Who are those IT amateurs?
"Although i made multiple attempts each time i ran the test it would freeze and fail to complete"
Sounds like he pushed the power button a few times and gave up.
I guess they never heard of putting the drive in another computer and booting it as D:
The second 'professional' thinks he can fix it if he takes it apart?
Gouges on the disc? From what, the reader arm? I don't think so.
No bar code? Like hell, maybe not government issued but all hard drives for at least the last 8 years have bar codes.
The problem seems plenty obvious to me. IRS will continue to lie right up to the point in time when congress decides it's had enough and starts locking some of those people up. It wouldn't take but a night in county jail to get the truth out of any one of them....Can you imagine what lois learner would look like in an orange jump suit with no make up...