Problems with Malware

It seems that the ICT LEA offices in Doncaster and Swinton (Manchester) have been hit by some sort of malware infection. It’s not altogether clear where this came from but the feeling is the rogue software was introduced into the network by an infected pen-drive.

MalwareMalware has corrupted my photos of my young children, a handful of photos remain but the rest just have an orange icon. There is a page asking me to access a tor page to pay the ransom, I haven’t done anything about it, just turning the laptop on occasionally and hoping it’s gone away!!! It happened about 3-4 years ago and hasn’t gone away!

I’ve had my external hard drive (Toshiba 500gb) for a month and yesterday it ceased to power up. This was at the same time that I got a warning message telling me that my computer hard disk had been infected with a malware virus. The blue light is not flashing and there’s no sound coming from it. Yesterday it ejected itself from my computer and did not work anymore. I’ve tried plugging it in to different computers and cables. What I’m really concerned about is the data on it, but if it possible to recover the hard drive itself as well that would be great.

I recently got a form of malware on my computer and i disinfected it using a malware cleaning tool from off the internet. After the program had run it told me to reboot my computer. I did this but not the laptop doesn’t make it past the start up screen, I took it to a local laptop repair guy who said the laptop needed to be re built. He managed to remove the hard drive to keep holiday photos and videos which I wanted that were on there.

Malware can be a real annoyance and sometimes it can unfortunately ruin the data on your hard drive. A useful article about how to detect and remove malware can be read at http://www.techradar.com/news/the-best-free-malware-removal-tools.

Some untypical enquiries

Hi Everyone,

broken toasterWe’ve had some strange submissions to the ICT help desk this month, including a broken toaster?? and an enquiry about a broadband office installation??? LOL – we can’t help with any of these enquiries so I thought I’d post some of the VALID queries that we CAN help with:

  • Internal Seagate drive failed in desktop pc, according to another data recovery company they said they could t do a full scan so they couldn’t do a data retrieval. I originally removed the HD from the October indentify if it it was a pc or Hd problem. When I placed the HD in an external drive reader, it noted a connection and you could hear the drive power up, but it wouldnt assign a drive letter or let me view it
  • I have deleted by mistake all my files from my hd external seagate and I would like to know how much do you charge to recover everything back.
  • I have a WD MY PASSPORT ULTRA HD 3 TB for around a year and half and suddenly 2 days ago none of my 2 computers can’t seem to access it. The HD shows on disk utility but I’m not able to access it.I have around 500 gb of personal data in there that I would like to recover. I have tried all the methods that I could find online but none have worked so far. As far as I know the HD has never been dropped or tossed.
  • Had for some time, attempted to back up – Mac not recognising drive contacted apple care, state disk corrupted and therefore cannot access. Suggest only option is to delete data, but valuable data to me (photos, videos etc) and therefore would like to recover data from hard drive before deleting. The external hard drive is an Iomega 31887300
  • My external hard drive has a mechanical fault and is doing that clicking sound. I have a lot of data on it, but the most important thing to me is about 2 years (~40gb) worth of photos.
  • I have a WD ‘My Passport’ external hard drive which unfortunately has broken (not recognised as a drive by any computer) and I stupidly have not backed up the data. When I have taken it to Curry’s PC World and a local computer shop they have said my data is unrecoverable by them but suggested some specific data recovery services may be able to do it, but it is a big maybe. I unfortunately have no clue as to the amount of data on it.
  • Macbook Air 11″ early 2014 a1465 SSD fault. SSD installed is a Toshiba 128gb. Mac won’t boot from the ssd but will once removed. Recent update to High Sierra could have disabled or broken the SSD. Only 10GB of Photos needs to be recovered. What might this cost to recover if the failure is with the ssd hardware.

So we can’t help with toasters but we can help with the above enquiries…. Speak soon!

January’s Mixed Bag

Hi All,

We’ve had a busy couple of weeks since the Christmas and New Break, so rather that concentrate singularly on hard drive, phone or “how do I get my data back?” problems, in this post I have included 3 enquiries to the service desk. Now, as we are all governed by different internal IT departments, my advice is that you search through some of the other posts on this blog to find a data recovery provider of choice. Once you’ve located one, if you’d like my personal opinion of them, please contact me privately.

Help retrieving files from Samsung S3 Neo
I was wondering if you would be able to retrieve some files from my relatives samsung s3 neo. The screen is broken but the phone boots up. I have plugged it into my pc to retrieve the files but usb debugging hasnt been enabled so I am unable to access the files without the screen being on. Is this something you could do?

Computer recognises something, but not hard drive
Booted my computer one day and one of my smaller HDDs (1TB) was just no longer visible/accessible; partitions gone, etc..
Windows could recognise that *something* was plugged in but that’s the long and short of it.
There was no work up to it, no weird noises, no drop in disk health (as far as my PC tells me), it just stopped.
I’ve switched cables out incase a cable was damaged, I switched where they were plugged into incase it was a problem with a connection, and so on.
That’s the best I can provide at the moment.
So at this point, unless anything else can be done, I’d just prefer to pull everything off it and throw in for a new HDD.
It’s not got the OS or anything crucial like that on it, it’s just a lot of everything (programs, photos, music, files, etc.) which trying to reaccumulate is more effort than it’s worth.

Dell G620 died – looking to recover photos
Computer – six years old Dell G620 has “died” and would like to try and recover picasa photos , particularly of my late wife. Other documents if possible, but not essential. Am near 80th birthday in six weeks. Can you help and at what cost? E Mail with suggestions would be helpful.

WD My Cloud EX2 Data Recovery

Welcome to 2018 everyone – I’m jumping straight in to a post about a user from Nottingham whose missing some files from a Western Digital My Cloud NAS hard drive system.

I have a WD MyCloud EX2 Ultra.
Had several ‘red lights’ for the drives – ran some tests – found some problems (well explained at https://support.wdc.com/product.aspx?ID=911 and http://data-recovery-tips.co.uk/raid-data-recovery/) but when re-booted, the same tests were normal. WD advised me to just keep an eye on it.
Was OK for a while then started getting red lights again. Sorted out an RMA with WD – they sent me out a new enclosure with two new drives.
WD gave me the wrong instructions – told me to remove one new drive, replace with one of the old drives and rebuild the RAID. It turns out I should have done RAID roaming and put both old drives in the new enclosure first before replacing one with a new drive, and then the second new drive once the RAID was re-built. So what seems to have happened is that one of my existing drives has been effectively wiped (not overwritten though I think). Now my other existing drive seems to be failing. I can’t access on of the shares at all and the dashboard says the volume is degraded.
I’ve spoken to someone at DataClinic and she advised me that I would be looking at around £500 to recover all my data and save it to the new drives – would that be about right? I’m going to try to get WD to pay for this.

WD My Cloud EX2 Ultra hard drive

I have WD my cloud box with 3 TB drive which recently stopped working. It could not be detected via network anymore. I opened a box and put the drive into laptop via sata usb cable and it can not be detected. Disk produces periodic strange noise like trying to spin but can’t + something similar to high voltage electric noise. It stops after several attempts

My external hard drive (WD Elements 4109G 1TB) set up as my Mac Time Machine drive has stopped working. It’s developed some hard drive problem but I don’t know what it is. I’m thinking of getting a My Cloud system to put my files on – perhaps an EX2 RAID NAS but what I’ve written above does not fill me with confidence. I’m not very good at technology so would have to get a data recovery company to do it.

Another year…

This will be my final post of the year and again, this year has been all about data recovery and failing hard drives. It seems that most of us aren’t backing up our data as often as we could. So if you are wondering what do to over Christmas, how about you put a backup schedule in place? You can start here: https://www.cloudberrylab.com/best-backup-schedule-for-small-business.aspx.

Following on from my last post about boot devices not being found, my hard drive stopped working was removed by Surrey CPR from a Macbook Pro after failing to boot my machine. The drive is no longer recognised by conventional methods. Surrey CPR who extracted some of the data on the drive, believe that the partition information on the drive has become corrupted but they cannot do anything else to help me. Obviously I have no data backup.
I need to boot the Macbook up from this hard drive to access certain application controlled data that uses the Macbook and drive’s signatures for security. A clone of the whole drive would probably also be an option. The drive does not require data recovery to other media. Also the drive has not suffered any damage due to dropping etc.

My Seagate external hard drive stopped working out of the blue, it’s a 1TB, but now on my recovery data software it says it’s 2TB, and it doesn’t let me scan it in any of the softwares I tried it on or even trial ones. It doesn’t recognise on my MacBook and it just asked me to initialise, ignore or eject. A bit hopeless at the moment just wondering what should I or could I do and how much would it be for your services to fix it? I never installed any backup regimen and I’m stuck – are there any solutions for it.

Finally, have a good Christmas everyone, and I’ll see you in 2018.

Boot Device Not Found

HP Pavilion computer

This post is about the ‘Boot Device Not Found‘ error message on HP Pavilion computers. NB: This error message is to do with the computer’s hard drive and I advise you to contact your local support team if you have this problem.

I dropped my hp pavilion laptop (windows 8) and when I turned it on it was bleeping at me and then stopped after about half a minute. The screen is black with a message that says:
Boot Device Not Found
Please install an operating system on your hard disk.
Hard disk (3F0)
F2 system diagnostics
I have pressed F2 and ran a hard drive check and it says:
SMART check: NOT INSTALLED
short DST: NOT INSTALLED
Is this something you would be able to repair as I have photos of my son on there that aren’t backed up.

Boot device not found error message

I have a Western Digital 2TB My Passport External Hard Drive with aprox. 1.2TB of data on. When connected to my HP Pavilion PC it makes a clicking sound for a few seconds and isn’t recognised by my laptop anymore, so I’m sure it’s a mechanical fault. I get a message like “boot device not found” or similar. I can supply a 2nd hd to place any recovered files onto.

External hard drive taking ages to open and then data does not appear in the files. Most of data is camcorder footage.
How long does it take to retrieve the data?

My HP laptop recently stopped working. I took it to a local computer shop, who advised that there was a mechanical fault on the hard drive. I am interested in recovering the data held on the hard drive. Are you able to assist?

I was wondering if you would be able to help my mum has deleted her photos and videos by accident from her Pavilion laptop would you’s be able to get them back for her and if you can how much is the cost for this please.

My wifes 6 year old HP Pavilion computer which she kept using against my advice (the first one!) has developed an error where it can’t find the boot device. It finally stopped working completely / won’t charge or switch on. The phone has family photos and videos on it that weren’t backed up (as connecting drive via USB stopped working a while back). Just wondering what the chances are you can retrieve the video files and photos and how much the cost would be, also where you are based / how we would get the device to you.

Seagate expansion, Dropped it. It is read by laptop but cant see it appearing in my computer. Does not any weird noise.

Service Desk Call Summary – October 2017

Hi All,

it support personHere’s a summary of the data recovery enquiries we’ve had at the Service Desk this last month. If you have a similar problem please remember to raise the issue with your local ICT engineer first!

  • Hard disk is making clicking noise and wont be seen as a device in my PC. Need to recover files , pictures etc.
  • I’m looking for a quote to recover data from my external hard drive. I think it may have been dropped at one point as it’s making a strange noise and my laptop won’t read the device. I also wanted to know if it’s not recovered, will I still have to pay the full price?
  • It is a external WD My Passport Hard Drive. I think it could be 1 TB, but not sure.
  • It stopped being recognised by the computer.
  • When plugged in, it buzz and the light turns on, but windows doesnt recognise it
  • I own a Toshiba 1TB external hard drive which was recently dropped, causing the drive to develop a ‘click’ and rendering its data inaccessible. I phoned earlier today and explained the situation to Phil, who kindly provided me with a breakdown of the costs involved in recovering the data – I’ve given it some thought, and have decided I would like to use your service (I’m based in London).
  • I have a seagate 1tb external hard-drive and it is no longer working.
  • I have a Seagate Free Agent GoFlex 1.5TB HDD (PN: 9zFAD1-500 1.5 TB). It will not initialise on Mac OS (Sierra) or Windows (8.1) but is recognised when plugged in on both OSs.
  • Seagate ST2000LM003. The HDD stopped working after knocking the laptop onto the floor – therefore presuming it is a mechanical failure.
  • My external hard disk is not detecting on my PC. Until couple of weeks ago, I could see the blue light on it (indication light) on the hard disk. However, now there is no light as well as I can hear a ‘tick tick tick’ sound from it. All I want is to retrieve my word and pdf files.
  • I own a WD 2TB portable drive.The serial number of the drive: *WX91A47AS8HE* P/N: WDBU6Y0020BBK-WESN. I tried various recovery options thinking it was corrupt but to no avail so, I have had to open it to check whether it was a software or a mechanical issue so this where it is at : The floater heads mechanism is not moving and the discs are not spinning. The discs appear to be in good condition. No visible scratches dust or particles. Would it possible to remove the disks and read them on another device or fix the floaters.

Until next month!

RAID and NAS Data Recovery

Once again we’ve had some more problems with people losing data from RAID arrays and NAS servers that have crashed before they could take a backup of their data. I’d like to reiterate that in ALL cases of RAID and NAS failure, people should report the problems to our RAID and NAS specialists Data Clinic on their RAID page here https://www.dataclinic.co.uk/raid-data-recovery/.

IT helpdesk iconRAID

I currently run my own small hosting company and we have a requirement for data recovery. We had one of our raid arrays crashed x4 disks and I need to recover the data,
we know what number disk failed and what are good, they are running Raid 5 BTRFS the side of the disk is 4TB and have a number of xenserver disks on them, we only need one disk on the lun with the client data as we have other backups from Saturday. The size of the virtual disk we need is 509.9 GB

NAS

Qnap ts 121 single bay 2tb used for my ripped music and pictures it is say hard drive not found and my qnap cloud has been shut down . Could you give me price please for a recovery and a replacement hard drive.

Synology NAS RAID

The volume crashed on my Synology NAS when one of the three 4TB Seagate drives failed .
It’s set up as a Synology Hybrid Raid (SHR).
The technician at Synology indicated that there were some ATA errors around the time of the volume crash and that the RAID information looks absolutely fine, but there appears to be file system errors which prevent it from mounting correctly.”

Linkstation in EM Mode

My Linkstation live LSXL812 is in EM mode and I can’t access shared files. We have a SONOS sound system throughout the house and need the link station for music. My laptop is giving me the message that I do not have permission to access the music files on my laptop. I have tried to download the update, but the linkstation has disappeared from the network and I cannot find an IP address to work with (and probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if I found it!).

Note: If anyone needs authorisation about sending their RAID or NAS equipment offsite, please contact us at Technical Support.

Mobile phone damaged – need data

Here are some of the recent phone problems that have come into us on the computer support desk. Can I refer everyone to one of my previous posts about recovering files from mobile phones.

I’ve just found this website on google after searching for data recovery companies and am very much hoping you can help.
I had my Huawei phone charging in my laptop. I heard it play a start up tune which I had never heard it play before. I looked at the screen which read ‘Internal storage damaged‘. I tried taking the battery/sim/sd card out but to no avail.
Two options are given on the device when I turn it on now: to restart the phone (made no difference) and factory reset (I am reluctant to do so as I do not want to lose any data which I may potentially be able to get back).
Is this something you can help with? My main concern is getting the data back (sms/whatspp/notes/saved web bookmarks/contacts/pictures etc) but getting the phone working again would also be a bonus.

manchester phone user

I have an iPhone 5s which has been thrown on the floor and the screen has disconnected from the base. i have tried plugging it into my macbook to recover the data but the device is not being recognised. the main thing i want to recover from the phone i the pictures. would this be possible?

Have sent Samsung S6 edge to a data recovery company. They have said – “Diagnosis results have shown that in order to attempt the data recovery the media needs LAB time to crate a direct dump of the memory whether via a direct wired connection to service contacts of the memory or removal of the memory itself to allow a direct dump of the contents which will then require investigation to decipher any data modification algorithms and assembly parameters before we can make attempts to extract the data. This is a highly skilled process but unfortunately isn’t infallible and the chance of successful recovery once the process has been completed is approx 70%. The cost of this is £225 plus vat. Non refundable if unsuccessful.”

I dropped my phone into water, it is not turning on and I would like to retrieve my photos is possible!

How to cope with unmountable boot volume

The “Unmountable Boot Volume” error message is seen when there is a corruption to the computer’s filesystem. It’s an error message that’s only seen on Windows machines and concerns the FAT32 MS-DOS file and operating systems.

The laptop has failed, with the error unmountable boot volume, and gives a code on the HP diagnostic page, that refers back to Hp and gives error, harddrive failure, Can you do anything for me to retrieve all the data off it ?
In this condition, The laptop has a 2TB drive installed, and i can supply a 2TB drive to store retrieved info on to it.

unmountable boot volume

USB External HD in casing, unfortunately fell from a top shelf. Windows/Linux will not pick up HD via USB, HD light is constantly ON, no HD Spinning or read activity. Size 1.5GB, File format NTFS. I get an error very similar to “can’t mount volume [boot device]”

Possible bump caused the drive arm to lock out. This is what I was told in a local shop. Need to know how much it will cost to recover.

I have a LaCie external hard drive that I think has been knocked. It won’t power up (Power LED doesn’t light). I’d like to either have it fixed or have the data transferred to another HDD which I can provide. There is less than 500GB of data. I’ve been quoted GBP 350 as a recovery price which I think is too expensive so I’d like to get your estimate. I need the whole volume back, it’s my boot drive.

I have a Hitachi xl2000 2.0tb external hard drive that I hope you can recover. It was knocked to the floor by accident and started clicking when I powered it up so I immediately turned it off – the screen says UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. I took it to a local “specialist” who took it apart and said they cannot recover it. I needed to send it away to another “specialist” … I received it back in bits and am now so anxious all my photos are now gone. And they are old sentimental ones.

I have a mechanical problem. The disk spins in an unusual way. Power seems to be ok. My computer doesn’t mount the drive.

120GB 2.5″ external hard drive, is in casing, fell on floor last year, intact but won’t boot/mount as expected on my machines. MS-DOS/FAT as I recall.