/ Recommend a data recovery service/software?

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JJL - on 12:13 Tue

Daughter's external hard drive has failed (Seagate 1TB) - it lights up and whirrs but the computer doesn't recognise it as a drive any more.

It's not the cable (tried a different drive - ok; tried a different cable - not ok).
It's not the computer (tried drive in a different Mac - not ok).

So I'm guessing the file directory is kaput? Or might it be mechanical?

Any recommendations for either diagnostic software (bearing in mind the computer doesn't even know there's a drive on the port despite feeding it electricity), or a recovery service?

Is there a recovery service that isn't rapaciously priced?

It was bought for her as backupdrive, but she's used it as primary it seems. She's also a bit remiss in chucking the computer about whilst it's on.

Sadly the drive is 1 month past its 12 month warranty.

Suggestions appreciated!
Post edited at 12:13
Rob Parsons on 12:29 Tue
In reply to JJL:

As you say - recovery s/w is of no help at this stage: you first need to be able to talk to the drive.

Any commercial recovery service will be expensive - but how much is the data worth to you?

Inside the drive casing, there will be a disc drive itself along with some interfacing electronics (SATA<->USB). So, if you fancy it, you could open up the box, remove the actual drive, and then see if you can talk to that directly via its SATA connection.

Good luck.



NeilMac - on 12:33 Tue
In reply to JJL:

I've successfully used Recuva from Piriform to retrieve data from various types of knackered memory cards/drives but not (thankfully!) had to restore an external drive like this. Have a look - it's free too!

https://www.piriform.com/recuva
captain paranoia - on 12:55 Tue
In reply to JJL:

> Sadly the drive is 1 month past its 12 month warranty.

Irrelevant.

Warranty only covers replacement of the HDD. No manufacturer offers data recovery as part of their HDD warranty; that's what backup disks are for. BTW, one year sounds very poor warranty; WD offer three years.

Data recovery of a broken drive is hard, and requires a clean room and specialised equipment. That's why it's not cheap.

Try looking for a SMART diagnostic app for the drive; if the electrical interface is still intact, it might be able to tell you what's gone wrong with the drive.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.M.A.R.T.
http://www.howtogeek.com/134735/how-to-see-if-your-hard-drive-is-dying/
krikoman - on 13:45 Tue
In reply to JJL:
I'd try what Rob said, sometimes it's just the USB controller interface.

I've just had trouble with an SD card which while it wasn't "seen" by the computer managed to stop Explorer running. I tried all sorts but in the end had to give up.

Good Luck.
Post edited at 13:45
gethin_allen on 15:57 Tue
In reply to JJL:

Whatever you do don't use Fields Data Recovery.
markmsp - on 16:06 Tue
In reply to JJL:

Gather more information before considering opening the enclosure.

Give us more detail:
- What model of Seagate is it?
- Does it appear in Disk Utility on a Mac?

captain paranoia - on 16:34 Tue
In reply to Rob Parsons:

> Inside the drive casing, there will be a disc drive itself along with some interfacing electronics (SATA<->USB).

It depends; some USB HDDs have a dedicated, direct USB interface, and there is no SATA interface (2.5" portables especially). Bigger 3.5" drives might still use a SATA HDD and USB to SATA interface.
wercat on 16:48 Tue
In reply to JJL:

sometimes a linux machine will be better at detecting a drive than other OS systems if you have access.
The Lemming - on 17:09 Tue
In reply to JJL:

One month past a warranty?

You could try the customer rights act 2015.

A product has to work for a reasonable period of time, irrespective of what the warranty says.

You could give it a try for a new one.
charley - on 17:24 Tue
In reply to JJL:
Any ticking noises when it's plugged in? Does it sound like it's struggling to spin? If so the freezer trick might be worth a try - worked on a couple of my drives in the past.
Post edited at 17:24
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JJL - on 08:07 Wed
In reply to all:

Many thanks. Not up for taking it apart so will use a service and hope!
Thanks again for the help


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