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 Post subject: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable?
PostPosted: October 29th, 2017, 16:47 
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 11:31
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Location: Germany
1. Summary:
I am evaluating whether I will be able to perform hard drive repair on a larger scale with the aid of some hardware/software solutions (free and/or commercial); or whether I should outsource this endeavour to an external specialised company. I am not interested in data recovery, only HDD repair. My decision will mainly depend on the fact whether logical errors are frequent and whether these errors can be repaired through software/hardware solutions.

2. Clarification of my goals / terminology:
Right away you will understand how new I am to this field, when I state my confusion about the terms “logical repair”, “logical bad sectors”, “soft bad sectors”. I am still not sure if these terms are correct or indeed exist among the realms of HDD repair. Either way, for my purposes I want to focus on software repair of HDDs. Before I even start to dig into physical HDD repair, I want to approach this matter through software repair. If I master the one, I want to proceed to the next. For the time being, I would like to sort out physically damaged HDDs and concentrate merely on HDDs that show no signs of physical defect. I want to repair those kind of HDDs with logical errors that can definitely be repaired through software fixes. Whatever these errors might be, e.g. bad sectors, password lock, firmware issues. I am, however, not interested in superficial cosmetic fix that will not guarantee full functionality. If a HDD does not pass testing --> recycle bin! There is no intention of cheating the customer. My customers do know about the origin and status of the HDDs.

3. Background:
I work for a small electronic component and computer parts refurbishing and re-marketing company. While we have already successfully established some areas, we think that HDD repair might be a new promising area. So far this process has been outsourced to a specialised company - which by the way does a good job. As already mentioned, I am a newbie, but I am currently putting a lot of efforts into my professional education in this area. I am not a programmer, but I am quite versed in computers and electronic components in general. If I see a new challenge, I am willing to invest my time and energy to find a solution. I have no problem to pay someone else who is better at the job. But why shouldn’t I be able to do the same.

4. What do I know about HDD repair so far :
There is quite a large amount of articles, forum entries, guides and the like that deal with this topic. Thanks to some highly dedicated members of this forum (and other forums) I have been able to get an introduction into HDD repair. Bottom line of my research is (please correct me if I’m wrong): HDD repair (and data recovery) is a very delicate and dynamic matter. There is no convenient software/hardware solution that will enable its user a simple one-button solution. One will become an expert in this field only through years of hard work, education, learning-by-doing and sleepless nights; I get that. I have studied forum posts / articles designated for less-experienced members; here is a short excerpt of many:
“newbie info, from and for newbies :) About firmware, SA, etc”
“New to Data Recovery ? Where to Start ?”
“testing hard disks with some confidence.”
“Executing a "Cosmetic Fix" on drives with Bad Sectors :
“Translator, Defect Lists and Bad Sectors :”
“Testing hard disks with some confidence :”
“Assigning slow sectors to the P-List :”

I had a look at some programs that are often mentioned, such as MHDD, Spinrite, Victoria etc. Also, as I am sure most of the members know too well, there are a couple of companies that provide a hardware/software solution for HDD repair, such as MRT, PC-3000. For me, purchasing one of these products could be an option, too, if the prospects are promising.

5. Questions:
Given my situation above, the following questions arise:
A) Do you have any estimated empirical value on how high the rate of “only- logical” errors is?
B) If I seriously want to step into this field, would you say that there is no way to evade physical repair? As in: you can’t fix software symptoms before you haven’t fixed the anatomy. Why do I ask this question? Given that I want to focus on logical repair in the beginning, it would be useful to know whether physical errors are by far more common or logical errors?
C) As a small business my budget is limited. With respect to the answers to questions A) & B), is it worth it purchasing products like PC-3000?
D) Are products like this able to help me fix logical errors?
E) In general, what am I to expect as a typical amateur?
F) From the short overview I have given, do you see a crucial point that I, as a debutant, am totally missing?

6. Concluding remarks:
I think I can say with confidence that I am not naïve about the work and effort that has to be put into this. Moreover I do realise that many people before have asked questions like mine. However, what I think has been missing, is some information about the statistics on the nature of HDD errors, and whether HDDs with logical-errors-only can be fixed to an extent that they could be re-sold with good conscience. Accordingly, these information would help me evaluate whether it makes sense to establish a repair service that focuses on logical repair only.
I would be very thankful for any comments and opinions. As I am new to this forum (although long-time lurker), I hope to have to posted this topic in accordance with all board rules. If not, I am happy for any feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 29th, 2017, 20:10 
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Joined: December 4th, 2012, 1:35
Posts: 2973
Location: Adelaide, Australia
With the perceived end of HDD's on the way, do you really want to invest that level of time and money into a dying technology?

Sure they might persist for a while, but actual repair on these with a view to sell does not seem like a very good business idea to me.

Anyone that says "As a small business my budget is limited." IMHO will not be able to spend the level of time and money to get into Hard disk recoveries, or what you are suggesting "repair".

With the exception of developing a testing model to sort good drives from bad, to sell the good ones and ditch the bad ones, I cannot see a rosy future for this idea.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 29th, 2017, 21:45 
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Joined: December 8th, 2010, 11:37
Posts: 525
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Refurbished hard drives from the drive's manufacturer are usually rubbish and untrustworthy. I cannot imaging anyone (in the know) relying on a drive refurbished by anyone but the drive's original manufacturer -- unless hard drives are ridiculously expensive where they live, as I understand is the case in many parts of the third world -- which doesn't include Europe.

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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 30th, 2017, 5:43 
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 11:31
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
HaQue wrote:
With the perceived end of HDD's on the way, do you really want to invest that level of time and money into a dying technology?

That is a legitimate question. In the long run, I would agree with you. My humble estimation, however, is that for the next 5 to 10 years I do not see the ultimate end of HDDs. Even in highly developed regions I would guess that HDD's capacity-to-cost ratio cannot be outrun by other current technologies in the short run. You mention a solid point that I will bear in mind.

HaQue wrote:
With the exception of developing a testing model to sort good drives from bad, to sell the good ones and ditch the bad ones, I cannot see a rosy future for this idea.

This would be a realistic approach to me. If the majority of experts I ask, and all my research, come to the same conclusion as you did, I will and must go for that option. At the end of the day I will have to ask myself, whether it is worth putting much effort into logical-only repair of HDDs, whether there are even enough HDDs with logical-errors-only and whether I can guarantuee an acceptable standard of healthy logically-refurbished HDDs for the customers.

Thanky you, HaQue and LarrySabo, for your feedback. Any feedback in this thread will be valuable to me.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 30th, 2017, 16:55 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2015, 10:29
Posts: 82
Location: Germany/Stuttgart
Quote:
C) As a small business my budget is limited. With respect to the answers to questions A) & B), is it worth it purchasing products like PC-3000?


in my opinion
I got very good results with MRT - it is not just 1-click method (it takes more time) like PC-3000 but with some knowledge I would say it is able to solve 90 % of the cases PC-3000 will do if you want to perform data recovery.

What I do not quite understand is.. do you want to refurbish HDDs / repair HDDs or rescue the data?

If the drive has bad sectors (physical) in my opinion the should not to be sold again.

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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 3:50 
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Joined: August 13th, 2016, 17:10
Posts: 51
Location: Vienna, Austria
Have you thought about logical repair of SSD's?
I have no idea about the number of cases out there, and I guess that the complexity is higher than with HDD's, but it most likely has a market in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: October 31st, 2017, 10:11 
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Joined: July 12th, 2010, 4:38
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Location: Portugal
Probably you are willing to start that business because you have access to many used HDD's, right?
So why not start to selling them as donors for Data Recovery Labs?
We are always trying to get more and more places to buy, specially if the price is right.

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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 16:21 
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 11:31
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
BenDataRecovery wrote:
in my opinion
I got very good results with MRT - it is not just 1-click method (it takes more time) like PC-3000 but with some knowledge I would say it is able to solve 90 % of the cases PC-3000 will do if you want to perform data recovery.

I understand. PC-3000 seems to be the most expensive indeed, but at the same time the most promising option. Besides, their documentation and customer support seems to be highly rated.

BenDataRecovery wrote:
What I do not quite understand is.. do you want to refurbish HDDs / repair HDDs or rescue the data?

If the drive has bad sectors (physical) in my opinion the should not to be sold again.

I am only interested in logical repair, no data recovery; the results of my research will tell me whether such logical-repair-only is enough to rescue HDDs in some cases. Drives that show any sign of physical damage will be sorted out.

sourcerer wrote:
Have you thought about logical repair of SSD's?
I have no idea about the number of cases out there, and I guess that the complexity is higher than with HDD's, but it most likely has a market in the future.

You are probably right when you say that SSDs are more likely to have a market in the future. Currently, however, I do not get hold of SSDs in bulk as I do with HDDs. As for the numbers, at least in my professional surroundings the numbers are not there yet.

pclab wrote:
Probably you are willing to start that business because you have access to many used HDD's, right?
So why not start to selling them as donors for Data Recovery Labs?
We are always trying to get more and more places to buy, specially if the price is right.

That's a good point. Currently the number of interested bulk purchasers is not the hardest part. My upcoming challenge will be to do the repair myself (instead of outsourcing it to another specialised business) while maintaining a solid standard of logically-refurbished HDDs.

Thank you, BenDataRecovery, sourcerer and pclab, for your feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 1st, 2017, 17:36 
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money and lots of it


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 10:26 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:49
Posts: 8163
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You don't need PC-3000 / MRT if the goal is just to "refurb" the drives.

PC-3000 and MRT have a "powerfull" Data Extractor component that is very helpfull for ... data extraction. If you don't need the data and the goal is just to re-use drives with some "damage" by moving the bad sectors to the P-List, etc ... an running factory Self-Scan tests then you can get away with a $350 SeDiv and for many cases it will behave better than PC-3000 (like on case of WD ARCO tests, etc).

Some examples :

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1252

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=2068

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1302

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=119&t=1900

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=184&t=2077

and many more ....

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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 15:14 
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Joined: October 29th, 2017, 11:31
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
Spildit wrote:
You don't need PC-3000 / MRT if the goal is just to "refurb" the drives.

PC-3000 and MRT have a "powerfull" Data Extractor component that is very helpfull for ... data extraction. If you don't need the data and the goal is just to re-use drives with some "damage" by moving the bad sectors to the P-List, etc ... an running factory Self-Scan tests then you can get away with a $350 SeDiv and for many cases it will behave better than PC-3000 (like on case of WD ARCO tests, etc).

Some examples :
....
..
.


Thanks a lot, Spildit, for your advice! It makes sense to differentiate between recovery and refurbish. I will have a thorough look at SeDiv and the related forum threads.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 28th, 2017, 13:04 
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Joined: July 28th, 2017, 11:59
Posts: 3
Location: Malaysia
kurtk wrote:
whether physical errors are by far more common or logical errors?


IMHO, hard drives have more physical damages than logical errors.


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 Post subject: Re: A newbie wants to start with logical repair only. Viable
PostPosted: November 28th, 2017, 14:03 
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Joined: November 22nd, 2017, 21:47
Posts: 20
Location: France
Quote:
IMHO, hard drives have more physical damages than logical errors.


Or it would be more like : most people having logical issues with storage devices can sort them out by themselves, with informations gathered on the WWW — or screw things up by attempting to do so in a way that makes them impossible to recover even for an expert... but as long as the thing is recognized and can be tampered with, it feels like it can be fixed without having to pay for someone's expertise.


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