Data Recovery Case Study: Seagate 3

Patient:

Seagate 500GB 3.5” hard drive.

Reported Fault:

Wrong power supply was plugged into the drive

Diagnoses:

PCB electrical damage

A client had reported that they accidently used the power supply from their laptop on their external hard drive and had heard an audible ‘popping’ sound after which, the drive then refused to spin.

The client brought the drive to our laboratory in person as he was very concerned about the data stored on his hard drive. We booked the job in and informed the client that we operate a totally free analysis and a ‘No recovery-No Fee’ policy. Therefore, if we cannot recover the data he will not be charged anything and his drive returned to him free of any charges.

We offer the free analysis, which normally takes around 24-48 hours to complete, so we can make a clear and accurate assessment of the damage/issues the drive may have obtained as a result of the incorrect power supply being used, and after which we are able to provide him with a fair, exact no obligation quote, based on the work that would need to be carried out to recover his data from the damaged drive.

We first removed the hard drive from the casing and examined the circuitry on the back of the drive using strict ESD (electrostatic discharge) conditions, this is called the printed circuit board, or PCB for short. We identified that by using the laptop power supply damaged had been caused to some of the microchips on the board.

We have an extensive amount of spare and replacement circuit boards in stock and we installed one of these boards onto the damaged drive. However, a hard disc drive has some code that is unique to each drive on one of the microchips on the board. We removed this chip and using precision soldering and SME reworking equipment installed it onto the new board so that it would work in a symbiotic relationship with the drive as it normally should.

Once this was all correctly installed onto the hard disc drive, or HDD, we moved it to one of our hardware software hard drive analysis complexes to make sure the rest of the components were working, as the power surge may have knocked out more than the chips on the circuit board. We ran our diagnostic utilities on it and determined that it was now functioning correctly. We then contacted the customer with our no obligation quote, and when he had accepted and made payment, we then transferred the data to a replacement external hard drive. The client again came in person to pick up his recovered data.