How to hard drive data recovery
The four essential phases of hard drive data recovery.
1. Phase 1. Diagnostic: A careful and accurate diagnostic of the malfunctioning drive needs to be assessed. Proper assessment often includes the use of a clean room for advanced physical inspection of the internal platter(s), armature and other internal parts. Close inspection for signs of foreign particulates is one area of great consideration with a clicking drive. Often customers try to power up the malfunctioning drive resulting in further irreversible damage. We always inspect a malfunctioning drive in our clean room before applying power to the drive.
2. Phase 2. Drive Restoration: Physical functionality must be restored to the drive. All electronics and mechanical functions of the drive need to be restored to a point where the drive will provide access to its service area and generally to the drives ID. Drive restoration is often done with the use of parts from one ore more donor drives which are utilized to provide exact replacement parts to restore functionality.
3. Phase 3. Imaging: This is the single most important process of data recovery. The basic idea behind imaging is to do what is necessary to read a sector and copy that sector to a good working intermediary device. In our case we use redundant stand alone servers in conjunction with our data recovery machines to hold the image created. Using one of our data recovery machines, the original customers drive (patient drive) is copied sector by sector to create an exact bit for bit image of the original drive which will later be used to perform the actual data recovery. The imaging process is read only and non-invasive to the original drive and is completely isolated from any operating system or outside influences. Our data recovery machines can facilitate the operation of a hard drive even when there are some mechanical/physical malfunctions and can access manufacturer specific features/functions of the hard drive that would be inaccessible to the end user. The data recovery machines can slow down, speed up, reverse, repetitively hover over problem areas of the drive to image sectors that would not normally be readable and have many additional advanced capabilities. One advanced capability is to image sectors ignoring corrupt header information or imaging ignoring ECC (Error Correcting Code). Sometimes the original drive allows imaging at a very fast rate and other times the machine can reach an area where it has to slow down to a crawl using varying techniques to be able to image the sectors that would otherwise not be readable.
4. Phase 4. Extraction / Verification: Once the imaging is complete or completed to a point where the process of imaging is stopped, a file report is created and provided to the customer. The customer can select what files/folders they would like recovered and the report is emailed back to us. Our data recovery machines interact directly with the customers selections and provide the customer exactly what they selected. Using the report, we selectively extract all their respective files to an external USB hard drive (media drive) which holds all the customers recovered data. If the image from Phase 3 provides a corrupt file system due to viruses, customers operating system reloading, deleting or formatting the hard drive, additional work will need to be done using software at the logical level to recover damaged files.