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Xeb's Misadventures as a Data Recovery Engineer - Updated 4/11/2017 - Page 7

post #61 of 220
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Nah. I am a nihilistic jerk. I wanna be on top!
 
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post #62 of 220
A nihilist working in data recovery.

Your occupation is ultimately pointless. tongue.gif
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post #63 of 220
Thread Starter 
Bah. It was a tongue-in-cheek remark. I just like having a little attention here and there.
 
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post #64 of 220
Maybe I can learn a thing or two reading this stuff. Thank you for posting these tips & tricks on data recovery/HDDs!
post #65 of 220
Thread Starter 
They are not tips or tricks nor should they be taken as such. I have purposely left out critical details and information. Additionally, you need to have the tools and knowledge to preform what I do. Please take it with a grain of salt. This thread was created to provide insight into what is needed to perform a recovery, what goes on during a recovery and what sometimes has to be done to perform such tasks.
 
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post #66 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

Just kill me already
Seagate? Check. SSD? Check. SSHD... Yep.
So, I have a seagate drive here that just got approved. This drive has the following wrong with it:

Dead PCB - Rom swap required to a matching PCB
Likely failing heads but cannot tell
Definitely degraded surface.
Me wanting to kill it.

Will keep you guys updated. Have donor drive on order but it won't be in till next week. Lets see what I have do shall we? Down the rabbit hole we go then.

Guess what boys and girls? This drive was not recoverable. It not only had a bad PCB (which I swapped the ROM over) but also had bad heads... Well. yeah about those heads. I did a head exchange and the drive got ready but would immediately destabilize as soon as I attempted any sort of access (SA - service area or otherwise). I put the donor parts back into the donor and that drive no longer worked either. This pretty much confirms platter damage unfortunately. To further confirm this case I had removed the platter (NEVER do this unless you know what you are doing) and examined the bottom surface (that I could not see). I have a machine that produces steam from distilled water and allows me to see if there are any thin lines. In a pinch you can use your breath but not recommended. When you do that you are producing very small droplets of siliva and other crap... Not good. That is where these lines get their name from - BT lines or Breath Test lines. Top looked fine... bottom no so much. Rings and rings everywhere. Further investigation under a bright light showed signs of pock marks. This drive was done.

Why did I remove the platter when I have said never to do so?
1) Drive was already toast
2) I know what I am doing
3) I know what side goes up or down
4) I have the tools to do it
5) I have a clean room
6) It has only a single platter
7) I needed to completely without a doubt confirm platter damage.

Sigh...

In regards to Case 3 - That was fully recovered but damn it was bad. I mean really bad. 38k sectors not readable. About 12k were contiguous toward the beginning. The others were in groups of 8. The file system was really screwed up too. I had to scan both copies of the FAT MFT and do a composite rebuild. Got the file system back and surprisingly there was not a single file damaged. Color me surprised. Another recovery I am glad to see go. Get out of here problem child. You have done your damage and grandpa needs a nap.
Edited by Lord Xeb - 11/30/16 at 5:25pm
 
Gsvlip Dudyrm
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post #67 of 220
Xeb, what you ought to do here is tell us how long you spend on each recovery operation and what the charge is to the hapless customer for that time (most people have no clue how astronomical it is due the high overhead of the shop; the clean room alone is bloody expensive!!), even if the recovery fails. It might drive home how much more cost effective and safer properly backing up data is compared to having to recover it after a crash (assuming it even works).
     
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post #68 of 220
Thread Starter 
Just the recovery attempt depending on the job is between 10-25% of the original recovery cost. If a job is lets say 3k we usually do about 10% so about 300. That is just to at very least break even on the job.


Let me break down time:

  • Evaluation - 1 hour to 1 day (depending if its RAID, etc)
  • Wait period - Getting approval from customer
  • Electronic/mechanical work - 15 minutes to 3 hours - Sometimes have to order parts. Sometimes have do mechanical work multiple times (multiple head swaps anyone?).
  • Imaging - This can take from a couple of hours to sometimes several days even weeks to complete. That means this job is tying up a channel on an already invaluable machine.
  • File system rebuild - can take several hours. Sometimes needed sometimes not
  • Extraction - Between a few minutes to several hours depending on how much data.
  • Payment - We sent out the drive after payment is complete. This can take a long time if payment plans are in place
  • Hold period - We hold onto images for 14 days along with a copy of data extracted. Standard industry practice.


An average recovery can take anywhere between a few hours to several weeks. Really depends on the drive, work load, etc.
Edited by Lord Xeb - 11/30/16 at 10:05pm
 
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post #69 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

Bah. It was a tongue-in-cheek remark. I just like having a little attention here and there.

I tried to make a funny. frown.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Xeb View Post

They are not tips or tricks nor should they be taken as such. I have purposely left out critical details and information. Additionally, you need to have the tools and knowledge to preform what I do. Please take it with a grain of salt. This thread was created to provide insight into what is needed to perform a recovery, what goes on during a recovery and what sometimes has to be done to perform such tasks.

...and what goes through the mind of the recovery operator, haha.
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post #70 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

Xeb, what you ought to do here is tell us how long you spend on each recovery operation and what the charge is to the hapless customer for that time (most people have no clue how astronomical it is due the high overhead of the shop; the clean room alone is bloody expensive!!), even if the recovery fails. It might drive home how much more cost effective and safer properly backing up data is compared to having to recover it after a crash (assuming it even works).

You're absolutely right, but unfortunately the majority of people will simply cry, wail, tear their clothes (or hair...or both) suck it up and move on. Of course, that's when they learn to keep backups, especially if they lose 900+ photos of their little kid from when they were born. I've lost large amounts of data myself in the past (in one case 4TB - thank you Maxtor) but it was all recoverable from various sources, so the loss was inconvenient rather than disastrous, and back then backing up 4TB wasn't really an option for me anyway.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Hard Drives & Storage › Xeb's Misadventures as a Data Recovery Engineer - Updated 4/11/2017