MacBook Pro Running Slowly

My MacBook Pro's Internal Hard drive (Mid 2012 Non-Retina) recently started making noises and the laptop pretty much doesn't respond to anything anymore or if it does only very slowly. I am quite sure that the hard drive is in its last breaths and a backup to an external hard drive did not succeed either unfortunately. BIOS recognises drive and windows occasionally detects and installs. However cannot read or access. The heads seem to be cycling around. No clicking i.e. hitting the end stop. Was working fine then failed to boot correctly followed by no access.
What can I/you do to save my files?

The problem with your Macbook Pro sounds very much like bad sectors - parts of the hard disk that can no longer be accessed by the computer. It's a very common problem and far more widespread than you think. The likes of you and I hardly ever notice this or come into contact with it because the hard drive has a built-in bad sector management program that swaps out bad sectors and replaces them with good sectors whenever a bad sector is encountered.

Bad sectors do not go away or diminish, instead they grow as it's the only things they can do, eventually spreading across an entire hard drive. A good guide you can use is the slower your hard drive becomes, the more likely it is to have a high number of bad sectors. If you don't have a backup of your data then bad sectors will eventually lead to you losing all your data.

Retrieving the data from hard drives with bad sectors is possible, but you'll need a data recovery company to do it for you. These company's have specialist pieces of hardware equipment that are able to read 'through' the bad sector and get at the original data underneath. I recommend companies such as this one or http://24hourcomputerrepairs.com/ should you be looking for a data recovery provider.


Smartphone Data Recovery (iPhone and Android)

New Phone Data Recovery Service
Data Recovery Tips (http://data-recovery-tips.co.uk/), the UK data recovery service has recently started to provide phone data recovery in addition to hard drive recovery.

Having used this service provider before and had good results I will now also be sending broken phones I receive to have their data extracted to them.

A recent number of phone recovery enquiries are reprinted below: in each case Data Recovery Tips have a service to retrieve the data. Alternative service providers are recommended at http://blogs.rediff.com/data-recovery/.
Iphone 6s got dropped in water, was put in rice. It did not turn on, attempted screen replacement. The screen came on but was extremely dim until last night and screen stopped coming on. Need backup of all data.

  • I need to retrieve a number from Feb 25th of this year on an Iphone. It is not left on the call history log, since Iphone only stores the last 100 calls which means about a month back in time. Can you help me retrieve it?
    I have heard about your services all the way to Sweden and that is why I am going to London next week to have this phone number recovered.
    Therefore, I will show up on Wednesday morning on June 8th and am leaving for Stockholm on Friday morning June 10th at 6.30 AM.
    Therefore, I would like to kindly ask if I could collect my USB stick with the lost phone number on Thursday June 9th, before you close at 6 PM. I definitely need this number with me on my flight back, perhaps you could make an exception and wonder how much that costs extra? Money is not an issue. I have to get the data recovered before I leave.
    Please, call me as soon as possible to make an appointment on Wednesday, in order for you to be able to retrieve the phone number before my departure.
  • Phone was dropped in toilet by my son and was in there for a minute while turned on. I took it out and turned it off. About 10 minutes later the battery seemed to get really hot. Later that day I put it in one of those drying bags with drying crystals after opening it up and taking screen off. I left it in there 5 days. Now it have tried to turn it on but it is dead. I need to recover about 32gb of info which is mostly photos and videos. I live in Herts and work in London.
  • I have a samsung s7 edge that fails to boot. I have contact and messages that I would like recovered from the phone, is this something you can help with?
  • My Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini was recently infected with a virus. I had to perform a systent restore and wipe the phone in order to be able to use it again. The problem was that after the restore I realised that I had not backed up my data and as a result lost all my pictures. I am aware that it is possible to retrieve data after a system restore. Would it be possible for you to retrieve my data from my phone.

Dropped External Portable Drive Recovery

Dropped my external hard drive yesterday (Western digital 1TB P/N:WDBMWV0020BBK-05) and now it will not connect to pc. It just sits making a ticking sound for a couple of minutes, then shuts off completely. My hobby is in photography and It contains a number of photographs that I have been working on for the past few months.

I dropped a passport WD USB 3.0 2tb portable drive . It was powered on but unplugged as it fell 1m onto the floor. Afterwards it still read the folders (800gb of data) but was much much slower at going through the sub folders and then opening small word documents. PowerPoints opened too slowly to be useful to me. As it was under warranty I took it back to Curry's know-how dept for their £80 data recovery. I also sent off a new USB drive to copy the data too. After 2 weeks I have been told their software could not recover the data as is a mechanical issue and they need to do an advanced recovery where they open the drive to repair parts. This would cost me some £200 odd pounds but would be free if they failed to recover the data. I've read your website and now I'm concerned the data that was barely accessable may have been damaged by them. I'm waiting for the drive to be returned to check it. Have you any advice? Contact by email would be preferable as I teach.

I have a 'Transcend StoreJet' Harddrive and have dropped it. It's one of those portable hard drives that plug into the USB port on a computer. Since then It doesn't work, I have tried new cables but it still isn't working. I have a lot of work on it so need to get the work off it.

Portable hard drives such as the ever popular WD Passports are usually the recipients of some rough treatment. They are built to withstand knocks and bumps, but a fall from a significant height is going to cause serious problems to the hard drive. This problem is common to all portable hard drives, including the Transcend Store Jet and other external hard drives. At the heart of the problem is the mechanical nature of these hard drives. When one of these drives is operating a mechanical arm known as an 'actuator arm' moves across the surface of the hard drive reading and writing data to the hard disk. A significant knock or bump during the operation of the hard drive results in damage to either the actuator arm, the disk, or both. This then causes the hard drive to make a ticking sound, as the drive tries to pass a self test procedure before passing control to the computer. This testing procedure will never succeed as the hard drive is now damaged to a significant extent. Retrieving the data from a dropped external or portable hard drive often relies heavily on experts  who should be able to repair and restore the information from a damaged hard drive. Rather than meddle with a dropped hard drive I recommend you use one of these expert companies and give yourself at least a fighting chance of getting your data back.


Retrieving Data From Damaged Phones

Mobile and smartphones break in many ways. We believe that once a phone is broken that it's not possible to recover the data from it. This is not true, skilled phone data recovery organisations like England's Data Clinic (see http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/data-recovery-from-mobile-devices-phones-tablets-etc/) can get the data back from almost any type of damaged or broken phone.

No Power To Phone

Samsung s2 mobile phone.
No power. Screen slight crack. Need photos videos. Phone numbers recovered.

This shouldn't be too difficult a problem to recover the data from. To me it suggests that the cracked screen has interfered with the phone's circuitry and is preventing it from switching on. Replacement of the cracked screen with a new one and a general clean inside the phone to remove and unseen debris should result in this phone working perfectly again.

Phone Stuck in Boot Loop

I have an LG G4 which appears to be stuck in a boot loop. I cannot access recovery and it does not stay on long enough to be able to access it via a computer. While the phone is still under warranty and I can get it replaced, I do not want to lose the large amount of pictures and videos stored on the device. I am keen to locate someone that would be able to recover the photo's and videos from the phone before it goes off to be replaced by LG. The only catch is that the data recovery will need to done without unscrewing the back of the phone to access its motherboard as this will void the warranty and result in me not being able to replace it. Is this something you are able to help with?
I live in Reading and so can pop into local IT provider "Its Gone Funny" if necessary, but ideally would like to know whether its possible.

You don't disclose how your G4 phone got into a boot loop, was it after a software update perhaps or did the phone run out of battery mid operation? Getting the data back from phones that are stuck in boot loops is possible, often by bypassing the operating system (and therefore the boot loop) and reading the information straight off the memory chips. This is a highly skilled task however and should not be left the the unskilled staff in your high street mobile phone repair shop. Instead look for a competent data recovery company, they will be able to assist.

Sony Xperia Dead Battery

I have an unresponsive Sony Xperia T mobile phone which I think has had the battery shorted with all possible hopes to switch it back on gone. If I have the phone, with a dead battery, is there still the possibility to recover files previously saved on the internal memory via some sort of chip off process? I'm based in the city of London only 5 minutes from Bank which would be easiest Data Clinic office to get too. Just preliminary inquiry at the moment to check viability.



RoundUp - March 2016 (Uk sites)

Hello again, here's my monthly tech site roundup where I recommend the UK sites that have impressed me this month and provide links to them too. This month I've turned my attention to hard disk related problems and the need for data recovery services. These are usually technical companies that have the ability to retrieve information from hard disk drives that have broken and no longer work. Hence the need for a data recovery service to retrieve the data from the hard drives.

Example 1: Could not access hard drive (whirred and showed question mark. Apple could not restart. My son has taken the hard disc out and installed in a docking station, but it doesn't drive the disc. I'm an academic and would like my current WORD files retrieved if possible back to June 2012, when my back up failed without warning me. I now have a new computer and do not need applications, pdfs or ppt's which I can retrieve from my downloads or memory sticks.
My comments: Sounds like you need the services of a data recovery company to me! Try http://www.datlabsdatarecovery.co.uk on  0871 977 2999 (UK).

Example 2: Hi, I have a Canvio 3tb that I had partitioned with Time Machine. It is does not show up on my Macbook nor on my sons Windows Laptop. Have you had experience reovering from this issue as a basic technician has already taken a look? Toshiba wouldn't cover the work under warranty as the serial number was not present? If you can conduct the work what would be a rough estimate of price? I am currently out of the country so please reply via email.
My comments: The Apple Time Machine is a form of external hard drive and a good post with good advice regarding rescuing the files from device like these can be found on the Frank Canon microsite at http://frankcanon.blogbaker.com/2016/03/14/external-hard-drive-problems.

That's it for this month. Short and sweet I guess. Remember that if you have any technical queries or questions you can contact me and I'll try and answer them. They may even make their way onto my month blog roundup too.



External Hard Drive Stopped Working

"My external hard drive has stopped working. It is a Samsung product. Powered via the USB cable. I have changed the cable and confirmed that is not the problem. It makes no sound or movement when connected to any computers. I need to extract or recover my data.".

I read that you've done some fault finding on your Samsung hard disk drive already! Good, this makes my job easier. Eliminating items like the cable is a sensible thing to do and I've seen, on more that one occasion, a cable being responsible for the fault. In your case, describing the fault as you do, to me it seem that your Samsung external hard drive is damaged. Googling something like 'damaged external hard drive recovery' pulls back many results and I had a look at some of them. The best sites I could find were http://computersciencelabs.com/ a site that has a corporate feel that is all about data recovery. It has some interesting information on it, including stuff on the forensic examination of computer disks and also obtaining the information from CCTV - much of which is written to hard drive these days. A less corporate site but one equally as good which is also awash with information pertaining to the extraction of data from Samsung (and other) hard drives is http://24hourcomputerrepairs.com. Many of the recent articles are about computer forensics involving hard drives and CCTV but take a look through the articles and you'll notice plenty of useful stuff.






Teckgeek Goes DIY

I've been asked recently if I could post some information about how to troubleshoot HDDs rather than provide advice on who to send them to for repair and recovery. Well, this is fine, I've no problem in giving advice out, but my advice about which data recovery companies to use when you need to retrieve data from a faulty HDD is given because the companies I recommend know what they are doing and how to retrieve the data from a faulty disk!

By giving advice out about how to repair these devices yourself it is putting knowledge into your hands. Now I've no problem with that per se, but if you are a novice with working with hard drives (as many of you are) and you follow the advice I'm providing on my blog and the advice doesn't work, or worse still, I advice I'm giving you causes your hard drive to stop working altogether then you're going to blame me aren't you!

So instead of offering first hand advice about fixing broken hard drives, I'm going to point you to a blog or two that distill hard drive repair and recovery advice and offer tips that you can use yourself to recover the information from a hard drive or fix it when it breaks.

The best site I've found that provides hard drive and phone troubleshooting information is the excellent http://data-recovery-tips.co.uk/ site. Seemingly run by an enthusiastic data recovery professional it has many ideas you can try on your faulty hard drive to see if you can get it working again. The site also supplies information a mobile phone recovery and how to go about retrieving the data from a broken mobile or smart phone.

So take a few minutes and visit this site - it could solve all your hard drive problems.

Hard Drive Helpline

I'm getting an increasing number of enquiries for assistance with hard drives that have gone faulty. With this in mind, I'm thinking of logging these to a forum where people can offer advice to enquiriers. Here are two:

1. Sonnics 250GB external hard drive has stopped responding when plugged in – light does not come on as usual and does not show up on desktop. Used it this morning and it was fine, has not been dropped or damaged that I know of, just seems completely random. Does not make any noise or seem alive at all.

2. We have a 1TB Seagate Expansion external HD that has suddenly stopped being recognised on our laptop and TV. The white LED flashes but nothing happens. The HD doesn't click, but makes a whirring sound. Not sure how much is on there, but all we want are any documents and pictures back. Please advise costs.

At the moment I am directing people to local data recovery service providers who are located near to them such as http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/dataclinic-locations/ and the sites listed on http://janschon.edublogs.org/, who then pick up the enquiry and contact the user direct.

An established data recovery blog run by Clive Naylor highlights data recovery issues and recommends companies from time to time. Clive's blog can be found at http://clivenay.beeplog.com/ and and example company at http://clivenay.beeplog.com/341275_5194537.htm.






How Important Is Web Site Speed?

Reading Google's Web Master Guidelines at https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35769?hl=en it seems they place a lot of emphasis on how fast a site loads. This is not surprising as these days, your typical human browser is not willing to wait longer than a couple of seconds for a web site to load before losing patience and going somewhere else.

With this in mind I decided to run a Google Insights speed test (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) on my web site, and found that I only scored about half marks and also had a lot of recommendations in order to improve my site's speed.

I spent the next 2 days or so implementing all these changes and managed to get the speed up into the 90% band for desktop sites and 75% for mobile sites. I then waiting about 2 weeks whilst monitoring my sites rankings and waiting for the improvement in speed to be reflected in increased rankings. However, nothing happened. I was rather disappointed. Making my site more like Google would like it to be should be reflected in web site rankings you would think? Apparently not.

So now I shall downgrade web site speed in my list of priorities for my web site and instead keep my focus on content.



Data Clinic Blog Post Round-Up

There's been some interesting blog posts on the Data Clinic web site lately at http://www.dataclinic.co.uk/.

For those of you who like techie information relating to computer disks, data and what to do if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of losing data, the Data Clinic blog is the place to go as it's full of real world examples of data loss situations and tells you how to go about getting your data back. This information isn't just confined to hard drives, but also includes mobile devices like tablets and smart phones.

First of all I didn't know that it's not possible to repair and damaged hard drives. Although we make not think they look very complex. hard drives are very clever devices that are difficult to fix if they go wrong. Here's a great post about why it's not possible to repair a damaged hard drive.

The blog posts aren't confined to hard drive problems and how to resolve them though, there are other related articles. Hacking is a big problem these days and most often the weak point in the chain is the simple password that is used to protect a system's data. Use of weak passwords renders systems highly vulnerable to attacks, so this guide shows you how to construct a strong and secure password that's easy to remember and very difficult for hackers to break.

Finally, there's a typical cross section of the various different types of enquiry that Data Clinic receive - in this example you can read people's enquiries about recovering information from mobile phones, external hard drives, PC's and Macs.

So go and have a look at this site - as I say, it's crammed with information about hard drives and getting data back from damaged devices.