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DIY Data Recovery Versus Professional Data Recovery. What's The Difference?



hey everybody I am here in Hollywood California joined once again by Brian cometa of $300.00 data recovery and today I'm hoping that you can answer a bunch of questions about data recovery and the common misconceptions and myths and get all that straightened out and it may be show me what's new in the last couple of years and data recovery let's go hi my name is Brian camara and I'm the owner and lead technician at 300 dollar data recovery we opened in 2007 prior to that I had a Mac repair company and a 2007 I started $300 data recovery and back then 300 was the rate for every and all drives we've received at that time we didn't do head swaps or clean room repairs but we still had a really good success rate and our prices were way more affordable than any other data recovery company but a lot of people want to try to do data recovery at their home DIY data recovery and while this can work in in best case scenarios there's definitely risks involved for example if your drive has platter damage and you run software there's a good chance this software is gonna keep trying to read this platter damaged area and the platter damaged on the drive is gonna get bigger and bigger until the drive is either completely dead or it could be increasing the scratch on the platter if there was a scratch or it could just be increasing the number of bad sectors so one of the major differences between a DIY software and that and what we do is we always clone the drive first and skip the bad sectors of the drive so we try to get as much of the good reading sectors as we can as quickly as possible only after we get that do we go back and work on these problem areas but software that you download for free on the internet can't tell that there's a bad area of the drive it just keeps trying to recover the same file or sector over and over again and it doesn't there's no way to limit the extent of the damage it's doing whereas we can see exactly where the bad sectors are and avoid them and just to expand on that the reason why we're able to image drives much more safely is because we're not connecting the drive to a Windows or Mac machine and running the software on there instead we have special hardware that we connect the drive to now this Hardware talks to the drive directly and can control many of the features and functions of the drive so that we can specifically change aspects of the drive in order to make it read more smoothly and if you're using Windows or Mac to connect the drive to your computer the operating system is effectively the communicator between the drive and the software you're running whereas our hardware speaks to the drive directly the problem with this this kind of hardware for a home user is that it's prohibitively expensive thousands of dollars at least and can go up over ten thousand dollars the other thing that our hardware lets us do is is work with the firmware on the drive now that's something that consumer-level software can never access at all and especially on the Seagate drives or Western Digital drives it's really important before you really work with the damaged drive at all not only do you backup the firmware on the drive in case it gets worse you can revert it back but also we're disabling a lot of background tasks that the drive is running always so a Seagate drive may always be trying to look for and relocate bad sectors on the drive this is adding extra movement to the heads so if you're running your software and it's trying to recover a file in a platter damaged area not only are the heads trying to read that platter damaged area they're also trying to read the firmware area on the drive because it's running background scans so that's a really important distinction what we do and what a home user can do so I'm just gonna walk you through some of the specialized hardware tools we use for data recovery so this guy is a BGA rework station we use this in flash and SSD recoveries what it does is it heats the metal portions of PCB like a for a flash drive so that we can remove the chips safely without heating the chips themselves too much which can damage and lead to data loss we can also use this for trying to reflow SSDs in certain cases basically the solder just needs to be heated up a bit in order for the drive to work again for long enough that we can image it and these are some of the special PCBs we use for Western Digital USB to SATA conversions like this is a new Western Digital family called charger which is actually locked down at the firmware level so it's it's very difficult to recover these right now we have one PCB that's unlocked which allows us to access the firmware on these drives I don't even know if there's really any other company in the u.s. right now that has one of these this is our rom programmer so we use this to read the ROM chips that we put this little round chip on a reader like this and then plug this in here and then we read it like that this is kind of our main scuzzy and SAS machine inside here you can see a scuzzy card but then there's also an SAS card and there's the PC 3000 scuzzy si so this allows us to work with up to four scuzzy drives out of time and we also have the raid ad on so we can relatively easily rebuild scuzzy and SAS raids and then over here this is our kind of soldering hot air station area so this is our hot air gun microscope and soldering iron and then here we just have a second little super tiny cleanroom this is we don't really do any major repairs this is more so that I can inspect drives in this room without going over to the cleanroom in the other room which is always in use so these are four deepspar disk imager x' this is just this is the card in here and then we have a drive we're cloning to this drive is saving the deeps park configuration data and this is the bad drive and here we have another one the only difference on this one is it has the ATA expander card which increases speeds so typically if someone chooses our priority service for rush turnaround we'll put it on one of these two machines because they both have the ATA card it makes things about ten or twenty percent faster and this is another deep spot this one actually has the USB add-on so like yesterday I just finished a four terabyte Western Digital USB C Drive on here luckily I didn't have to convert it to a SATA PCB over here we have some more DDIs deepspar disk imager x' this is our second one with the USB add-on so we have two of those this is just a regular old deep spar and this is our deep spar with the PCI add-on so we can do any any SSD that has this kind of interface or this kind of interface so PCIe MDOT – I believe this is another one of our PC 3000's this is a an Express it has four ports so we can work with four drives at a time and this is another the same PC 3000 Express four ports this one also has our the raid add-on so we have the scuzzy with the raid add-on and we have a regular with the raid add-on and I forgot to mention this one has the SSD add-on so this is where we do all of our SSD recoveries here's some of the computers we use to move data so after we clone the drive to one of our good drives we bring it into this room scan the clone and then move the data to the customers transfer drive and then we also backup the data is this a key element in data recovery think about one of your tools yes and this is a continuation of the last room with maybe four more computers and then this is also our main cleanroom area where Erin's doing all the head swaps platter swaps and head unstick issues as well as inspecting drives any new drive that comes in for example with an open cover we always inspect it first so we have a very large inventory of donor parts that we use for data recovery so some are over here oh wow that's a lot of heart yeah oh my gosh it goes around there and then we have more in here so there's some more donor drives over here and then we have even more in an overflow section now we're basically getting too many at this point but this is our overflow section so our average turnaround time is about five to seven or eight days it could be way shorter it could be longer depends if your drive just as a minor firmware issue and we're able to image it you know that may only take a day and you'll get your data back in a couple of days we also offer a priority service which is $50 up front and 150 extra if successful and with that you know front of the line for everything we try to get it out in one or two days and sometimes the same day I think one reason that we're able to charge so much less than the other data recovery companies is because we have a really efficient workflow so you know when I started this it was just me I built it from the ground up and as we've grown we've grown our system in order to to help us work most efficiently and effectively so everything is custom all of our software is custom-made for our workflow listen that was great I really appreciate your generosity and sharing the wealth of information and experience that you have and if anybody has any questions about data recovery please leave it in the comments below this video and then we'll address those in the future date perfect well keep doing the good work and we'll see you soon thanks Kari thank you again have a go with you – looks like the International Space Station's this is an old SAS bridge that we used before we got the PC 3000 so if you want to buy this carry this is for sale all right it's exactly what I needed I'm sure waiting for me to go first start again get in when we're done is it me or is the sun's hasn't moved at all since we started this red lights still on you

Glenn Chapman

9 Comments

  1. I have a forensic data recovery bud and he never gave way his skills. Wow. A lot of work and money to recover data. 😂

  2. Thank you for an awesome video, I've recovered data in the past using hdd regenerator, but it's good to know that you can actually cause harm to the drive, this video was very informative and if this is going to be a new segment on your channel, I'm totally on board, thank you Carey.

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