Don't assume that your data is unrecoverable or recovery will cost a fortune. We can help with:
1) Don`t be tempted to put your hard drive in the freezer or give it a knock! This does not work and will only make the situation worse.
Data recovery can be expensive and time consuming. You can trust that we will make every attempt to reconstruct your data in the most cost effective way possible.
We will make every attempt to recover your data in order to avoid the more expensive in-lab recovery services that may be needed for the most severe mechanical failures
2) Let MJS Computer Services evaluate your drive. We will give you our honest opinion about the state of your hard drive and the chances of getting anything back.
Failures that occur inside the drive like a head crash (normally caused by the hard drive being dropped) require a clean room facility to try and rectify the problem.
In the event that your drive needs In-Lab Data Recovery Service you can be assured that it will be handled by the best engineers in the industry.
We can organise Clean-Room Data Recovery Services for the most severe and complex data corruption. In-Lab service recovers data from even the most severe and complex data losses. This service is required for situations where the hardware is not functioning and/or is damaged. Once your drive enters the clean-room, engineers will complete an evaluation and provide you with a complete directory file listing of the data that can be recovered. Once the recovery is complete, we return the data on the storage media of your choice. (CD, DVD, etc)
To be able to work on hard drives, clean-room engineers have engineering or electronic degrees. They work together with the hard drive manufacturers to find the best scientific approaches to hard drive failures.
With the fastest turn around time in the industry on average, most In-Lab data recovery jobs are normally completed within three business days :
We can repair all makes and models of hard drive, including Fujitsu, IBM, Maxtor, Quantum, Samsung, Toshiba, Western Digital.
Remember, we are very experienced. No matter how bad you may think the situation is, no doubt we have seen a simular situation before and have been able to help!
Data Recovery Advice
A recovery case from a Hard Drive usually comes into 5 main categories:
1. Logical Failure: Where the drive itself is working fine, but the data is inaccessible. For example, when the drive has been accidentally formatted, or the file table has become corrupted. Also applicable if a manufacturers "System Recovery" has been performed, if this is the case then it is ESSENTIAL that you do not use the PC at all. Immediately shut it down and seek professional advice. If you continue to use the machine, then there is a very good possibility that the data area will be overwritten (for example with temporary internet files) and your personal data will be lost FOR GOOD!
2. Media Issues: Where the drive has developed bad sectors, making it difficult or impossible to access via any Windows based operating system. This can be most commonly diagnosed by the fact that the hard drive is seen correctly in the BIOS (i.e. Correct Model number and capacity) and the computer locks up (freezes) when you try to access the drive. In this case a sector-by-sector image of your entire drive must be made onto a known good drive, then specialist software must be used to extract your data from this image. We have various specialist cloning facilities, including DeepSpar Disk Imager, costing thousands of dollars each, which use combinations of soft/hard resets of the drive, as well as powering the drive down if necessary, to ensure the best possible image of the faulty drive.
3. Electronic Failure: Where the logic board (PCB) has failed or died. This can be most commonly diagnosed by a completely dead drive, burning smell or making clicking noises. In this case a perfectly compatible PCB has to be located to re-enable access to the drive. This is NOT a simple matter, as nearly all drives have ROM (Mainly WD & Seagate) or NVRAM (IBM/Hitachi) information programmed into the PCB itself. This information has to be read off to a file, and then re-programmed into the donor PCB. This requires specialist hardware & software, again costing many thousands of dollars, to do this. In some models, such as Toshiba laptop drives, this ROM info is absolutely UNIQUE to the drive and so the original PCB must be repaired to facilitate the recovery. We have surface mount and hot-air soldering facilities to do this. Also, more often that not the electronic failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure)
4. Firmware Failure: This is where some modules of "firmware" on the actual platters of the drive has become damaged or corrupted. The drive requires these modules to the read from the Service Area (SA) of the drive, before it will start up and become ready. This often manifests itself by the drive spinning up as normal and sounding OK, but is inaccessible in the PC's BIOS. It may be seen as it's factory alias (e.g. "Athena" for some Maxtor drives, or "HAWK" for some WD models). To recover from this requires extremely specialist hardware and software (such as from ACE Laboratories or Salvationdata), plus years of experience and technical knowledge to repair the SA. This requires great skill and resources (such as replacement modules from compatible stock/library drives), as one small error can render your drive irrecoverable. Likewise, more often that not, the firmware failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure), especially in cases where the "G-List" (Growing defect list) has been damaged or corrupted.
5. Physical Failure: In this case, a physical fault is preventing your drive starting up. This can range from a single failed head, through complete head stack failure, to motor failure. A single head failure can be diagnosed when the drive ID's OK and starts to image well, but in patches (e.g. The DeepSpar Imager may image 150,000 sectors perfectly, then 50,000 inaccessible, and so on. In this case 1 of 4 heads has failed). A complete head stack failure usually manifests itself by clicking from the drive when it is started up. If your drive clicks at all then DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES continue to try and access it, or put it in the freezer (an "old wives tale" that WILL almost certainly destroy your data FOR GOOD). In the case of head failure, your drive needs to be disassembled in a dust-free cleanroom environment and the offending heads removed. Then the replacement heads need to be fitted, this is an EXTREMELY skilled job and not to be undertaken by unskilled personnel. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can buy a cleanroom and claim to be a "data recovery specialist", but it takes years of training and practice to be able to perform this procedure successfully. Replacement heads are also very difficult to locate sometimes, due to compatibility issues, so large resources and vast product knowledge is required. Fortunately we have thousands of spares in stock, and access to worldwide partners to locate the more difficult to find parts. In the case of motor failure, this is usually shown by the drive not spinning up at all, or making a quiet buzzing sound. In most cases, a motor failure requires the heads and platters to be removed and placed into a wood working chassis. Once more, great skill, techniques and specialist equipment is required to do this. Finally, more often that not, the failure has also caused partial media problems (bad sectors), so an image needs to be made and worked from (see above Category 2 failure).
More common failures by Manufacturer: