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DATA RECOVERY CENTRE (UK) 0333 5 777 120

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DOs and DON'Ts of Data Recovery:

Common Hard Drive Failures and Data Loss Situations:

Defective Hard Disk Drive Heads:

Your hard disk is clicking. This is commonly known as the 'Click of Death'. Your hard drive is failing, and with it your  data will be lost as well. When the drive initially powers up, a logical procedural check is initiated to ensure that the drive has gained the required level of speed before positioning the heads across the platters.

If the drive does not reach a 'Ready' state, the logic is repeated for a set number of times causing a clicking sound, after which it stops trying. The hard disk drive will appear dead.

Do not run "software" recovery programs in this state. They cause Disk I/O read / writes, and
this exerts a lot of stress on the read/write heads, which in turn causes errors to be written onto the disk, further decreasing the chances of data recovery.

Crashed Hard Drive Heads: In the event of a head crash, the hard drive will most likely make a grinding or scraping noise. This is very serious and may strip the magnetic coating off the platters. This is highly damaging to the drive.  Immediately turn the drive off and disconnect it from your computer.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO POWER ON THE COMPUTER OR THE HARD DRIVE AS THIS MAY CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE. At this stage, you need to call the Data Recovery Lab technicians on 0333 5 777 120 who will advise you what to do next.

Hard Disk Drive Motor Failure: A typical hard drive motor usually spins between 4200rpm and can go up to 15000rpm in high-end end desktop or server hard drives. The speed is controlled by firmware- information held in the system area of the hard drive-to enable synchronisation for reading the data from the platters.

Hard drive motor can fail in two ways; it neither spins nor starts. In this case the motor gets stuck and you can usually feel a slight vibration or hear a humming sound on the drive when it powers up. Erratic speed variations of the motor may cause the drive to take an extended period of time to come to the 'Ready' state. Please note that prolonged or repeatedly powering up the hard drive could  cause further damage. Turn the computer off or disconnect the hard drive and call the Data Recovery Lab technicians on 0333 5 777 120 who would advise you what to do next. Remember, data recovery analysis and consultation is FREE with Data Recovery Lab. Unlike many other UK data recovery companies, we do not charge for data recovery analysis or data recovery consultancy. You only pay if we successfully recover your data.

Hard Disk Drive not detected in the BIOS: BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System and it simply provides a set of instructions to your computer, telling it how to start, and how to interface to the first 'Boot' device. When it reaches the first boot device, it then receives further instructions thereof to follow up. This eventually leads to loading up your operating system, if everything is OK.

During the start-up, the BIOS may fail to detect the hard drive, and therefore it is not listed by the BIOS during POST. First, check all connections and try again. If it still doesn't  work, failure to recognise the hard drive may have been caused by a number of factors, like corrupt boot sector. However, at start-up, your computer can tell you whether the hard drive has been detected by the BIOS or not. Power up the computer, and look for the on-screen instruction to tell you how to enter the BIOS. Usually this is achieved by pressing F1, F2 or DEL keys.  Examine the menus for options on viewing the BIOS IDE peripheral setup and set your BIOS to automatically detect IDE drives.

On some BIOSes there is an option to "automatically detect hard drives now". If you run this option and the computer 'hangs' or appears inactive for a a minute or more then it is likely that your hard disk drive has failed to identify itself to the system BIOS. Before getting too worried, power down the computer and unplug the hard disk and check if all the jumpers on the hard drive are set correctly according to the hard disk manufacturer's instructions.

Incorrect jumper setting can prevent the hard drive from being detected by the BIOS. In some hard drives such as IBM and Hitachi, incorrect jumper settings will corrupt the data and damage the logical structure of the hard disk. Again, at this stage, you need to consult a Data Recovery Lab technicians who would advise you what to do next. Remember, data recovery analysis and consultation is FREE with Data Recovery Lab. Unlike many other UK data recovery companies, we do not charge for data recovery analysis or data recovery consultancy. You only pay if we successfully recover your data.

Power Surge, Reversed Polarity, Power Supply plugged in the wrong way around:

This is a frequent occurrence - particularly plugging the power lead in the wrong way around. Despite the shape of the molex connector, the cheaper versions are often are made of a soft plastic and can easily be plugged in incorrectly. Often this results in the drive appearing totally dead with no noise coming from the motor and an unpleasant burning smell. This is specially true if you try to plug a laptop hard drive in a USB enclosure or if you plug the laptop hard drive to a an IDE-to-laptop connector incorrectly. You must make sure you do the right thing as the outcome of your mistakes can be disastrous. Similar faults occur when the power surge can damage the computer motherboard and hard drive circuitry. In this case, you must immediately unplug the computer from the mains power supply and remove the hard drive to a safe place until you send off the hard drive to the Data Recovery Lab for data recovery.

Data Recovery Lab technicians can recover data from the following faulty hard drives:

  • Desktop/Laptop/Notebook USB & Firewire IEEE1394 hard disks;
  • Repair / Recover fix Mechanical / Electrical / Firmware Hard Disk drive Problems;
  • Hard Disk Drive not recognised in BIOS;
  • Noisy Hard Drives with clicking, scraping or clunking sound;
  • Hard disks with read/write head crashes;

File Repair and/or data recovery from the following file systems:

FAT FAT32 and NTFS file systems; Linux with EXT2fs, EXT3, XFS, file sytems on standalone & RAID volumes;  Data recovery from from faulty or corrupt partitions, even if the boot sector or FAT has been erased or damaged; Data recovery from all Win 95, Win 98, Win ME, NT 4.0, Windows™ XP and Windows™ 2000 systems;

Data Recovery Lab technicians are able to recover / retrieve files in the following situations
- UNC Uncorrectable Data Error - especially Maxtor SATA;
- Damaged Hard Drive As A Result of Power Surge;
- Hard drives damaged as a result of reversed power polarity and/or voltage from incorrectly plugging in power leads or cable;
- Data corruption in FAT/FAT32/NTFS File Systems
- Recycle Bin emptied or files were deleted without Recycle Bin;
- Data Loss As A Result Of Hardware or Software failures;
- Data loss As a Result of Power failure and power outages;
- Data Loss as a result of virus attack or virus infection;
- Data recovery from formatted or repartitioned hard drives;
- Data loss due to improper system shutdown;
- Data loss due to partitioning or boot sector problems
- Data loss due to hard drive PCB or logic board failure
- Data loss as a result forgotten or lost ATA password or decryption key;


  • For a FREE consultation or booking a FREE data recovery analysis phone 0333 5 777 120 (European customers call +44 207 516 1077)

  • To send a hard drive or media for data recovery by registered post, use the media shipping form and address label.

  • For media shipping instructions, click shipping instructions.

  • For dropping-off your media, our address and contact details, directions and parking info click here.