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Thread: Hardware errors of hard disks?

  1. #1

    Default Hardware errors of hard disks?

    Hi and thank You for answering in advance.
    Do You known are there any books, that explain hardware errors of hard disks? Maybe even like repair guides for data recovery trainee/specialist?
    Just I want to known, what exactly may mean:
    "Airlock stuck closed" on old Quantum drive.

  2. #2
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    The "professional" data recovery field is mostly comprised of self important people that want to keep all knowledge secret from the public at large, in order to charge exorbitant prices. Finding any information on such is always like pulling teeth because everyone "in the field" doesn't want to tell you, or wants outrageous compensation for it.

    Short answer, you aren't going to find any "data recovery for dummies" books out there that describe the process in great detail.

    But as for your question, I'd guess it has something to do with the breathing hole on the drive lid. Some drives seem to have plastic actuators to dynamically block/unblock the air passage to that breather hole.

  3. #3

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    Please avoid editorializing about the topic. Unless you are an expert in the field the harsh criticism is probably unwarranted.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbbrutman View Post
    Please avoid editorializing about the topic. Unless you are an expert in the field the harsh criticism is probably unwarranted.
    I've done thorough research on the topic over the years, the data recovery industry is about as far from puppies and unicorns as you can get. Companies that make the gear are like used car salesmen on slimy note lots. Prices are never listed, you have to call and ask. When you do call, it's like you're being interviewed for a job "what do you do, why do you need this?" etc. The cost of the equipment is based on their level of trust in you, and how they're feeling at the time, which can range from $5000-$30,000. The equipment is not special at all, the only thing worth anything in the kit you'd buy is a microcontroller on a PCIe card with an IDE/SATA interface that directly controls the drive and a bit of software to interface with it. This is at most worth a couple hundred dollars. The rest is bog jellybean parts, like cables and adapters you can get for pennies on Aliexpress.

    If/when you finally do get "in", you have other data recovery "experts" all up in your business trying to start drama, discredit you as a person and be generally nasty.

    One example out of many is Louis Rossmann out of NY. His data recovery guy gets constantly bombarded with armchair DR experts calling him all sorts of nasty things because he does exactly what they don't want him to do: Give out the knowledge and advice freely. They don't want the public at large to know how to do DR because then they couldn't get away with charging $7000 just to look at a hard drive. I've had personal experience with this trying to get some of my drives recovered, the service from several places was terrible, and they all wanted hundreds to thousands of dollars just to look at a drive.

    I persisted like Louis's DR guy did and I can recover many types of damaged drives, and eventually recovered the worst of my own, an IBM Deathstar. I got about 97% of the data back.

  5. #5

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    So all you need is a couple hundred dollars to get started, and you can buy everything you need on Aliexpress?

    I used to write hard drive firmware at a major manufacturer. On my work bench in the lab area I had a fairly beefy Dell workstation, a JTAG programmer, high speed serial ports, and various other devices. For the hard core debugging there were logic analyzers and protocol analyzers that cost 10s of thousands of dollars. To run a reputable data recovery operation you'd need all of that plus good soldering/desoldering equipment, a supply of donor drives for parts, and possibly clean-room style facilities for disassembling drives. And then there is all of the proprietary information about each make and model of hard drive that only the manufacturers know. You can't just buy that knowledge, it has to be reverse engineered.

    No, I seriously think you underestimate the cost of the equipment involved. And there there is the overhead of office space, salaries and running a business. I can't comment on business practices that you found distasteful, but I can assure you the investment needed is not cheap.

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