Failed HDD Problems

Here are a collection of questions I’ve been sent recently and links to answers I have found.

Hi there I’ve got a Freecom Classic SL 250GB Drive which has recently failed and is making clicking sounds when its booted up.
I don’t suppose you have a rough quote of how much this would cost to repair, if repair was possible?

Dell Inspiron N5030 hard drive failure, 320GB.
Many years old, 15,000 hours according to diagnostics by a company.
I would like data recovery on files please.
Was quoted £130 by a company.
How much would this be?

I have lost access to the data on my laptop hard drive (Seagate 750GB) and I would like to recover all data on it. Please could you tell me the price for standard recover data.

Hi my 500GB harddrive has failed. On turning on the machine the hardrive makes a clicking sound but windows will not load. In system Bios the harddrive does not appear. I am based in Darlington and obviously you are not far away. Is there any idea of the cost involved and how long it would take? How would you send any data recovered?

Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB Drive. ZFS Filesystem.
Disk appears to spin up ok, no strange sounds. Although it’s ZFS it’s the only disk in the pool, which is why this is a problem. When the computer, or any computer with the disk in starts, POST fails when looking at AHCI port#0 31000ms timeout. I would prefer email communication, because of University.

I have a Samsung hard drive that I’ve been backing my photographs up on. However, I’ve tried various computers and a different lead and the device doesn’t seem to be recognised.

I Want To Recover Data !

I would like recover data from two external – portable hard drives. I’ve opened them both but have damaged read/write heads and they not working – motors working but not showing anything on the PC. Could you let me know how much i have to pay – don’t need to fix drives – only recover data – one of them is 1TB and second 500gb. Im from Leeds.

My hard drive start make strange noise click of death i think this disk need to replace head. I try on my own to replace this with the same model etc but i failed plattern are in good condition can you swap head for me? I can recovery later with programs.

The external hard drive fell out on my bag onto the pavement. The case is still intact and there is nothing rattling around inside. However, the computer won’t identify when connected and it clicks.
Can you please provide a quote for recovering the data by next week?

The hard disk was not detected in the pc . It starts, then clicks and then stops. Please can you help. The 500GB HDD in my MacBook Pro (2009) has failed. I need to copy all data that can be retrieved. Could you pls send me a quote.

native_stopping_menuWe bought a new 2TB WD external drive at the beginning of august and formatted it for Mac. All of a sudden it stopped working. It spins when plugged in then stops, a click can be heard for a few times. After a few minutes the light starts flashing very slowly. According to WD it might be a power issue and the drive could be “sleeping”. When plugged to a PC, the system prompts the drive installation and the “safe removal” icon is available, but, being formatted for Mac, we can’t obviously access it.

I have a Seagate 1TB external hard drive that has been used exclusively with Apple Macs. It has recently stopped working. It was checked by an ICT technician friend who connected it to an external drive dock to see if the drive would be registered – no success. I also took it to the Apple Store to see if they could do anything – again, no success. They suspect that the drive architecture is still ok but the drive electronics may be at fault – when the drive is connected, the led indicator light flashes but there is no drive sound. Could you provide me with a quote to check/repair the drive & hopefully rescue the data?

HDD, SSD and Data Tape Difficulty

western-digital-caviar-green-wd10earxHard drive has failed – 1Tb Western Digital SATA WD10EARX. Was fine yesterday – Windows10 64bit – used for data – not the prime drive. On startup this morning did not appear on Explorer. Definitely spinning, possibly some faint clicks, but pretty quiet. Tried it in a Linux PC and wasn’t found there either. We live near Carnforth.

Cruzer SSD has Problems

A Cruzer SSD drive, either 16GB or 32GB capacity, has stopped working.
When plugged in in any port, and any computer, nothing happens. The flash drive has an LED which now no longer lights up, and the computer makes no acknowledgement of its presence when plugged in.
Recently, the computer I use most often has insisted that there are problems with the drive, but when I have told it to scan and fix these, it tells me there are none. It has also suggested that I must format the drive before use, but this was also inconsistent, and removing and returning the drive allowed me to use it without problems.
Although you do not advertise data recovery from flash drives, I sincerely hope you are able to help, as this one contained various important files, some of which have no backups.

Hard Disk Failure on Windows 10 Machine

Hard disk failure. This is our PC’s 2nd drive (D:). Had just recently upgraded OS to Windows 10 which went smoothly as this is a new base unit then when this problem occurred Windows was seizing, presumably looking for the drive which disappeared – so couldn’t access data on this drive which no longer shows in File Explorer. I have disconnected it from the PC base unit. HDSK details are:
Model Samsung HD103UJ

I’m unsure whether this is a problem with the hard drive or is something that has been caused by the Windows 10 upgrade. If more symptoms of the failure can be provided.

Conversion of Data Tapes

sony qd 2120I have 36 x Sony QD2120 Mini Data Cartridges formatted in QIC 80 (120Mb). The data is scientific images and possibly associated files in various IBM PC-readable formats (proprietary). We would like to send them to you for conversion to modern media. I am a little less sure on the original hardware/software used but possibly a Colorado drive . Apart from age of the tapes there is no reason to believe any corruption has occurred.

WD External HDD Broken?

My WD external hard drive stopped working. When I connect it to a laptop I get a message that it needs to be formatted before use. There is blinking and no distinct noises.
I have around 10GB of data, including photos, video and audio files.
What would be the time frame and the costs of data recovery? IT colleagues at work ran basic scan and their software detected a lot of data but could not recover it.

The hard drive is most likely to have bad sectors – areas of the hard drive that have become no longer readable. Otherwise known as “degraded media” it is caused by the magnetic signal that is stored on the hard drive degrading to such an extent that the computer can no longer recognise the signal it reads.

Whirring Clicky Hard Drive

Question: I dropped my external harddrive and it is now making a whirring clicky sound and I can’t access the data on it (see an example video at I can see the folders but some are empty. when I try and drag the folders off it says it can’t work and then crashes and the harddrive disappears from the side menu. It’s got absolutely everything of importance to me on it so I’m desperate to fix it! Please could you let me know a quote for hopefully retrieving the files off it? Thanks!

Answer: This is an interesting one, because the symptoms describe a mechanical fault – the clicking whirring sounds tell me that the heads of the hard drive no longer work, but surprisingly your hard drive is still working insomuch as Windows can still ‘see’ and communicate with the hard drive. So in this rare case, I’d say that the problem with your hard drive is either a weak head and/or bad sectors on the disk.

Tackling a hard drive with a weak head in order to extract the data is a difficult task and certainly not one for an IT department. Instead you really need a skilled data recovery company to extract the data for you. Because your hard drive is obviously in a very bad way, tackling the recovery of data needs to be exact, precise and handled correctly. The internet is full of data recovery horror stories (see, so let’s do everything we can to avoid this type of incident happening to you.

Choose a decent data recovery company to retrieve your data. How do you choose a data recovery company? Speak to friends and colleagues, go online and see what’s available and what others say about them. Treat reviews with a pinch of salt as they are not always accurate.

Help Recovering Phone Data

smashed-phoneI’ve recently started providing assistance to people looking for a data recovery service from their mobile phones. I’m currently developing a phone recovery capability that will allow me to retrieve the data from all types of mobile (smart) phone. Here a some of the enquiries I’ve had recently:

Phone Has Gone Through The Wash
My personal phone went in the washing machine. It is currently in a box of rice in an attempt to dry it out. I need to recover photos taken for business purposes. My business phone number is attached.

Erased iPhone Data
I accidentally erased my iPhone and although I have a backup up to 2 days before the erase, I lost everything from the most recent 2 days. The most important lost data is voice memos which I have tried hard to recover using online tools, but failed. I have nearly lost hope, but is there ANY way of recovering voice memos on the iPhone that were recorded 5-6 hours before the iPhone was erased please? I would be very grateful for any help.

Dropped iPhone in Water
Dropped my iphone 6 into water, screen was already cracked and now is cracked more, after retrieving my phone from the water the screen was not working properly, I turned it off immediately and now I can’t get it to turn back on, there are some photos on there I really want to recover so if you could let me know how much that would cost that would be great.

Motorola Moto G Died
Sons phone – Motorola Moto G (orig model I think abt 2 1/2 yrs old) no memory card has been dropped on hard surface and died – would really like to recover data – photos / videos – not backed up. can you help. Could get to London office or possibly watford

Sony Xperia Recovery Needed
Sony Xperia need to recover sms, video and whatsapp messages

Smashed Samsung Galaxy
My partner has had her Samsung Galaxy S6 hit out of her hand, it has not booted since smashing on the floor and does not connect via USB to other computers. This phone holds nearly all the pictures and videos of our children. Is it possible to recover these files from the internal memory?
It was hard impact on to the floor, causing screen to crack and possibly some other damage.
The phone appears to partially boot and freezes, so I’m hoping the flash memory may be ok internally.
If so, what would the likely cost and timescale be for this?
I really appreciate any help you can provide.

Dead Fujitsu 100GB External Hard Drive Stopped Spinning

fujitsu-hard-driveI had an email from my brother yesterday. He was having some difficulties with his hard drive that had his family pictures on and was getting some grief from his wife who was blaming him for losing the photos. He wrote: “I have a Fujitsu 100gb External usb hard drive that has stopped spinning. I last used it about two months,worked ok as i copied some music and photos to it.Tried to use it two days ago to transfer some photos,it did not fire up.It has a double usb cable,one for power, one for data transfer.The hard drive can be removed from the external case,and the hard drive can be removed from the usb connector.The drive shows up on my laptop,but I think it’s the connector showing.I need to recover the data on it,especially the photos. Any help would be grateful,and a idea of the cost please.”

The Fujitsu 100GB External hard drive you have is quite an old one. Early models used the double USB cable you described to power the drive and transfer data. My first question to ask you is have you changed the cable? I doubt that you have as the double USB cable was a short lived idea that was quickly replaced and is therefore quite a rare item.

You should be able to remove the hard drive from the case and plug in a normal SATA power and data cable to the drive – this will completely eliminate the connectors and cables and if it works then there’s obviously no problem with your hard drive and you’ll be able to copy off the data.

If you still have problems then you do indeed have a hard drive fault. What the fault is will require further investigation and you are welcome to contact us will you would like us to examine the hard drive for you. The cost of a normal data recovery service in the UK is usually between £400 and £600. But before you go off and start making calls to data recovery companies, why don’t you see if your work can sort it for you? Working for the Local Education Authority in the UK, I suggest you contact Jan Schon (see who does a lot with data recovery and works for the same people that you do. You may even get a better price if you go through her too.

Confusion with the Deep Web and the Dark Internet

The Deep Web is completely different from the Dark Web. The Deep Web refers to the pages not accessible by the search engines. The Dark Web pages fall under this category. Hence, the Dark Web is one part of the Deep Web. You should know that the work intranet service you use at office requires a password for its access. It is part of the Deep Web. Similarly, when you use a bank account online, it is part of the deep web.
The Dark Internet is the place where scientists store their raw data for research. You should not confuse the Dark Internet and the Dark Web. They are two different terminologies.

How do you access the Dark Web?
You will be surprised to know that it is not very difficult to access the Dark Web. You have to install Tor on your computer. You can simply go to and download the Tor browser. Using the normal procedure, you can install the Tor browser and start browsing. You can come out by just closing the Tor browser.
Installing Tor and starting the browser is the easiest part. The difficult part is to know where to look for the websites. You should remember that once you get into the Dark Web, you would be able to access the dark websites. You could just be a click away for sites doing nefarious business such as drugs, terrorism, money laundering, and other unlawful activities. You will also be under watch. You never know who is prying over your shoulder. You should remember this is uncharted territory. You have to be careful by switching off your web cam.
In case you are an inquisitive person, you can watch the dark website if you wish.

Hard Disk Imaging Trouble on Samsung CCTV

A question from a visitor to the web site >>
“My problem is: I took out the original HDD from samsung SVR-950E and used clonezila to external disk but when I put back the original HDD inside the SVR cannot detect the drive.
I know the files are inside! It’s not formated or something was written to it!!!! I think the partition headers are lost or the headers of the files. I immediately turned off the SVR and the original drive is not powered! So is there any possible way to recover the files, the videos from the original drive, i am in greater manchester and this is urgent!!”

Samsung SVR-950E

Looking at the Clonezilla web site, it’s very unlikely that this software would be the cause of your problem. The software is open source and free to use. If is were not good at it’s job it would soon disappear under a pile bad reviews. However, perhaps you have a hacked version of Clonezilla? Did you download it from a reputable source? (For other’s reading this, it’s important that you download open source software from reputable sources, as hackers will target open source software and add malicious code to it and then upload it to no-so-reputable servers to be downloaded and spread).

I have a fair amount of experience with Samsung SVR / DVR’s in general and it could be that the problem was caused when you removed the SVR-950E from the CCTV system. Incorrect removal or insertion of hard drives into these systems can cause a flag to be set that fools the Samsung recorder into thinking that a new drive has been inserted into the system. This causes the hard drive to be initialised as a new disk and is achieved by writing a data block to the hard drive.

Of course, this might not the problem. You write to that “the SVR cannot detect the drive”. It could be therefore, that some sort of electrical or mechanical fault has happened to the drive.

You don’t write that the drive is ticking or making a beeping noises though which is a good indication that the hard drive does NOT have a serious problem. It probably is possible to get the data from the drive therefore. The first stage is to correctly identify the problem and then take action to solve and fix the problem. Once completed successfully the data should be recoverable quite easily. There are not many high quality data recovery companies in the UK, particularly ones that are familiar with CCTV and Samsung equipment, most are mentioned on the microblog, a niche site that concentrates many of it’s articles on hard drive recovery (including CCTV). The blog is also UK focused which is good as I notice you are located in Greater Manchester.

Mac Data Recovery

My main hard drive, that I use as a backup drive is giving me problems, very slow to access and incomplete data. Attempted install of Mac OS El Capitan on our iMac which seems to have initiated a repair error on the Macintosh HD. Unfortunately we have not backed up for a while there so there is data that we could lose. We have a new external HD and have tried an image with no luck. We need an expert!! It is not a great deal of data and I can see the structure in the disk utility but just can’t get to the data.

I can fix most hard drive problems myself but they all rely on one particular thing: the hard drive continues to spin. When the hard drive spins it means it can communicate with the computer and there software programs can still interact with the hard drive and talk to it. When the hard drive is not spinning the computer can no longer recognise it and this is where my skill ends. But all is not lost, I can no longer help you but I know a service that can – Datlabs Data Recovery in the UK ( provide the services of data recovery from hard drives that aren’t speaking to their computers any longer. Try them for data recovery, they will be able to help.

WDC HDD Recovery

I dropped my WDC 1T external hard drive and now my computer no longer recognizes it. The drive still powers on and I can hear/feel it whirring. I am based in London and need to recover the data ASAP. Hard Drive is making a clicking sound is not detected in bios.

As you are in London my advice is to go straight to this post on Data Replay Services – which recommends local data recovery services throughout the UK. Data Replay Services is a niche blog site that concentrates on hard disk troublehshooting, computer forensics and the like.

External Hard Drive Recovery

My external hard drive has stopped working it make noise when it is connected but my computer does not detect it. It is only detected in device manager but can’t see any data or save any data on it. Please help me recover the data.

I can help retrieve the files from this one because the external hard drive is still spinning (see above). My advice for the time being is to disconnect the drive and power it down. It’s not common knowledge but nothing bad can happen to a hard drive when it’s switched off (unless it’s dropped of course). No data is written and the mechanical and electronic circuits are not powered on so no harm can come to them also.

WD Passport Makes Ticking Noise

“WD my passport has a clicking noise and it is not loading, it has someone elses data and and i am wondering how much it would cost to get it working again.”

A clicking noise and a WD My Passport hard drive that isn’t loading is is situation that calls for a data recovery service. You can always to to learn how to recover data from a bad external hard drive but I advise against it. Data recovery is difficult at the best of times and putting hard drive into the hands of someone who doesn’t know what they are doing is a recipe for disaster. To avoid this costly mistake (you may actually loose your data), it’s a good idea to learn about hard drives and how they work. The WD My Passport hard drive is not different from all the only conventional hard drives you see for sale. To learn about hard drives, their problems and what to do about them when they go wrong I Googled some typical hard drive failures like “busted hard drive” and “how to fix a WD passport”. Once I’d gotten past a lot of crap I found some useful links to some useful sites. A couple of favourites were – a good site for learning about the practice of data recovery [including WD My Passports], and which is another data recovery blog but rather more technical in nature than the first site.