Can All Lost Data Be Recovered?

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

To understand how data is “lost”, we take a quick look into the concepts involved.

Logical Data Loss speaks of a bit (1) being written into a (0) or vice versa. When that exact same hard disk sector gets written back into a (1), then the data was STILL stored in (0) is now lost. This is how data gets overwritten and “lost”, as a result.

When there is physical damage on the Hard Disk, the platters are the most sensitive parts of any Hard Disk. Physical/Literal damage on the Hard Disk platters simply means that the data on the sectors involved are now at High Risk of being ‘unrecoverable’.

As such, Genesis IT Solutions & Services utilises various technologies and methods that attempt to retrieve (read) the damaged sectors and then proceed to reconstruct the sectors.

So, to answer the question, there is always the possibility of recovering the data from your spoilt hard disk drive. But there may come a point where the damage is irreversible.

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Categories: Data Recovery

What Is The Click Of Death

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment
Categories: HDD Problems

Protection against Head Crashes

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Technology today attempts Head Crashes in Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

With the advancement of technology, platters manufactured today are guarded with anti-vibration mechanism and head parking technology to prevent the head from making contact with the rotating platter when a drive is shocked or jostled. Protective layers are also implemented on the magnetic surfaces of newer disks to withstand a certain amount of headcrash abuse before permanent damage sets in. For instance, laptops computer hard disk are manufactured with better shock resistance capability as these machines are typically on the move. However it is always recommended to avoid moving your computer while the disk is still in operation.

Categories: HDD Protection

Hard Drive Recovery Tips

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Preventing Hard Drive Damage and Downtime

The first and most firm rule of thumb for preventing a loss of your data is to do complete and regular hard drive backups! This is also the rule that most people do not bother to follow. Today, with a multitude of options for backing up your hard drive there really is no excuse for not doing so. Cheap and affordable USB hard drives can act as redundant storage for your computer, making copies of your entire hard disc drive with the push of a button. Online options exist as well. Companies such as DiskHero.com offer automatic backup of your most important files via the Internet for a small monthly fee. The company already offers free service for users of specially branded USB flash drives. A flash drive itself can be used as a backup medium for smaller amounts of personal files as well.

Anticipating The Need For Hard Drive Repairs

On a regular basis every computer owner should run the Scandisk utility that is included with your Windows installation. Right click on your hard drive’s icon, select Properties, select the Tools tab, and click on Error Checking. This utility scans your hard drive for areas that have corrupted information. Such sectors of bad data are often a prelude to a looming hard drive failure. If bad sectors are found you should immediately back up your data and consider replacing the drive in the future. Bad sectors do not necessarily mean the drive is going to fail, but an increasing number of them do signal serious problems with your hard disc drive.

The biggest, and most scary of precursors to a hard drive failure is a strange clicking sound, often coming immediately after turning on the computer for the first time of the day. This sound or the notice on your monitor that the hard drive cannot be found must be taken as very serious. When either of these things occur you have little if any time left before hard drive recovery is impossible.

Hard Drive Recovery and Repair

If your hard disc drive has shown the final warning signs of failure and will not allow your computer to boot you have very few options.

  • If possible, backup your most important data immediately.
  • Disregard your program files and other software as it can be reinstalled from your original discs.
  • Save the data that cannot be replaced first.

If the computer has stopped working or refuses to boot up turn the computer off, unplug it, open it up, and carefully remove the hard disc drive from the case. Place the hard drive in a zippered freezer bag, seal it tightly while pressing out as much air as possible, and THROW IT IN THE FREEZER.

Leave the hard drive in the freezer for 24 hours. In the meantime, go to a working computer and download a shareware copy of Hard Drive Mechanic and install the software onto a blank floppy disk.

The next day, reinstall the hard drive as quickly as possible, boot the computer from the floppy disk you copied the Hard Drive Mechanic to, and start it up. With luck, the drive may continue to work long enough for you to backup your files, but the Hard Drive Mechanic software is there to help you should there be no other option left.

This software is the most economical option for true hard drive recovery. The only other alternative is to send the failed drive to a hard drive recovery company, often at a cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

When it comes to hard drive repair and recovery there really is nothing, short of backing up your data prior to failure, that can be done. Always make hard drive backups. They are your only true defense against a catastrophic failure of your hard drive.

Categories: Data Recovery

Fixing a Hard Disk is Easy (Debunked Myth)

December 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Hard Disk Recovery – Exposing the Myths

A common misconception about hard drive data recovery is that repairing hard drives means replacing parts. If only it were that easy! Hard drive technology is always changing— manufacturers are constantly using different mechanical designs.

Today’s hard drives have no room for errors when it comes to platter and head alignment. The tolerances are so exacting that hard drive manufacturers even design ways to keep the Base-Casting Assembly, where all the components are attached to, from shifting due to high temperature situations. For instance, one hard drive manufacturer of high performance SCSI based drives actually designs their Base-Casting Assembly with pre-stress points. The assembly does not line up from corner to diagonal corner—it’s pre-torqued. When the casting assembly heats up, the unit actually twists back (thermal expansion) into a true line-up from corner to corner. With the byte-density of most large hard drives today being 4gb to 6gb per square inch, absolute precision is required for these high capacity and high speed drives to operate reliably. Hard disk manufacturers are working to increase how many bytes can be squeezed into a square inch.

The mechanical precision of today’s hard drives makes head assembly replacement nearly impossible without specialized tools. Platter removal is dangerous and will affect how the drive reads the sectors. As previously mentioned if just one component is out of alignment, the drive will not find the required sectors. If the hard disk electronics cannot find the sectors requested by the controller, it may endlessly try to find those sectors or it will shut down the unit.

Mechanical precision is just one side of hard drive technology – the electronics are just as finite. Exchanging circuit boards between drives used to be a quick way to work around a failed circuit board in the past. The electronics are much more complicated, and as a result the different revisions of a circuit board are rarely compatible. The innovations of the past 15 years have made a circuit board swap as a solution a thing of the past.

Today’s hard drives are designed from basic primary components as the foundation first and then other components are built around that. For instance, research and development improvements in platter and magnetic media require research and development improvements in head design. These designs require that the electronics be ‘custom-made’ for that drive. Hard drives are ‘fine-tuned’ to the properties of the storage media and read/write heads. Similar to how a radio is tuned to a specific radio frequency; hard drives are finely tuned to complement data signals that are read from the storage media.

Hard drive manufacturers make large batches of drives so there will be similarities between drive models. However, the Revision Code (proprietary hard drive read-only software that is used by the electronics to manage and operate the hard drive) changes frequently within the same model and batch. Hard drive innovation requires drives to be constantly improved upon. All of this requires extensive training in electronics and computer science to be able to work with these storage devices.

Categories: Data Recovery