Don’t Let Me Save Your Data

– Hey guys, this is Austin, and today, I am in an incredibly stylish suit for one reason I'm about to go into this clean room to take a look to see how Drive Savers is able to save everything from a hard drive to an SSD to, importantly for what we're going to be doing today, how to save the data off of your smart phone, so Drive Savers sponsored us out to take a look at their entire facility, including this two million dollar clean room, so I'm all suited up, I'm afraid I'm about to destroy everything, but let's give it a try here

So, inside the clean room, what we're going to be able to do is look at a wide variety of different ways of saving the data on a hard drive, so you can see they have these systems set up all along the wall with the power supplies, and they have various different connectors, but essentially, the main goal is to figure out, once you get the hard drive, what's the problem and how to fix it, so the ideal goal is to be able to just copy all of the data over and clone it to another drive, so sometimes, that actually is going to be possible, Drive Savers has a variety of different tools and different pieces of software to do that kind of stuff, but, as you would imagine, it's not always going to be that simple Sometimes, though, you actually have to get a little bit more creative, so they actually have tools that will be able to not only be able to re-flash the firmware on your drive, so sometimes, that'll be enough to save it, and sometimes you actually have to do surgeries You're actually going to have to open up the drive, swap out different pieces, in fact, actually, I think you're opening a drive right now? – [Man] Yes – What's the deal with this one? – [Man] It's a clicking hard drive – It's a clicking hard drive, that's never a good sign, so this is something that you're going to have to do some surgery on the drive to be able to save it

You're gonna need a donor drive? – Correct, that is absolutely correct – Gotcha, gotcha, it's funny, I do a lot of PC stuff, but I never actually see opened up hard drives because you really do need something like a clean room like this to be able to actually access them Couple specs of dust will absolutely kill something like that, so once you get the drive up and running and you have all the hardware sorted, the firmware sorted, the next step is to actually clone it all off, and as you can imagine, with some drives, it can take quite a while, anything from 30 minutes up to a couple weeks depending on how badly the drive is damaged and how much data you actually have to copy This is so cool, there's so much interesting tech here, to be able to save drives from all kinds of sizes, all different kinds of types, but that's only part of what Drive Savers do, they also work on phones, SSDs, memory cards, USBs that have been bitten by dogs, so step out of the clean room, and we have the drive inventory, so you've got some cool stuff here – Thank you

– This is a 10 megabyte hard drive – It is, it is, we purchased this for a recovery for an antiquated proprietary system that was running a robotic arm – Look at that, so what year do you think this is from? – I'm guessing very late 80s – Late 80s, aw, look at that, you can see the old school C Gate logo, 10 megabytes, it's insane that this is 10 megabytes So, what you're looking at here are 20,000 hard drives that are valued at about two million dollars, and you're gonna find all kinds of crazy stuff, so one of the things that they really have to keep in mind is that you never know what kind of drive is going to come in, so sometimes, you might have to have a multitude of the exact same model number because maybe there's going to be slight differences in the firmware or slight differences in the hardware, so once they're done with the drive, before it's recycled, they wanna make sure that there's absolutely no chance that there's going to be any data left on it, so there's a couple fun tools to do that

First of all, is the data eliminator or the degausser, which just sounds really cool This essentially will just basically EMP it, right? Say goodbye to this drive, it's about to be degaussed All right, so just push it in? – [Man] Push it in – I'm sure one of these is not cheap, but I feel like I can say that about literally anything in here, like, everything looks expensive (laughs) – [Man] Yeah

(loud thumping) – Was that it, what, that, erase successful, remove media Oh, I wasn't even paying attention, it sounded like a bomb went off, so now that it's been degaussed, the next step is to physically destroy the drive, which we don't have to do but I kinda wanna do So, we put the drive in here, close the door, and now, I'm gonna hit destroy Oh, you can see, it's just literally just gonna bend the drive in half, oh no, no way, oh! (laughs) Aw, I mean this drive has had a rough day, you know, this has been EMPed, but now, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say, you're not gonna get any data off of this, even these guys, I don't think will be able to save this one So, assuming that you don't crush your drive, the next step in the process, once you leave the clean room is to come downstairs, so each work station is going to have a whole series of PCs as well as drive bays, so for example, if I wanna just drop a drive in here, ah, I knew that

I know how to hard drive So, at this point, they've gotten all the data that they can off, and it's been cloned into a drive, so normally, you might think, oh yes, I just want everything but if you think about it, what's on a hard drive is gonna be your Windows installed, a bunch of programs that you're not necessarily going to want, so when you first contact Drive Savers, they're gonna ask, hey, what's on this drive, do you care about photos, documents, pictures, whatever the case is Photos and pictures are the same thing I'm gonna keep going, so essentially, they'll start looking through and say oh look, we found all of your wedding photos or whatever the case is, make sure that can be prioritized, so that you get the stuff that you actually want, all right, so this is what I've been waiting all day for Now, of course it's great to be able to recover stuff off of hard drives, but one of the main thing that Drive Savers also does is recover data off of smart phones, so this is my victim, a Samsung Galaxy S6, all right, all right, all right, so let's see here

– [Man] This is a little battery connect here – Just with my finger nail, okay, so get the battery, so I don't electrocute myself, okay, all right, so, this is getting to be a little bit more manageable, so we've got our NAND, so this is our NAND right here, right? So, I do see the individual pads here, so it doesn't look like it's like, I can kinda see it, so hopefully, it's not gonna be too hard to get out – So, there's like a silicon layer in between – So, I have, wow, I just realized how many people have gathered around to watch this disaster (laughs), as everyone starts scattering (laughs) Okay, so at this point, I've got the phone disconnected or disassembled and all ready to go

It's all lined up, I can see in the microscope exactly what I'm doing, so the next step is to take a heat gun, sort of melt the sodder, and basically, I just need to get the NAND flash off, okay, well, I got, like the first corner up, I should probably just work my way down now, right? Go through, oh, there we go, okay – Still, we're not gonna put it back in the phone We actually have a special reader for it, but we're gonna take off all the silicon that's on there, clean that off, re-ball it, so that it fits the in the weave perfectly – Okay, so as it should be a surprise to no one, I am a failure, so that's why you send your phone to Drive Savers, not Austin savers, so the thing was, I got it like, what, maybe 40% ready, something like that? – Yeah – That was a tentative yeah

– No, yeah, yeah! – 40% fixed, however, 40% will not get your phone up and running I have brought you the hopefully fixed re-balled NAND flash – Nice, and this is from an S6, am I correct? – A Galaxy S6, yes I'm legitimately nervous if I ruined this chip or not I think I did, but we'll see, oh, hey! – [Man] All right, so you notice, right off the bat, we've got some good signs here

This partition here is going to be our user data partition, coming in at about 30 gigabytes of data – The good thing is at this point, once everything's dumped, sort of the danger zone is over, where the chip can go and light on fire, who cares, whatever, all the data's safe – Yeah, it wouldn't matter, we could step on it by accident, we've got a copy of it – So for right now, I think it's safe to say that this has been a successful recovery of a phone that I did not break, even though I came really close So that is our totally better than Linus' tour of the Drive Savers' facility, of course, huge shout out to Drive Savers for sponsoring this video, and if you guys ever have any problems with your data, you definitely know who to contact, just make sure that you don't ask for Austin

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