Data Recovery from a Maxtor 4TB External Hard Drive

Our hard drive data recovery team have recently been hard at work recovering data from a client’s Maxtor external hard drive – which they completed successfully.

We received a call from a man who had a damaged Seagate Maxtor M3 portable external hard drive, with a capacity of 4TB, although it was only about half-full with data. The client is a freelance graphic designer who frequently travels alongside his external hard drive. Somewhere along the line, the hard drive malfunctioned, possibly due to a knock or a bump in transit. To make matters slightly more complicated, the client had previously consulted a high street computer repair store who attempted to recover his data, to no success. The client had to pay an up-front fee for this, and as well as having none of his data recovered, there was a chance the data stored on the drive would be unrecoverable, even by a professional data recovery specialist. The client was given a media form, complete with a unique job reference number and QR code, and told to bring it in to our Cardiff facility. Once here, the media was booked in by our operations team, and sent over to our hard drive data recovery team for analysis. This diagnosis is free of charge, and you won’t pay anything unless you accept a no-obligation quote. Occasionally, we might have to order in a part, but again, this process is completely transparent, and you won’t be hit with any hidden costs. On this occasion, the spare part we required was found in our library of over 14,000 parts.

The client’s external hard drive was disassembled in our Class 100 Clean Room, where all physical data recovery is undertaken. A clean room environment is required due to the delicate nature of mechanical hard disk drives – even one small particle of dust can lead to further damage. Class 100 means there will never be more than 100 particles of dust per cubic foot, although due to extra precautions our data recovery technicians take, there will typically be way fewer. Upon disassembly, it was revealed that the hard drive had suffered from a head crash. The client did the right thing by immediately powering the hard drive down to prevent further damage, but taking it to a high street computer repair store meant it was powered up and some damage to the platters was sustained. At the computer repair store, the staff ran data recovery software, which is pointless with hard drives that have sustained physical damage as this one had. Our data recovery team replaced the faulty read/write heads from our library of spare parts, and imaged the drive. We were able to recover around 90% of the data stored on the drive, at just under 2TB.

Once the data recovery was complete, the client’s data was returned on a blank hard drive that he had provided. We are also able to offer an ftp service to send recovered data back to clients. The entire process took just three days from when the client dropped the external hard drive into our Cardiff office.

Data Recovery