Saving Your Data After a Head Crash: An Inside Look at a Disk Recovery Service

The Initial Contact

Steve Trave with CBL Data Recovery ran the diagnosis for us.

CBL Data Recovery's headquarters are in Canada. The company has a total of 11 other branches worldwide. Due to its relative proximity to our test lab, we chose the company's German branch in Kaiserslautern.

CBL requires you to fill out a form at the start, the purpose of which is to collect patient data. We made an appointment in advance by phone. Once CBL has set up the new work order, they place an order for a hard disk that is similar to the defective model; that is, if they don't already have such a model on their premises.

Every new work order is numbered and placed in big plastic baskets before being processed.

Getting Started: Does The Drive Still Run?

First CBL checks to see if the drive will still run.

The first test is relatively banal: In a clean room the drive is hooked up to a power supply to see if it will even start up. Our defective notebook hard drive failed to run at all. Because the failure demon might have affected the electronic system, CBL replaced it first.

Because the hard disk didn't start up, it's assumed that the electronic system could be damaged. Therefore, it's the first thing that's replaced.