Decent Backup/Data Recovery Service Recommendations

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
7,456
438
The Inland Empire State
#1
So my brother gave me his old 350gb Seagate external hard drive to try and fix because he's had two other people look at it and they couldn't revive it or get any data off of it. His wife loaded their entire 3 children's lives on it when they tossed their last computer and they had no backup.

The drive is toast. I talked to the last guy that tried, and he said it had power supply issues so he replaced the power supply. Drive is totally unresponsive, no clicks, no spinning, nothing. It's an IDE drive so I thought I could slap it in an old computer and maybe get it working. When the power cable and IDE cable were plugged in, my comp wouldn't even boot. Messed with various master/slave settings, still nothing.

Unplugged the power from the bad drive and then my comp would boot. Unplug the IDE but leave the power, no boot. So now I'm worrying about frying my own motherboard, so I take an old external HD case and plug the power cable from that into the bad HD and then plug the IDE into my comp.

Few seconds after I turned everything on, I smell that funky electronics burning smell and just as I'm reaching for the switch on the surge protector I hear a small "pop" in the transformer in my external HD setup. So it's fried.

Here's my questions:
1. Is it possible to just swap out the power component in the HD without getting into the platter area?

2. Anybody know of a good reasonably price data recovery service? The kind where they take the HD apart in a clean room and try and put the platters in a working setup. The wife is totally a wreck over losing all these photos.

3. Besides XM's favorite sponsor, Carbonite, is there a reasonably priced/free/simple data backup service like that that is reliable? They're technological novices but they've learned their lesson and want to have an offsite backup plan that runs pretty much on its own without any user interaction after initial setup. And it would only be for pics and small vids, maybe some music. I'm thinking just a couple hundred gigs if that.
 

ruckstande

Posts mostly from the shitter.
Apr 2, 2005
15,608
4,899
693
South Jersey
#2
So my brother gave me his old 350gb Seagate external hard drive to try and fix because he's had two other people look at it and they couldn't revive it or get any data off of it. His wife loaded their entire 3 children's lives on it when they tossed their last computer and they had no backup.

The drive is toast. I talked to the last guy that tried, and he said it had power supply issues so he replaced the power supply. Drive is totally unresponsive, no clicks, no spinning, nothing. It's an IDE drive so I thought I could slap it in an old computer and maybe get it working. When the power cable and IDE cable were plugged in, my comp wouldn't even boot. Messed with various master/slave settings, still nothing.

Unplugged the power from the bad drive and then my comp would boot. Unplug the IDE but leave the power, no boot. So now I'm worrying about frying my own motherboard, so I take an old external HD case and plug the power cable from that into the bad HD and then plug the IDE into my comp.

Few seconds after I turned everything on, I smell that funky electronics burning smell and just as I'm reaching for the switch on the surge protector I hear a small "pop" in the transformer in my external HD setup. So it's fried.

Here's my questions:
1. Is it possible to just swap out the power component in the HD without getting into the platter area?

2. Anybody know of a good reasonably price data recovery service? The kind where they take the HD apart in a clean room and try and put the platters in a working setup. The wife is totally a wreck over losing all these photos.

3. Besides XM's favorite sponsor, Carbonite, is there a reasonably priced/free/simple data backup service like that that is reliable? They're technological novices but they've learned their lesson and want to have an offsite backup plan that runs pretty much on its own without any user interaction after initial setup. And it would only be for pics and small vids, maybe some music. I'm thinking just a couple hundred gigs if that.
Wouldn't Google's Drive service be a good alternative?
 
Apr 30, 2011
36,087
95,287
358
CLT
#3
You might be lucky here but it may not be cheap. Sounds like the control board or more specifically the power supply within the drive was the problem which means someone who can recover platters might have no problem extracting the data. You could probably swap the board with another drive of the same model and get the data off, but I would not risk that unless you have already done something like that.

If it is worth what you say it is send it to recovery place and let them do their thing. You did not blow the PC power supply since it probably has more current available and should have protection built in. The reason the PC did not boot was it either went into protect mode or it loaded the 12v or 5v down enough not to engage the motherboard properly, hence no boot.

Sure seems like this is a better scenario then the head crashing on the drive platters.
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
3,933
436
648
#4
I brought a drive back to life by swapping out the PCB.

With that said, different drives have different rules. You MUST match certain criteria up like board revision, firmware revision, etc. Some drives require you to swap over a controller IC. In my case, it was a Fujitsu drive, and all I had to do was find the right PCB based on some numbers. $30 later from ebay and the drive was up and running.

http://www.hddzone.com/conditions.html

As far as data recovery goes, check out Gillware http://gillware.com/. They're a big outfit. You send the drive in, they give you an estimate and you buy your data back from them. The bigger the hard drive, the more money it costs.

Online backup: Carbonite is decent and easy, but there's some limitations. They do not, by default, back up video files....You'd have to manually include files that carbonite doesn't automatically include. Mozy is better in that aspect. You can just select entire folders using a directory tree to make sure you're backing up anything you want. Both have a 'include most common areas' feature, but Mozy is more customizable in my opinion.

Side note: My backup solutions is 3 fold. 1. RAID-1 on my data drives. 2. Nightly backup on external. 3. Off-site backup.
 

Buster H

Alt-F4
Wackbag Staff
Dec 6, 2004
12,248
2,729
748
Lower Bucks Co, PA
#5
I brought a drive back to life by swapping out the PCB.

With that said, different drives have different rules. You MUST match certain criteria up like board revision, firmware revision, etc. Some drives require you to swap over a controller IC. In my case, it was a Fujitsu drive, and all I had to do was find the right PCB based on some numbers. $30 later from ebay and the drive was up and running.

http://www.hddzone.com/conditions.html

As far as data recovery goes, check out Gillware http://gillware.com/. They're a big outfit. You send the drive in, they give you an estimate and you buy your data back from them. The bigger the hard drive, the more money it costs.

Online backup: Carbonite is decent and easy, but there's some limitations. They do not, by default, back up video files....You'd have to manually include files that carbonite doesn't automatically include. Mozy is better in that aspect. You can just select entire folders using a directory tree to make sure you're backing up anything you want. Both have a 'include most common areas' feature, but Mozy is more customizable in my opinion.

Side note: My backup solutions is 3 fold. 1. RAID-1 on my data drives. 2. Nightly backup on external. 3. Off-site backup.
I use carbonite, but it's just because they were sponsor of one of the podcasts I listen to and I like to support their sponsors. If I am not mistaken, Carbonite's limitation is not video.... it's just they they wont automatically backup a file over a certain size. (which usually end up being videos)

Your backup solution is pretty similar to mine. Experts suggest a 3-2-1 backup rule:

3 copies, 1 primary and 2 backup
2 different types of media disk/hd (many people just use an external now because keeping a proper backup of everything on DVD's would be crazy)
1 offsite: this can be by using a cloud storage service or you could do what I used to rely on. I had 2 exact same externals. About once a month or so, I would take the one I have been doing nightly backups on and drop it off in the safe at my parents house. I'd pick up the one that was already there and bring it home. I still do that, but it's not as important now that I am using Carbonite.

Between my laptop, desktop, externals and carbonite, I have 5 copies of my shit
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
Donator
Jan 12, 2010
36,710
22,327
398
Northern California
#6
I do the same thing as Buster. 2 hard drives, one stays at my parent's. Whenever I swing by there, I swap one with the other. The one that is at my house stays in my "go bag" in case I have to take off suddenly. My computer is also backed up to a home server. If they have a safety deposit box, that's a great place to keep one also.

There is one major limitation to this. Since my parents live in the same area as me, we could both be affected by the same natural disaster, such as an earthquake. However, that's pretty unlikely.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
7,456
438
The Inland Empire State
#7
Wouldn't Google's Drive service be a good alternative?
I find Google Drive way too buggy, bloaty,and confusing for non-technical users. I'd rather set them up with a Dropbox account. If I went for something like that.

I brought a drive back to life by swapping out the PCB.

With that said, different drives have different rules. You MUST match certain criteria up like board revision, firmware revision, etc. Some drives require you to swap over a controller IC. In my case, it was a Fujitsu drive, and all I had to do was find the right PCB based on some numbers. $30 later from ebay and the drive was up and running.

http://www.hddzone.com/conditions.html

As far as data recovery goes, check out Gillware http://gillware.com/. They're a big outfit. You send the drive in, they give you an estimate and you buy your data back from them. The bigger the hard drive, the more money it costs.

Online backup: Carbonite is decent and easy, but there's some limitations. They do not, by default, back up video files....You'd have to manually include files that carbonite doesn't automatically include. Mozy is better in that aspect. You can just select entire folders using a directory tree to make sure you're backing up anything you want. Both have a 'include most common areas' feature, but Mozy is more customizable in my opinion.

Side note: My backup solutions is 3 fold. 1. RAID-1 on my data drives. 2. Nightly backup on external. 3. Off-site backup.
I called gillware.com and they said it would be $350-$500 for a "non-invasive" recovery And up to $900 for one where they actually have to take the platters out. They provide a free UPS shipping label and diagnose it free of charge and if you don't like the price quote they give you they'll ship it back to you and all you pay for is the return shipping. Seems reasonable enough to me.

They also have a Carbonite type backup service so I may recommend that route if the repair goes smoothly.

I really need to sign up for some online backup service myself. All I have is my Dropbox that basically just has work documents and my photos from my camera phone on it backed up. I do have two external hard drives that I back up to also, but they're both on site so if I have a fire I'm screwed.
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
3,933
436
648
#8
I like Mozy, because they don't charge per computer like Carbonite does.

So if you buy 50GB for what I think is like $9.99/month, you can put it on 10 computers if you want. You can also allocate unequal portions of that amount between different computers. So your main computer can get 30GB and you can split the other 20GB between 5 other machines.

Also, if you have a server running Win2k3/2k8 server you can use Mozy for an extra $3.00 a month. Carbonite charges like $600+ for a single server.
 
Apr 30, 2011
36,087
95,287
358
CLT
#9
I find Google Drive way too buggy, bloaty,and confusing for non-technical users. I'd rather set them up with a Dropbox account. If I went for something like that.


I called gillware.com and they said it would be $350-$500 for a "non-invasive" recovery And up to $900 for one where they actually have to take the platters out. They provide a free UPS shipping label and diagnose it free of charge and if you don't like the price quote they give you they'll ship it back to you and all you pay for is the return shipping. Seems reasonable enough to me.
That does seem fair, with something like this you really dont want to go with the cheapest option. You have a situation where you will be on the lower end of the cost scale since they will not likely have to pull the platters out.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
40,284
7,456
438
The Inland Empire State
#10

Bluestreak

This space intentionally left blank.
Sep 27, 2007
4,557
276
398
Mawl-din, MA
#11
Acronis has a decent backup software including cloud based backups.
 

JoeyDVDZ

Well-Known Member
Donator
Aug 20, 2004
30,157
6,039
763
#12
So my brother gave me his old 350gb Seagate external hard drive to try and fix because he's had two other people look at it and they couldn't revive it or get any data off of it. His wife loaded their entire 3 children's lives on it when they tossed their last computer and they had no backup.

The drive is toast. I talked to the last guy that tried, and he said it had power supply issues so he replaced the power supply. Drive is totally unresponsive, no clicks, no spinning, nothing. It's an IDE drive so I thought I could slap it in an old computer and maybe get it working. When the power cable and IDE cable were plugged in, my comp wouldn't even boot. Messed with various master/slave settings, still nothing.

Unplugged the power from the bad drive and then my comp would boot. Unplug the IDE but leave the power, no boot. So now I'm worrying about frying my own motherboard, so I take an old external HD case and plug the power cable from that into the bad HD and then plug the IDE into my comp.

Few seconds after I turned everything on, I smell that funky electronics burning smell and just as I'm reaching for the switch on the surge protector I hear a small "pop" in the transformer in my external HD setup. So it's fried.

Here's my questions:
1. Is it possible to just swap out the power component in the HD without getting into the platter area?

2. Anybody know of a good reasonably price data recovery service? The kind where they take the HD apart in a clean room and try and put the platters in a working setup. The wife is totally a wreck over losing all these photos.

3. Besides XM's favorite sponsor, Carbonite, is there a reasonably priced/free/simple data backup service like that that is reliable? They're technological novices but they've learned their lesson and want to have an offsite backup plan that runs pretty much on its own without any user interaction after initial setup. And it would only be for pics and small vids, maybe some music. I'm thinking just a couple hundred gigs if that.
At my job, sometimes we have a HDD that has a fried logic board. Provided you can find the EXACT same drive, you can remove the logic & connector board, they're only held on by 2 or 3 hex screws, and pop it on the drive you want the data from. It should work fine.
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
3,933
436
648
#14
At my job, sometimes we have a HDD that has a fried logic board. Provided you can find the EXACT same drive, you can remove the logic & connector board, they're only held on by 2 or 3 hex screws, and pop it on the drive you want the data from. It should work fine.
Adding to what you said, just for clarifcation:

Model numbers alone dont necessarily mean you have a match. You can have different firmwares between the same model number. Also, some drives require more than just a PCB swap. You have to swap over the IC from the old PCB.
 

Bluestreak

This space intentionally left blank.
Sep 27, 2007
4,557
276
398
Mawl-din, MA
#15
At my job, sometimes we have a HDD that has a fried logic board. Provided you can find the EXACT same drive, you can remove the logic & connector board, they're only held on by 2 or 3 hex screws, and pop it on the drive you want the data from. It should OPEN THE FUCKING SAFE.
:action-sm