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In home conditions, is it easier to recover data from a dead or dying HDD than dead or dying SSD?

Hello. I would like to know from which drive (SSD or HDD) it is easier to pull the data yourself when it is dying or is dead, without sending it to a data recovery company.

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Neither.

 

One requires a clean room, the other requires incredibly fine microsoldering and/or BGA soldering. Trying it at home without knowing what you're doing is pretty much always going to end with failure.

 

Edit - Actually there is one exclusion to this, sometimes when HDDs die its actually an issue on the power delivery PCB and all you need to do is buy an identical working drive and swap the PCBs over.

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5 minutes ago, dens22 said:

I would like to know from which drive (SSD or HDD) it is easier to pull the data yourself when it is dying or is dead, without sending it to a data recovery company.

With SSDs there isn't really a "dying" at all -- they're either working, or they're dead, and you can't pull anything from a dead drive. With HDDs, there is a "dying" state and yes, you might be able to salvage some of the data, but a dead drive is still a dead drive.

 

That said, SSDs are far more reliable than HDDs, so planning what you buy based on what you might or might not be able to recover something from is just plain idiotic. It's better to go with reliability from the get-go, instead of going for a "might be able to recover something."

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24 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

With HDDs, there is a "dying" state and yes, you might be able to salvage some of the data, but a dead drive is still a dead drive.

A dying HDD often lets you salvage all the data (if you do it in time). A dead HDD often lets salvage most of the data if your willing to spend and your data is legal.

38 minutes ago, dens22 said:

Hello. I would like to know from which drive (SSD or HDD) it is easier to pull the data yourself when it is dying or is dead, without sending it to a data recovery company.

 

I recommend having  a second drive (2 independent systems?) with a backup of the important stuff.

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1 minute ago, leclod said:

A dying HDD often lets you salvage all the data (if you do it in time).

Not in my experience. A dying HDD typically has already developed broken sectors, which are unreadable or corrupted, ergo you can't recover data from them. If you can't recover data from some sectors, then you obviously cannot salvage all data.

3 minutes ago, leclod said:

A dead HDD often lets salvage most of the data if your willing to spend

OP's question was about doing it at home.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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9 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Not in my experience. A dying HDD typically has already developed broken sectors, which are unreadable or corrupted, ergo you can't recover data from them. If you can't recover data from some sectors, then you obviously cannot salvage all data.

OP's question was about doing it at home.

Ok, for example if you shock an hdd it might die too fast on you. But overwise its SMART features might warn you while booting (not sure how good that is but SMART was made for a reason). I use  HD Sentinel to monitor my HDDs and it should warn when bad sectors or else are appearing.

 

Ok for the HDD dying at home. I reacted to your "a dead drive is dead"

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Just now, leclod said:

Ok, for example if you shock an hdd it might die too fast on you. But overwise its SMART features might warn you while booting (not sure how good that is but SMART was made for a reason). I use  HD Sentinel to monitor my HDDs and it should warn when bad sectors are appearing.

It can only report about bad sectors once they already exist. Also, SMART isn't some sort of infallible magic -- there are plenty of cases where it fails to notify of issues before it's too late. I have been messing around with computers for soon 30 years; I am not exactly new to any of this.

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2 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

It can only report about bad sectors once they already exist. Also, SMART isn't some sort of infallible magic -- there are plenty of cases where it fails to notify of issues before it's too late. I have been messing around with computers for soon 30 years; I am not exactly new to any of this.

Same with the 30 years.

Let's agree to disagree.

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8 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Not in my experience. A dying HDD typically has already developed broken sectors, which are unreadable or corrupted, ergo you can't recover data from them. If you can't recover data from some sectors, then you obviously cannot salvage all data.

Modern drives keep an internal record of the state of sectors on the drive as the heads are reading & writing data to them. If it notices a sector is starting to degrade the drive will flag it internally (without Windows even knowing), move the data from it to another sector, update the journal then flag the sector as bad and never use it again.

 

These days bad sectors on a HDD should never result in data loss, you might get some linking issues between Windows and the drives controller but your data should never be actually lost.

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1 minute ago, Master Disaster said:

These days bad sectors on a HDD should never result in data loss, you might get some linking issues between Windows and the drives controller but your data should never be actually lost.

Tell that to all the drives on which I have had data lost due to bad sectors.

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1 minute ago, WereCatf said:

Tell that to all the drives on which I have had data lost due to bad sectors.

https://www.petervis.com/gallery/hard/Hard Drive Basics/Hard Disk System Area.html

 

Its called the system area, its a reserved part of the platter used solely for storing health information so the drive can look after itself.

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Just now, Master Disaster said:

https://www.petervis.com/gallery/hard/Hard Drive Basics/Hard Disk System Area.html

 

Its called the system area, its a reserved part of the platter used solely for storing health information so the drive can look after itself.

Yes, I know. I am fully aware what it is and I have been fully aware of it for the last two decades. Does not change what I said, nor does it somehow magically mean I have not lost data due to bad sectors.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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2 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

Yes, I know. I am fully aware what it is and I have been fully aware of it for the last two decades. Does not change what I said, nor does it somehow magically mean I have not lost data due to bad sectors.

I believe your HDDs aren't handled properly (including unsafe shutdowns, power downs) or are old if this happens regularly.

 

If you still use HDDs as I do, you might consider using HD Sentinel. I'd be curious if it reports anything right away.

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1 minute ago, WereCatf said:

Yes, I know. I am fully aware what it is and I have been fully aware of it for the last two decades. Does not change what I said, nor does it somehow magically mean I have not lost data due to bad sectors.

Conversely, you having lost data on a drive that happened to have bad sectors doesn't automatically mean the bad sectors caused the data loss. I assume you dumped the drives firmware and read the internal logs to see what actually caused the drive to lose data?

 

Correlation does not mean causation

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Just now, Master Disaster said:

Conversely, you having lost data on a drive that happened to have bad sectors doesn't automatically mean the bad sectors caused the data loss.

What the fuck are you talking about? Data was on unreadable, bad sectors -- how does it NOT mean that I lost data on those sectors?

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2 minutes ago, leclod said:

I believe your HDDs aren't handled properly (including unsafe shutdowns, power downs) or are old if this happens regularly.

I never said anything about it happening regularly. 30 years is a long time and during that time I've handled hundreds of HDDs -- there's plenty of chances in such a long time to come across drives with bad sectors.

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 To just add onto what people are saying here.

 

A dying drive is never an issue if you have a proper backup solution with at least 2 steps.

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7 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

I assume you dumped the drives firmware and read the internal logs to see what actually caused the drive to lose data?

 

How does one do such an elegant move ?

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8 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

What the fuck are you talking about? Data was on unreadable, bad sectors -- how does it NOT mean that I lost data on those sectors?

Not what I said, nice strawman.

 

You have no idea what was going on inside that drive at the moment it lost your data, any one of the multiple processes in the chain could have resulted in the drive losing your data.

 

Its not like I said absolutely 100% the bad sectors couldn't have been the cause of your data loss but for all you know, the drive flagged the sectors then the firmware took a dump while trying to move the data off.

 

The sector dying was the cause of the issue, something else in the chain might have caused the effect.

 

And yes, I know that from the users POV this is inconsequential, you lost your data because of a bad sector.

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1 minute ago, jaslion said:

 To just add onto what people are saying here.

 

A dying drive is never an issue if you have a proper backup solution with at least 2 steps.

2 steps, you mean two locations ? I do 1

Also, often backups aren't really fresh.

(I do agree though)

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2 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

The sector dying was the cause of the issue, something else in the chain might have caused the effect.

That doesn't make any sense. It's irrelevant what caused a sector to become bad and unreadable -- it's still  a bad sector.

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3 minutes ago, leclod said:

How does one do such an elegant move ?

You don't unless your run a data recovery firm, that was kind of the point.

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Just now, WereCatf said:

That doesn't make any sense. It's irrelevant what caused a sector to become bad and unreadable -- it's still  a bad sector.

Yeah, I realise that. See my edit 🙂

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3 minutes ago, Master Disaster said:

You don't unless your run a data recovery firm, that was kind of the point.

Werecatf works at a recovery firm ? or is my english not as good as I thought

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3 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

That doesn't make any sense. It's irrelevant what caused a sector to become bad and unreadable -- it's still  a bad sector.

Its kind of like when people say Reactor 2 at Chernobyl exploded. From our POV sure but what actually happened was a radiator overheated and exploded causing a breach in the reactor wall.

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