Every time you use your computer or laptop, the emails you send/receive, websites you browse, music & video you download and documents you create, will be stored on your hard drive. The next time you turn on, you naturally expect these stored items to be available to you again.
However, should your hard drive fail or be damaged, all of your information will suddenly become inaccessible! This can be due to many reasons but at least is incredibly inconvenient and at worst, very distressing and costly. For home users, this may mean the loss of precious and irreplaceable photographs, music or coursework and in the case of business owners; account data, customer/operational databases, project work and other vital systems!
But a failed hard drive doesn't mean that all your data is totally irretrievable.
Data Recovery is the term given to the process of retrieving data from damaged, failed or corrupted hard drives. The most common scenarios are operating system failure, disk-level failure, accidental or even malicious deletion by malware.
Deleted data can often be recovered using data recovery software, but usually only if the software is already installed on your PC/laptop and provided you don't carry out any other tasks on the machine before attempting recovery.
When you delete an item from your computer, it is actually still on the hard drive, but Windows (or other OS) marks it as space that can be re-used. This means that until something else is written over it, the data can still be recovered by software. However, if you continue to use the computer after deletion, there is the possibility that the marked files will be overwritten by other data and then it is beyond recovery by normal methods.
Physical Damage - the most common problems encountered are head crashes and motor failure, but if a hard drive is taken apart in a normal environment, particles of dust can cause more damage and further hinder the chances of recovery. It's therefore essential that you use a data recovery specialist when dealing with a physically damaged hard drive! We operate to Class 10 Standard, using Clean Room (completely dust-free) facilities, together with the very latest in recovery equipment.
As well as the internal parts of the drive, it is sometimes necessary to make repairs or replace parts of the hardware. These parts might be the printed circuit board the read/write head stack assembly or indeed, swapping the actual platters themselves! We're able to carry out these repairs using a library of donor drives and if we don't have the exact make/model in stock, then we will source one once we have been given permission to proceed.
Please be aware that data recovery requires detailed expertise and technical know-how. Rest assured, our engineers are experienced in dealing with all aspects of recoveries and on occasions there may be more than one technique applied to complete the recovery process.
The list of common reasons for failure is extensive and they can also just simply "die" through general wear and tear/age. Some of the most common faults are:
Logical failure − such as a lost partition or accidental reformatting
Mechanical failure − such as head crashes or motor failures
Viruses, power surges, power spikes and system crashes
Natural disasters such as fire and water damage
Corruption, power failure or mechanical failure
Human error, overwriting or accidental deletion
Dropped hard drive, contamination or damage to media surface (scratches, etc)
Hardware or software malfunction / corruption
Lost partition malicious or mechanical
Backup failure, improper shut down or master boot record damage
We offer a simple pricing structure and don't (as is standard with many companies) charge per GB of data recovered, because regardless of whether you need one file or the whole drive recovered, the process carried out is the same.
Standard Recovery from Removable Media from £90
Standard Recovery from Hard Disk Drives from £115
Standard Recovery from RAID Systems from £310
Obviously, not all data is stored in a desktop or laptop format and we're also able to recover data from items such as USB flash drives, DVDs, iPods, smartcards etc.
If you have a data recovery problem we need to have the following information:
What operating system are you using?
What type of system is the problem occurring on? (desktop, laptop, server, etc.)
What file system are you using? (FAT, NTFS, etc.)
What is the storage capacity of the drive?
Is your system suffering from mechanical problems? For example, is the drive spinning, clicking or grinding? If so, In-lab service will be required and you will have to send in your hard drive.
How critical or urgent is your data need?
Will this data be used in litigation or other legal matters?