Week 2017-1105 In The Lab

by Nov 11, 2017

Seagate ST2000LM007As time allows I like to share some of the less common recovery cases that we encounter. This week we had a visit from a Seagate ST2000LM007 mobile hard drive. In 2016 these Rosewood family disk drives were notorious for catastrophic failures. Some refer to them as having “soft” platters but it could just be that we were seeing a lot of Rosewood HDDs that had suffered serious drops by the customer. After 2017 these drive became more popular and there seemed to be a lower rate of catastrophic failure. It’s just speculation, but I suspect that Seagate modified the platter coating or improved the manufacturing process.

Early on, the Seagate mobile drives were known by DR techs because Seagate locked the diagnostic port. They also made some firmware changes in the way the media cache works, which resulted in a reputation for being a more complex device to recover.

In our case this week the ST2000LM007 was in a portable enclosure that had suddenly lost power. The power loss resulted in the heads not returning to the parking area (ramp). Once the drive was re-powered the heads had stuck to the platters and resulted in the motor not being able to spin (stiction). With special tools and careful procedures in one of our clean work stations we were able to unstick the heads. Upon removal and inspection we could see the heads were not damaged so they were reinstalled and we performed a 100% recovery. This was done without a head swap which saved the client quite a bit of money*. If a power outage or fall has resulted in a non-responsive hard drive I recommend that you stop trying to power on the device, send it to a recovery professional and make sure you let them know if it was knocked over or dropped.
UPDATE 2022: The 1 and 2TB Seagate mobile drives (Rosewood Family) are some of the most common drives we receive for recovery now. These drive have a very high recovery rate at our lab.

Lexar 16GB USB FlashFor flash drives we had an interesting case where the customer stated that the connector was broken. When we received the device the connector was straight and intact. All of the contacts were good. When we inspected the device  under the microscope we found that 3 capacitors had been sheared off right by the connector. We can only speculate how the connector was in perfect condition upon arrival but our experience and training allowed us to quickly complete this case by putting on three new surface mount capacitors. The result? 100% recovery without escalating to a chip-off status!

Once again, we make data recovery affordable.

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*We no longer charge extra for clean-room work. Our flat rate includes parts and clean-room recovery, if required.