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I've lost my Life. Calling all HDD Masters/Gurus

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by dCorp, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Hi,
    Im doing IM since 2005-2006, and was having HUGE data since then on my HDD related to my work, projects, future plans, etc. Unfortunately, my HDD Crashed last Saturday and I've lost EVERYTHING which was so valuable that I can not even keep track of HOW MUCH it worth. The data was so important for me that I can NOT even think of living my life without it.

    The worst part was, I did not take any backup of my data (and I agree, it was my mistake and Im really cursing myself for this) AND THE HUGE WORST thing is, I was using Roboform Pro for my 100+ a/cs at all sites and am having No Backup for that as well.

    It really sound stupid but yes, we all do stupid activities at some point of time in our life and these are the lessons which life teaches you.

    I live in India (near New Delhi) and have approached a Data Recovery company (Steller), which is having state of the art technology (as per their website) to recover data from Crashed HDD, but After Assessing HDD for 3-4 days, they said -: Sorry, your data can Not be recovered due to "Very heavy scratches on the platter"

    Now, Im really lost in IM world and have No Idea HOW to recover my data. Can anyone Help me? Is there any company in the Whole World who can Extract Data from HDD which is having "Heavy Scratches" on the platter?

    Thanks for all your valuable input/advice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  2. popcrdom29

    popcrdom29 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Man I really feel sorry for you. If you already took it a professional then there might not be anything anyone can do. I used to do data recovery a while back and knew some tricks but if it has heavy scratches then there might not be any hope.

    By the way, how did it get scratches like that? That's something I've never heard of. The only thing I can think of that may have caused it is something coming lose inside the drive.

    Not to kick you while you're down but this is a lesson learned. I'm also a heavy user of Robo Form and I backup the files and print a hard copy of all of the data just in case. I also regularly back up all of my user data from different programs.

    I hope you find someone who can recover your data.
     
  3. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Thanks for sparing some time for me buddy. Yes, I understand that I did a BIG MISTAKE by NOT taking any backup of my data and I've really learnt a BIG lesson from it.

    As far as scratches are concern, trying to boot the system repeatedly may have made the case worst BUT this was going to happen with me one day and its done now. Fortunately, I was sharing Hosting Access with my Employees (programmers and designers) so, Im still having access to my main sites and have recovered my PWds for my main Paypal and gmail a/cs BUT still I feel paralysed without having access to my Imp. Data.

    I wish, there would be some company in the world, who can retreive data from my Hdd but having a very little ray of hope.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  4. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Sorry. Double post.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  5. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Sometimes it gets stuck and Does not show the post while posting. this is the 3rd SAME post I Edited.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  6. rabbitgirl

    rabbitgirl Regular Member

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    ...the FBI can do it! jk

    Ok, try searching for "Hiren's Bootable" Disk online [i recovered 50% of my crashed HDD with it - with a friend's help]. Just like you, I thot my whole world had ended!
     
  7. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Would surely do that. Thanks for your input buddy.
     
  8. philionaire

    philionaire Regular Member

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    Sorry to hear that you lost most of your info.

    I had the same problem with my laptop 6 months ago and fortunatley only lost my movies, tv shows and music (about 400gig worth :( ).

    Since then ive bought a external HDD and backed up all my main PC's stuff (which reminds me, I need to do it again!)

    What I was going to mention though, that in the future, you may want to consider lastpass to roboform - I never realized roboform was stored locally - therefore as you have mentioned, when your PC went down, with it all your user names and passwords were lost.

    I have never had roboform, so cant say too much about it, but from what I can gather they do pretty much the same thing (except that lastpass is free).

    However, lastpass is stored off the computer you are using, and anytime you log in (as long as the lastpass addon in FF or IE is installed) all you usernames and passwords are there (and automatically fill the user info).

    You just need to be really careful with your master password and run as much anti-adaware, anti-malware, anti-virus software as possible (I know stating the obvious...).

    If there is a way of doing this in roboform, sorry, I dont know, as said I dont use it, just trying to help a bit in the future.

    Hope you do managed to get it sorted out though.

    Cheers.

    PS - lastpass has an option for transfering all you roboform data to lastpass. Roboform might have the same option as well, I dont know.

    I feel like a salesman for them lol. As I said though, its free. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  9. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hiren's Boot CD is a good suggestion. I've used it with some success before. I've also used Restorer 2000, HDD Regenerator, MHDD, and a few others I can't think of right now.

    You should do a search for all of those and read up a little about each of their uses and capabilities.
    Hiren's Boot CD
    Restorer 2000
    HDD Regenerator
    MHDD​

    When you start trying to do data recovery there's a big chance that you can actually do more damage and lose the data completely just by trying the wrong thing first.

    It's a risk you don't have much choice about at this point, but if you try to learn a little about it first then you'll stand a better chance of success. I would recommend you go to hxxp://forum.hddguru.com and read through some of the threads there to get some ideas on how best to proceed before you start.

    Good luck to you,
    Wolf
     
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  10. Chronos

    Chronos Junior Member

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    Think of it as a rebirth.

    Maybe you can reinvent yourself. Go start some new ventures!

    ... just kidding, well, sort of.

    Theres tons of recovery programs out there. I used a really good one but I can't thinki of the name for it. Something Alaska? I don't really remember lol. It was years ago and it was for a 16GB SATA harddrive, connected with a SATA-to-USB adaptor.
     
  11. MrGrumpy

    MrGrumpy Registered Member

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    Even if the platters are scratched data recovery is possible. Using mickey mouse software is not going to do it though I am afraid. If you are prepared to spend the money You will need to find a data recovery company who can pull the remaining magnetic data off the platters. Its possible to read data of broken platters but it all depnds on how much you are prepared to spend. Do not start running software on the drive. If the platters are scratched it is not going to help and will probably corrupt what data is on there, especially if there is a mechanical issue like damaged heads that has scratched the disks, reading it will only make things worse.
     
  12. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    Yes. Thats right. Using software to retrieve data from Crashed HDD would Certainly damage it more. The best bet can be a Professional Company who are specialized in Data Recovery from "Heavily Damaged Platters".

    As far as Spending money is concern, Steller (the company I approached locally) sent an Invoice for about $500 and I even deposited Half the amount (refundable If Fail to recover data) which they will refund on Tuesday along with my HDD.

    So, Im ready to spend any reasonable amount if there is a hope to recover even 50% of my data.

    Can someone point me to some Big Professional Company?
     
  13. thetraveller

    thetraveller Senior Member

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    Man, I really feel sorry for you I know what it means loosing all your hard worked data, if no recovery program works and if you can't afford the "pull the remaining magnetic data off the platters" method like MrGrumpy specified above, then: prepare a fast backup method (second hdd, usb stick, etc), put your drive in a sealed bag and let it rest for 20 min in the freezer of your fridge, take it out and connect it to your comp and start backup any data as fast as you can.

    I did this twice with completely failed hdd's and it worked, it last reading and copying the data as long as the drive is still very cold.

    Next timke backup even a simple txt if its important.
     
  14. xboxps3wow

    xboxps3wow Power Member

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    BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!!
    Oh, that reminds me.. I should go back up my laptop ;)

    (make a nice little fileserver out of old computer, add 2 2tb HDDs to it in a RAID...This way, if one fails.. the other one will still have your data :))
     
  15. GreyWolf

    GreyWolf Executive VIP Jr. VIP

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    The hdguru forum I suggested in my previous reply is a good resource to learn about what companies are the best to use also. The complete focus of the site is geared toward the professional data recovery specialists and providing info for the professionals and novices alike.
     
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  16. shadowfax

    shadowfax Power Member

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    Sorry to hear about your loss.. Hope you would be able to recover your data.. I think your HDD was damaged due to power or voltage problems.. I lost one HDD the same way

    This post also reminds me that I need to buy an external HDD to backup my data.. Can anyone suggest a good backup program that can backup data from laptop's HDD to an external HD auomatically/by schedule?

    Thanks
     
  17. art79

    art79 Newbie

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    so sorry for you , iam using roboform too but with my usb
     
  18. tacopalypse

    tacopalypse Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    the only way to really make hdd data completely unrecoverable is to annihilate the entire drive, like by shredding it or burning it.

    data is stored evenly across the surface of the platters, so any scratches would destroy some data, but anything that's not scratched would still be recoverable.
    i'm guessing the majority of the platters are still fine since scratches typically don't cover that much total surface area.

    my guess is you just bought it to a crappy recovery company the first time around.

    in order to recover it properly, the drive needs to be taken apart and the platters moved to another machine capable of reading data off of them even with extensive scratches on the surface.
    if the company doesn't do that, then they'd just be trying software methods, which would just be a waste of your time.

    would probably be best to ask them to take a picture of the platter so you can see how bad it really is
     
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    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  19. MrGrumpy

    MrGrumpy Registered Member

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    what he said. That is exactly the case. I used to work in a hardware and software research role and some of it involved dealing with military data. The only way they would hand over a faulty hard drive with data on it is after smashing it up, taking it to pieces and smashing it some more and literally destoying it. That is the only way to destroy the data and an even then they dont want to hand over everything because people will go to extreme lengths to recover and reconstruct data if they really want their hands on it. A few scratches will only damage some data areas and there are a lot of so called data recovery places that are incapable of carrying out a proper recovery. They would need to remove the platters in a clean room and extract the data off them but that is going to cost you. The drive should not be powered on at all as this will only make things worse.
     
  20. dCorp

    dCorp Senior Member

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    thanks for your input mate. What I did was, I did reboot my laptop for about 6-7 times AFTER the crash and then One of my friend (he's into networking) tried to connect HDD via Usb port to see if it can detect the HDD this way and in the process to connect it to another system via Usb port, he kept the HDD in his hand and kept it rotating at different positions to check if any position can make the HDD detect, AND that may have been caused it to damage Heavily. Now, do you think there still is some hope to recover some of the data IF handled by a Professional Company?

    By the way the company I used was "http://www.stellarinfo.com/". You can check it online to get an Idea about the company and can give ur views on this.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010