Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How to learn to recover hard drive failures?

Last response: in Storage
Share
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 18, 2005 1:19:53 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I am thinking about starting a small side business in recovering lost
data on hard drives. While I know some of this can only be done using
"clean" rooms and are very expensive, I would like to work on the low
end using software and knowledge. My question is where do I get this
knowledge? Can anyone suggest a book that I can read to get this? I am
not interested in simple en-delete tools, I want more complex solutions
including possible (minor) head crashes. Are there classes in the NYC
area that I can take? Or is a book the best way to get this
information. Thanks very much!
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 18, 2005 7:50:00 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

John,

yes..thanks...but how do I get the knowledge on how to "get it back"?
Recovering files...MBR, etc. There must be a book out there that has
good information on this. I looked at the book mentioned in the earlier
reply, but I would prefer a major auther and something that I can buy
from Amazon or B&N. Thanks again
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 18, 2005 8:29:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

jeffreyswilson@gmail.com wrote:

> I am thinking about starting a small side business in recovering lost
> data on hard drives. While I know some of this can only be done using
> "clean" rooms and are very expensive, I would like to work on the low
> end using software and knowledge. My question is where do I get this
> knowledge? Can anyone suggest a book that I can read to get this? I am
> not interested in simple en-delete tools, I want more complex solutions
> including possible (minor) head crashes. Are there classes in the NYC
> area that I can take? Or is a book the best way to get this
> information. Thanks very much!

Fill up a drive, bust it, get the data back. When you can do that with some
confidence then _maybe_ it's time to start offering services. Just bear in
mind that if you take a recoverable (by one of the expensive services)
drive and turn it into an unrecoverable drive you may have a close
encounter of the worst kind with the legal profession.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Related resources
January 19, 2005 12:06:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

This dude flooded my inbox for a while: http://www.datadoctor.biz/author.htm

--
Joep


<jeffreyswilson@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1106072393.226627.88780@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> I am thinking about starting a small side business in recovering lost
> data on hard drives. While I know some of this can only be done using
> "clean" rooms and are very expensive, I would like to work on the low
> end using software and knowledge. My question is where do I get this
> knowledge? Can anyone suggest a book that I can read to get this? I am
> not interested in simple en-delete tools, I want more complex solutions
> including possible (minor) head crashes. Are there classes in the NYC
> area that I can take? Or is a book the best way to get this
> information. Thanks very much!
>
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 19, 2005 4:41:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

jeffreyswilson@gmail.com wrote:

> John,
>
> yes..thanks...but how do I get the knowledge on how to "get it back"?
> Recovering files...MBR, etc. There must be a book out there that has
> good information on this. I looked at the book mentioned in the earlier
> reply, but I would prefer a major auther and something that I can buy
> from Amazon or B&N. Thanks again

Google, google groups, docs for the processor used on the drive, programming
courses, some electronics, a little bit of machine design, it's not
something you're going to learn from one do-it-yourself book.

A lot of it comes under the heading of Dark Arts aka trade secrets.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 20, 2005 2:51:47 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 01:41:19 -0500, "J. Clarke"
<jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote:

>jeffreyswilson@gmail.com wrote:
>
>> John,
>>
>> yes..thanks...but how do I get the knowledge on how to "get it back"?
>> Recovering files...MBR, etc. There must be a book out there that has
>> good information on this. I looked at the book mentioned in the earlier
>> reply, but I would prefer a major auther and something that I can buy
>> from Amazon or B&N. Thanks again
>
>Google, google groups, docs for the processor used on the drive, programming
>courses, some electronics, a little bit of machine design, it's not
>something you're going to learn from one do-it-yourself book.
>
>A lot of it comes under the heading of Dark Arts aka trade secrets.
Hate to burst your bubble, but anybody that would even ask this type
of question should consider some other venture. If you wanted to get
into repairing timepieces, would you post a similar request to
alt.rolex, and expect to find all the information you need to go into
business w/o years of hands-on experience.

If you insist, then I suggest you get a job with a company such as
Xyratex that makes the disk testing and servo/tracking hardware that
the manufacturers use. You can revisit this issue after you have
several years experience. Warning, if you get a job with a company
such as OnTrack which does data recovery, then they'll probably make
you sign trade secret and non-compete agreements should you resign.

If, however, you want to limit yourself to recovery where the hardware
is fine and data is corrupted or loss due to human error, then I'd
start by reading up on file systems and data layouts. Then you're
going to need heck of a lot of code written. All of it will be
custom.

I write some code to reassemble data from a certain brand of RAID
controller in event the firmware "lost" the configuration, and had to
get rather creative in looking at data patterns, physical/logical
address mapping, plus I had to utilize information that is only
available under non-disclosure. I also had to figure out filesystem
markers and configuration information once I rebuilt the raw LUNs.
The code was difficult to write, and I still have to tweak it
sometimes when I'm called upon to recover data.

So no free lunch, even if you are prepared to turn people away because
there is a hardware problem. You're going to have to write a lot of
code, and become familiar with operating system internals. At least
all of that is published.

Then, God forbid, should you get a customer willing/desparate enough
to try you out, what happens if you botch things up so somebody like
OnTrack has to charge thousands of dollars more to recover? Hope you
have insurance. (Which you won't get because the insurer won't be
stoooppid enough to write a policy for a business who has no
experience in the field to begin with).
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 20, 2005 12:19:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

David A.Lethe <davidATsantools.com> wrote:

> On Wed, 19 Jan 2005 01:41:19 -0500, "J. Clarke"
> <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote:
>
>>jeffreyswilson@gmail.com wrote:
>>
>>> John,
>>>
>>> yes..thanks...but how do I get the knowledge on how to "get it back"?
>>> Recovering files...MBR, etc. There must be a book out there that has
>>> good information on this. I looked at the book mentioned in the earlier
>>> reply, but I would prefer a major auther and something that I can buy
>>> from Amazon or B&N. Thanks again
>>
>>Google, google groups, docs for the processor used on the drive,
>>programming courses, some electronics, a little bit of machine design,
>>it's not something you're going to learn from one do-it-yourself book.
>>
>>A lot of it comes under the heading of Dark Arts aka trade secrets.

> Hate to burst your bubble,

You're not bursting _my_ bubble but you might be bursting Jeffrey's.

> but anybody that would even ask this type
> of question should consider some other venture. If you wanted to get
> into repairing timepieces, would you post a similar request to
> alt.rolex, and expect to find all the information you need to go into
> business w/o years of hands-on experience.
>
> If you insist, then I suggest you get a job with a company such as
> Xyratex that makes the disk testing and servo/tracking hardware that
> the manufacturers use. You can revisit this issue after you have
> several years experience. Warning, if you get a job with a company
> such as OnTrack which does data recovery, then they'll probably make
> you sign trade secret and non-compete agreements should you resign.
>
> If, however, you want to limit yourself to recovery where the hardware
> is fine and data is corrupted or loss due to human error, then I'd
> start by reading up on file systems and data layouts. Then you're
> going to need heck of a lot of code written. All of it will be
> custom.
>
> I write some code to reassemble data from a certain brand of RAID
> controller in event the firmware "lost" the configuration, and had to
> get rather creative in looking at data patterns, physical/logical
> address mapping, plus I had to utilize information that is only
> available under non-disclosure. I also had to figure out filesystem
> markers and configuration information once I rebuilt the raw LUNs.
> The code was difficult to write, and I still have to tweak it
> sometimes when I'm called upon to recover data.
>
> So no free lunch, even if you are prepared to turn people away because
> there is a hardware problem. You're going to have to write a lot of
> code, and become familiar with operating system internals. At least
> all of that is published.
>
> Then, God forbid, should you get a customer willing/desparate enough
> to try you out, what happens if you botch things up so somebody like
> OnTrack has to charge thousands of dollars more to recover? Hope you
> have insurance. (Which you won't get because the insurer won't be
> stoooppid enough to write a policy for a business who has no
> experience in the field to begin with).

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 20, 2005 8:12:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"J. Clarke" wrote:
>
>
> You're not bursting _my_ bubble but you might be bursting Jeffrey's.
>
Not so sure about that - I think people who believe they can enter the
world of data recovery on a whim have to have a pretty thick bubble...

Odie
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 21, 2005 2:54:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Odie Ferrous" <odie_ferrous@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:41EFE676.DF26E285@hotmail.com
> "J. Clarke" wrote:
> >
> >
> > You're not bursting _my_ bubble but you might be bursting Jeffrey's.
> >
> Not so sure about that - I think people who believe they can enter the
> world of data recovery on a whim have to have a pretty thick bubble...

And yet, here you are.

>
> Odie
Anonymous
a b G Storage
January 21, 2005 6:26:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Folkert Rienstra wrote:
>
> > "Odie Ferrous" <odie_ferrous@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:41EFE676.DF26E285@hotmail.com

> > Not so sure about that - I think people who believe they can enter the
> > world of data recovery on a whim have to have a pretty thick bubble...



> And yet, here you are.

Cut the envy trip, Folkert - it doesn't suit you.


Odie
--

RetroData
Data Recovery Experts
www.retrodata.co.uk
!