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Salvaging documents from a broken hard disk

Using advanced tools to read documents from a faulty disk

Oct. 15, 2020 -

This week I received a message from someone with a iMac that crashed. It contained more than 50.000 photos, covering two decades of personal history. As there was no backup, it was up to me to attempt to safe as much as I could. Could I possibly recover the personal photos?

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Connecting the disk to a SATA-to-USB convertor
Connecting the disk to a SATA-to-USB convertor
It doesn’t hurt to be nice to the damaged disk... “pleasssssse little disky... give me the photos!” - But don’t touch the chips!
It doesn’t hurt to be nice to the damaged disk... “pleasssssse little disky... give me the photos!” - But don’t touch the chips!
The display is fixed using Torx screws - it can be a little tricky to remove the screws as the magnets easily catch them!
The display is fixed using Torx screws - it can be a little tricky to remove the screws as the magnets easily catch them!
The hard disk inside the iMac - containing the personal photos
The hard disk inside the iMac - containing the personal photos
Be careful when lifting the display as it has multiple cables attached to the main logic board
Be careful when lifting the display as it has multiple cables attached to the main logic board
Reading files from the salvaged disk - if you understand Dutch you’ll understand the personal nature of these photos (‘bevalling’ means birth)
Reading files from the salvaged disk - if you understand Dutch you’ll understand the personal nature of these photos (‘bevalling’ means birth)

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