Posts tagged with "troubleshooting"

Help and Advice with Data Recovery

As a data recovery specialist I work a lot with broken and unresponsive hard drives and smartphones. Here are some of the questions I've been asked lately with help and advice links added accordingly. Interesting a site I have recently been visiting a lot for hard drive recovery help and advice is the data recovery tips site, a UK resource.

There is a mechanical problem with my USB stick. To get the USB out you have to use a button on the side of it to slide it up. This is slightly broken so that the USB won't stay out enough for it to go into my laptop.

I have a Seagate external HDD (1 TB). There seems to be a fault as it has stopped being recognized when plugged in. I tried different usb ports and different laptops. Could you please advise if data can be recovered?

My Toshiba External Hard drive has failed in the last few days. The drive shows a red light on the extra case. To test the Hard drive, I plugged it directly into a PC using SATA cables and still nothing. Does not show in BIOS when booting and has no sounds or motion when plugged in.

HDD CRC errorMy USB flash drive has been subject to some physical damage. I can see the problem however I do not have the precision equipment to reattach the plates of the USB head to the PCB. I believe some off the copper tracks have been damaged also. It requires precision soldering I was wondering if you could give me a price estimation, how much the data recovery would cost or the repair.

I have 60k music files on a 'G' external drive. Problems started when I pushed socket into casing. Took it to a computer shop to find that the disk does not now spin. I have not dropped it or given it cause to break. Would you tell me what the procedure is please? If the data is recoverable, do you transfer it onto a new drive? How long could it take?

The drive is making a clicking noise and is throwing CRC errors when trying to copy off data.
This contains our HMRC PAYE data which has unfortunately not been backed up.
The PAYE database is stored in c:\Users\Justin_000\AppData\Roaming\HMRC, but it can no longer be accessed.

Broken screen on iphone 4, cannot access anything from phone. I am wanting to get my messages and call log back.

I have an external Toshiba external drive which when I connect my pic can't see it. I have tried device mgr and storage through administrative tools but can't see it. I am trying to recover photos and some documents.

HDDs are Not Responsive

There are many examples of when a quality hard drive recovery service can be used to retrieve information off of unresponsive computer hard drives (HDD's). Here are some examples:

  • I have a Toshiba 6GB storage device that I dropped recently, it now does not respond when connected into the USB port of my I Mac laptop. It gives me a continuous flashing indicator light (Blue) with an electronic audible signal. The memory used at present is probably only not even 5% of the capacity, and it contains mainly documents and photographs. Is it possible to advise at this point what the cost may be to retrieve the data?
  • system volume error messageWe have has a hard drive fail and will not read on any of our docks. we are looking to recover all the files upon the disk.
  • My Toshiba Z930 has started to boot up and the system repair window opens. The root cause it has identified is "system volume is corrupt". It then restarts and then delivers the same screen again
  • I have a seagate network drive that has (had) all my families photos and home movies on. The drive started being quite noisy so turned on and off again. Now when I access the drive it is saying it is blank.
  • I have 2 toshiba external hard drives (not SSD) that have failed and this is likely to be impact damage (dropped on floor, from desk height). I can drop the drives off to the London (City) location – before I do this are you able to provide some form of estimate on these, and is this a no fix / no fee option? Many thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you.
  • WD 1TB Passport external usb 3.0 HDD. Drive powers up when plugged into the PC. Continuous clicking noise and no longer being recognised the PC. Has about 300Gb of files which need recovering.

Remember you need to choose a good data recovery service to recover information from non responsive hard drives - look at reviews and ask for advice when choosing.

Fault Finding on Dell Servers

Lets say your server falls over - what are you going to do?
Dell logoThe first thing most of us would do would be to perform what's known as a 'power cycle'. This is a technical term for 'switch it off and switch it back on again'. So the next time you do this, simply tell people that you power cycled the device and everything worked again and they'll look at you all impressed while they wonder what 'power cycling' actually is.

Although many of us do it, power cycling can be very detrimental in certain circumstances.  Its not a problem if we do it to our mobile phones if they crash for some reason, but a rule of thumb is the larger the system and the amount of data, the more risky it is the power cycle. This is especially true on Dell servers - and in particular Dell RAID servers.

Why Power Cycling is Bad on Dell Servers

Any device that processes a lot of data, whether it be a server, RAID, external hard drive, is going to encounter problems if it is power cycled. This is because storage devices and particularly Dell systems write data to their storage disks almost continuously, and one of the operations best avoided with any Dell system is to perform a power cycle when data is being written to the hard drives.

It's impossible to tell when data is being written the the disks on Dell systems, but if the write operating is interrupted it can easily lead to data corruption which is obviously very damaging.

How Does The Data Corrupt?

According to Dell experts Data Clinic, data corruption occurs because not all data that is scheduled to be written to the disks is actually written. They have documented the failure process on Dell servers (in this case the Dell MD1000) on their page at The process works as follows

  • Data to be written to disk is transferred into the server's memory cache
  • A write operation that transfers the data from the cache and writes it to the disks in actioned
  • A power cycle interrupts this process before it is completed and the operation is not completed correctly. This corrupts the data.

What To Do?

If you run Dell servers and encounter problems like this I strongly advocate that you don't try and sort the problem yourself: data corruption is a very tricky issue and more often than not you'll end up making the situation worse. Instead call in a data recovery company like Data Clinic who will be able to help you. Other data recovery service providers can be found at and

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