Seagate data recovery

This month we’ve had several Seagate hard drives in for file recovery operations – here are the details:

Seagate hard drive logoKeith, Luton
I have an old IDE hard drive from a friend who wants to get the data off (photographs in the main). The pins on the IDE connector are damaged so I’m looking for a donor drive to make the swap and get the data.
It’s a Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 300GB;
Model: ST3300831A
P/N: 9Y7284-029
Firmware: 4.40
Date Code: 06145 Site Code: AMK

Alison, Dunstable
I have a Seagate hard drive which stopped spinning up and is no longer recognised by the BIOS/Windows as a connected drive. After googling the problem, I suspect the PCB has died. I have ordered a replacement PCB for the drive, but it requires the ROM chip to be moved from the original board to the new board and I am probably not skilled enough for this work.
I was wondering if you would be able to undertake this work and how much it would cost. Also, in the scenario where this doesn’t work, I would like to know how much a full repair would be.
The hard drive is a Seagate Barracuda 2TB HDD, Model: ST2000DM001

Roger, Eastbourne
I have a Seagate expansion drive which won’t power up.
It spins and then makes a couple of clicks and then dies.
I’ve tried mounting it via a computer internally with the same results.
It has been accidentally dropped, therefore I suspect that the problem is hardware related…
I would like an idea of how much you would change to recover all recoverable files and transfer them to another hard drive which I am happy to provide?

If you have a hard drive problem and just need another hard drive simply contact your local LEA ICT centre, if you need the files from the drive then come to me as we’ll need to create a data recovery ticket for you.

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

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:

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.

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

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


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.

Many Problems, Some Solutions

humourless womanSome people say I haven’t got a sense of humour…. Come on seriously, me?
Anyway I haven’t taken offence and in this post will discuss what some of you people have done to your phones and data drives. So, here we go…

Laptop had a very hard fall and is very broken. HD removed and is not spinning and no noise from read heads. Noticed circuit board damaged, board removed and broken chip found. Replaced circuit board with board from same modle HD (but smaller GB), both boards have same modle number but different revision numbers. With new board platters can be heard spinnig and read heads moving, but only for about 5-10 seconds. HD not being recognised when attached to my old PC. Drive is a Western Digital 750GB WD7500BPKT ( with 6 or 7 partitions, running Win7

My Samsung galaxy a5 is broken with a smashed blank screen but still vibrates as if it has received a text. I would like to retrieve photos and my calendar from it.

i have a 128GB SSD which has been partially overwritten, would it be possible to recover anything from this?

The hard drive makes a few clicking sounds, then its like the sound changes to very quiet.
Barracuda XT 2TB
P/N: 9GV168 – 036
Firmware: CC44
Date code: 12153

I accidently dropped my 8TB external hard drive on a soft floor and now it is not recognised by my laptop.

iphone 5s
Tries to turn on, goes to the Apple logo for about 20 seconds and then screen goes black [], Sometimes phone repeats this cycle, sometimes not.
Tried updating the software via iTunes, update failed.
Tried recovery mode, also failed.
The phone has a lot of family photos and notes which are not backed up so we cannot do a factory reset. We are less bothered about the phone than the photos and notes, so if they can be saved but it means damaging the phone beyond repair then that is okay. Obviously if the data can be retrieved and the phone fixed then that is a bonus. Could you advise likely prices for only data retrieval, and/or data and phone fix.

My device is one of the original 42 GB white iPods. It powers up but is not able to read the internal drive. Can u recover the music files onto an external hard drive? I am currently in China but back in the U.K. In August.

I have an external hard drive that does not seem to boot up. You can hear it trying too but the drive doesn’t seem to kick in. When connected to my mac the light is on so it is working but not able to be read. I have tried it in various computers. I would like a quote for getting the data off of this hard drive.
It is a My Passport for MAC.

I would like to have an estimated budget for recovering the data (mostly pictures and office documents).
Hard disk model:
Hard disk Toshiba, 750GB.
Disk read error
Unstable/Failing read/write heads
Hard disk drive/s have failed
Media surface is degraded
Read write heads are bad

See what I have to contend with??? No wonder I can lose my humour at times!

ZFS Recovery

zfsA number of systems have arrived that have the ZFS file system installed on them. Whilst straightforward and offering more rich features than most file systems, so people have run into problems with data loss and repartitioning. My advice is that if anyone finds a problem on their ZFS file system, not to tackle it themselves but instead contact the ICT on let us deal with it! Some offsite workers have had some success with the data recovery services of Datlabs Data Recovery. We haven’t used them yet so I am unable to pass comment.

I accidentally deleted a ZFS volume while using FreeNAS corral. Panicked and decided to do a clean install of FreeNas 9.10. When I tried to import the volume it didn’t show up in the gui, so I went to the console and ran “zpool import -D”. This showed the pool and said that since it had last been used on a different system I would have to use –f to import it. I ran “zpool import -D -f MassStorage”. This didn’t seem to do anything and now I can’t find the volume at all. Can you help?

Again I reiterate – contact me or an ICT team member if you have ZFS problems, Linux users please ensure you are up to date with your software patches also!!!!

Happy Xmas 2016 Everyone

Happy Xmas

Hello everyone and here’s me and the ICT Dept wishing you all a very happy xmas for 2016.

Here are our opening times over the Xmas and New Year break:

Friday 23rd Dec: Close at noon
Monday 26th Dec: Closed all day
Tuesday 27th Dec: Closed all day
Wednesday 28th Dec: Reopen at noon – 5pm

Monday 2nd Jan 2017: Closed all day
Tuesday 3rd Jan 2017: Open from 9am

Please note during the holiday period we will not be running an out of hours service!

I politely suggest you give yourself a holiday and don’t work over this period anyway!

In the meantime…. more problems with hard drives… >>> (Remember, ICT is NOT open over the festive break. If you require hard drive recovery of similar I suggest you look for a local one on a trusted data recovery blog site such as Recover Deleted Data.

I have a Mac formatted 500GB external hard drive which is pretty much full. It has become unreadable on my Mac laptop, but it can be read through HFS Explorer via a PC. I have managed to extract the odd file but to copy 500GB seems like it would take days using this method so I am looking for a quick turnaround service to get the data extracted and saved to a new Mac formatted drive (this can be provided).

I have a seagate external hard drive, the old version that requires a power socket.
Since moving house it hasn’t worked, I suspect it suffered a knock during the move.
When plugged into a computer, it is not recognised as plugged in and bleeps and makes a struggling whirring sound.
I have photos and music that are over 20 years old and really need to recover them.

I have recently encountered a problem with my old laptops hard drive, which up to 3 weeks ago was still functioning properly. However, last week I didn’t manage to boot my laptop as the hard drive couldn’t be detected! This may be a long shot as it is a 6 year old laptop and it may have just given up. The last thing I was doing on my laptop was downloading and installing a video game on Steam.
Please let me know through email what my options are.

My 16GB USB memory stick is requesting I format it. The system is no longer recognising the device. Is it something that can be saved?

I have dropped my sea gate hard drive, the light came on when I plugged it in, but the drive didn’t appear

The external hard drive was used to set up a PC with Windows 10. The windows download tool was added to it. Now all the previous files have been wiped and it just has setup files. Is there anyway of recovering the old files?

I’ve got a 2,5inch 230GB hard drive used as a back-up, but it stopped working. I can hear it spin up, but no read, I think I heard a click as weel but not sure.
What would be the cost to fix this?

Drive stopped working. As external and moved often, possible impact damage. Drive still powers up and spins. Can be viewed in device manager and disk utility (PC/Mac) but no data read. Personal drive containing media, documents, photos etc.

Mechanical Failures on HDD’s

Several LEA admins have reportedly that some student systems are running ever more slower, which is impacting on server availability across the academic network. Rather than rebuild the system, I advise Tech Support teams to run some hard drive diagnostics as I’ve found that the latest batch of hard drives received as not as good as previous batches.

Mechanical failure – nothing unusual preceded it. It happened as I was playing a game, everything slowed down and then the clicking started. Failed to boot up past the Asus logo after that. It goes without saying that the HDD is incredibly important to me – please help!

Samsung / Maxtor hard driveThe problem I am facing is that my external hard drive (Samsung Portable M3 1 TB) does not appear on “my computer” window (so I cannot access it) although it appears in “device manager”.
I have plugged in the external hard disk drive to 3 different computers and the outcome was the same as above stated. Moreover, its power light is on when plugged in to any computer and the boot procedure of the computer takes too long when the external drive is connected. Also, if I uninstall the drivers of the external hard disk, the reinstallation fails since the connected hard disk is “partially” not recognized.
Furthermore, when the external drive is plugged in a usb port it makes a thin noise for about 4 -5 seconds as if it is trying to read out the data and then it stops.
Regarding the data stored on my external drive, their size is approximately 250 GB which I would like to back up in order not to lose them. I would appreciate if I could have a first estimation regarding the severity of my disk’s problem and an approximate repair and data back-up cost.
My preference is to communicate via email rather than phone.

Macbook Pro 13″ Retina 2014 with 250GB SSD hard drive failed. Mac Store Covent Garden checked and could only boot from the store OS X the drive itself was not visible. Mac Store test highlighted drive failure and recommended Data recovery (yourselves and Kroll).
Prior to Mac Store test I tried Target mode (no joy) I tried download from Apple for OS X – first issue said hard drive needed formatting, second issue failed entirely to see it. Now only see Disk 0 and visibility of files but no access.
Could you email in the first instance as I cannot take calls easily at work.

I have a Drobo device connected to a Mac computer
I can’t access my photos
In essence it’s holding my photos to ransom
Could you help ?

SSDs and Other Items

Hooray we've finally got rid of these ancient CRT machines that were blighting central IT services buildings!

Hooray we’ve finally got rid of these ancient CRT machines that were blighting central IT services buildings!

The 3rd quarter rollout of new kit across the LEA has bought with it a fair few problems (I hate to say I told you so, but I did), when Monks School in Cambridge losing a server due to a bad SSD upgrade and several Director’s new iPhones being incorrectly synch’ed with the cloud during the Teacher’s Conference in August. Ho-hum, and that’s not all – here are some other issues that have been bought to my attention, send to me by various colleagues across the LEA.

SSD Recover Data Required

I have a failed samsung sata 1tb sad hard drive. I can hear the device spinning and it gets recognised when I connect the drive via sata to usb cable to windows PC, but cannot open the drive. It’s about 3 yrs old and contains mainly photos and mp3s. How much would you charge for repair?

Hmm these Evo drives unfortunately have quite a lot of problems. According to this page on the web site of Data Clinic, the English data recovery company, the NAND chips in these devices are of very low quality and the result is lost data. Modern Evo drives use Samsung’s 3DNAND chips which are much better and solve the problem, but Evo SSD hard drives that use the older TLCNAND chips will all fail, see this interesting article from PC World too on the subject of TLC NAND chips. So how do you check if your Evo SSD is using these old chips? There seems to be no easy way. If you were hoping for a page on the Samsung web site where you could enter your hard drive’s serial number then you’re going to be disappointed, so my advice to your is to back your data up, quickly and perhaps use a different hard drive.

Data Transfer Question

I have a Lenovo S440 laptop with a factory fitted 128gb SSD, which is too small for my needs. Would you be able to back up contents and replace with a 250gb or 500gb SSD? If so, what would the approximate cost be?

Hi your question is really one concerning data transfer rather than data recovery as there is nothing wrong with your hard drive. Yes we can do this for you, but we’d charge you about £200. So instead, to save you money just ask your trusted LEA IT department and get them to do it for you. How do you find a trusted IT dept? Well, you could speak to your friends and colleagues, or ask me 🙂

iPhone 6 Dropped in Water – Need Recovery

I recently dropped my iPhone 6 in water and it is now completely unresponsive (doesn’t turn on, charge etc). Approximately how much would it cost to recover just the photos/videos that I have taken on the device? Please could you respond by email.

The main cause of failure with phones that have been dropped in water is shorting on the phone’s power rail. The power rail runs across the whole of the phone supplying power to the entire contents such as the touch screen, the memory chips, the main circuit board etc. So when water invades the case it causes many little short circuits throughout the phone. If you’re lucky just a clean up of the phone is necessary to remove all the short circuits from it, but more likely is the possibility that there has been some significant damage to one of the major components in the phone. This will have to be swapped out with a replacement part if we are to be able to get to the stage of recovering data from the phone. Spare phone parts such as screens etc (see cost in the region of £60 or so. If you have an iPhone, I advise avoiding the Apple stores as they will charge you about £200 for the privilege.

Enquiries from the IT Desk

More hard drive data recovery enquiries in this latest blog – again with links supplied to help you out. If you have any questions or get stuck, give me a call through internal IT / LEA numbers and I’ll help you out.

  • lost fileI have a WD Elements external hard drive used to store photos and I’m no longer able to access them. I was referred to you by 3B Systems in Nelson as a company that might be able to recover the images.
    As you are based in Bury would it be convenient to call in to see you.
  • I plugged my seagate expansion portable external hard-drive into my laptop and it was not being recognised after several restarts of my computer. Although the light came on it was also making a strange beeping noise. The drive was accidentally dropped from a small height last week and so that is probably the cause of the damage. I don’t think the laptop is the issue as several other usb’s I have tried all have worked. I have photos from my masters project on the hard drive which I need to give to my supervisor, so need the drive fixing or data recovered quickly.
  • Basically I use a Seagate GoFlex Home to store my data files on a home network. To the best of my recollection there is about 550 gb of data on it, mostly music and photos, also some documents, domestic and relating to my voluntary activities. If we go away for more than the odd night, I turn it off, remove the actual storage unit from the base, and store it in a fireproof box in a safe place while we’re away. On our return I reverse the process. I have done this about a dozen times in the four years I have used the device, without problems. We got home yesterday and having put the drive unit back on the base and turned it on, I found it was non-functioning in that it connects to the network, but the drive itself doesn’t work (the white light does not come on). Windows recognises that it is there but says there are no files on it, as does the Seagate website. I’ve tried all the usual stuff like turning it off and back on etc. to no avail. I last used it literally immediately before turning it off on the day we left, and it has shown no signs of any problems, prior to that. So far as I am aware the unit contains two physical drives, one of which backs up to the other. I suppose I never considered both of them failing at the same time. I’ve been to a local firm who say that it’s a mechanical problem and they can’t help, and recommended you.

Remember if you are going to start troubleshooting a hard drive, make sure you back the data up first!