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 Post subject: PC3000 Portable III - worth it?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2021, 14:20 

Joined: March 24th, 2010, 21:08
Posts: 100
Location: California
I run a PC repair business and probably 30-40% of our business involves replacing failed drives and cloning or recovering data if possible. I have a fair amount of experience with logical data recovery and find that many recoveries can be completed satisfactorily by imaging in ddrescue or hddsuperclone (thanks @maximus!) and extracting data with UFS Explorer or R-Studio, along with the occasional ROM swap or PCB repair with my hot air station. Still, there are of course, a number of drives we have to refer out if they have head issues or other problems. Also, after close to 20 years in the repair business, I'm considering hanging up my hat sometime in the next 5+ years but I certainly don't have the funds to retire completely so I figure I might be able to shrink my working hours by transitioning to a data recovery only service and handling a smaller stream of higher revenue data recovery jobs.

Which brings me to my next point-- for years I have considering purchasing some of the various hardware solutions by DeepSpar, Dolphin, or AceLabs but the cost of the investment has always swayed me away from these. Also, I don't particularly have an interest in learning to do head or platter swaps, so it's a bit unclear how much higher a success rate I would be able to have with the firmware and imaging tools from Ace, etc, vs the software imaging tools I currently use. Would it really be enough to pay back the investment made in this hardware? Of course, that depends on the volume of work and I would likely have to do some advertising to pump up the data recovery side of the business in order to generate more work in this category. And also it depends on the durability of the hardware itself (does it die in 5 years? how good is the warranty?) and the cost of any software updates and ongoing support, as well as the hardware being able to handle new types of drives as they are released.

Having reviewed the marketing info for the PC3000 Portable III, it seems like it checks many of the boxes, especially considering the NVME support which should help keep it relevant for a number of years to come. And if I'm not mistaken, it seems to be a relatively complete solution, containing both the imaging functions, adapters (at least with SSD or ultimate version), and data extractor tool. Still, the overall cost (waiting for an estimate from Ace now), and the prospect of the hefty yearly support and upgrade fees give me pause. Also, I'm wondering about those yearly fees. How necessary are they? Obviously the firmware updates to help work with new drives would be good to have, but seems to me that every 2-3 years would be OK for that, rather than every year.

Thanks for your thoughts and consideration.

 Post subject: Re: PC3000 Portable III - worth it?
PostPosted: August 17th, 2021, 16:24 

Joined: November 7th, 2020, 5:31
Posts: 469
Location: The_UK
This is one of those questions that if you're having to ask then the answer is no.

As posted previously the kit you have would cater for 65% of what I used to get, and I can tell you from my own records the ability to fix just firmware issues (that couldn't be done with some googling and a serial cable) accounted for just an additional 3% in recoveries after I bought PC3K, I held off buying it for a very long time.

Ace has other less expensive products to do HDD and SSD just not for NVME (after doing the maths I went that way), do you really get that may NVME cases in or the controllers on them supported? It's a lot easier to get a ROI on other products, if you have no interest in head swapping (and the expense that goes with that :roll: which will be nearly as much again ) then you're really going to struggle to make the cash back on portable or even UDMA without serious amounts of volume.

If you haven't already had a quote from Ace you'll understand when you do :D Support particularly for things like SSD and NVME is a must, controller support is added in new versions, no support no new version.

The 4 horsemen of data loss : Gravity, Modular PSUs, Youtube and Your mate who works in IT.

 Post subject: Re: PC3000 Portable III - worth it?
PostPosted: September 8th, 2021, 18:21 

Joined: September 17th, 2016, 16:06
Posts: 315
Location: India
What 3k has to offer is a very stable product for Firmware and Imaging
A combination of DDI and 3k (portable/udma) is quite enough if you wish to stick to Firmware and Imaging

Later on you may get into the physical side. Considering the new types of drives and the logical issues they present, it still is a good market.

These two tools will definitely will pay for themselves in a year or two max.

I could pay off the 3k portable loan under 10 months :)
DDI loan was paid under a year aswell.

I have MRT and DFL. They are nice tools. But I find 3k to be much of a smooth system to have a HDD interact with when it comes to firmware fixes.

Also, the support DDI and ACE gives is excellent. If you do not wish to learn the aspects of FW repair, then you can always depend on ACE with regular support updates. But yes, that will add to outgoings/costs.


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