Here’s a roundup of some of the hard drive enquiries we had last week. As you can see we get quite a mixed bag and I’ve tried to represent some of that here. So without further ado, here we go…

Enquiry: Hi. My laptop has had a drink spilt over it and now no longer works. Do you think it would be possible to repair it and/or retrieve the files on.
I’d be grateful if you could give me a rough estimate of typical cost for data recovery from a laptop, so that i can weigh up the options.

Comments: It’s very common for laptop’s to have drinks spilt on them and the liquid to get in-between the keys and into the computers innards. When this happens and the laptop’s hard drive stops, working it’s usually due to some type of electronic problem caused by the liquid coming into contact with the electrical parts of the hard drive. It’s usually possible to recover the data but the drive will have to come into our lab here as it’s quite a serious problem. This link:, provides more information about electrical faults on Seagate hard drives, but really the symptoms are the same across hard drive’s of any manufacturer and in all cases, the recovery potential is excellent.


Comments: Most CCTV recorders save their information to DVR systems that use one or more hard disks to save the data. Because CCTV systems are recording usually all the time, they are often set to loop so that the oldest footage is overwritten with the newest footage. How often the data is overwritten depends on the settings the DVR is configured with. Some are set to overwrite each week, so that only the last 7 days of data is kept, others record the last 30 days of information instead. If the data you require has been overwritten there is little chance of getting it back. Our CCTV recovery section is here:

Enquiry: Hi, I don’t know if it’s possible but I would love to retrieve some photos from an old desktop, there are some that are probably still saved to the normal memory or recycle bin but others I think got deleted after computer crashed and had to be reset, I no longer have the memory stick so this is the only way I could think of to try and get them back, most importantly the ones that were lost. Is this even possible and how much would it cost? Could you get back to me by email as am usually in work and can’t answer my phone

Comments: It may be possible to get the files back. The method we would use will depend on the problem with the drive, how the data was lost and how long ago all this happened. Also if the drive is 10 years old or more it’ll probably have the old style PATA interface rather than a newer SATA one. You can easily tell this by using the photo to the right as a reference. The newer SATA type interface is on the top drive, while the old PATA style is below. Although it is far smaller and looks more fragile, SATA hard drives are considerably faster that the PATA drives they replaced. Here’s an interesting post about the differences between PATA and SATA hard drives –

Enquiry: My girlfriend was checking a photoshoot on my mac book as her lap top is not working while looking at the photos the mac said the external HDD had not been ejected properly even though it had not been touched once it was connected again all the photos on it had disappeared and would not show on either the the mac or her camera. Can the images be restored and if so what is the cost ?

Comments: If an HDD is not being recognised by a computer anymore, there is no point in trying or buying any software to retrieve the photos. Software relies on the computer being able to access the card in order to work. Instead try our data recovery service for Macs at