Imadeamistake
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:50 pm

Hi everyone.
Unfortunately I made a terrible mistake with my Western Digital My Book Studio 2TB External Hard Drive with Metal Enclosure.
It started doing a clicking sound and couldn't be recognised by the computer. Searching for answers and solutions, I ended up watching youtube videos with people doing repairs.. Now you can already imagine the rest of the story. I opened it and unfortunately I left my fingerprints on the platter. I didn't know that it was so dangerous. I'm based in the UK and I had conversations with some data recovery labs that I checked on google (based on the good reviews). I even went to one in person and the guy after seeing that the hd had been open, and noticing the fingerprints, told me that it's over. The other labs also told me almost the same thing, and they would have charged hundreds even if the attempted repair was unsuccessful.
Then I called another company which is based in many locations (in and out the UK) and they told me that they can do the job and even have 100% success rate, saying that they've seen much more critical cases). Obviously they still have to see the hard drive in person.
I've been reading some of your posts where you talk about removing fingerprints using some products (I will not touch it anymore/don't worry!). Does it mean that a successful recovery is realistic?
The hard drive has no marks or scratches. Just many fingerprints.
Thanks for your help

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Jared
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:41 am

Imadeamistake wrote:Source of the post Then I called another company which is based in many locations (in and out the UK) and they told me that they can do the job and even have 100% success rate, saying that they've seen much more critical cases). Obviously they still have to see the hard drive in person.


Anyone telling you they have a "100% success rate" without even looking at the drive is a no good liar and you should avoid that company like the plague. You're probably just talking to a sales guy who will tell you any lie to get the case in the door so he gets a commission. Avoid them.

The drive may not be unrecoverable, but it's not going to be an easy case and it certainly won't be a cheap case.

Over there in the UK, I'd recommend you send it out to Sean at PCImage (http://pcimage.co.uk)

But, there is going to be several hundred dollars(or pounds) of up-front costs with no guarantees. They've got to fix the contamination damage before they can even begin to diagnose what the original problem was now. I know here, we charge $300-400 up-front cleaning charge plus the cost of a couple donor hard drives for heads to even start a case like that. Then typically $800-$1200 at the end if it's successful.

Even after hours of cleaning the platters repeatedly, the first set of new heads we put back in typically get ruined almost immediately. Sometimes we can clean them and get them working again, sometimes we can't. I've had cases like yours where we went through 3-4 sets of donors and had to clean the heads a dozen or more times (each time requiring removal, cleaning, reinstallation, etc.). They're just the worst cases to deal with.

Imadeamistake
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Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:34 pm

Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:43 pm

Jared wrote:
Imadeamistake wrote:Source of the post Then I called another company which is based in many locations (in and out the UK) and they told me that they can do the job and even have 100% success rate, saying that they've seen much more critical cases). Obviously they still have to see the hard drive in person.


Anyone telling you they have a "100% success rate" without even looking at the drive is a no good liar and you should avoid that company like the plague. You're probably just talking to a sales guy who will tell you any lie to get the case in the door so he gets a commission. Avoid them.

The drive may not be unrecoverable, but it's not going to be an easy case and it certainly won't be a cheap case.

Over there in the UK, I'd recommend you send it out to Sean at PCImage (http://pcimage.co.uk)

But, there is going to be several hundred dollars(or pounds) of up-front costs with no guarantees. They've got to fix the contamination damage before they can even begin to diagnose what the original problem was now. I know here, we charge $300-400 up-front cleaning charge plus the cost of a couple donor hard drives for heads to even start a case like that. Then typically $800-$1200 at the end if it's successful.

Even after hours of cleaning the platters repeatedly, the first set of new heads we put back in typically get ruined almost immediately. Sometimes we can clean them and get them working again, sometimes we can't. I've had cases like yours where we went through 3-4 sets of donors and had to clean the heads a dozen or more times (each time requiring removal, cleaning, reinstallation, etc.). They're just the worst cases to deal with.


Thanks for your answer.
They have no recovery/ no fee. In the worst case nothing is recovered, I shouldn't pay anything (I hope), so in theory I have nothing to lose.
I know that here, even in the easiest case of recovery you spend at least £300/350.
This company has thousands of reviews on trustpilot. So if they were serial liars, it would show. Plus I believe that our conversations were recorded, so if the sales person lied and promised something unachievable, he could be in trouble. Let's see how it goes.
So the fingerprints on the platter do not necessarily remove data? That's what I was told, that even the tiny bit of dust, or just normal air in the room could cancel everything.

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pcn
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:37 am

Don't trust that company, I think we all know what company you called. They also have drop-off points here in Germany and you will be charged upfront with around 600€ plus 300€ in case of success. We have many cases from companies like this for a second opinion and they always quote low compared to market prices. They also quote even if its a lost case and you will probably loose both, your data and money.

Better call Sean at PCImage (http://pcimage.co.uk), he is a trusted person in the data recovery community and does a great job.

Your data, your choice :P

Kind regards,
pcn
030 Datenrettung Berlin
https://030-datenrettung.de

Imadeamistake
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:43 am

pcn wrote:Don't trust that company, I think we all know what company you called. They also have drop-off points here in Germany and you will be charged upfront with around 600€ plus 300€ in case of success. We have many cases from companies like this for a second opinion and they always quote low compared to market prices. They also quote even if its a lost case and you will probably loose both, your data and money.

Better call Sean at PCImage (http://pcimage.co.uk), he is a trusted person in the data recovery community and does a great job.

Your data, your choice :P

Kind regards,
pcn


The hard drive is already with them now. So I can only hope that they do a good job and recover everything. If it doesn't work with them I will contact Sean. I've been looking for all the reviews of that company on trustpilot and they are mixed. Very Good and Very Bad. Hopefully my case will be a positive one. If it's not, I hope they will return my Hard Drive in the same conditions. Unfortunately I've read reviews where the client says that their hard drive was returned even more damaged so that nobody else could work on it.

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lcoughey
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:22 am

I'm curious about which companies you talked to, as well as who you sent it to.

Imadeamistake
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:31 pm

I was called back this morning and I was told that my hard drive was received.
Then the guy started asking...'But what happened, the hard drive is clicking and this and that...." which I found weird, considering that the main issue (I suppose/excuse my ignorance) is that the platter is full of fingerprints, and he didn't even mention it. Plus, the hard drive should have not been turned on (if they did it) considering that I already opened it and with the condition I left it, if turned on, the head could scratch heavily the platter.

Then he asked me what's inside, what type of files are inside, if it's work or personal material, which I also find weird and made me suspicious that they asked this so that they later they would use this information against me, to pressure me and maybe charge me more.
Then he asked for my address, which is weird, considering that a paperwork with my name and address was attached to the hard drive.
He also said that it will not be cheap and that he would call me back the same day. He hasn't called.
Tomorrow morning if he calls and says that it can all be recoverable for the price I was quoted on the phone by the sales person (from £200 to £400/I doubt it), what do I do? I'm sure I will be quoted something way higher like £700/£800, like most of the reviews suggest.
I'm tempted to ask for everything back and go to Sean, but I've also read that they might send it back even more damaged so that nobody else could work on it.

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w.simon
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:24 am

Hello,

Just to understand did you tell the sales person that the drive were opened and platters touched with fingerprints on it ?
A.G.D.I Data Recovery in France
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Imadeamistake
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:26 am

w.simon wrote:Hello,

Just to understand did you tell the sales person that the drive were opened and platters touched with fingerprints on it ?


Of course, it was the very first thing I said. I made the situation very clear.

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lcoughey
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Help. Platter full of fingerprints, is there hope?

Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:07 am

Still curious as to who you sent it to. Please name them for us.

Any lab powers on a drive that was previously opened without first inspecting the platters and heads in the clean room, are scammers who have absolutely no clue what they are doing. At best, they are just a front that will then send your drive to another lab. Either way, just tell them that you found a backup and would like to cancel your ticket and get your drive back.

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