Archive for News

Direct to Disk Recording

Direct to disk recordingDirect to disk recording was a common method of recording music in use up until the invention of recording to magnetic tape in the 1940’s. Direct recording to disk involved cutting a master disk direct as the artist played the music.

This meant that no overdubs were possible and that any mistakes the musicians made would stay on the recording as editing was not possible – it literally was a one take performance.

The introduction of magnetic tape meant it became possible to edit recordings retrospectively by ‘taping over’ parts of the performance when required. Les Paul’s invention of the multitrack recorder (more here) dividing the recording tape into bands allowing various instruments to be recorded to a band without any interference from any other instrument. This made it possible to re-re-record certain instrument parts where necessary without affecting the other parts of the recording. Magnetic tape recording was seen as a great leap forward but was no without it’s detractors who claimed that the introduction of tape caused a loss of clarity in the quality of recording.

These days most recording is done digitally – magnetic tapes have been replaced by hard disks that store the recorded music in digital form. Tapes have not died out however, and there is a strong belief that digital recording lacks the “warmth” of music recorded to magnetic tape. You can try this for yourself by listening to and comparing the same piece of music from a CD and then from vinyl.

Data Recovery Equipment

Data recovery hardware (the equipment used by data recovery companies exists), although there is not much of it. The equipment in this video is made by the Chinese company DFL – it looks like equipment formerly made by Salvation Data, which was shall we say, not very good at all. I haven’t seen this latest DFL equipment, but if it’s anything like the Salvation Data it looks like then it’s probably not worth buying.

Experience has taught me that the best data recovery equipment is usually best developed in house and is cobbled together by the employees of data recovery companies. The difficulty with data recovery is that it’s a kind of “black art”, there aren’t really any decent manuals that go into details of how to repair hard drives, and the techniques developed by data recovery companies to recover and repair hard drives are kept secret as these developments give the companies an edge over their competitors.

Think about it, data recovery recovery can be quite lucrative and hard drives are always going to break, so if Company X can repair a specific type of busted hard drive and Company Y can’t, then Company X are going to have a distinct advantage. Data recovery seems to be all about what you know, “knowledge is power” as the old phrase goes. I’ve found two sites that go go into detail about hard drive repair and data recovery, they are obviously written by people involved in data recovery, the are Data Clinic Ltd (for data recovery), and Data-Recovery-Tips (for people wanting to learn how to repair hard drives).

New 1.8TB 2.5″ Hard Drive Announced

HGST 1.8TBHGST has raised the storage capacity of its 1.2TB Ultrastar hard drive to 1.8TB, making it the highest capacity 2.5-inch drive currently available.

The Ultrastar C10K1800 has a 12Gbit/s SAS interface and rotates at 10,520rpm (the C10K1200 model had a slower 6Gbit/s one). HGST says the new drive writes random data 2.5 times quicker than the old one and has 23 per cent faster serial operation. The typical sustained transfer rate tops out at 247MB/sec.

It’s an enterprise drive, designed for 24 x 7 workloads, and uses a disk-based media cache architecture, meaning a large nonvolatile cache on the media. It isn’t NAND-based, seemingly.

There are 300GB, 450GB, 600GB, 600GB, 1.2TB and 1.8TB models with the greatest capacity using 4 x 450GB platters – a 620Gbit/in2 areal density. The prior version used 4 x 300GB platters. It was introduced in January 2013 and this new drive represents fairly a capacity jump – 50 per cent in areal density terms.

Several encryption options are available –

  • Trusted Computing Group (TCG) business SSC-compliant Self-Encrypting Drives (SED)
  • TCG with FIPS (Federal Information Processing Standard) 140-2 certification
  • Prompt Secure Erase (ISE) versions

Seagate has a 1.2TB Savvio spinning at 10K. Western Digital has a WD XE 900GB drive in this general class, spinning at 10K. Toshiba has its AL13SE spinning at 10,500 and with a 900GB capacity maximum. HGST rules the enterprise 2.5-inch 10,000 rpm drive high capacity space free and clear.

Then we’d find a 900GB model, if HGST applies a similar 50 per cent capacity jump with its 600GB whirling at 15,000rpm. Will there be a marketplace for that with the onrush of flash drives into the high performance storage array data access product area? I doubt it.

External Drive Recovery

Picture of an external hard disk driveExternal hard drives certainly aren’t new but they are extremely popular. Many households have more than one and companies can have hundreds. It’s the convenience and portability of external USB hard disk drives that makes them so popular.

External hard drives can be single disk systems or multiple disk NAS devices, some running RAID. Most connect to either a computer using a USB connection or a router. This last option is very popular as it allows everyone who can connect to the router to share the data on the external hard drive.

External hard drives also get knocked over or dropped, when this happens, and it happens quite a lot, they break and the data on them is lost. External hard disk recovery is possible but it takes a skilled company to do it. A dropped hard disk will often make a buzzing or a ticking sound (often described as the ‘click of death’ – Wikipedia link here). In both cases symptoms like these indicate that the hard drive has mechanical damage. I’d recommend anyone who has dropped a hard disk and broken to contact an external hard drive recovery company like Data Clinic Ltd (their external hard drive page is here) if they need to data off the disk.

Once a hard disk has been dropped it can’t really be repaired to such an extent that it’ll work without problems again, frequently data from dropped hard drives is transferred across to another external USB hard disk drive that hasn’t been dropped and works perfectly !


Digital Data – Is It Any Safer From Loss ?

Old documentsIt’s not that long-ago that we wrote everything down in books and ledgers. These days because virtually everyone has a computer, our information is frequently written to a hard disk drive instead. Technology has really brought about this change in our behaviour but has it made our files and folders any more secure as a consequence?

Digital data is not totally safe. The nearest you could get is to save copies of your folders in a fireproof and waterproof safe. This could at least give you a bit of time to recover them from a risky situation.

Many people have abandoned writing anything down entirely. I know I have. People store not only their business but their personal files like photographs and music to their own hard drives too. If all of us take music for instance, an album or CD could become scratched and won’t play. Scratching a hard drive case is not going to cause the folders to be lost, but scratching the actual face of the hard drive – the part that holds the information is going to have exactly the same effect.

Old pictures may be repaired provided that you still have the original negatives but other documents held on paper will fade over time and risk being completely destroyed by mildew and damp conditions. Frequently old records are kept in garages and lofts – these storage locations are hardly perfect and the temperatures may differ considerably. Often there is frequently a higher moisture content that is sadly often fatal to paper.

It is important that you manage the data on your own hard drive. You might think that as the files are stored on the hard drive it will be safe but this is not true. Documents and folders are easily deleted or overwritten, if you are not focused. If this happens, you’ll want a data recovery service to recover your documents and folders.

Data recovery services are used when there exists some kind of data loss. If the missing data is of no value then there is not much purpose in using a data recovery specialist. When the lost data is valuable and is needed a company supplying data recovery services can be contacted who can have the ability to recover the missing files and folders. These companies specialise in fixing broken hard drives and retrieving the files and folders from them. Of course, when the information you might have is backed up somewhere this minimises the likelihoods of data loss and the need to use a data recovery support company. I’d recommend you look for a data recovery reviews site and see which companies are recommended. An example company with a good reputation in the UK is Datlabs. If you find yourself with a broken hard disk holding data you need contact a reputable data recovery service. There are numerous data recovery businesses but only some of them are really any good. Simply go online and seek out a few data recovery company reviews. These should give you an idea of the recommended data-recovery service you can contact to recover your hard disk drive data.

Wireless USB3 External Hard Drives – Battery Powered

Buffalo Air hard disk driveBuffalo Technology has launched new storage options in the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show, like the new MiniStation Air Wireless Mobile Hard Drive (HDW-PD1.0U3), LinkStation 200 Series, and also the LinkStation 420 Network Video Recorder (NVR).

MiniStation Air Wireless Mobile Hard Drive

The fresh MiniStation Air Wireless Mobile Hard Drive supplies as much as 1TB of storage for computers, smartphones, tablets and much more. This new streamlined mobile storage option contains up to 10 hours of battery life and supports up to eight devices; this gives users the capacity to take their multimedia library with them while traveling in addition to streaming content wirelessly to any computer, smartphone, tablet PC, smart TV, or supported gaming console.

The MiniStation Air supports up to eight wireless connections, features an USB 3.0 interface, and lets users create a Wi-Fi hotspot to talk about its recognized network and Internet connection with linked apparatuses. Free cellular apps for Android and iOS can also be accessible, offering a rich UI along with a premium user experience. Moreover, the MiniStation Air may be used to stream multimedia content to any DLNA playback apparatus, including smart TVs, media players, and gaming consoles.

Essential Characteristics include –

Features long battery life so users can access and stream multimedia files for up to 10 hours on one charge
5S twice doubles as a mobile battery charger for charging smartphones while away from home – Totally charge an iPhone
Contains an USB 3.0 interface for quick file transfers and access when directly connected to any PC or Mac computer
Supports connections from up to eight devices for simultaneous access to files for multimedia streaming and more
Enables users to establish a Wi-Fi hotspot to talk about their recognized network and Internet connection with linked apparatuses
Use MiniStation Air to stream multimedia content to any Wi-Fi DLNA playback apparatus
Free cellular apps for Android and iOS are offered for downloading

Pricing and Availability

The Buffalo MiniStation Air 1TB Wireless Mobile Hard Drive will probably be available sometime in March 2014 for roughly $199.99 and is backed with a small three-year guarantee; this contains toll free U.S.-based technical support available 24/7.