Data Clinic Open Day

Data Clinic’s ( latest open day was held on Friday 1st August 2015. Designed to assist people with troubleshooting their hard disk and smartphone problems, the event attracted a moderate attendance with people arriving throughout the day.

Before the event, a questionnaire was sent to potential attendees which asked them to provide details of what equipment they were intending to bring along. Some of the replies are listed below.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex

“I have a Seagate Freeagent GoFlex 2.5 inch 250GB external hard drive (HDD) that has failed – it makes a clicking noise when plugged in to USB and never appears so presumably it is a mechanical failure.

It belongs to a nurse working for the Huntington’s Disease Association. Can you give me a quote for recovery, if possible I would bring it to you later today and have the recovery done on site.”

Western Digital My Passport 2TB

“Hello, I was hoping I could bring my 2TB WD My Passport hard drive to you to see if you could recover deleted files. I backed up my memory cards to this small hard drive whilst away in Hong Kong in June, I then transferred the memory cards to my large hard drive at home when I returned, however I now notice there is a folder missing and I have since deleted these pictures from my small hard drive. Please let me know if this is something you could help with. I am based in Liverpool so could bring it to you.”

Macbook Pro

“I have a 2010 model MacBook Pro, which had stopped working, and has been seen to by the guys at Apple. They advised the Hard Drive had stopped working, and the flex cable needed repaired as well.

They have replaced the hard drive, but I still have the old one, and would be keen to know what the cost could be to recover the data from it? There are a lot of photos on there of my son which mean a lot to me.”


“We have been burgled and the burglar have deleted the footage from the CCTV Systems and I do like to have it recovered.

HDD failure, now unresponsive (attempted to recover by connecting to external USB-SATA caddy – drive is not detected by the system). Need to recover data from it.”

The day ended with 15 enquiries serviced: potential costings given and the likelyhood of successful recoveries explained. All in all, advice regarding some 25TB of data was given to some 20 people.

Can You Remember Your First Hard Drive?

An old maxtor hard disk driveI can’t not really… It’s a long time ago and at the time I was working for a large computer firm in the UK. It would have been around 1990 ish, may be even 1989, and my job was IT support. PC’s in businesses were quite a new thing back then and as I had just graduated from college and knew comparatively a lot about PC’s I got the job of supporting them.

Now, how big were hard drives in 1990? Without researching it I can’t remember but their capacities were certainly in the Megabytes, and the low megabytes at that… 10Mb maybe? A couple of years later I remember that Windows 3 had just come out and after it had been installed there wasn’t any room on people hard drives to load anything else like WordPerfect, which was the de-facto wordprocessor of the time.

One thing for certain is that hard drives in 1990 didn’t really look like they do today – the only similarity is the metal box shape. Most hard drives had either SCSI and PATA interfaces too. The modern SATA interface that we see today didn’t come along until much later  – about 2009.