Data Recovery Case Study: Toshiba Firmware

A local graphic designer got in touch with our data recovery team recently after her Toshiba P300 1TB hard drive suddenly stopped being detected by her machine. The drive presented no sign of physical damage and wasn’t dropped or knocked before failing. We were able to successfully complete the data recovery after diagnosing the problem with the firmware.  

The client works on a freelance basis doing graphic design work, and her entire business was on her machine’s hard drive; naturally, she was keen for the data recovery process to be as swift as possible to ensure minimal loss of earnings. There was nothing to trigger the hard drive failure – no sudden knock or drop, and there were no unusual clicking noises emanating from within the drive. Upon explaining the process to the client, she sent the hard drive in and we began the data recovery diagnosis. The hard drive was booked in, and immediately sent to the data recovery lab so our technicians could ascertain the problem. Typically, it takes between 24 and 48 hours for our technicians to diagnose the fault and produce a data recovery report with a file listing and no-obligation quote.

The initial hunch of our technicians was correct – this wasn’t a physical problem, but a logical one. Generally, physical data recovery is more time consuming than logical data recovery. The hard drive had a firmware failure, specifically, the drive couldn’t initialise fully and would get stuck in a ‘busy’ state. A hard drive’s firmware is essentially its own little operating system, that contains information needed for it to read and write data. If the firmware is damaged, the drive won’t be operational, and data won’t be accessible. While in some cases data recovery can be simple, all drives are different, and it can be very challenging. It therefor wasn’t possible to read any data from the hard drive, nor would the drive respond to any commands via the SATA interface. This was an issue we had seen before with this line of Toshiba hard drives, so we knew what the solution was. We provided the client with a no-obligation quote for the data recovery, which she accepted, and then continued.

In order to undertake the data recovery, it was necessary to alter the ‘Saved Mode Pages’, the drive’s settings, by using specialist data recovery software. While we were able to access the data at this point, due to further firmware complications, read speeds were incredibly poor, and imaging all 1TB of data would have taken days. After extensive modifications and repairs to the hard drive’s firmware, we were able to successfully complete the data recovery. Of the 750GB of data stored on the drive, we were able to recover all but 3.5GB, which was corrupt. Fortunately, these files were not of importance to the client.

Data Recovery Specialists are able to recover data from any device that is able to store data; hard drives, solid state drives, mobile phones, tablets, USB flash drives, SD cards, RAID units and tapes and other legacy formats. Our data recovery team work in controlled conditions to ensure maximum success rates. Get in touch now for a free no-obligation data recovery quote.  

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