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Head crash gallery – when data cannot be recovered

In Blog, Unrecoverable Databy Administrator

Unrecoverable HDDs – Head-crash.

Non-recoverable data is not good for any party. The customer does not get their data back, and we do not get paid, anything. Our ‘no-recovery, no-fee’ policy applies to all of the work that is conducted by CDR – Manchester Data Recovery Services. There are no diagnostic fees or upfront fees. That means that when we can’t recover data it is disappointing for us in every regard.

When we break the news to a customer that the data is not recoverable we can get a number of responses. Some are very grateful for the effort we put in, some are understandably disappointed, and some want a second opinion and think that another data recovery company will be able to recover the data. There could be occasions when a second opinion might be valuable, particularly working on challenging firmware corruption. There are however, many occasions when we know that data is not recoverable.

Above are some images of three hard disk drives that have been received since January the 6th. All of these disks have visible damage to the surface of the top platter. Within the industry, this is called a “head-crash”. This is where the read/write heads make contact with the spinning platter and damage the surface. When there is physical damage to the surface of the platter it is not possible to recover the data.

Being told that data is not recoverable can be hard to hear, and many customers look for a glimmer of hope. I have had customers tell me that they have phoned a data recovery company who said they can recover the data in these situations. Needless to say, these companies tend to charge a non-refundable upfront diagnosis, ‘re-opening’ or donor parts fee. Again, we’d like to reiterate, if your hard disk has a head-crash it is not recoverable.