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 Post subject: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 15:20 
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Why would data recovery labs encourage clients to download and run their data recovery software on failing hard drives before they send them in for data recovery? I can understand recommending software if files were deleted, but when a drive is showing clear signs of physical failure, it just doesn't make sense to me.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 17:01 
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Location: In your hard drive.
Marketing gimmick...

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 17:07 
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I agree, the only sensible(even that's debateable) would be to be imaging at the same time. I have an understanding that if you have a failing drive, you should be copying a sector if you are touching it, and if you don't need to touch it, don't... skip it.

there are varying interpretations of "DR Lab" :)

What really sucks is it sometimes affects the real, cautious and successful labs when you call out these others because it looks like we are being nasty.

Also, it could be beneficial to have them run a software, and present a scary report.. but the the lab knows quite a bit before attempting recovery, and also don't get the really messed up drives.

Actually I don't think they have really deep reasons apart from somehow it is financially beneficial.


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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 17:13 
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Unfortunately, too many people see the data recovery profession as greedy, mercenary vultures who do very little work for lots of money. Therefore, when a company makes free stuff available for download, they are engaging in what is known as "public relations". In this way they can then appear to be helpful without actually providing any real help at all. That's a win-win for them.

That said, I personally would prefer to deal with a company that genuinely tried to provide tools and information that would enable me to recover my own data, within reasonable DIY limits. Of course the company could issue warnings and disclaimers, but the decision should always rest with the end user. People are offended by patronising, condescending attempts to withhold information, ostensibly to protect them from themselves. Instead they see such behaviour as disingenuous, especially when the Internet is full of stories of successful DIY recoveries, many involving very little effort at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 18:56 
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Location: In your hard drive.
Marketing gimmick to draw in potential customers with useless software. Preying on the poorly computer educated minions to download a glimmer of hope to only have it fail miserably. Perhaps even do more damage than the drive already had. There is only one person on this forum that thinks DR people are fat and lazy bums that do nothing but charge huge sums to recover data. Think before you download that software, DIY data recovery doesn’t come free from data recovery companies.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 20:35 
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as we all know software recovery will more likely damage the information if its a physical failure

i think ontrack does there free software download :lol:

seen to many diy jobs


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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 2nd, 2014, 23:11 
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craig6928 wrote:
as we all know software recovery will more likely damage the information if its a physical failure

i think ontrack does there free software download :lol:

seen to many diy jobs

I think that is a gross overstatement. Simply using the wrong operation for recovery in whatever circumstance is what is the issue.

The absolute most important part of DATA Recovery is the diagnosis. It may be perfectly fine to run software recovery on 25 drives in succession. If the drive is not diagnosed properly, the rest is just guess work.

Yes there is probably a smaller percentage of drives that are not obviously screaming hardware damage, and when recovery is attempted without proper diagnosis, the drive dies.. and I would say this gives a sense of security to the DIY people, and possibly the other factor is that people shout their success and shield their failures.

The people that are absolutely not in a position to go to a DR Company may as well try DIY.. why not? But there is nothing wrong with seasoned Pro's telling them what the dangers are, and likely chances. On the flipside, we can often look at a situation and think it is all over, but it turns out to be an easy fix. The part that I see gets lost is that people forget that each drive is so complex that every possible issue on the spectrum could be the case, and we cant just have a bucket with 10 or 15 fixes, and pull one out each case and it will fit.

What I hope for is that every person that comes here for help would describe in detail what they tried, importantly WHY they tried it, what was the outcome, what they learned additionally in the process and not just for successes.

It would give a much better overall picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 1:07 
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Rightly or wrongly, Ontrack has the reputation as being the best in the business. Arguably they have nothing to prove whereas most other players need some way to set themselves apart. To this end one would expect to see some kind of body of work. Instead, unverifiable testimonials on a glitzy web site are about all that we see from most outfits. I would suggest that producing one's own software and making it available for download would go a long away to establishing one's technical credentials, at least in one aspect of the business. It doesn't necessarily matter if the software isn't able to retrieve a single byte of data.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 5:10 
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Why would they do it?

I'm with the marketing gimmick and placebo.
It makes the user feel useful and shows them some sort of consideration, "helping you to help yourself" kind of thing

(check the marketing strategy for cake mix of yesteryear. complete mix failed to sell. Removed powdered egg and milk and asked user to add real eggs and milk and it roared off the shelves)

What questions do the DR Co ask before recommending a download, if any?
Might they assume that if the PC is fit to boot up and download a program it's largely likely to be a logical problem?

I see Luke's point: It's about downloading, ie writing to, a potentially failing drive, not what it can recover if anything. Even a placebo program, "click - run - 'ooh yes you need to send it in' " could have damage consequence.

R-Studio, at least, offer the option of creating a live CD, even in demo mode.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 9:17 
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I have referred clients to try software, if they wish. But, only in cases where we are 100% sure that the problem is logical and they understand what they are doing. I also have a DIY page on my website (http://www.recoveryforce.com/data-recovery/diy-data-recovery/) encouraging those who do want to try it on their own to at least follow safe practices.

To recommend someone buy my software to run on their drive that sounds like it is failing is poor advice, unless you know, with cerainty, that if they are unable to recover with the software, it will not be going to a lab.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 16:52 
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lcoughey wrote:
I also have a DIY page on my website (http://www.recoveryforce.com/data-recovery/diy-data-recovery/) encouraging those who do want to try it on their own to at least follow safe practices.

Are you really suggesting that DIY-ers purchase DeepSpar Disk Imager? :twisted:

Quote:
Clone the drive with something that can handle drives with bad sectors and keeps a log so you never read a sector twice
Software – GNU ddrescue
Hardware – DeepSpar Disk Imager


BTW, here's a company that has no understanding of public relations. In fact their empty "Software" category is almost contemptuous of Joe Public.

https://www.datamechanix.com/index.php?page=software

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 16:57 
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fzabkar wrote:
lcoughey wrote:
I also have a DIY page on my website (http://www.recoveryforce.com/data-recovery/diy-data-recovery/) encouraging those who do want to try it on their own to at least follow safe practices.

Are you really suggesting that DIY-ers purchase DeepSpar Disk Imager? :twisted:

If they are a computer shop who tries to recover a few drives a month, it may just be worth the investment. Though, I may revise to add a low cost startech imager as an option, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 18:03 
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IMO, the following company's business model should be the gold standard when it comes to engaging with the end user:

http://myharddrivedied.com/presentations-resources

The following business understands that the customer would like to see what goes on in the lab:
http://www.300dollardatarecovery.com/tools.html

The web site also makes candid, non-derogatory reference to various downloadable DIY tools. They understand that customers are already aware of such options, and that it is better to acknowledge such tools rather than pretend that they don't exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 18:44 
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You really don't know what your saying fzabkar, $300 dollar man doesn't have a lab and sends difficult jobs to Platinum data recovery as a bait and switch.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 19:02 
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Scott moulton doesn't believe in using software without knowing what is happening either. I have heard him say it. He has said that he would rather not touch any sector that is not needed to be touched. Hehas also said that if you ARE going to touch a sector, you should be cloning that sector at the same time. He also says that if you are going to be doing DR, even possibly only 2 or 3 cases, then it is a great idea to get a Deepspar imager. If you were going to pay around $800 -$1,00 per recovery you have almost paid for the imager.

If you listen to Scotts podcasts on podnuts(I have listened to all of them and actually quite informative with little else out there similar), he says almost exactly what Luke is saying. He also pushes strongly to go to his classes at $3500 - $4,200 each.

I don't know how a beginner DIYer would be able to know enough to correctly use software after a diagnosis and understand what is wrong, what is needed, and what the software is actually doing to the drive.

There is no denying that many DIYers have good luck, but it honestly is just that IMO


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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 19:31 
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The advice most often given to beginners in data recovery (in this forum) is to purchase a hardware imager and outsource the more difficult jobs. ISTM that many DR shops are satisfied with this arrangement, and some have obviously adopted this business model on a permanent basis. I can't really see anything ethically wrong with this approach, provided that individuals understand and accept their limitations.

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 20:28 
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Here is a business that provides an example of both ends of the spectrum.

In 1999, DTI Data's home page touted dating and shopping services, amongst others:

http://web.archive.org/web/200002291046 ... idata.com/

Their "Downloads" link ...

http://web.archive.org/web/200002291046 ... ducts.html

... causes the Wayback Machine to complain about an invalid URL (the HTML code was broken).

No doubt that would have left many potential customers with a negative impression. However, today their web site is completely different. The company now offers its own commercial software and its own freeware for download.

http://www.dtidata.com/data_recovery_software.htm
http://www.dtidata.com/resourcecenter/f ... -recovery/

What this tells me is that they are competent in at least one area of the IT industry, and that they do understand, and care about, public relations. Personally I would prefer to see a company with engineering credentials. IME, you can teach an engineer how to program, but it's very difficult, if not impossible, to teach a programmer how to engineer. Failing that, I'll settle for a programmer over a PC "technician" (just this week, a DR pro offered to pay me to teach him the hexadecimal number system).

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 3rd, 2014, 21:57 
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@fzabkar
Can you take a minute and name 2-3 technically complex type of devices where speciliasts/professionals servicing those devices offer DIY solutions that are as high in expectations as those of in the data recovery industry?

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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 4th, 2014, 5:06 
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There are similar forums to ours for electronics, coding, mechanics(auto), auto tuning, TV repair, health, wedding flowers, jewelry making, cake making etc. Once you start looking you will see the name of product changes, but its all just the same. The same DIY expectations are there, along with all our same arguments about DIY and Pro.

I have seen it first hand in electronics, auto stuff, animal rescue, wedding floristry.

The thing that differentiates HDD repair is that I don't think people realise just how much is involved, how fine/small/fragile they are.. not many of the others have such small tolerance for a DIYer to fix it or kill it.

Plus, all the others have much detail out there provided by the vendors etc, but no service manuals exist until you start buying tools or shelling out the $$


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 Post subject: Re: Why?
PostPosted: October 4th, 2014, 5:30 
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@labtech, let me first make the observation that lcoughey didn't specify any particular software product in his initial post. Obviously, if any DR company were recommending SpinRite or HDD Regenerator, then this would be a cause for concern. However, it does appear that he was referring to software developed by the DR companies rather than by third parties.

As for your question, I would refer you to the sci.electronics.repair newsgroup where professionals routinely and unselfishly provide help to novices. The group's FAQ provides a wealth of free information on the repair of numerous consumer devices. Some of the stuff is outdated, but it was a great work in its day.

http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_Repair.html

My experience at HDD Guru has been the exact opposite. When I joined 5 years ago, I was ridiculed and abused, as were many (most?) visitors (what kind of profession despises its customers?). During those bad days the moderator had a hands-off attitude towards the forum, with the result that a "clique" of DR pros had essentially taken over the place and turned it into a referral service for their buddies. The usual advice of the day was to "send it to a pro". It is only in recent years that the forum has been cleaned up, and today it is a far cry from what it once was.

On the availability of information, just about every titbit, however trivial, was hoarded as if it were some industry busting secret. In fact one of the pros contacted me privately and essentially told me that if I kept their secrets to myself, they would look after me. IIRC, at that time I was advising people about logical recoveries and shorted TVS diodes. The idea that protection diodes were a jealously guarded secret just blew my mind, especially since I'd seen them in lots of different equipment, including TVs, VCRs, DVD players, and even in an airplane (imagine lowering landing gear by hand after a TVS diode shuts down the electronics).

For several years afterwards, several of the forum members, and one in particular, did nothing else but undermine my attempts to help DIY-ers. I had never encountered anything like it in any other forum. The experience has left me profoundly bitter and cynical.

Worse still, I quickly found out that the professionals knew a great deal less than they claimed. In fact I was horrified to find that there was no official accreditation body, so essentially anybody could start a data recovery business. And therein lies the problem -- how can anyone tell if a particular data recovery company can deliver on its claims? IMO the only real way to assess their ability is to examine their body of work, and the only practical way to do that is via their web site.

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