Hard Disk Drive Data Recovery

Here at Western Data Recovery we recover data from all types of media. Here we outline our Hard Disk Drive Data Recovery Services.

These are Hard Disk Drives of varying makes and models. If you have a different type of media choose the appropriate media type from the menu bar at the top of the page.

Hard drives are within everything around us. Computers, security systems, and even airplanes rely on hard disk drives to store mass amounts of data. Sadly hard disk drives do not last forever. Whether it be failure from natural degradation, or from human error (maybe your spouse had a go with a bat?) hard disk drives do fail. Hopefully you have been backing up your data, but if you haven’t you don’t have to worry, we are here to help. With over 15 years in the Data Recovery industry Western Data Recovery is proud to boast the best in service, knowledge, price, and satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with our hard disk drive data recovery services you wont pay us a single dollar! Feel great knowing that your hard disk drive is in the best hands possible!

Hard Disk Data Recovery

Hard disk data recovery is possible because of residual data, which means that some data continues to exist on the hard disk drive even after it has been deleted, overwritten or lost. Residual data is beneficial to hard disk data recovery.

The process of hard disk data recovery entails finding the data that the operating system is unaware of, but still exists in individual sectors on the hard disk drive. However, sectors that have become corrupted or physically damaged may be unrecoverable. In these cases, hard disk drive recovery has a greater likelihood of success if it is attempted immediately after the failure so as to not give the sectors with missing data an opportunity to be overwritten.

The first step in recovering from a data loss is to ascertain whether the loss is a result of a Mechanical failure (i.e. broken hardware), or a Logical failure (i.e. corruption, bad sectors, missing or corrupt MFT).

It may be possible on a logically failed hard drive to successfully run data recovery software and retrieve data. Consideration should however be given to recovery techniques which will minimize drive access. For example, an MFT recovery rather than a block scan of the entire drive. It may also be advisable to attempt to acquire a sector by sector hard disk drive image of the data.

In more serious cases, it is necessary to send the hard disk drive to a professional data recovery service. Hardware data recovery is a more expensive method as Technicians may need to disassemble the hard drive to replace failing parts and recover the data. This process takes place in a specialized Clean Room facility as hard drives are manufactured in the same type of facility to avoid damage caused by dust and other particulate matter in the air. Hard disk drives are finely tuned machines and it takes special equipment and facilities to read the Platters from a mechanically failed drive.

Symptoms of a Mechanical Hard Drive Failure

There are a number of symptoms or warning factors that can alert you to a physical drive failure. These include:

Hard Drive shows as “Non Initialized” in Windows Disk Management.

Windows Disk Management lists the hard drives that are recognized by the computer and the way in which the storage space on those drives is allocated. A “Non Initialized” error message is a signal of a fundamental communication error. Usually an attempt to initialize a Mechanical failed hard drive will result in a low level “I/O” (Input/Output) error

Hard Disk Drive PCB.

Hard Drive is not spinning (no power).

If a correctly powered hard drive is not spinning (I.E. Drive is silent), it can be an indication of a problem with the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) that is attached to a hard drive. The PCB is responsible for controlling the operation of the drive and it’s communication to the computer. It is possible to replace a PCB, but this should only be attempted by an experienced Data Recovery Technician. It is essential that the replacement PCB not only be correct make and model for the hard drive, but must also contain the identical firmware as the original PCB

Scored Platters

Overheated hard drive.

A traditional (non-solid state) drive contains disks called Platters. The Platters are coated with a specialized magnetic substance and spin at high speed under a mechanical arm. This is called the Actuator arm. This arm moves backwards and forwards over the surfaces of the platters. On the end of this fragile metal arm are Heads. These read the data on the platters. Along the length of the arm is a copper wire. This wire is used by the computer to send a pulse which changes the state of the magnetic surface of a Platter as it passes underneath. The heat tolerances within a hard drive are precisely calibrated. As with any mechanical moving parts, movement causes friction which generates heat. A mechanical failure (or pending mechanical failure) may therefore be present as an Overheated hard drive.

Loud clicking, grinding, or ticking noise.

In some cases, a failing hard drive will generate loud clicking, grinding or ticking noises. This is an indicator that the hard disk drive has bad sectors or is mechanically failing. The noise is generated by the actuator arm returning to the same position on the platters in an attempt to read the data. This can cause severe damage to the platters and cause data loss. If the computer is indicating this type of failure, it is highly recommended the computer be turned off immediately.

Note: An External Hard Disk Drive provides a secondary source for data storage. External hard disk drives are also subject to failure. When you experience an external drive failure, part of the recovery procedure is to remove the outer case which houses the hard drive. This is should always be performed in a Clean Room facility.

What is Possible?

  • Recovery of deleted computer files
  • Data recovery even after a hard drive has been reformatted, re-partitioned, or corrupted
  • Master Boot Record and Master File Table repair
  • In many cases encrypted files can be recovered through decryption
  • Discovery of attempts to conceal or destroy evidence
  • Repair of physically damaged drives

Data Recovery

We are one of a mere handful of companies worldwide that specialize in the restoration and retrieval of computer data. Our specialists can recover data from virtually any medium including:

  • Desktop Computers
  • Laptop Computers
  • Compact Disks
  • Floppy Disks
  • Zip Disks
  • Flash Drives
  • Portable Storage Devices
  • All Manner of Digital Camera Storage Cards
  • Tape Backup
  • RAID Sets | Servers
  • SSD
  • Smart Phones
  • Tablets

What we offer

We provide:

  • Free Shipping
  • Free No Obligation Diagnostics
  • Standard, Expedited, or Emergency Services
  • The best in affordability, speed, reliability, and customer service

We provide services for individuals, law firms, corporations, Provincial, State and Federal Agencies.