Rescuing Files From Failed Toshibas

Whilst Toshiba also make enterprise class desktop drives for industrial applications, in all likelihood if you have a Toshiba hard drive then it will be a 2.5″ (laptop) sized device. These are commonly used in Apple hardware as well as across a huge range of other equipment. In general terms they are reliable with no particularly noteworthy vulnerabilities peculiar to them, they are of course subject to the same general range of failure causes which afflict all hard drives.

Likely Failure Symptoms:

This list of possible behaviour is not exhaustive but does cover the majority of likely scenarios. None of these necessarily mean that your data has been permanently lost, with the intervention of trained and experienced experts your data can be saved.

I Have Only Limited Access to My Hard Drive:

This limited access also includes the drive beginning to boot but then presenting the famous blue screen of death (BSOD), in the case of Mac devices this will usually take the form of a grey screen with the rotating sundial display simply remaining permanently on-screen.

Perhaps the single most common cause of hard drive failure is the development of unreadable sectors. Every drive consists of a vast number of sectors, each of which stores a portion of your files. The platters inside the hard disk are coated with a chemical substrate, this substrate holds the electrical charge which is your data in its most raw form. Over time the ability of this coating to hold the charge degrades, eventually beyond the point at which the contents of that particular sector can be read reliably, once this has happened the sector has gone “bad”. The typical course of events is that a few of these bad sectors appear at first, this may cause loss of access to some files or may not even be noticed, however the number of bad sectors quickly accelerates, eventually a sector holding information vital for the hard drive to boot will go bad and all access will be lost.

The key here is acting quickly to clone the drive using specialist equipment that can work around the unreadable sectors. If caught early enough and if the appropriate recovery work is carried out, then full recovery can be achieved.

My Hard Drive Spins-Up but Then There are Clicking Sounds and No Data Access:

You may also find that the drive spins-up, there are some brief clicking sounds and then the drive switches off.

Among the possible causes of this type of activity are read/write head failure and corrupted firmware (firmware is the hard disk’s own start-up program), there are however numerous others and accurate diagnosis is of course essential if the appropriate recovery work is to be carried out.

My Hard Drive Does Not Spin-Up When Power is Applied:

One of the more common symptoms that we see here at Tierra. It can happen as a result of electrical damage to the hard drive’s printed circuit board (perhaps because the power connector was located incorrectly, perhaps through mains power supply problems or just plain old bad luck). Similarly it can occur as a result of internal failures such as the platter motor (which should spin the data platters inside the drive) becoming seized or the read/write heads crashing into the platters with sufficient force to cause then to adhere and thus prevent the platters from rotating.

How Do I Proceed?

Fill out the contact form at the top of this page or give us a call on 0845 094 0027.

We will arrange for a free-of-charge collection of your drive straight away. The cost of analysis is £32.50 (£39.00 including VAT).

As soon as we receive your drive it will go into our labs for analysis.  The results will be emailed to you and you can then decide how you wish to proceed.

Once the recovery is completed your files will be returned to you on DVD, USB stick or external hard drive (depending upon the quantity). Encryption and non-disclosure agreements are available on request.

How Long Will it Take?

Our Standard Service aims to get the analysis to you within 2 working days of receipt of the defective hard drive at our labs. If time is critical then we also offer an Emergency Service which involves engineers working around the clock.

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