Fields writes "It's well known that failed hard drives can be recovered, but few people actually use a recovery service because they're expensive and not always successful. Even fewer people ever get any insights into the process, as recovery companies are secretive about their methods and rarely reveal any more information that is necessary for billing. Geek.com has an article walking through a drive recovery handled by DriveSavers. The recovery team did not give away many secrets, but they did reveal a number of insights into the process. From the article, "'[M]y drive failed in about every way you can imagine. It had electro-mechanical failure resulting in severe media damage. Seagate considered it dead, but I didn't give up. It's actually pretty amazing that they were able to recover nearly all of the data. Of course, they had to do some rebuilding, but that's what you expect when you send it to the ER for hard drives.'" Be sure to visit the Museum of Disk-asters, too.
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