALLY by freezing it. Logical errors are much easier to fix, and cost much less to recover. Physical errors however aren't. By freezing the drive, you're actually increasing the damage given to your HDD, which makes things worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
Yes, you can sit there and wonder about that till your house burn down, someone steals your laptop or breaks into your house and steals all your hardware.
No, I don't. I don't sit here wondering what other people post on forums. I've argued with those like you (who don't understand the fundamentals of HW) so many times before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
I have a synchronous 25 Mbps fiber connection and at the university it is way faster making realtime backup seamless with 10 revisions of every file I back up.
A 25 Mbps line isn't faster than a SATA HDD. A regular SATA HDD today writes at at least 100 Mb/s. You're talking out of your ass.

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Originally Posted by DoRullings View Post
I wont bother to continue this arguing. I think most people (who doesn't makes lots of unreasonable asumptions) already has taken my point.
Yeah, I'm sure they did.
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