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Did I just get screwed?

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#1 JennB


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

My son sloshed some coffee on my husbands army computer. I took it to a tech and he said there was 2 drops of coffee on the logic board of the HD. The HD would power up and spin, but shut down after 20 seconds. After researching data recovery places, I sent it to Nationwide data recovery. The reviews were pretty good. Only later did I see in some forums that they are pretty shady.


Of course it went exactly as the forums said it would. They charged a non-refundable $130 fee for new platters and donor parts. He said he gave it an 80% chance of recovery.


He later wrote that a small strip of coffee made its way into the power area? BUt he cleaned it, and the drive was powering up and spinning.


I get another email:

"The stack assembly exchange was completed a couple of days ago and the hard drive has been going through a bit by bit image copy of the whole drive. So far my techs are having no success with either the raw image scan or the 3 layered image scan. considering the heads are holding up I will attempt to fill the empty pockets of bad areas on the image collected so far with as many rouge digital fragments as possible and then try to decipher the results. Although I wish it was doing better, I'm an optimist. I will let you know right away with any changes in the results."



Today I get this:

Unfortunately after many attempts to create a complete bit by bit image of the hard drive the decipherment of the image collected has not produced any results.

My technicians have been unable to recover data from the drive you sent us for data recovery
because of the damage created on the platters from the previous head crash. For the last couple of days I've been trying to create as close to complete an image as possible without any positive results. I know how important this was to you and I wish I could have come through for you on this recovery. A lot was riding on this recovery. Maybe the future looks hopeful as technology improves. Don't throw away the hard drive. The future is bright for drives with platter damage.

Below are some issues encountered on this recovery.

1. It appears that the damage on the platters was too extensive (physical and magnetic) for a decipherable image..

2. The original read write heads at some point made contact with the platters damaging the surface of the platters and the read write heads.



I have no idea what this means. I did a google search for "head crash", and everything I read is saying a head crash is due to a fall. Can liquid cause a head crash? Should I even bother paying for the return, and should I pay for a second opinion?


THank you so much for your help. I feel horrible about what happened and am trying everything to get the data back. This could severely impact my husbands job. He did do a back up 2 weeks prior to the crash. But we still need some very important files that he didn't get a chance to back up.


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#2 spiraling


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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:30 PM

Think of the HD as an old LP (record) - you have a needle (writing heads) and platters (the disc that spins). Depending on the hd failure, you can have the pins fail and crash into the platter, so think of high speed metal pins grinding into  the metal platters and creating grooves as they fail, with the data on these grooves being completely destroyed by mechanical failure. Sometimes the plates will just stop spinning or could crash, it really depends on how it failed.

The other problem could be the hard drvie controller (the little board on the bottom of the drive). This is usually the easier to recover from. 


Not sure with this particular hard drive recovery place but honestly you can't prove what work has been done on the drive, so I don't know what to suggest at this point. 

#3 JennB

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:42 PM

Thank you for your response. Is the drive controller the same as the logic board? The initial tech said that the logic board, located on the outside of the HD, is what had 2 very small coffee drops on it. He suggested replacing the logic board, but it may erase the data. I will look into another data recovery place, but the second cheapest place I found was $700 minimum starting price, regardless if they are successful or not. It would be very difficult for us to swing that, especially without a guarantee of the data being recovered.

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