External hard drive data recovery

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Apr 2, 2017
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Hello,

I have purchased 1TB external hard drive from JB Hifi in Sydney (AUD 150.00). After 3 months drive started making clicking noise and my laptop (brand new Lenovo Yoga) stopped recognizing it.

I have contacted Seagate via their online support page, I was asked to send them some screenshots of diagnostics which they asked me to perform on the drive. It was concluded the drive needs to be replaced.
I am fine with that and not a big surprise. Australian Consumer Law grants me also a replacement from retailer as well without time limit on it (as is the case with warranty).

A big problem, however is the data on the drive. First of all - I don't want to turn in the drive containing all my personal data - pictures, documents, scans, etc. Second of all - I need this data recovered as I do not have a backup. I have purchased the external drive to be my main storage (my Lenovo has only 250GB memory) and this is where I kept all my files. Now that drive proved to be faulty - Seagate wrote to me that they are happy to replace the drive but i have to pay them for data recovery. Why would I have to do that if it's their fault? External hard drives' purpose is to store the data, it is not my fancy- out of the whack- wish which made me use the drive to store data on it. Looks like data recovery is a huge stream of revenue for them. Don't they bear any responsibility for their hardware and the repercussions of its failure?

I would appreciate any guidance / feedback I can receive. Data recovery fees start from approx AUD 500 here.
Thank you,

Anna
 
Nov 14, 2016
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#2
No, actually they don't bear any responsibility for the data loss. The warranty says they'll fix it. It specifically excludes data recovery. The warranty clearly states "This limited warranty does not cover data loss – back-up the contents of your drive to a separate storage medium on a regular basis". No company would expose themselves to the liability of recovering or replacing the value of the data lost on a hard drive or any other hardware. For instance, what happened if you were working on business and the drive's failure resulted in the loss of a major project? Seagate would be no more responsible for replacing that work than they are to pay for data recovery.

Moreover they have no idea what a particular consumer has done to the drive to make it fail. Some drives are defective but others have been dropped, banged around, been near magnets, exposed to moisture and a host of other things that would make a drive fail. They're not going to expose themselves to the cost of data recovery that's well above the price of the hard drive.

Note that I have some experience with data recovery. It's never guaranteed. So you may end up paying $500 and the data may not be recoverable. You'll also need to give them or someone the drive should you choose to this course of action. This isn't a function they can do via remote so if you don't want to give the drive to someone then this is a non-starter.

You're free to use the corporate contacts to see if they'll pay for the data recovery or give you a reduced price. You start with customer care with a professional, short email. If you don't get the response you want, contact the first executive on the list and wait a week. Repeat as needed. But I don't believe you'll have any luck. What you're asking for is specifically excluded from the warranty and there's good reason for that.

PS - you may want to also try your local computer geek to see if they can get the drive up and running enough to get some of the data offloaded. I've had a drive fail before and using some tricks I've been able to copy most of the data and then reformatted the drive. But in some cases data recovery is the only route.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#3
I know the horse is out of the barn, but going forward you should consider a cloud-based backup program. I use CrashPlan myself but there are many out there. Go to CNET to check out reviews.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#4
Well, you've certainly opened my eyes, Anna. I would never have thought far enough ahead to have my backup drive backed up. Definitely consult a professional to extract your data, I'll bet a good guy can get the thing running long enough to grab it all. If not, come back and we'll work out a game plan to deal with Seagate.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#5
Well, you've certainly opened my eyes, Anna. I would never have thought far enough ahead to have my backup drive backed up.
@jsn55 -- she wasn't using the drive as a backup, she was using it as her main storage drive as the drive on her laptop is very small.
So-- she had important data that was not backed up.
Very different story, which she explained in her post.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
@jsn55 -- she wasn't using the drive as a backup, she was using it as her main storage drive as the drive on her laptop is very small.
So-- she had important data that was not backed up.
Very different story, which she explained in her post.
Oh my, I understood that, mmb, but I did NOT understand that there is no existing backup at all. Well, duh, I guess if she had a backup she wouldn't have a problem; sorry to be dense here. I'm always astonished at the number of people who don't back up everything, every time, every day. This is really awful. Back in the days of the abacus, we were taught to back up always.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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With 40+ years tech experience behind me, I will echo/support what @Kahhss has stated.

There are many restorative services available is the USA so you could search and see if you can save on the recovery costs.

Going forward, I will suggest you consider the added cost of a mirrored drive setup. This is and up-front investment to protect against data loss. But with the low cost of drives these days, it could pay for itself in the event of a drive failure.

Alternatively, you could pay a tech shop to back up your external drive periodically to another drive.

Ultimately, you must decide what a data loss is worth to you and weigh that against the cost of a "backup" solution.
 
Apr 6, 2017
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#8
Hello Anna,

The drives manufacturers always give warranty for replacement and not for the data recovery. When anyone faces the data loss situation, then no company is liable for the penalty. In addition, I would like to suggest you to use data recovery software of Stellar to get your lost data back from the hard drive. There data recovery tool of Stellar Phoenix recognizes the logically damaged hard drive and extract the lost data from it. Good Luck!!
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#9
A good rule of thumb for protection and long-term archiving of your important data is 3-3-3:

Three copies of everything- Main + 2 backups

Three different physical locations- Your home, your office, cloud backup (Many people back up to an external drive or burn DVD's...but what happens if your house burns down?)

Three different media types- Hard drive, cloud, DVD. (What if your older data was stored on 3.5" floppy disks or ZIP disks? Not too long ago, those were the primary way to store data...try to find a ZIP drive to read a disk today. And, magnetic media deteriorates. What if the cloud data storage provider suddenly goes out of business?)

Hope this helps everyone evaluate their data backup "personal fitness".
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#10
A good rule of thumb for protection and long-term archiving of your important data is 3-3-3:

Three copies of everything- Main + 2 backups

Three different physical locations- Your home, your office, cloud backup (Many people back up to an external drive or burn DVD's...but what happens if your house burns down?)

Three different media types- Hard drive, cloud, DVD. (What if your older data was stored on 3.5" floppy disks or ZIP disks? Not too long ago, those were the primary way to store data...try to find a ZIP drive to read a disk today. And, magnetic media deteriorates. What if the cloud data storage provider suddenly goes out of business?)

Hope this helps everyone evaluate their data backup "personal fitness".
So refreshing to read the words of someone who 'gets it', Kenish. I like to keep files on my hard drive, on my laptop at home and the flash drives go in my truck, One day I may venture out into the cloud, who knows? People say it's a pain to do it that way, but that's just ignorance.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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So refreshing to read the words of someone who 'gets it', Kenish. I like to keep files on my hard drive, on my laptop at home and the flash drives go in my truck, One day I may venture out into the cloud, who knows? People say it's a pain to do it that way, but that's just ignorance.
I don't trust the cloud. Too easy for the government and others to access my private files/folders. But I have partitioned my laptop drive, purchased an external USB hard drive, as well as a high-speed flash drive. So that gives three copies. USB hard drive goes into a fireproof safe, which we needed for documents anyway. Flash drive goes with me everywhere.

Then I wrote a custom backup script that does weekly and monthly backup scheme. Once a weekly backup is run, I can have up to 23 copies of files. Has saved us many times ...
 
Aug 3, 2018
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The external enclosure maybe faulty and are sometimes not the best places to test a drive.
Take the HDD out of the enclosure and plug directly into the main board. See if you can access it then.
It looks like your only route is professional data recovery like uFlysoft:
Step 1. Launch the software to scan the device where your files deleted
Step 2: Preview the scan result files and make mark if it is the one you find
Step 3: Recover files
 
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