You may have noticed that I don’t share specifics for a lot of flash recovery cases. Although we recover numerous flash drives every week, many of the USB recoveries involve bent/broken connectors or the pads have been torn or ripped off the PCB. In those cases we replace the connector or reconstruct the path with special connectors or thin gauge wire. Most of this is not worth mentioning week-to-week but we did have one case this week that points out the risk in having a local repair shop try to recover your USB flash drive. While they probably mean well, there is great risk of causing more damage or, in the worst case, your device becomes unrecoverable. If you run a computer repair shop and attempt USB flash repair I highly recommend that you use a microscope, quality soldering station, and use a multimeter to test your work before plugging the device to power. Do not under-estimate the importance of working under magnification. I have had cases where someone had tried DIY repair and spattered solder on the controller pins. Once they think the connector is repaired they plug it in to a USB port and fry the controller. At that point the case becomes a chip-off data recovery. If you are interested in more you can read about tools and procedure for USB flash recovery.
Let’s move on to this weeks HDD winner, the Western Digital Passport 1TB hard drive. This is probably the most common portable HDD recovery that we get. It’s not so much that the device is unreliable, it’s more that they have a knack for being dropped. Occasionally the customer swears it was never dropped or mishandled but in most cases the client tells us that the device fell or suffered a nasty bump. This week we had one dropped with 3 of the 4 heads still working and one not dropped with 3 of the 4 heads still working. We love these older WD 1TB Passports because they are resilient and the heads are easy to match up when sourcing a donor drive. Both cases were recovered 100% (no lost files). Of course the PC-3000 DR tools from Ace Labs make these encrypted SED drives easier to recover than they should be.
If you have a portable hard disk drive that has suffered damage or just stopped working let Blizzard recover your data and show you how “we make data recovery affordable”.