HDD data recovery

Hi all,

Had a pc at work go last week: PSU blown and taken GFX and HDD with it. Unfortunately there was rather a lot of data on there that i needed (cue: everyone telling me about how often i should have backed up, and haven’t :rotate:).

Just wondering if anyone has any experience of data recovery companies - who to use, how much it likely to cost etc etc…

HDD that gone (if it makes a difference)

Maxtor fireball 3
3.5 series
ATA 133



Isn’t it Peige and Preecy on here that work in hard drive data recovery?

Or was it markone? Someone mentioned last Mojo’s that at least 2 people here work on HD recovery…:wink:

Preecey is one of them… I dont know the other :slight_smile:

have used some of there software in the past, and i heartly recomend it


Getdataback works well :slight_smile:
used it on my corrupted 200 gig

getdataback is good on a working HDD;) however if its a blown hdd you indeed need the services or advice of preecey.

They remove the bits and pieces in a controlled enviroment and sometimes dump the platters on a new chassis or swap out the controller cards.

I landed up swapping out the controller card for our CEO’s home PC to ge the data off. She was very happy that I managed to get the data back.

thanks for those links, shall have a look at them,

A little more info:

can see the drive in bios, and it is identified correctly, but on boot it comes up with a fault, something like “primary HDD fault insert correct media and press any key to reboot”

Have attached it as a slave drive in a working machine, again, bios identifies it, but when in windows, it is not seen in “my computer” and is not in disk manager in administrative tools.


/edit don’t really want to try anything else for fear of damaging the drive even more

<goes and buy’s a huge stack of dvd’s and backs up everything in sight>

He said the “M” word

That I would expect… system should be seeing it as a physical drive
still but part of the setup structure is damaged so windows does not under
stand what you are presenting to it.

programs like mentioned above (getdatabackntfs) should see the disk at the
physical level and allow you to see what’s there.

In effect the ickle bit of code that tell’s the computer what type of
format the data on the drive represents has got trashed, normally assigned
when fdisk is run on a MS setup.

Well by what your describing, that the drive is identified by model name and not number, the bios message and the fact you cannot physically see the drive in windows menas that the drives firmware has failed. This is kind of like the bios for the drive, holding all the information it needs to run.
There are two ways to fix it, the cheap way involving an identical drive and the exspensive way of getting a £4000 bit of kit and software.


Sounds like the MBR to me preecey ? Windows boot disk
and a ‘fdisk /mbr’ I would have thought render the drive visiable again
but not a necessity if the drive shows up under ‘My devices’ I think if it
shows up there then getdataback should see the drive info.

There are occasions where it does not show up in computer management
so never let fool you.

nope it’s definatly a drive problem not an mbr or any other partition related problem. The problem exsists in the service area of the disk which is unaccessible to any software, thats why the message in bios ‘secondary master fail’. What is identified in the bios is the data from the pcb on the drive not it’s model from it’s firmware. The failure of the firmware is a common fault especially with the fireball and other similar slim maxtor drives.

The first method i mention involves swapping the pcb from a working booted drive while it is on but in sleep (ie spun down), then using get data back or the repair of the firmware of the faulty drive with a piece of kit i use in work on daily basis, where the drive will then behave normaly.

If your worried about damaging it, feel free to send it down this way and i’ll see what i can do :wink:

As a guide of cost, we charge about 350-400 quid for recovery for a hard drive.

For the novice is there any chance of a step by step guide.
Once the process is done do you hot swap the pcbs back over and both drives are working as if by magic or is this only to aid recovery of data befor binning your secondary drive.

I would say yes, the reason you’re swapping the PCB is because the current one is pants. Unless the platters are buggered or the heads have crashed this should work.

In the end you’ll only have 1 working PCB so in effect you only have 1 working drive.