When your disk arrives at the DriveFish headquarters, your order is scanned into our secured database (you’ll get an email letting you know we received it) and then assigned to an engineer. Then begins a process that is designed to make sure the integrity of your data is not compromised.
The notes you made about you disk are read and interpreted to help us understand whether the issue is logical or physical. If the issue is probably logical, your disk is immediately cloned to a hard drive we know is in perfect working order. This ensures that when we get to work trying to put your file system back in order, that we don’t aggravate any latent physical or hardware issues with the disk you sent in. Many recovery companies don’t bother doing this because it does take a long time and just adds another step to the recovery process. Anyone that you deal with should be able to promise you that this step will occur and that they know how to do it properly. Cloning is a must. The next time you power on the disk could be its last to work properly!
If the issue seems to be physical or hardware based (from reading your comments about the disk), we will do a disk inspection before spinning the drive up in an attempt to clone it. We will check the circuit boards, the power supply the internals (read/write heads, spindle, head actuator) and the platters – all in a clean room environment. One key thing we are looking for is a head crash. Not only will we check the surface of the platters for damage but will check the pillows (filters) under a microscope for any indication of magnetic coating on the filter. If we see any indication of a head crash – the process stops there and the disk is carefully put back together so we can advise you to go with an advanced recovery. We will never jeopardize your chances of recovery by trying to resolve a head crash here at DriveFish. That is not a job for us but rather our partner DriveSavers. Read more here about why this is important.
If there is no indication of a head crash we will solve the electronics or motor problem(s) if present, put the disk back together and attempt to clone the drive. The point is we never will just sit there powering your drive up and down trying to get it to mount. It is very important to take powering a malfunctioning drive very seriously – and at DriveFish we do just that! This ensures that regardless of whether we collect a fee, you can count on us to ensure your best chance of recovery.