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    USB data recovery companies

    Has anyone out there used a data recovery company for USB memory sticks? We have one here that's completely dead (not detected in Windows, doesn't light up) which has a staff member's entire working life on it. Various companies I've seen quote around £150 for recovery, which is fine, but I'd rather use one that's recommended if possible. Thanks.

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    Tell them tough luck they should back it up and not rely on the memory stick.

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    Matthew - I thought of trying that, but as I won't be covering the cost of the repair I'd much rather get the data back and use it as an example that the IT department is always right...

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    Fair dos, just make a huge point of it to the other staff not that they will listen! Same thing at our place but we just said no in the end, too much hassle to sort.

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    Give them a soldering iron and suggest they have a go themselves....


    more than 50% of the time I've found its a break in one of the board to socket joints

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    Matthew - I'm sure the member of staff in question will learn the documents on his laptop get synced to the server, which is backed up on a daily basis...

    Robmal - I've tried the soldering iron approach, after a while fiddling it looks like some sort of component failure. Here's hoping the data is recoverable, otherwise he'll be in an even worse mood!

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    Well if its not a dry solder joint then I fear that most people who offer a 'data recovery' so called service will be stumped, they will happily take your money, but they are gambling that that is all that is wrong. Component failure means unsoldering the correct component and replacing it or remounting the memory chip - either way its a far more skillful job and it costs. Prognosis - not good

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    You will probably need to source the exact usb stick to use as a donor and using a hot air desolder station remove the flash chip then remove the one from the donor stick and re-solder the flash chip from the broken stick on to it.

    Someone in an electronics lab/university would be better to approach in this case than a data recovery company.

    Ben

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    I am with robmal. Unless you can de-solder the NAND drive from the stick and resit it on an identical stick, you will likely face a dead stick. Most recovery places tend to resolder all joints and hope that it works.

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    Thanks for the advice, various companies advertise they will recover dead sticks. I intend to go with a "no fix no fee" company. If there's no recovery, it's not my problem - I'll have done all that I could possibly be expected to, and my colleague will have to recover three years of work from memory or email attachments...

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    There may actually be a cache of his work on his laptop in his temp files. Usually when a file is saved or opened a cached file goes there and remains until the machine is turned off. If he/she is like teachers I have come across he/she will close the lid and it goes to sleep, ergo the machine not being turned off. Remote chance of some files being saved!

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    I would use Kroll Ontrack, based in Epsom, they are very good - I was trained there and shown their "clean rooms". I wouldn't trust anyone else.

  13. Thanks to andyturpie from:

    smurfomatic (19th October 2011)

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    Thanks Andy, I will get in touch with them.

  15. Thanks to smurfomatic from:

    andyturpie (19th October 2011)

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    For componenet level repairs take a look at:

    Laptop Nvidia Graphic Chip Reballing Repair from £99

    If you only watch his videos on reballing a GPU they're immense.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by smurfomatic View Post
    Thanks Andy, I will get in touch with them.
    No worries mate, all the contacts I had there have moved onto pastures new (it's been a few years), but still resonable when it comes to Flash drive recovery.
    A couple of tips from me would be:

    1. Avoid further personal testing of the stick, you may flex it until it starts reading again, but you could futher your chances of data corruption.
    2. Avoid any companies who promise the earth or have bad experiences. One "bad" and "failed" recovery, will hamper the chance of a professional companies chance of a succesful recovery after that.

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