Data Forensics and Data Recovery Services

Seagate External Hard Drive Data Recovery Services. 1TB External Seagate ( Samsung ST1000LM024 ) clicking and buzzing sounds

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Data Recovery1 TB External Seagate ( Samsung ST1000LM024 ) clicking and buzzing sounds
Client:Media Company in Northern Ireland, Belfast UK
Issue:Hard drive not recognized , clicking and beeping. Need full data recovery service
Outcome:100% recovered, HFS+ formatted drive, file fault encrypted, client provided password
Sold as:Seagate Backup Plus for Mac, Seagate Portable, Seagate Expansion Plus, 1TB LaCie , 1TB Maxtor, 1TB Samsung external hard drive

After replacing the reading heads 100% of customer data was recovered from this Seagate external hard drive.

If you ever had a 1 TB external hard drive failing, like the one we had in today from Seagate then you should contact us and ask us for a quote and see how we can help you with all your data recovery needs.

The Seagate drive we were working on today was a Seagate backup plus for Mac portable hard drive with a capacity of 1 TB.

After the enclosure of the drive was removed, we actually found a Samsung branded hard drive on the inside, the model quite common and was an ST1000LM024 Momentus Spinpoint hard drive. This hard drive is a good hard drive and normally if those drives getting dropped there is a good chance to get the data back. A very robust drive not like the Seagate rosewood hard drives which will just fail for no reason or they shred themselves or cause damage to the magnetic surface.

This Seagate backup plus for Mac portable hard drive 1TB came in and it was diagnosed with beeping and buzzing sound after it was dropped from the table.

What we did is, we took the hard drive in our cleanroom for closer inspection of the media.

Don’t even think a YouTube video showing you how to do that is straightforward it’s not normally easy to work on.

Normally an untrained person, we consider any computer shop also unqualified as they do not have the tools and understanding working on Seagate hard drive and they play around with it on the inside.

If it is being tempered with 1 out of 20 cases it might be still able to recover but 99% chance that once the hard drive has been opened by a non-trained person that’s game over for any data recovery service.

We opened the hard drive in our laminar flow cabinet and the reading heads actually got stuck on the media surface itself and also the heads took a little bent, which is in line with what happens with a hard drive that was dropped.

So what we did is on the hard drive we actually use a special tool to unstuck the reading heads from the magnetic surface and bring the heads back onto the ramp.

After the heads are on the ramp, we removed the whole set of reading heads from the hard drive and we replaced it with a new set of reading heads from a suitable donor drive which worked in this case very well and we were able to recover 100% of the customer data.
The only problem we encountered after replacing the reading heads on that Seagate portable drive was it was secured with apple FileVault encryption so we had to ask the client to provide the password to decrypt the drive. If no password would be provided this would mean game over as encryption is used to protect your data and it would take billions of years to break the encryption.

After the Seagate reading heads were replaced, we used PC3000 from ACE labs for the imaging. Everything seemed to be fine the firmware diagnostics came back positive and what we did at that stage we actually use DeepSpar DDI4 imager for imaging the hard drive and about four hours later every single block of the drive was read with a 100% success rate and we were able after that to copy the data onto a working drive and from there we decrypted the FileVault encrypted drive with a MacBook.

How much does such a data recovery service cost?

Keep in mind this requires a lot of skills, and a lot of very expensive tools, data recovery experience.

We have to use a laminar flow cleanroom cabinet to work in a controlled, dust-free environment to make sure there is no contamination to the magnetic surface.

Plus removing reading heads is difficult and a lot of things can go wrong. I don’t understand why people see on YouTube a video showing damaging data recovery videos and think they can do it themselves, trust me they cannot and if they try they make it worse

In most case and time the hard drives will just simply be unrecoverable. If a hard drive would have been opened before and yes we can see that because there are safety stickers on the drives we will charge a bench fee of £150 non-refundable. Why? Because it makes a professional data recovery service even more complicated and a waste of time knowing that it was wrecked anyway.

The question now is how much did it cost for the data recovery. The basic data recovery price for a 1TB Seagate hard drive regardless of how much data is on there is £330 including VAT plus the drive was encrypted so we charge an extra £120 to strip of the encryption.

Encryptions make data recovery much harder because now we have to image the whole drive which could be very problematic if the drive is very unstable, and it can easily double the effort and time that is required to do data recovery from an encrypted Seagate hard drive.

Thanks for reading my article, my name is Nico and I’m a Data Recovery Techie that goes the last mile. I try to post every week one or two data recovery jobs about various hard drives, showing the problems that might come up and what the chances are.
I still believe that any data recovery company advertising a 99% success rate is just lying or just does marketing, it is technically not possible or realistically to archive 99% data recovery success. 75% of all jobs we get in for data recovery we can recover the data there will be the 2 to 3 drives out of 10 that are simply nonrecoverable because they either have been tampered with or are too badly damaged.

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