By QUARTZ / Blog / 0 Comments

Before discussing about data recovery from helium hard drives there are a few essential issues which involve dismantling the myth according to which drives are vacuum inside.

No, no way, this is not true! Most of the drives even have an orifice in the cover, blocked with a particle filter and on their label it is written: “Breathing Hole. Do not cover”. This aspect is more than sugestive. The idea is that while it is operating, the read/write heads do not touch the platters surface but they “float” at a distance of aprox. 2-4 microns from them. This “floating” process is allowed by an air pillow which is produced because of the disks rotating speed. The breathing hole is necessary for the equalisation of the internal pressure from the disk with the one from the outside. This makes possible the correct functioning of these data carriers.

The need for increased storage capacity and higher speeds led to the development of new technologies for the manufacture of hard disk drives. The main idea was the reduction of the distance between the read/write heads and the recording surface, which allowed higher densities, as well as reducing friction during operation. These developments became possible by replacing air with helium, a gas less dense. But this has major implications on the data recovery in case of mechanical faults occur, because when the drives are open, they must be handled in the spaces filled with helium and the use a simple white room is of no help because the lack the necessary gas can cause destruction of the register and the impossibility of recovering the data.

Until this moment, QUARTZ Data Recovery never confrunted with the necessity of recovering data from such a disk. One thing is for sure: in case this will happen, it will be a challenge for our specialists.

Ecrypted Disks
By QUARTZ / Blog / 0 Comments

Data security is a very important aspect, especially among companies.

The need to ensure data protection compel more and more companies and individuals to opt for the use of solutions and systems for encrypting data on their hard drives. There are a series of solutions available (Jetico BestCrypt, Microsoft Bitlocker, Check Point, Apple FileVault, PGPDisk, Symantec EndPoint, Sophos Safeguard, etc), all with an increased protection level against unauthorized access of data.

These systems assure the confidentiality desired by users, but can generate very large complications if the disks fail and data recovery is needed. If the failure of the PCB (electronic drive plate) does not raise major problems in the data recovery process, in case of failure of the read/write heads and  in case of major surface flaws, things change radically.

In such cases it is extremely important that the file system to be accessible, which allows recovery only of the essential files for the user. But, thanks to the existent encryption, often these files are not possible to locate and therefore additional operations are required, that increase recovery time and increase the cost of data recovery.

A special situation is when, due to surface defects, decryption information are no longer available. Because of this information not being available, the decryption can not be done, therefor the result is permanent data loss. The same thing happens if encrypted partitions are formatted accidentally.

Therefore, it should be noted that the recovery of data on encrypted disks is usually more difficult and more costly than for unencrypted disks. The use of an alternative data backup solution is the safest and inexpensive way to get rid of trouble.

For more details, you can contact us anytime and we will be happy to help.

By QUARTZ / Useful Advice / 0 Comments

In order to prevent data loss, make sure the following conditions are respected:

  • Make safety copies on a regular basis, checking their integrity. External storage media (USB, Firewire) are a good choice for back-up;
  • Write an emergency plan and practice restoring data in case of problems. A basic plan for emergency cases should look like this:
    • The location of all available safety copies, including the date on which they were created and their type;
    • Location of all software packages, including updates to the original version until now;
    • Preparation of a backup computer;
  • Do not make software or hardware upgrades without a fully verified backup;
  • Provide the appropriate environmental conditions (stable temperature and humidity, cleaning) and proper handling in order to avoid electrostatic discharges and accidental mechanical shocks;
  • Physically secure the systems to prevent intruders from breaking in;
  • Implement security systems, starting at least with antivirus, firewall, IDS;
  • Prepare for natural disasters (fires, floods, earthquakes etc.) keeping the copies securely at a different location than the current one.

In case you encounter any problems, please contact us.

By QUARTZ / Useful Advice / 0 Comments

We all hate to lose important data. In case this happens, please make sure the following conditions are respected:

  • If the drive makes a suspicious noise, it should be immediately stopped without having to be put into operation again;
  • This situation should be treated calmly because any attempt to solve the problem can lead to additional damage and permanent loss of data;
  • Stop writing on the storage device which was involved in the loss of data. It should be noted that even when you start Internet Explorer for instance data on the disk are written and the data can be overwritten;
  • Eliminate the simplest possible causes, such as the cables that connect the drive to the system or drivers from the operating system;
  • If you determine that the problem is physical, it is recommended to avoid software solutions, which can lead to the total or partial destruction of data.

Contact QUARTZ DATA RECOVERY to find out your options and the solutions we can offer you in our laboratory.