Data Recovery

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andy-hughes | 16:07 Thu 05th May 2022 | Technology
33 Answers
I have a portable hard drive which went faulty three months after I bought it from PC World.

Unfortunately, I voided the warranty by having a tech friend see if he could salvage the data - OK, lesson learned.

I have returned it to PC World to get the data recovered, for the outrageous sum of £90.

I am wondering what the chances of recovery are?

I would imagine in 'recovery' terms it's simple - but would appreciate some advice from an expert, of which we have at least two on here.

The data consists of six Word Documents, and six PowerPoint presentations, and the drive is currently inaccessible, it will not power up.

Does this sound simple as a recovery task?

The reason I ask is that the turnaround means that I will get my new drive, hopefully with the data transferred to it, three days before I need it.

No problem if the data is there - bit of a struggle to update everything and get it all in one place again.

Any advice gratefully received, as always.


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So PC world are recovering the data for £90? There is a good chance the data is still readable so they'll remove the actual disk and swap it into another drive with a working motor. Then you should ba able to read it. If not available it's probably still on there but the directory entry has been removed, they'll have software that will read the current directory and ignore the deletion flags it can then recover what is actually there. My guess is though that it is there and just needs reading off with a drive that powers up.

May I suggest using something like onedrive in the future,then all you stuff is backed up instantly and you can access it from anywhere should you need to.
PS, I think £90 is not too bad for what they are doing.
Question Author
TTT - Thanks for your prompt and reassuring response.

I am now aware that Cloud is the way forward, four separate people have advised me to use it, including my youngest daughter.

I am getting old!!!!!!!
It's great, I was old school until about a year ago, I was manually backing up etc. I started using the cloud via onedrive and it's great. I have 3 PCs for various things and I have their files under a tree structure for each PC define to one drive. Not only does everything get backed up automatically I can access and change files from one PC on another and they all sync perfectly, this means I can take my small note book anywhere and still access the files on my main PC from anywhere. If a PC dies I can effectively clone it on a new machine in less than an hour!
Question Author
TTT - // PS, I think £90 is not too bad for what they are doing. //

Actually, I do agree!

I was just having a moan.

Skill deserves payment - I don't give my skills away for free, I don't expect anyone else to do so.

But I just wanted a bit of reassurance from someone who knows more abut data recovery than I do - which is anyone!!

TTT, is the free storage in OneDrive enough or are you paying for extra? My free OneDrive is full and I'm thinking about paying
Question Author
Bad news!

They can't recover the data unless they try the 'next stage' which costs £350 and takes two weeks!

Not impressed!!!
Not good news.

Sounds like its now down to using software to try and grab what's there and rebuild it. That can be a rather messy, and lengthy, business.

Hope it works out for you. Unfortunately its not always fully recoverable. I have done a few of these over the years a couple were in such a mess not much was salvageable but I've had others with a good recovery. The Software is probably a lot better now though as its been a few years since I've needed to (Been on M365 for a few years now and had my own 'cloud' backup prior)
Question Author
I have had to decided that the recovery was not worth the money tobe honest.

There is nothing i can't re-write or simply abandon, so it's a bitter lesson learned - use the Cloud, and don't expect one-hundred-pound hard drives not to go wrong!!!
Hope they have refunded you in full for the faulty hard drive and any monies you've paid so far. No hard drive should fail after three months
Question Author
Barry - // Hope they have refunded you in full for the faulty hard drive and any monies you've paid so far. No hard drive should fail after three months //

They will refund for the cost of recovery that was £90 because they failed to complete, but unfortunately I managed to void my warranty by having a tekkie friend try the recovery first!!!

Another lesson learned.

Apart from a presentation script which I foolishly only saved on the drive, I do have originals of everything else backed up, I have to re-write the script.

While I am spending another three weeks doing that, I can ponder on the vagaries of technology.
Bad luck
barry, I am paying £80 for MS 365 + 1 TB on onedrive, I paid £55 initially as an introductory offer.
AH: "While I am spending another three weeks doing that, I can ponder on the vagaries of technology. " - whilst this is cold comfort now we were always trained to make sure we could save, backup, delete then restore from back up before doing any work we care about. I still do the same before I trust any system enough to spend effort working.
Andy - since you have a completely useless hard drive on your hands, why not take it apart and get a pair of the strongest magnets you've ever come across. The small, kidney shaped magnets which control the arm are so powerful that you might need a lever to separate them if they get together.
I’d avoid PC World like the plague and look nearer home for local tech experts or phone repair shops, they’d undoubtedly give it a go at a fraction of the cost.
Certainly worth a punt at those prices.
Question Author
Donkey - I already had a very good local tekkie friend, and the local repair shop had a try, both failed.

PC World was my last reluctant option.
Ah, in that case you have my sympathy, I mean that sincerely.
PC World don’t have a good rep.
Question Author
Thanks - appreciated.
Andy, let us know if you manage to recover the files.

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