Necessary tools for a data recovery service

I have already said that since September I have been working in the largest Turkey data recovery company. In the news I am trying to describe the most interesting events and observations.

Today I want to discuss the benefits of a microscope as a necessary tool for an engineer recovering HDD data.

Strange to say but lots of professionals who have been recovering data for a long time don't have the microscope and even don't understand the assignment of this tool. And what can we say about pioneers who rush to carry out works within the leakproof zone?

Today I have received the Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 ST3200827AS hard disk for the purpose of information recovery. The client said that he turned off the computer as always but couldn't download Windows the next morning. This disk has given me an idea to write the article.

After connecting HDD to the diagnostic terminal I have seen the following:

4096k x 16 SDRAM
F>
F>/load app code/
Buzz - Head Mask FFFF - Switch to full int.

Spin Ready
F>/start app code/
3.AAE 12-09-05 11:29 AAE,35_S_5_S1,3A
T>/load adaptives/
$Head Mask FFFF - Head Mask FFFF - Head Mask FFFF -

Problems are connected with one of the end heads. The leakproof zone's opening has shown that there are no defects on the plates visible areas and the filter is clean. It seems that you should take a donor disk and change heads. Many others do so. And then they are surprised about the fact that heads have been changed but the disk doesn't work.

Seagate HDD failure
Seagate HDD failure

These people don't use wonder of engineering - the microscope. As for me, the rule is as follows: after taking heads off the client's disk look at them carefully. Maybe you will learn something new.

Dissemble the head assembly, observe it in eyepieces. The failure reason is found.

Dusty head of Seagate HDD
Dusty head of Seagate HDD

I have added the photo of the working system head for those people who have never seen the healthy head's mr-element for reading-recording.

Correct head of Seagate HDD
Correct head of Seagate HDD

Thus, professional can understand everything immediately: the head is strewed with metal dust. It is obvious that metal dust is evidence of the incipient notch in one of invisible plates. In this case the second plate is spoiled. What will happen if head assembly is set in such a disk? Right - heads will be covered by dust, damaged and continue scratching plates. Consequently, disks data should be recovered. It is a result of unknown and unskilled "professionals" work on changing heads and testing the hard-disk.

What should you do in this case? Dismantle the package (never take plates hard with fingers still in fat of just eaten pizza, use special instruments for taking a plate :), estimate location of the scratch and make a decision about further actions. For many people it is surprise, but in this occurrence you can use native heads. Before usage you should wash off dust and mud by special composition. How? You just cannot believe but with the help of the known microscope.

It is strange but even high professionals sometimes can seriously advise to take a scrap of paper, drip alcohol, poke between heads and stretch till the end of paper. This method is good for a savage but can't be used by the high rank specialist of data recovery.

Tool for cleaning head on HDD
Tool for cleaning head on HDD

You should use such useful tool as brush of natural pile and the process is to be controlled by microscope. In this case you will see clean and dirty places and places and decide if more liquid is needed or you can dry the head with compressed air.

Correct cleaning of HDD heads
Correct cleaning of HDD heads

That is all what I have wanted to say. Hope my colleagues who don't use microscope will start to turn the catalogue pages looking for one.

Author of the article
Author of the article