What kind of failures can we solve?

We can recover devices that other data recovery companies (even the most expensive ones) cannot recover:

If your device has any of the following problems, there is a good chance we can recover your data:

  • Clicking noises (see our Myths section about clicking hard drives)
  • Bad heads (see our Youtube page with “Head Swap” videos)
  • The drive won’t mount on your Desktop (Mac)
  • The drive doesn’t appear in BIOS or Windows Explorer (PC)
  • “Flashing Question Mark” on Mac start-up
  • Broken USB connector on Flash Drive 
  • “Dead” (no power getting to Hard Drive, Flash Drive, or SSD)
  • USB Flash drive/SD/MicroSD controller corruption (chip-off data recovery)
  • The drive reads data extremely slowly
  • Burnt PCB 
  • Smoking hard drive or smoking chips on PCB / circuit board
  • Liquid damage/water damage
  • HDD Firmware Corruption (0MB size, drive only partially readable, the drive reads/writes extremely slowly, etc.)
  • SSD Firmware Corruption (BAD_CTX errors, 8MB size, etc.)
  • “Stiction” (heads stuck to platters)
  • Weak motor/stuck spindle
  • PCB Replacement/Adaptation
  • Corrupt ROM
  • Corrupt NVRAM
  • Weak heads
  • Accidentally reformatted
  • Accidentally erased/trashed/recycled files
  • Corrupt file system or operating system
  • Missing or lost files 
  • Virus infection
  • Data can’t be recovered by your local computer repair shop/IT department
  • Data can’t be recovered or cloned with software data recovery tools
  • Encryption corruption (McAfee Endpoint Encryption, WinMagic, PGP Desktop, BitLocker, TrueCrypt, etc.)
  • Lost/missing/unknown hard drive password (in some cases)
  • Dead phone
  • Water damage phone
  • Phone with software issues, like “boot loop”

We can recover all storage device interfaces:

  • SATA, IDE/ATA, SCSI, SAS, m.SATA, PCI-e, USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, eSATA, M.2

We can recover from all failed operating systems:

  • Windows, Mac, Linux, DVRs, Xbox.

We can recover all partition types:

  • FAT, exFAT, NTFS, HFS+, ZFS, EXT, Novell, APFS, BTRFS, and more!

We can recover all form factors:

  • 1″, 1.8″, 2.5″, 3.5″

We can recover from almost all data storage devices:

  • Hard drives, SSD (solid-state drive), RAID/SAN (multiple hard drives combined into one), Flash Drives (“USB Thumb Drive”), Zip disk, NAS (network-attached storage), 3.5″ floppy disk, SD card, MicroSD Card, CF Card, CFast Card, XQD Card, phones, Microsoft Surface, eMMC chips, and more! 

How do you recover drives with “bad heads”?

  • When a head is bad, other data recovery companies insist on charging a lot of money for a full head-stack replacement. We offer this option too — but also offer an affordable “partial recovery” option…

We can swap heads and platters on hard drives if our customer is willing to pay for the cost of a donor drive (or supply the donor drive). Though, sometimes, the cost of donor parts is too expensive for our customers to afford.

…BUT THERE IS STILL HOPE! Even if your drive has a bad head and you can’t afford the donor parts, we can often still recover the majority of your data. We just won’t be able to recover 100%.

Although it depends on your exact hard drive model, we’re often able to disable the bad head (we do this “non-destructively” by manipulating the drive’s firmware) and recover most of your data. For example, if your drive has 10 heads and 1 is bad, we may be able to recover around 90% of your files.

Watch some of our head swap videos below and find more on our Youtube channel.


What types of problems are unrecoverable?

  • Extreme platter damage

If your drive’s platters are extremely damaged (most often, they are scratched), then the data is not recoverable. We are able to recover from drives with minor platter damage.

Scratched platters often occur when software data recovery tools have been run on hard drives with damage (especially if the drive was previously dropped). These software tools will exacerbate the problem areas on the drive by running for hours or days and can end up completely destroying all the data.

see through scratched platters - our abilities

Extreme platter damage; Instead of a “mirror finish” on the platters, they are completely see-through, and all data has been completely destroyed.


  • Bad Heads or Bent spindle or Bad motor on a Helium-filled drive (with unremovable cover)

We cannot currently perform “platter swaps” or “head swaps” for helium-filled drives. We cannot perform invasive repairs on these drives because they have welded covers, are filled with helium, and the firmware on these drives has not yet been “cracked.” These drives are very rare (as of Feb. 2020), and at this time, we cannot help if the spindle is bent, the heads are bad, or the motor is bad. This is an EXTREMELY rare situation. 

We CAN perform platters swaps for other 2.5″ hard drives and  3.5″ hard drives. For example, this Seagate hard drive was in a fire, and the outer housing was completely burned and melted. We had to perform a platter swap in this case, and we recovered 99.9999% of the data on the drive!

Fire Damage Hard Drive Data Recovery Fire Damage Hard Drive Data Recovery



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Can we recover your failed hard drive, SSD, flash drive, or RAID?

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