SUMMARY: Recovering Data from an Electronically Bad Disk

From: B. Shorter (
Date: Fri May 26 1995 - 21:36:15 CDT

We sent our Elite-3 disk drive to:

                Ontrack Data Recovery, Inc.
                6321 Bury Drive
                Eden Prairie, Minnesota, 55346

                Phone: 612-937-5161
                Fax: 612-937-5750

                Rep: Robert Harrel

(This email is NOT an endorsement of Ontrack by my employer, AT&T.
It IS a statement of my experiences in this emergency situation.)

Ontrack is set up to deal with emergencies. They welcomed our
SA courier at nearly 11PM on Tuesday evening. They took him to
a hotel, then went back to work - working night and day to recover
our data.

Ontrack has a clean room and can disassemble a disk drive. Their
inspection revealed that a head had touched down on our Elite-3.
A second head was damaged too. A disk platter was badly scribed.
(it was more than electronics failing). They cleaned the drive
up and restored it to service (crippled), to take all data from
the drive.

Ontrack has data recovery software. They analyzed our disk image
repeatedly. The results fall into three catagories:

        good files - these are believed good and recoverable
        bad files - these are recoverable but have bad blocks.
                        The bad blocks are blank filled.
        other - this is lost data

A list of "good" and "bad" files was made available. Files were
then recovered and an 8mm tape was FedEx'ed to us. Finally, we
asked for a full ASCII dump and a full volume dump of the disk
to be sent to us on 8mm tape.

Cost? Vicinity of $ 10K to $ 14K for our situation.

Bill Shorter

PS: We did receive two references to another data recovery company,
Drive Savers, at 1-800-440-1904. These references came from this
email hotline service, after we had decided to go to Ontrack. There
were several references to Ontrack as well.

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