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Quantum Fireball TM Data Recovery Information


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These are some real problems experienced by Fireball TM and Quantum hard drives in general that we see in our lab. We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. We see mostly failed drives in our lab and therefore we don't have complete statistics.

There are a number of photos on the drive and you can see the files (in full size) when looking at them in the finder window but they cannot be viewed or copied or saved elsewhere. It was sent to a local recovery shop where they ran recovery software and got a few files but nothing more, after that I sent it back tot he manufacturer and they were unable to recover anything with their software.
Keira K.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Most common problem for Quantum drives is bad sectors. After some period of time magnetic media that covers the platters starts to degrade and magnetic domains can't be turned in a desired direction by writing element of the head. This is how bad sectors appear.
When the drive starts reading data from such unreadable bad sector it could start freezing, scratching and sometimes even clicking: . This leads to further damage to the heads and surface, and may result in further data loss. As soon as you start experiencing such symptoms stop the drive immediately and send it to our data recovery lab for evaluation. Any further attempts would just add up to the problems. In our lab we use special imaging hardware tools that are capable of reading raw sector data ignoring checksum check. That's usually the only way to get as much data as possible from these LBAs.

Another quite common symptom Quantum drives have is clicking or knocking sound. The drive usually spins up, clicks a few times, spins faster, clicks again and spins down: . Most often this a sign of a bad head, but before doing any clean room work, it is very important to perform accurate diagnostics and eliminate a chance of possible firmware corruption that sometimes could also cause clicking.

It's a Quantum(Fireball TM model), from circa May 2002. It makes a clicking noise which persists even when the data cable is removed, as per Western Digital testing recommendations. The BIOS does NOT recognize the drive (tried on two different systems).
O-L
Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Quantum hard drives are also well-known for their firmware problems. If one of the firmware modules becomes corrupted, the drive fails to initialize correctly and stops working making the data inaccessible. In such case the drive is either

  • not found in BIOS at all
  • shows up with wrong S/N or capacity,
  • or fail to read any data or boot up operating system.
If you attempt to boot up from such drive or read any data from it you would get "Primary Master Hard Disk Fail" or "No operating system found" or "USB Device malfunctioned" error or something similar.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above with your Quantum Fireball TM please feel free to contact us to get upfront quote on data recovery from your failed drive.

If you hear your Quantum hard drive making some other unusual noises visit our Hard Drive Sounds page for more examples.

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Stay away from those companies. They can steal information but they can't steal knowledge and experience.



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