Remember that crappy WD Passport 160GB that dropped about a foot and died on me completely?

Well, you will be glad to know that the data within the drive has been almost completely recovered. 120GB of it, by a company I dealt with in the States: First Advantage Data Recovery to the tune of US$1,400!

They’ve just sent me the directory listing and said that they will send me the data on an external drive today. Yippee!

Good News!™

The test results for your failed hard drive are in and have shown that the Head Rack Assembly is the failure mechanism. The Head Rack Assembly (HRA) is the latticework that supports the read/write heads; there is one head per surface. Attached to the back end of the assembly is a voice coil positioned between two ferrite magnets. Energizing the voice coil will drive the read/write heads to the location on the media for reading or writing.

drive mechanism

When this device fails, the drive will typically make a clicking sound. The only choice here is to replace and realign the failed HRA with one that matches it from a “donor” drive. This transplant procedure is performed in a clean room environment by highly skilled engineers. This procedure does not fix your drive for you to reuse but instead enables us the chance to acquire the raw data (sectors) from the drive. If we have a good sector dump from the drive and the file system is not affected, then we will be able to see the folder and file structure that you were used to seeing and recover your data. What is described here is the primary cause of failure, other issues may exist.

Needless to say, the second drive that went belly up on me, the MacBook’s internal drive is on the way to them as I write this.

  • ammar456
    18 July 2007

    Silly how much these things cost to recover data; but hey, just make sure you’re keeping back-ups all the time. Glad to know you actually managed to get your data back!

  • mahmood
    18 July 2007

    I’ve got a 500GB external connected continuously now and through SuperDuper I backup every day!

    Now I’m getting another 500GB to use that to backup the backup and store that one off site.

  • bahrainiac
    18 July 2007

    Mabrook! :mrgreen:
    Double backups are the way to go. I have a WD NetCenter 250GB that all my PCs in the house backup to every night. I in-turn back up the NetCenter to a Maxtor OneTouch II 300GB every month.
    Can’t be too cautious!

  • Ibn
    18 July 2007

    Theres gotta be some mechanical shock-proof drive casing out there that can be bought as an accessory … maybe you should look into it Mahmood! (And let me know what you find) :mrgreen:


  • bernie
    18 July 2007

    I hate to point out the obvious and if you have already mentioned this I apologise but, have you ever thought of backing up the data occasionally?

    I shall now run and hide from the cutting comment winging it’s way back to me at a high rate of speed. 😈

  • mahmood
    19 July 2007

    Bernie, like others I just trust technology far too much, and think that the more expensive something is, naturally it is better and will last for ever. I fall into this trap time and again even after being profusely slapped by the very same much-trusted technology countless times.

    Who would have thought that a lovely barely one year old laptop made by Almighty Apple would crash so resoundingly? Just out of the blue? When prior to that I had a lowly Dell that I used for 4 years and used it for everything including being a door-stop and it’s STILL running quite strongly, so much so that my engineer inherited it and still use it?

    But crash it did. And you’re absolutely right, the only mug to blame is me. I should have known better.

    But wait! I did back up my data on an external drive! It was the WD Passport 160GB! It is that that has been resurrected and checking the listing I received from the data recovery company it contains all of my recent and historic files. It was supposed to be my backup of the backup and that died, followed rather shortly by the internal disk.

    It is fortunate that I had another (3rd) backup on the server, unfortunately that was 4 months old, so not all is lost.

    The essence of the deal is that although there were many backups, there was no strategy, and it is this that we are trying to formulate now (and urgently) for the office.

    In short, yes, I though of backing up the data occasionally, but never implemented it!

    No need to run and hide, you’ve done nothing wrong!

The evils of Secularism