Irony and Perspective

A place to discuss pretty much anything related to storage, computers, data recovery or technology.
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lcoughey
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Irony and Perspective

Post by lcoughey » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:06 pm

One of the hardest things to convey to clients is that flash and solid state aren't usually faster or easier to recover than traditional hard drives.

Got a Seagate 2TB (ST2000DM001) with 4 heads, 1 of which would only read within the first 1% of the drive and gradually read less and less until it doesn't read any sectors at all shortly after that. But, with a head change, the full recovery of 700GB of data is done the next day with only 8 unread sectors on the full drive...none of which affect the data.

Got an Apple Samsung 256GB SSD with firmware issues and bad blocks. It takes about 2 days to image with 1-2GB of unreadable sectors, which means that we will need to take some extra time to do a full file system scan and the file system recovery will not be 100%.

Meanwhile, a 128GB USB thumb drive can take 1 day to get all the NAND chips and channels dumped, another day or two to calculate bad blocks with ECC, a few weeks to re-read the bad blocks and another few days to figure out how to merge the dumps and reconstruct the file system to rarely get a perfect file system recovery.

Clients tend to be baffled when they find that we charge the same rate for a chip off thumb drive recovery as we charge for hard drive head changes, when in reality, we should be charging more for thumb drive recoveries than we do for hard drives, based on the amount of time, resources and knowledge needed to recover the files.

What are your thoughts?

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Blizzard
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Re: Irony and Perspective

Post by Blizzard » Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:50 pm

It's interesting that you brought this up today. I am actually considering only offering chip-off up to 64GB. I cater to people that can't really afford recovery or at least don't think they can. The amount of time it takes to chip-off a USB 128GB or larger is crazy and rarely, if ever, a full recovery. In most cases we can repair the device but the few that can't be repaired are just not worth the time. You also have the issue with the larger devices being newer, so the % chance there is already a solution in FE is much lower, which adds even more days to the recovery. Most of the 128GB and 256GB USB we get are Lexar with a "flexed" controller or Sandisk with broken connector and maybe a blown resistor. That tiny percent of large devices that need chip-off just aren't worth it to me.

lcoughey
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Re: Irony and Perspective

Post by lcoughey » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:56 pm

Feel free to refer people my way if they have projects that you don't want.

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Blizzard
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Re: Irony and Perspective

Post by Blizzard » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:06 pm

lcoughey wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:56 pm
Feel free to refer people my way if they have projects that you don't want.
OK, I'm still toying with the idea but will keep you in mind if I make it official. I'm still on the fence because I might tell someone we don't chip-off a 256GB flash device and then 6 months later when they inevitably drop their 4TB Seagate Backup Plus I could lose out on that job :)

RolandJS
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Re: Irony and Perspective

Post by RolandJS » Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:25 pm

L.Coughey, create an 8.5x11" paper handouts and a paper-poster for your waiting room wall of exactly the material you posted in this thread opening. Remain factual, actual, as your opening post, customers "fore-informed" with the truth upfront, leading to, in addition, no surprises, no unrealistic expectations.

RolandJS
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Re: Irony and Perspective

Post by RolandJS » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:46 am

"......we should almost get a group of smaller labs together, agree on pricing and all invest in a joint marketing campaign to let the world know that there are more affordable options out there, many of whom have recovered drives deemed unrecoverable by the more expensive labs..."
a great idea from L Coughey, from his thread: More Irony

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