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 Post subject: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Industry
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 14:02 
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I'm starting to see why people hate data recovery companies. Many of them are just plain despicable criminals who lie, cheat and steal from their customers.

Today I get in a Seagate ST2000MD001 (probably should have been a typical media cache fix). Unfortunately they went to another data recovery company first who quoted too high, then sabotaged the ROM code filling it with FF before giving it back to the customer who declined. Likely because they couldn't undo the media cache fix.

Now, I'm a constructive type of person and rather than just quickly tear them down to the customer I try to give the other company a chance to set things right. So I email, ask to talk with the tech who handled the case, and I asked him about it. First just asking about the evaluation, and not mentioning the obvious sabotage. They say:

Quote:
Client declined proceeding with the recovery so we never got to do the actual recovery of the media so we don’t have a lot of information to provide though we do have a recovery plan in place that will allow us to recover the data from it.


So obviously if they have a "recovery plan" then they have the ROM code. I tell the guy that I haven't said anything to the customer yet, but if he refused to provide their backup of the ROM I'll have to notify the customer that the drive was sabotaged. Then I get a series of increasingly angry emails, demanding to speak to my supervisor :lol: (that would be me) and even saying that I must have destroyed it. Yeah, like it's really easy to "accidentally" overwrite a ROM with the letter F :roll: .

I'm starting to hate data recovery people, and I'm one of them.

It's morons like this that give us all a bad name. They should all be locked up.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 14:17 
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Name and shame!!! :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 15:01 
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So.... Data-Medics, are you better then them ?

Well, too bad that you "forgot" to deny access to "google" and other search engines to the hidden sections of your forum when you set it up.

You need to set forum permissions correctly and you have to select the option to remove the indexing of the sub-forum you want to hide on phpbb /admin managment console. Because of that little "mistake" google was able to check the hidden sections of your forun and store them on its cache. Same mistake SD have done several years ago ... Too bad.

So .... let's see .... Data Recovery "Secrets" by Data-Medics :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

This one looks nice :

ways-to-unfix-drives-when-quote-is-declined by Jared :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

Postby Jared » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:55 pm

Quote:
I thought it might be nice to have a thread here to discuss ways to "unFix" drives after you perform a firmware fix, but the quote is then declined. Obviously any destructive sabotage would be unethical, but if the drive was stuck BSY when it arrived, it's only fair it be returned in the same condition. I don't want to make it harder to recover data for another pro, but I don't want the local PC repair shop to be able to recover it for $50 now and take all the credit either.

So here's my un-fix of the day. Did a Media Cache repair on a DM drive which turned out to only have 2 bad sectors. But the quote was declined.

Seagate UnFix #1
Edit ROM to set LBA size to 0 (Easy enough for another DR company to figure out I hope)

What are your 'un-fix' methods? I'd like to keep a collection of ideas here we can draw from. Maybe even develop standards that'll become universal in the trade so we aren't making each other's jobs harder.


Postby 300ddr » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:20 pm

Quote:
For WD drives: set ROM SA ABA to +1 for all copies ("block SA access"). Or, change headmap in ROM to something obviously wrong, so another skilled company can put back to normal.

Hitachi: you can change headmap to make first two heads something like "FF FF" instead of "00 01."

Your Seagate solution may have techs trying 0MB fixes thinking it's firmware corruption, but I still think it's good.


"let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 15:11 
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And, if you actually had access to read that section, you'd see that it was about ways of restoring drive to the original condition without any sabotage (for example by putting back original modules after a WD slow responding fix). I've never once returned a drive in anything less than the same or better condition than it arrived. Admittedly, I've given back fixed drives to customers who declined quotes at times hoping they just wouldn't notice it was fixed.

The methods posted in that section would all be quickly and easily resolved by any professional with little to no effort. Wiping out an F3 ROM code, makes recovery impossible for pretty much anyone but the saboteur. I strongly believe that customers should be able to take their drive back and get a second quote. But, what these guys are doing is tantamount to holding the data hostage for ransom.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 15:19 
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data-medics wrote:
And, if you actually had access to read that section, you'd see that it was about ways of restoring drive to the original condition without any sabotage (for example by putting back original modules after a WD slow responding fix). I've never once returned a drive in anything less than the same or better condition than it arrived. Admittedly, I've given back fixed drives to customers who declined quotes at times hoping they just wouldn't notice it was fixed.


Sure ....

That was ANOTHER thread on your forum :

•Undo WD Slow Responding Fix

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

Post by Jared » Wed May 13, 2015 5:15 pm

Quote:
So this is something that was just shared with me which may come in handy. I just learned from someone (and ACE confirmed it to them) that PC-3000 only modifies SA modules 02 (HDD ID) and 32 (Relo-List) when it does slow responding fix. So if you just read those two modules before performing the fix, you can undo it by writing those two modules back afterward.

Great for when customers back out after you've already done the slow fix. I'm sure we're not the first to figure this out, but still good to know.


Interesting that you did figure out how the "slow fix" works on 13/2015 only when i did post how it works on 2014 :D :D :D

http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=86&t=848

I did like this comment :

Postby irs » Thu May 14, 2015 2:23 pm

Quote:
hi
i guess mod 32 is enough to bring it back in the same condition
on mod 02 they change the flags for relocation and mod 32 is the relo list and pc3000 clean it.
so if you bring mod 32 to original state the drive will be in the original condition or if you fill mod 32 (i think first half is enough) with random content after the header (after the version) writing by id (to recalc checksum) you drive will be in a even worse condition

bye
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Luca Marella

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 15:20 
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Joined: February 9th, 2009, 16:13
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There is definitely a significant difference between "undoing" a fix that a client chose not to pay for and purposely returning the drive in a condition that is impossible to be recovered by your competitors.

There may be more to the story than what we are getting, but it does seem odd for a Seagate ROM to be completely erased without some help from someone, whether intentional or by accident.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 16:55 
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Spildit wrote:
Interesting that you did figure out how the "slow fix" works on 13/2015 only when i did post how it works on 2014 :D :D :D


You notice I said "I'm sure we're not the first to discover this", as I knew it wasn't new or unknown information. My only "discovery" related to fully understanding exactly what PC-3000 modifies when it does the fix. Had to confirm with ace that those were the only two modules it touched, so the reset would be putting it exactly back to how it was before. I wasn't sure if PC-3000 may have made other changes too.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 17:13 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
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Spildit wrote:
So.... Data-Medics, are you better then them ?

Well, too bad that you "forgot" to deny access to "google" and other search engines to the hidden sections of your forum when you set it up.

You need to set forum permissions correctly and you have to select the option to remove the indexing of the sub-forum you want to hide on phpbb /admin managment console. Because of that little "mistake" google was able to check the hidden sections of your forun and store them on its cache. Same mistake SD have done several years ago ... Too bad.

So .... let's see .... Data Recovery "Secrets" by Data-Medics :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

This one looks nice :

ways-to-unfix-drives-when-quote-is-declined by Jared :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

Postby Jared » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:55 pm

Quote:
I thought it might be nice to have a thread here to discuss ways to "unFix" drives after you perform a firmware fix, but the quote is then declined. Obviously any destructive sabotage would be unethical, but if the drive was stuck BSY when it arrived, it's only fair it be returned in the same condition. I don't want to make it harder to recover data for another pro, but I don't want the local PC repair shop to be able to recover it for $50 now and take all the credit either.

So here's my un-fix of the day. Did a Media Cache repair on a DM drive which turned out to only have 2 bad sectors. But the quote was declined.

Seagate UnFix #1
Edit ROM to set LBA size to 0 (Easy enough for another DR company to figure out I hope)

What are your 'un-fix' methods? I'd like to keep a collection of ideas here we can draw from. Maybe even develop standards that'll become universal in the trade so we aren't making each other's jobs harder.


Postby 300ddr » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:20 pm

Quote:
For WD drives: set ROM SA ABA to +1 for all copies ("block SA access"). Or, change headmap in ROM to something obviously wrong, so another skilled company can put back to normal.

Hitachi: you can change headmap to make first two heads something like "FF FF" instead of "00 01."

Your Seagate solution may have techs trying 0MB fixes thinking it's firmware corruption, but I still think it's good.


"let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

This amounts to sabotage. The drive should be returned to its owner in the same state, or better than it was received. It should not be returned with "damage", especially not the kind that requires professional intervention.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 17:33 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
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fzabkar wrote:
Spildit wrote:
So.... Data-Medics, are you better then them ?

Well, too bad that you "forgot" to deny access to "google" and other search engines to the hidden sections of your forum when you set it up.

You need to set forum permissions correctly and you have to select the option to remove the indexing of the sub-forum you want to hide on phpbb /admin managment console. Because of that little "mistake" google was able to check the hidden sections of your forun and store them on its cache. Same mistake SD have done several years ago ... Too bad.

So .... let's see .... Data Recovery "Secrets" by Data-Medics :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

This one looks nice :

ways-to-unfix-drives-when-quote-is-declined by Jared :

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =2&ct=clnk

Postby Jared » Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:55 pm

Quote:
I thought it might be nice to have a thread here to discuss ways to "unFix" drives after you perform a firmware fix, but the quote is then declined. Obviously any destructive sabotage would be unethical, but if the drive was stuck BSY when it arrived, it's only fair it be returned in the same condition. I don't want to make it harder to recover data for another pro, but I don't want the local PC repair shop to be able to recover it for $50 now and take all the credit either.

So here's my un-fix of the day. Did a Media Cache repair on a DM drive which turned out to only have 2 bad sectors. But the quote was declined.

Seagate UnFix #1
Edit ROM to set LBA size to 0 (Easy enough for another DR company to figure out I hope)

What are your 'un-fix' methods? I'd like to keep a collection of ideas here we can draw from. Maybe even develop standards that'll become universal in the trade so we aren't making each other's jobs harder.


Postby 300ddr » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:20 pm

Quote:
For WD drives: set ROM SA ABA to +1 for all copies ("block SA access"). Or, change headmap in ROM to something obviously wrong, so another skilled company can put back to normal.

Hitachi: you can change headmap to make first two heads something like "FF FF" instead of "00 01."

Your Seagate solution may have techs trying 0MB fixes thinking it's firmware corruption, but I still think it's good.


"let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

This amounts to sabotage. The drive should be returned to its owner in the same state, or better than it was received. It should not be returned with "damage", especially not the kind that requires professional intervention.


If a drive was showing 0 LBA in bios due to a major firmware issue, then is set to continue showing as 0 LBA after a quote is declined using a simple set max lba command, it's not sabotage. It's putting it back to the same effective state where it was before you looked at it. In fact, it's technically in better condition now because rather than spending hours fixing up the underlying firmware problem, the next company just gets to run a single command to restore the LBA and they look like heroes for five minutes worth of work. Needed someone with pro tools to fix when it came in, but was recoverable. Needed someone with pro tools when it left, but was still recoverable. 1 = 1

However sabotaging a drive so it's now 100% unrecoverable for anyone = sabotage.

Besides, although we had a thread discussing those "non-destructive techniques to set back a drive after a declined quote", I don't know that I can remember ever doing more than writing back a few original modules anyway. Usually I'm just too lazy to bother plugging the drive back in if they decline the quote.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 17:43 
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data-medics wrote:
(...)
Besides, although we had a thread discussing those "non-destructive techniques to set back a drive after a declined quote", I don't know that I can remember ever doing more than writing back a few original modules anyway. Usually I'm just too lazy to bother plugging the drive back in if they decline the quote.


Not compatible with :


Quote:
So here's my un-fix of the day. Did a Media Cache repair on a DM drive which turned out to only have 2 bad sectors. But the quote was declined.

Seagate UnFix #1
Edit ROM to set LBA size to 0 (Easy enough for another DR company to figure out I hope)

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 18:24 
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I believe that, as in just about all debatable cases, it is all about perception.

If it can be done safely without further damage, which in most cases it is, I would consider bringing a drive in its original failed condition much less of a "sabotage" then a customer deliberately causing problems, wasting people's time, purposely withholding information, lying, taking things for granted and complaining on top of it?!?

This happens almost on a daily basis. It has gotten to the point where we are almost shocked, both as customers and businesses, when we actually feel treated with respect, there is good value in the product/service/reward and there is no friction what-so-ever obtaining it. This is not normal. We are literally destroying each other in a time when we need each other more than ever, especially small businesses.

Either way, there are practices and attitudes on customer's side as well as on some of the businesses' side that are unacceptable. And all have two common denominators - greed and lack of self-accountability. Everybody wants, but nobody wants to give.

The moment, both, some of the businesses and customers stop by greedy and hold themselves accountable for how they conduct themselves, we will begin healing and having overall better, more pleasant, business affairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 19:38 
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@data-medics, just FYI, in case you were not aware, your forum's RSS feeds are broken.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 29th, 2016, 19:50 
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lol,
So Jared Next Time You Post Such a Post Watch Out For Spildit :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 30th, 2016, 9:00 
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Spildit wrote:
data-medics wrote:
(...)
Besides, although we had a thread discussing those "non-destructive techniques to set back a drive after a declined quote", I don't know that I can remember ever doing more than writing back a few original modules anyway. Usually I'm just too lazy to bother plugging the drive back in if they decline the quote.


Not compatible with :


Quote:
So here's my un-fix of the day. Did a Media Cache repair on a DM drive which turned out to only have 2 bad sectors. But the quote was declined.

Seagate UnFix #1
Edit ROM to set LBA size to 0 (Easy enough for another DR company to figure out I hope)


You forgot to highlight the critical words before the ones you highlighted in red which read "did a media cache repair". When it arrived it was completely stuck busy and not recognized in BIOS. Besides that was a special case where I knew the customer was trying to game the system, prompting me to actually do something. When I first talked to him he made clear his understanding that he knew sometimes issues were fixed during the evaluation process. At first, he approved the quote, verbally at least, so I started work on it. Then the next day he calls back and says he changed his mind. By right, and by the forms he signed, I didn't even owe him his drive back at that point. He was just trying to pull a fast one and get a free recovery out of me. So in that particular case, I felt this was appropriate, yet wanted to do it in a way that wouldn't make it difficult for another company to recover it either. Thus the reason I started a thread about ways to disable a drive without any permanent prevention of future recovery by others.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 30th, 2016, 9:19 
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pcimage wrote:
Name and shame!!! :-)


I'd rather not name publically, just in case there is a valid story behind what they did. And, as I know customers lie all the time, perhaps the drive was at multiple places before here. I'm only 90% sure it's the company I think it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: September 30th, 2016, 15:58 
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data-medics wrote:
pcimage wrote:
Name and shame!!! :-)


I'd rather not name publically, just in case there is a valid story behind what they did. And, as I know customers lie all the time, perhaps the drive was at multiple places before here. I'm only 90% sure it's the company I think it is.



True enough. Sadly, some customers do lie through their teeth.

Example: We had one of our dealers send us a drive that had clearly been opened, label been peeled and seals broken. So we told them it would incur an "open drive fee" to cover the cleanroom examination time for checking internally etc.... A few days later they called up and had the client in the shop swearing blind that it had not been opened and would not pay the fee. So we asked the dealer to tell him to hang on for 5 mins. So we then opened up the drive, took and emailed photos of the inside of the drive with the clients (we assume) fingerprints inside. The client then sheepishly admitted that it "might have been opened briefly" and paid the fee. So he was bare-faced lying to the dealers face!

The drive was subsequently recovered and the ODF was deducted from the final bill :-)

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 Post subject: Re: Scum Like This Should Be Banned From Data Recovery Indus
PostPosted: November 27th, 2016, 5:38 
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there is a lot of cowboys company's out there that will undercut others just to make a quick cash.

most of them don't know how to recovery data


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