So, LuckyL wanted, and got, a External HDD for Xmas. He took the one that needs it's own power source, as it is a 1 TB unit, and was a lot cheaper than the USB powered unit for the same size. No problem with that, other than they got it from HiFi Corporation - and their stuff is 99.9% "grey import". However, it has a 2 year warranty......
So the thing failed. Yup. It "fell over" (so he says) and sort of worked for another day or two, and then nothing.
So I get it to a crowd that specialise in HDD data recovery. Only problem is this unit can't be opened, so they cant do a physical test on the "mechanicals", and are limited to a diagnostic test, which proves that the unit is in fact past it's use date, and the data is gone!
Photos (hundreds of them) and music and videos / movies. His main concern is the photos, the rest can be recopied from his original sources.
So I take the unit back to HiFi Corp. and give it in. They will get back to me in about 14 to 21 days. I doubt that they will repair it, hopefully just give us a new one... We will see.
So the next thing is, can the photo's be recovered from his laptop, even though he has "deleted" them. A quick check on the internet says yes, if he has not done too much work on the unit since the deletion, and if he has not reformatted the drive, there is a good chance we can recover most of the photo's. I find an online video where some guy talks you through the process. It seems easy enough. He recommends a specific product. So, go to the named website, and they have a host of "recovery" products available. We look through, and select their Photo Recovery package.
It's a free down load. You run it, and it "finds" what it can. This process took 12 hours. YUP!! There are thousands of items on a PC that qualify as "Photos", depending on the *.*** you select for the search.
Anyway, next morning it's ready. LuckyL clicks on "View" and there are his photo's, along with a shitload of other stuff. So, he clicks on "Recover", and it wants a code. AHA! The "Free" is now "Fee", but it's no problem, at USD40. But, before I buy, I go to a couple of Computer outlets around my place of work. Not one of them stocks any "Data Recovery" packages! All of them offer a data recovery service (no guarantees) and the cost is in ZAR1000's...... ! Fuck that.
We go online, and I pay for the code, and it's immediately available, and LuckyL enters the code, and it wants a restore point. It wont restore to the same destination of recovery. So we connect my external HDD, and there it goes! The restore took another 12 hours, then LuckyL had a look at the photo's, and 99.9% are there, some are "half" (means that at some point the laptop saved some other stuff over that specific part of the hard rive) and there are mountains of "useless" picture (icons, and stuff). So, he will have to spend some time cleaning it up, but hey, at least he has them. So for USD40, we recovered his stuff, where someone else would have charged, at the very least, ZAR1000 to do the same.
It seems they have various kinds of data recovery packages, and if you have deleted files by mistake, and really have to get them back, for USD 40 you can. Money well spent I think.
Now, let's see if the "crack" program I have will give me a working code...... Will let you all know, and if it does, a copy of the "crack" will be available for a small fee.......