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Tuesday, 16. January 2018

MediaVault Not Visible, DS1511 disks not available

By cliven, 14:17

I've been working at recovering data along with the guys from Data Clinic (https://www.dataclinic.co.uk), from two NAS hard drives that have gone down.

The first is an HP Media Vault and the second a Synology DS1511. Both hard drives are running multiple hard drives using RAID.


HP Mediavault MV5020 (500Gb RAID 1) unresponsive – starts up, all lights go blue, then powers down into sleep mode (?), not visible on network but hub shows connection on relevant LAN port. Western Digital My Passport Essential SE 1TB: WDBACX0010BRD-EESN (External Hard Drive) is no longer being recongised by the laptop and the desktop. When I plug the device in, it is coming up with a flashing blue light and buzzing sound. Also it is coming up with code 28 (driver problem).

I have a Synology NAS 1511+ (which is a 5 disk NAS). This had two volumes, one on disks 0-2 and teh opther on disks 4&5. Disk 3 started to show bad sector errors and I removed it and reinstalled. I think got some alerts to say disk 1 was starting to error (bad sectors). The disk stations would not shut down and after 36 hours I disconnected the supply, and bought two new disks. The disk stations will no not power up and has a flashing blue power light. Following the instruction from Synology. I have removed the disks powered bu with the forts and added the others subsequently. However all of the data on the disks is now not available. I need help. The disks are all WD 2TB disks.

These hard drives went to Data Clinic's Manchester and London offices where they were assessed and the data from them recovered and written to new backup media before both systems were returned.

Monday, 08. January 2018

PC World in Leeds

By cliven, 20:04

I cannot access information on the hard drive- it comes up as ‘error’. PC World Leeds have had a look and said there was a fault as the ‘disk was not detected.’ What I am hoping to retrieve is some photos.

Leeds

Laptop external Hard disk (Toshiba) is not readable ( not detectable) when connected to laptop. Also another desktop hard disk which need assistance on connecting as a hard drive to laptop.

My laptop hard disc failed and would not load Windows. (Constant message of critical error.) PC world in Leeds changed the hard disc and I have to old one. I would dearly love to try to recover the photos from the failed hard disc as I had not backed them all up.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 750GB The drive does not load at all. When I start the PC, this drive makes a squeak and a grinding soundand it repeats these constantly. Not sure if the problem is with the head or the discs. I would like to be able to start the disc to salvage the data. I think I need everything but the discs themselves. Do you think you can help me? How much would this cost me? I am in Elland, Leeds, is this a problem to send the hardware?

Hard drive has a really loud clicking noise when connected. Goes on for a few minutes then stops. Drive was dropped.

Lacie 1TB hardrive. Does not show up on mac in finder or disk utility. 75gb of un-backed up work data needs recovering…

This was a laptop hardrive I was then using as an external hardrive to store pictures. It hasn’t worked for around 2 years now but when plugged in, there is movement it just doesn’t read anything. I’d like to know the cost for repair of this please?

My Toshiba external Hard drive stopped working. Files are not opening. Please let me know if you can help me in this regard.

Friday, 15. December 2017

iPhone 4 Need Voice Memos back

By cliven, 13:55
Maybe you store voice memos and recordings on your phone? I know i do. Sometimes it's far easier to say what you need to remember rather than just write it down, and here's an example of someone who recorded a lot of voice memos on their phone only to have their phone break and now the voice memos are inaccessible.

"o Beer spilled on it WHILE ON (over 24months ago)
o Will not turn on.

I only want iOS Voice Memos from the phone. —
I have a lot of Piano recordings and other instruments I would like to keep from it. I don't need a full repair unless a repair is of similar cost, or part of the recovery process.
I just mostly want the Voice Memos.
Is this possible? Likely?
Does failure to retrieve the data always result in destruction of the data?
How much would this service cost? How is shipping handled? (located Reading, Engand.) Is the price the same in case of failure?
Sorry for so many questions. I've found a few services offering similar service and trying to find the service that fits my situation best. "

The problems with phones that get wet really start when they are taken out of the water or beer they are dropped in. As soon as this happens the liquid will begin to oxidise the controller board and circuits inside the phone. Ideally you should dry your phone our but this should really be done by a phone data recovery specialist like Phone Data Recovery.

Monday, 04. December 2017

Repairing disk errors

By cliven, 13:50
My PC is a 8 year old Dell Inspiron laptop with a 250GB HDD running Windows 10. I half dropped it onto a table and although the HDD spins (no clicks) I am unable to boot it up properly. I have tried booting off a USB stick but don’t get beyond the Windows recovery page which says “repairing hard-drive errors, this might take up to an hour” (or similar) which then hangs. I have tried free disc recovery software but without success. I'm close to Loughborough in the Midlands.



I used to back it up monthly onto an external hard-drive but stopped doing this some time ago when the external HD filled up. I kept meaning to either buy a replacement or sort out online storage but was an idiot and never got around to it!
With all our photos and music etc on the laptop I really need to try and get the data.

Computer began running slowly and then would not allow me to run any programs – mouse still moved, but constantly busy. Powered off & restarted, said ‘checking disk for errors’, then ‘repairing errors’ for 51 hours. Screen went blank for 6-8 hours, manually rebooted and now just says ‘preparing automatic repair’. Windows 10, 2TB seagate hybrid drive. Tried mounting to another pc via usb, not recognised. Would like to get everything back if possible.

Need data recovery from the external hard drive
Unable to to get data have previously been told needle in not connecting with disk

I have a 1TB Sea agent freeagent go flex for mac. Its been used for 3 years and now works incredibly slowly and usually cuts out. It hasn't stopped working after a drop. Its just fizzled out. I just want to back it up to a new drive. When I switch it on and check it from errors it gives me a long list and tells me I need to run software that will correct the disk problems.

I have a WD Passport 1TB Hard drive. I believe the reader head has failed on it. Ironically this was due to a program trying to repair the disk. I need all the data recovering. Please could you send me your procedures for booking in the device.

Thursday, 16. November 2017

Unresponsive hard drive help

By cliven, 14:44

In this post I answer some questions from people needing to recover data from hard drives of various types.

Request to recover CCTV information

We have a customer who has a Videcon CCTV system where the HDR have failed. Would you be able to recover the required information. In total there are 5 2tB HDR and they required a certain date and time of an incident. The manufacturers were unable to retrieve the information. Is this something you would be able to assist with?

Seagate HD requires replacement head

I have removed the head on my 4TB Segate XT Hard Drive as I found the head was broken, trying to find a replacement head for that hard drive. I'm happy to to buy the component from you guys or If you can install the component and test if I can access to my folders that would be great and I can do backup my self.

Clicking Drive on MacBook Pro

The drive is a Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 which developed a clicking noise and then my Apple Mac Pro refused to recognise it. I shut the machine down and have removed the drive. Prior to clicking, the drive started appearing with a shared network drive symbol instead of the internal hard drive symbol it had displayed as previously. I am based in Darlington though travel to Stockton, Durham and Newcastle.

Core CNM hard drive recovery

About a month ago, my 1TB, externally powered, USB HDD (Core by CnM) stopped being picked up by my desktop PC. When plugged in, Windows doesn't even register that something has been plugged into the USB port, no notifications of any kind appear. I've tried a few different cables and that doesn't seem to work. I've tried the drive on a separate computer and it doesn't seem to work either. It powers up and appears not to make any problematic mechanical noises one might associate with some kind of failure. There is a substantial amount of data on this drive as it is mostly full to capacity. I assume that there is some issue with the USB port on the hard drive itself, but I'm not quite sure. Any ideas would be great.

Friday, 27. October 2017

Hard Drive Recovery

By cliven, 17:34
I have a Seagate Maxtor external hardrive. Each time I connect it, it beeps for around 10 seconds and the light comes on but it doesn't show up in my finder. I have also tried plugging it into a windows computer and using different USB ports and cables. I'm not too sure what the problem is.

I actually have three hard drives that aren't working. Two due to impact (one fell off a desk, one had something fall onto it), and another which just stopped working.
I'm not sure what's on them, I can't remember, it was a while ago, so I'm not sure of the value of what's on them for me to recover. But would be interested to know if they're recoverable

BSOD experienced crash with Windows 10. Need to recover all the documents on the laptop hard drive as have been able to use the device since this incident occurred one week ago. Toshiba external drive was knocked over and from then on no further access can be achieved.

Have tried cloning it and scanning with variety of software but couldn't even get to a point where it was registering anything more than an unallocated drive. My suggestions are to get quotes from professionals explaining that has "too many" bad sectors reported on running the western digital checking software and is not registering with drive letter and showing in disk management as unallocated space.

I have a Cruzer SanDisk Flash Drive that appears to be dead. It no longer lights up and the computer does not even recognise anything is being put into the usb port. Are you able to recover data from a broken flash drive? Very important piece of work on the drive and no back-up.

My MacBook Pro stooped working. I contacted Apple who directed me to an Apple approved agent to repair it (it was too old for Apple to have the parts to repair it) He fitted a new hard drive but was unable to retrieve the data from my old hard drive and said I would need a more specialised person to do this

I have a Seagate external 1 TB hard drive. When i connect it to my computer it doesnt get detected but the light on the hard drive keeps blinking.

The laptop sustained water damage and was left to dry out. The computer was successfully working after this, but the next day it didn't boot. Laptops bios was reflashed but the hard disk was showing as not being found. Stripped down the laptop to remove the hard disk and put it in an external USB caddy. Windows is reporting the drive as unknown and not initialised.

Thursday, 28. July 2016

Faulty Devices - Examples

By cliven, 14:28
Several examples of faulty devices this week:

External hard drive (WD passport) stopped working, discounts spins and ticking noise heard but nothing reading drive?

Buffalo 'Just Store' Desktop External USB 2.0 Hard Drive 1.0Tb has clicking sound and will not read.

I am a criminal defence solicitor. A shop has CCTV footage which contains helpful material in relation to a case I am dealing with. The shop wipe the CCTV after 10 days and it is now wiped. Can you retrieve it? My client is legally aided – do you do this type of work?

Attended a graduation ceremony for my wife's daughter on 21 july and took a lot of photos with my wifes phone (honor 6 plus) for some unknoen reason the phone just died towards the end of the day and just wouldnt charge. We took it it to a local retailer who would have a look at it and chargrd us £10. As we are presently on holiday at the moment there isnt a lot that we can do until we come back but just in case the retailer caanot fix this hence the message to you. The phonr is synced up with google back up but as it died before the end of the day, it didbt sync up and back up the photos. Any suggestions? Please contact back via email as presebtly on holiday so have got no access to the land line

I wanted to transfer a huge amount of files from an external Freecom drive yesterday (500Go drive, about 300Go data, i tried to transfer 170Go yesterday). During the transfer, it seems there has been either an unvolontary disconnection, either overheating. Afterwards, the disk can be seen on any computer on which it is being connected (so it is detected), but it cannot be read (no information on the portion of the disk which is used / no access to the disk when clicking on it). There was no physical shock / damage caused to the disk. Do you think there would be chances to get back all information? If so, how much would it be ?

I have a 1TB my passport ultra (WD) for about 1.5 years now and have not had any problems with it till yesterday, when it randomly decided to slow my PC down on startup.
Have tried multiple times on 2 different pc and different cables, sometimes it woke for a few seconds, it pops up, if I go into device management it says it needs initialising but it comes with an I/O error,
Although the HDD is almost full I only need a small amount of data off it, being photos and videos.
Was wondering what sort of costs would this mean?

I currently have a Microsoft lumia 950 that's been water damaged beyond repair. It doesn't switch on and I cant access its memory. I would like to be emailed a quote to see how much it would cost to recover my pictures and videos off of it.

1 TB WD hard drive with roughly 550GB of photos and videos on it.
Suddenly unusably slow and making a beep noise. I believe the read write heads are degrading.

compressing and transferring my go pro footage from my go pro, through my mac onto an external heard drive, my mac died. it registered that i had incorrectly ejected my SD card and the footage was deleted (i have the option selected to wipe SD card after import so i can record straight away again)
I've not used the SD card one after this happened, which was about a week ago!

Monday, 11. July 2016

Datlabs Phone Data Recovery Service

By cliven, 11:40
I recently dealt with my mother's broken mobile phone. It had slipped out of her pocket and dropped into the toilet. Fortunately the people at Datlabs data recovery were able to retrieve the data from it - here's the link to their section on phone data recovery. Here's what my mother emailed me:

"I dropped my phone in water late on Friday 8th July. Unfortunately at the time I didn't know I should turn it off so I tried to use it several times but it stopped working. I tried to dry it the best I could and left it in rice for 24 hours. Having tried to turn it on now it is still completely unresponsive and doesn't respond to a charger either. I am looking for help to recover data from my phone."

Although my mother didn't mention what phone she has it's a Samsung duo s phone on which she had accidentally deleted some important text messages too.

Similarly to my mother's predicament above, I was also contacted by an acquaintance who has a similar problem: "I recently dropped my iPhone 6 down the toilet and it no longer works. I put it in rice immediately and left it for 3 days but with no luck. I sent it off to a company for water damaged iPhones but they said it had burnt out and although they replaced the inside burnt out part they could not get it to power on. I really am not bothered about the phone i just want my photos and videos as i have 2 very young children (youngest 2 months) and I forgot to back my phone up on my new laptop so i have lost absolutely everything! I understand it may not work but i would be so grateful if you could try, many thanks for your time."

In the tradition of fairness, I recommended my friend try a different provide of phone recovery services and recommended the phone data recovery service people at http://phone-recovery.pen.io/ who are experts in recovering data from both iPhone and Android systems.

Thursday, 16. June 2016

WD Hard Drive Recovery

By cliven, 14:27
Dropped WD Portable Hard Drive
Here's a data recovery question. I have dropped a WD portable hard drive. It clicks etc and computer can't read it. I'm looking at data recovery. You say your prices are 'competitive', but can you give me a rough idea of recovery for a mechanical failure? To answer the question I can tell you that the average cost for data recovery is anything between about £350 and £600. Experience has taught me not to go below this figure as that part of the market is inhabited by people who really know very little about data recovery and are looking to make a quick profit. These people in the low end of the market do not care if they recover your files or not and are just looking to make money from you. So a proper data recovery company will charge you a minimum of £350 but you will get your data back.

Dropped WD Passport Ultra
i have a WD Passport Ultra (2TB) which had been dropped and now i cannot access any data on it. It Clicks/Beeps when plugged in and eventually the computer will recognise it but says there are no files to be displayed when i know its is over 3/4 full of photos and videos and music etc. It shows in device manager and says it is working fine, I've used the services of the Western Digital data recovery specialists from http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/western-digital-data-recovery/ and wonder if I shall have to use their services again or is there anything I can do myself to attempt to retrieve the data ?

I recently needed to get a quote for recovery of the data from the hard disk drive of my laptop. It no longer booted up and there is a noise from the speakers. (Almost a clicking sound but not quite). At first the laptop would only reboot on 2nd or 3rd attempt but now not at all. I live in Rochdale and popped down to the data recovery office in Bury (at http://johnnyforeigner.jimdo.com/2016/06/07/hard-drive-recovery-manchester/). The hard drive was a 1TB Seagate HDD.

Tuesday, 07. June 2016

Data Recovery Quotes

By cliven, 15:29
I have quoted a lot of data recovery work this weekend. I looked at my email and discovered the following 4 enquiries had come in for attention:

1. Hi. Used you guys back in April for another customer and the service was excellent so we will look to start using you more. This problem is a 320GB WD3200AAJS that's not being detected. I can hear some struggling but nothing loud like I've heard in the past – I managed to copy 3GB off it when we first hooked it up to a caddy but it stopped during file copy and doesn't detect now. It's from an iMac (2008). Can you please give me a quote for a non urgent return?

2. I have a problem with a Samsung M3 1TB USB3 drive. A faint rapid beeping sound is all I hear when it powers up, it's detected by windows still but has no available volumes. Just a rough quote if you could.

3. I have a problem because by accident I've deleted pictures from my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and I would like to ask if it's possible to get them back?

4. Windows OS and HD suddenly failed. iNetcom couldn't revive the hard drive or get anything from it so installed new HD. It's a HSTG 1TB laptop drive.

With all types of data recovery the first task is to assess the state of the hard drive or phone. Much of the UK population now use their smartphones to search for services and as handheld computers. So the information saved on them is often valuable. If this is not backed up and the device suffers a fall or breaks in another way then data loss will be the result unless a data recovery company are able to restore the drive and rescue the data.

Of course, another way to ensure against data loss is to keep abreast of the latest hard drives. Newer hard drives are more resilient and fail less often than older ones, so always try to use new equipment. An example is this 8TB HDD from Seagate http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/seagate-8tb-enterprise-capacity-3.5-hdd-v5-review,2-17.html that is high performance and has low power requirements

Tuesday, 17. May 2016

Harddisk Problems and Solutions

By cliven, 14:57
I've been attempted to document some of the more common types of harddisk and RAID problems I encounter. Some of this weeks enquiries include:

Lenovo X240 Busted Hard Drive

Lenovo X240 dropped and the HDD has not come up since. Tried using the HDD as an external storage device, it does not spin.
I have someone flying to London in the week, I will like to know what the estimated time to restore is please

> Try this link for help and advice: http://londondatarecovery.pen.io

Netgear ReadyNAS RAID 5
This is a straight recovery of a deleted folder containing about 150 Gb of video files from a Netgear ReadyNAS storage unit.
The NAS is set up as RAID 5, consists of 4 x 3 Tb drives, all functioning.
The NAS hasn't been used since the deletion. The folder was within the MEDIA volume, one of 4 volumes on the NAS.

> Take a look at this link http://raidrecovery.pen.io

Spoke to somebody yesterday at your office but can you please send me a quote for an external hard drive which has had the wrong power supply plugged into it.

My WD Passport external hard drive appears to have an issue.
Last Thursday when it was connected to my laptop, the laptop had a system error, where I had to immediately shut it down.
Now half of the files on my external hard drive are zero byte files. Would you be able to left me know whether it is possible to recover these at all?

I bought a Seagate 1 TB external hard drive 4 weeks a go. It has stopped working. I took it to the IT technicians at the school i work at and they say it is a mechanical fault in the hard drive itself. It has some work on it i would like to recover.

hi ,its a wd10tmvw 1tb 2,5 hard drive.
has the clicks of dead when pluged in pc.not detected at all.99% Mechanical fault of some kind .can you give me rough price for recovering ?

Thursday, 14. April 2016

IT Crisis Leeds

By cliven, 13:50
I recently attended an IT Crisis Day in Leeds, put together in conjunction with the Leeds Chamber of Commerce (http://leeds.wnychamber.co.uk). The purpose of the event was to provide a crisis response in IT matters, so we were expecting to see computer failures of all shapes and sizes. We opened the doors at 9am and waited to see who'd come along.

People were asked to fill out a support ticket so we could track their cases throughout their visit. Below are some of the questions we were asked.

1. Portable hard drive powers up, but does not work! Don't think it has been dropped?

2. I think the issue is my external hard drive was dropped. It doesn't register and show up when I plug it in to my computer, but the little light still turns on inside it.
Can you give me a rough idea of cost if you are able to get the data off it

3. I want to extract deleted messages and pictures from mobile which I want to send for recycling

4. I Have a WD elements 1TB multimedi drive and today I was wwhatching and suddenly puff. I went back to tring to connect but gives error and say unable to detect the internal hard disk. How much would cost me to fix it?

I have a Seagate HDD momentus thin 500Gb type:ST500LT012.
The HDD is unreadeble for windows.
If you have some donor disks ,then i am verry happy.
The data is importent for my son.
I hope you can help us.

These first enquiries were all hard drive related which was something we found astonishing. We were expecting to see computers with bad OS installs or corrupt filesystem, but instead, we were dealing with problems on people's hard drives.  Fortunately one of the crisis team members was Mark Moore from Data Clinic Leeds, based on Gelderd Road who had come along to deal with any computer hard drive and data recovery problems. I got the feeling he was expecting a quite morning but we was soon rushed off his feet dealing with disk after disk. Mark was very impressive and succeeding in mending a couple of computer disks at the event, something the disk's owners were very pleased about. Another problem was more involved and he persuaded the disk's owner to let him hold onto the drive so he could take it back to the office where he had the equipment to deal with it.

After 3 hours we'd dealt with enquiries from 7 people. Eventually we did get others who had problems that were not related to their hard drives and were able to advise the best solutions to the problems they had. Then I realised, I actually had a hard drive problem myself:

I have an HDD from my PC which has failed and is now making a clicking noise. It spins for a moment, clicks then stops, this process is repeated.The HDD in question is as follows:
Model No: WD16000ADFS-75SLR2 (160GB)
PCB No: 2060-701453-000 REV A
I'll be dropping this off at Data Clinic's Leeds branch in the morning to see if Mark and the team can restore my data.

Friday, 11. March 2016

Raid Data Recovery Manchester

By cliven, 12:21
Manchester raid data recovery specialists Datlabsdatarecovery have  developed a novel idea for raising their profile: a raid recovery roadshow. Throughout 2016-2017 they'll be taking their mobile hard drive recovery lab on the road a visiting various technology centres and business parks around the Manchester area to bring their raid recovery services to the people and raise the awareness of what Datlabsdatarecovery can do.


It's the brainchild of Director Russ Burrows who commented: "There's so much that we provide that people are unaware of. We provide the best raid services in and around Manchester without doubt, so when people loose data from their servers or have problems with their raid arrays, we want them contacting us because using Datlabsdatarecovery gives them the best chance of getting their data back in one piece".

This is a sentiment endorsed by none other than the collaborations team at Manchester University who, in association with Mr Burrow's company are collaborating to develop the next generation of raid data recovery techniques and software. Retrieving the files from raid hard drives is one of the most demanding processes in data recovery and one of the roadshow's aims is to heighten awareness across Manchester of how the company approaches it.

The roadshow dates are as follows:
April - May 2016: Manchester Science Park
June - August 2016: Paragon Business Park, Bolton
Septemeber - November 2016: Stockport Grammar School
January - March 2017: Halifax Innovation Centre

Attending these events is free of charge and everyone is welcome. Events will run daily from 10am until 2pm and light refreshments are also provided. There are several demonstrations daily specifically about how raid systems are used and the common ways they go wrong. Specific presentations include: "Recovering the data from a broken raid 5" and "Using raid on network attached storage (NAS)".

Datlabsdatarecovery are located in Bury, Greater Manchester. To contact them call their main office number 0871 977 2999 or visit their website.

Sunday, 07. February 2016

Flashing a Computer BIOS

By cliven, 11:46
'Flashing' is actually a method of enhancing a computer's basic functioning. BIOS, or Basic Input Output System, is a very old element in PC architecture. The BIOS is software on a special chip on the motherboard that dictates the boot process, initialises essential hardware (such as the hard drives and I/O ports), and determines the abilities and capacities of the computer (such as the maximum storage size hard drive you can use).

In the past, you were stuck with whatever BIOS your motherboard came with. If newer versions of the BIOS supported larger hard drives and faster CPU's or fixed particular bugs, you needed to upgrade to either a new motherboard or a new computer. Now it's possible to just upgrade the BIOS and keep the motherboard, however it's not the same process as updating a program stored to your hard drive.

Flashing a BIOS requires special software tools, and if you make a mistake and damage or destroy the BIOS, you will turn your PC into nothing more than a really big paperweight until you replace the BIOS chip.

The process resets the CMOS to the factory configuration. Before initiating this task, record the CMOS settings. You will need this information after the BIOS is flashed so you can restore the setting to where they were prior to this exercise.

As previously mentioned, if this process goes wrong, your computer probably wont even boot. The only remedy is to secure a chip with the appropriate BIOS on board and install it on the motherboard. For this task you will need to verify ahead of time that your computer's BIOS will look at the A: drive for the boot device before the C: drive. There are dozens of specific methods of flashing BIOS chips depending on the type of motherboard and BIOS you have.

Flashing a computer does not actually write any data to the hard drive. Most people think that it does, but instead the data is written only to the BIOS chip. Writing the wrong data to the BIOS can mean the hard drive will no longer be recognised on the system unless the BIOS is updated with the correct coding or the hard drive is taken out of the computer and installed to another one. Many of us find we become very anxious when our hard drives stop working, and we think we will never see our data again. At times like these - following good sensible advice is a good idea, look at sites like http://data-recovery-tips.co.uk/ and others for guidance.

Thursday, 14. January 2016

When Is It Time To Call A Data Recovery Company?

By cliven, 13:05
A question I'm often asked in my job as computer and smartphone problem troubleshooter is "will you be able to get my data back?". I attend many different homes and businesses that have technical trouble with their computer and phone equipment and no matter what the problem, be it a faulty screen, unresponsive hard drive, or broken mobile phone it's nearly always the data held on the device that is of most importance to recover.


Sometimes I'm able to fix the problems myself and restore the data to the phone or computer, other times the problem is too complex for me to handle - I don't have the necessary tools or knowledge about what to do when faced with a particular problem. At times like these I recommend to my clients that they use the services of a data recovery company. These are companies that specialise in retrieving the data from fault storage equipment - notable hard drives and smartphones. Some of the instances where I'd recommend the use of a data recovery company are:
My iPhone is water damaged after a trip to Thailand, basically its broke and the screen will not work at all but it does still have power as i can connect it to my laptop but i cannot access the photos which is what i want, i don't want to lose my recent photos and videos.Can you help?

Hi, my parents have an external hard disk with a lot of photos on which has been dropped and no longer works. It is a Western Digital WD10EADS drive. It used to click three times before spinning down. Now it does spin up and initialises but the computer is unable to mount or read it.
Being a qualified electronics engineer and having watched a lot of reputable youtube videos I have disassembled the drive. It has no obvious platter damage, the heads were not stuck and there is no other obvious sign of damage. Suspect a head replacement is necessary. How much would you charge?

With these problems there is a clear indication that there is a serious issue with both devices. A water damaged smartphone can be recovered by the likes of Data Clinic - the British data recovery company, see this page for their phone recovery details.

The person with the ticking Western Digital hard drive has what's termed a 'physical problem' with their hard drive, insomuch as there is a broken component that can not be fixed and therefore needs to be replaced internal to the hard drive before the data can be read and transferred off. This is a problem that requires a clean room as any contaminants can destroy the hard drive when it is being worked on. Data Clinic can fix hard drives too - here is their main data recovery page.

If you have a hard drive / mobile / smartphone that you'd like the data recovered from get in touch with me first before contacting a data recovery company as I might be able to point you in the right direction and you may be able to recover the information yourself. If I can't help you then I'll tell you and point you in the direction of companies like Data Clinic.