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Hard drive repair! Still relevant?

I s hard drive repair relevant? When are solid-state drives of large volumes about to knock on the door? Hell yes! It will be in demand even after the ssd-drives conquer the niche of budget devices! And this is not the fault of the manufacturers of these devices - supposedly overpricing the cost of their crafts, but the usual greed, both of buyers and those who want to earn money on them.
D espite all the above, we are witnessing a general trend towards simplifying the production of drives. For some, it is monstrous, for others it still remains at the level: "you can put it, and if there are problems, we will hand over a guarantee". But since the quality of some products leaves much to be desired, more and more often, people began to ask for the restoration of working capacity or in the common people - “hard drive repair”.
And since the “Hard Drive Repairman" is a collective, even epic image, people begin to knock, almost at every "boom" of their entrance, asking to fix the hard disk. Usually, almost any "ax, regenerators and other handy tools" is suitable for preparing a "potion of immortality", but the result of their work, in a couple of months, maybe even years, gets to us.
Hard drive repair! Still relevant?

Hard Drive Repair

A nd now that we have come to understand that repairing hard drives requires a much more serious approach and time. We will dilute the topic with a small list of what may come in handy:

  1. PC3000 Express & SAS hardware and software system from ACE Laboratory Few people know, but initially, the PC-3000 complex was positioned specifically for repairing hard drives and later advanced features appeared that made it possible to use the complex for data recovery. These complexes allow you to work with hard drives having interfaces: sata, ide, usb, sas и scsi.
  2. Hardware and software complex MRT Ultra & Express from MRT Laboratory Painfully similar product, but with a big bias towards repairing hard drives. Mainly for working with hard drives having interfaces:sata, ide.
  3. Hot Air Soldering Station In most cases, the disks are sorted in such a way as to minimize the time spent with the repaired drive. Therefore, soldering is rarely resorted to, but there are exceptions.
  4. Programmer, multimeter Well, since we were talking about soldering, you should not forget about the programmer with a multimeter. But once again it is worth noting that they try not to resort to the replacement of any components!

I n general, to get started, in addition to the above list, you will need access to "big feeder" with high-quality hard drivers. Having small areas with defects and not particularly new ones, as new disks often have locked firmware and most repair functions disappear immediately. So in these needs, the paths of repairmen and restorers intersect, except that in cases of data recovery you can neglect the freshness of the hard drive. Well, the main point that many are trying to forget about when repairing hard drives is the guarantee of the work done. This is an important point, especially now, when choosing between: restore data or get a working drive, more and more people are inclined to the latter.

This is the main difference between data recovery and hard drive repair. You do not need to temporarily restore the drive for subsequent data readout, but make it workable for a long time.

I f hard drive repair involves an extensive database of drives that can be repaired. That data recovery is an equally weighty database of serviceable and semi-operational drives that can be “broken” with the goal of temporarily revitalizing the client hard disk (patient disk). Mini-list of necessary devices:

  1. PC3000 Express & SAS hardware and software system from ACE Laboratory
  2. Hardware and software complex MRT Ultra & Express from MRT Laboratory
  3. Laminar box On this point, there should be no questions at all! Want to work with damaged disks? Work, but so that after you do not have to give the hard drive dry cleaning - sarcasm!
  4. Hot Air Soldering Station
  5. Programmer, multimeter
  6. Hard disk drive magnetic head replacement (swap) tools and assembly table In data recovery, it’s like a screwdriver, without which there will actually be nothing to do. Since when working with damaged hard drives, it is often necessary to replace faulty drive components. And since they are fragile enough, the transfer carries some risks that are designed to solve such devices.
  7. Devices for mounting and temporary fixing plates Another indispensable device is used in cases of damage to the spindle motor: when the winding of the spindle motor is damaged, wedges and other unpleasant moments. And for temporary storage of plates, a special holder is used to fix the plates during installation or a more detailed inspection.
  8. Individual protection means This item should be especially emphasized! Since most of the “specialists”, to achieve the greatest tactile sensations in the process, neglected protection measures.
  9. Base of donor hard drives Unfortunately, without a donor database of hard drives, your business will not budge. But the more you get them, the more expenses for their maintenance: sorting, checking, storage, etc. And yes, donors are not only components, but also service information, which also represents a certain value.

Why repair hard drives can not be small-scale?

W hy are we only talking about data recovery and repairing "aka Refurbished" hard drives? But what about private traders - good uncles sitting in markets and forums who are cheap, are ready to treat a drive with a regenerator or recalculate a translator through a terminal command!
This is because the specifics of working with new hard drives every year makes their type of activity less attractive, and the risks that these people take are incommensurable with their income, if any guarantees are given at all. Therefore, private repair of hard drives is ineffective and practically not viable without additional activities, for example: laptop repair or mobile equipment.
For this reason, we consider repairing hard drives without private repair, namely, as an independent type of service - able to live without other types of activities, only thanks to large turnovers, and not to private, small cases. From this angle, it immediately becomes clear that this is, first, about warranty repairs, post-warranty repairs. Where the customer is either the manufacturer himself, delegating part of the repair work; either a large distributor outsourcing warranty cases or accumulated unprocessed hard drives.

-- Is hard drive repair possible without serious investment?
--- No, it is ineffective. Unless your customer requires appropriate warranty support.

-- Is it possible to repair hard drives in parallel with other types of repair services?
--- Like any craft, repairing hard drives will waste the time of your specialist and in the absence of proper returns, you may find this type of activity ineffective and not profitable. And try to distribute the time of a specialist more evenly. Which will lead to a deterioration in its results. Based on the foregoing, any parallelization, subject to long payback periods, will only worsen the situation.

-- Where should a future hard drive repairman start?
--- No matter how wild it sounds, there is only one advice - from suppliers/customers of hard drives. Once you get access to many maintainable samples, your chances of being on the sidelines are drastically reduced.

--- How many minimum hard drives can be processed in a week?
-- This will depend on the volume, skill of the specialist and the number of workstations and free ports. In the worst case scenario, in a week, through 4 ports, the PC 3000 Express complex - 50 hard drives. In fact, these numbers are much higher.

--- What they do with hard drives that are not recoverable, but partially functional?
-- If the drive has a working unit of magnetic heads, then it can be sold in a data recovery laboratory or sent under warranty to the manufacturer for a replacement, if possible. They can also be sent for recycling, where they will pay based on the weight and value of the item.

--- What warranty risks does a hard drive repair service bear?
-- Everything will depend on the specific conditions set by the customer before the contractor. First of all, you will be responsible for the operation of the device during the warranty period. Therefore, the better you select quality samples, the better for you. Since in pursuit of the result, many try to raise the "dead from the graves", which ultimately ends with the return of the drive under warranty, and someone with data loss.

--- Why do not you provide this type of service, because it is very convenient for customers!?
-- As has been said more than once - repair of hard drives cannot be individual. And the main reasons here are again financial. A data recovery specialist will not be able to devote enough time to both processes - this will degrade its performance and result. Take a staff member for 50-60. client drivers per month, which theoretically can be repaired, but in fact, at best, half will work, plus a guarantee for the work! All this is a conscious form of sadomasochism!

Summarizing the above:

Repair of hard drives in the form in which 90% of users are looking for it does not exist! But this does not mean that they do not produce it! On the contrary, they will take it with pleasure, for your money and guarantees. And then everything will depend on the degree of "staleness" of the failed disk and "hunger" of the witch.
Do you like gambling? Want to play Russian Roulette with precious data - this is your chance! Small-scale repair of hard drives is unprofitable, and where there is profit, completely different volumes. And there no one will sit for hours over a half-dead disk, waiting for a miracle. He will simply be sent to the box from which he was taken out and will go to see another.

Price of data recovery from HDD and SSHD