Archive for Recovering Data

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 !


WD Users and Problems with Mavericks

OSX Mavericks - Recover Deleted DataWikipedia has documented the known issue with users of Western Digital external hard drives who upgrade to the OSX Mavericks. Here’s the link.

To summarise, issues became apparent when some users of WD products and especially WD disk management software upgraded to Mavericks. The most common issue was hard drive data loss &/or data corruption. WD were quick to withdraw the problem causing software from download and issued new versions that did not cause data loss issues with Mavericks, but for some users the damage had already been done and it was often not possible to reverse this either.

If you’ve been affected with this problem you may like to try talking to a decent data recovery company, there are reviews of them on Google. My advice would be to avoid any DIY or free software methods as they could easily make matters worse. If there is any software issued on the WD site that addresses the data loss problem you should be ok using that to help you.


Computer Misuse Summary

UK Legislation Coat Of Arms

Confused by the Computer Misuse law? There’s a handy guide on the Computer Science Labs web site.

What is computer misuse and what does it mean for companies and individuals? Here’s the Wikipedia entry for “computer misuse”, whilst a more brief summary of computer misuse can be found on the UK Computer Science Labs web site here.

Of course the phrase is supposed to define is utilizing the computer for prohibited or dubious purposes. Whilst browsing normal internet porn isn’t prohibited, many businesses would have a dim view if their employees were carrying this out during operating hours. It’s also an activity that can upset other members of staff and quickly lead to problems and arguments at the office. Thus firms class browsing pornography as computer abuse and will regularly dismiss employees who are found doing it. Playing on-line games during working hours is really a far less controversial problem but additionally regarded by companies to be computer abuse as the employee will be paid by the organization to function, to not play games.

The definition of computer abuse can also be designed to connect with computer crime, including web blackmail, hacking and phishing. All 3 of these activities are rather common. Computer viruses are an early case of computer abuse and were being created long before anyone had even considered a pc abuse law. Computer viruses have now morphed in to what’s often referred to as malicious software.

So previously you may view that computer misuse may be deliberate (as within the preceding example of browsing porno during office hours) and at times not (where in actuality the possessor doesn’t have an thought their malevolent program hijacked computer is used for illegal purposes).

Malware is essentially any kind of malicious computer software which is design to cause damage or harm. Actually, the definition of malicious software is somewhat long winded and complex, get an excellent stab at defining the word here. There are many types of malware plus one of the most interesting types are those that turn computers in to network zombies – these are huge amounts of machines which are infected (nearly always with all the knowledge of whoever owns the machine) having a malware software which allows them to be discreetly controlled by legal gangs.

It’s easy to recognize computer misuse when it’s deliberate but as with the majority of laws, the construal of the law of computer abuse might be tricky and somewhat long winded. Computer misuse can be interpreted and legislated otherwise by many countries. For all those of us under UK regulation there’s a great computer abuse FAQ page to the Computer Science website. The webpage discusses & defines computer abuse in equally civil and criminal cases and goes into further detail about the genuine means of computer misuse and committing computer crime.

It’s a good idea for both corporations and people to be aware of the definitions of computer abuse and also what constitutes an offence, both legal and civil. At present, most folks believe we know what computer misuse is and believe we can spot it, however this is just an a superficial foundation. Reading the computer abuse FAQ reveals that the law is actually for further achieving and concerned than you might currently believe.

Don’t Write Off A Broken Hard Disk

Data recovery technician from you save important information on a hard disk drive, you take the chance of losing that info because hard disk drives can break for a range of different reasons. If you’re not computer literate, losing data on a hard drive may be difficult as you may not know what to do to regain your data. Luckily, there are businesses which will help you get that data back. These are called data recovery businesses and they can retrieve data from nearly any kind of hard drive in almost any kind of condition. One such company is called Data Recovery London and is based in the city, so if you find yourself in a scenario where you’ve lost valuable info you ought not presume that this data can not be retrieved.

Sometimes when there’s no damage to the hard disk, software programs can be utilized to assist you regain your data by yourself. There are usually trial versions that can be found on the net that may tell you what they can and can’t recover first. If you choose you want to regain the data they find you’ll have to purchase the software which usually costs several pounds. A word-of caution though, what may initially seem to be a simple hard drive trouble may be something far more serious and striving to recover the data yourself may cause many more problems. So if in doubt, you should seek professional assistance since there might be issues inside your disc that prevent it from functioning properly.

There are a few companies that specialise in repairing damaged hard-drives. In the complete process of retrieving your data, theses data recovery businesses may also fix your hard disk. Kinds of the difficulties data recovery businesses can repair include broken boards, mechanical hard drive errors including the ‘click of death’ and beeping hard drives. A hard drive recovery company would be used by you once your local IT provider can’t help you.

Understand that just because your hard-disk breaks or the information on it seems to have disappeared, this does not mean that the data is lost forever. Skilled data retrieval companies that will find and rescue lost data on a damaged hard drive. This is useful since it insures that it is not going to occur again.

Does Your Hard Disk Drive Make Noises ?

Photo of a damaged hard disk drive

Serious damage can be caused by mechanical failures on hard disk drives and it’s best to make sure your data is saved elsewhere.

Has something happened to your hard drive? Is it making noises that it usually didn’t? Hard disks should run virtually silently, the exception being the clicking sound that may occasionally be heard during data read and write cycles. If you start hearing noises if the hard drive isn’t being accessed or hearing noises you have never heard before, it probably means that your hard disk is failing. Grinding and squealing noises typically imply that the drive has a serious mechanical problem and is near failure. If you don’t have a backup of your data, it’s a good idea to take a backup ASAP.

There are only two ways that you can shield yourself from losing all of your data in your hard disk. The very first and most likely the smartest will back-up data onto a functioning hard drive, so then you’ve got an additional copy, should it in fact crash along with your data isn’t totally gone. The second way is a bit more complicated, but in a couple of steps I’ve described how to fix your hard disk temporarily.

Run free hard drive diagnostic applications, which is already available on several PCs or on the Internet. More complex software is available for a price from pc software developers. At best, this software will mark certain areas as terrible and keep the pc from utilizing that later on. It won’t fully fix the area of the hard disk. If any corrections are made and also the diagnostics applications was effective. It is only a short-term solution and remember, the diagnostics applications will operate temporarily, but will eventually fail, therefore change it instantly.

To keep you from losing your data in the foreseeable future, it’s essential to back up your hard drive often. I’d advise doing this at least once every month. With an up-to-date back-up, recovering your data is as simple as installing a fresh drive and restoring your data. Nowadays, hard drives are affordable and simple to set up, so you ought to have no trouble. The most important item to take out of this place is really to make sure you’re always backing up your data onto another hard drive.

Helium Hard Drives – The Next Step in Hard Drive Technology ??

Helium Hard Disk Drives

Helium Hard Drives: Are they the next big thing ??

Western Digital could topple as the king of enterprise disc shipments Seagate thanks to its helium drives, according to analysts IHS. The technology has been produced by WD’s subsidiary Hitachi GST.

Read / write heads and spinning magnetic platters in hard-drives full of helium encounter less drag instead those in devices comprising clean air, and thus consume up to 23 per cent less energy according to Hitachi GST.

Also, as much as seven platters could be set inside such a drive instead of the maximum of five seen today.

A 4TB five-platter drive would turn into a 5.6TB drive utilizing the same 800GB/platter areal density technology. Therefore Hitachi GST can optimize helium drives for low power consumption and high capacity or a combination of the two – and give Seagate a right shoeing.

IHS storage systems believe helium hard drives could propel Western Digital to the top business drive spot, dethroning Seagate along the way.

Helium filled drives could raise drive capacity before data storage systems – including heat

assisted magnetic recording – reach the market. Their projections show the marketplace for helium drives will mount from virtually zero in 2012 to over one hundred million units in 2016, especially in case that the high prices of production are brought down.

But will the prices come down? And also the IHS speculation assumes the seven-platter helium filled monsters still fit in conventional 3.5-inch drive bays.

One answer would be to add flash to the enterprise drives and turn them into go faster hybrids. Hitachi GST could do the same, and we’d have helium gas-filled hybrids. As these technologies permutation are played out it’s going to be an interesting few years.

WD to Acquire sTec, SSD Manufacturer

WD LogoWestern Digital has announced plans to obtain Solid State Disk maker sTec, Inc. for $340 million. sTec is going to be merged in the Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (HGST) department. The deal is anticipated to be approved the back end of 2013.

Storage media giant Western Digital is a leader in storage technology almost since its beginning. Even though the business experienced a drop-off in the 1990s, the brand new century brought success for the international leader. Western Digital products became widely recognized and acclaimed for home storage servers as well as affordable business.

The acquisition of sTEC will cement Western Digital’s place later on of storage media, paving the way for your hard disk maker to also lead the area in development and production of solid state drives and other hightech storage products.

Data Clinic and Western Digital: Data Recovery Partnership
As storage capacities increase, effective data recovery procedures become vital for small businesses, big companies, organizations and also families, storing mission critical data on RAID drives and hard disk drives.

As WD takes another step in its development, Data Clinic’s data recovery research and development teams will probably be right there to perfect our data recovery procedures for the hottest lines of hard disk and solid state disk drives in the industry leader.

Common Ways In Which A Hard Disk Drive Can Fail

A computer’s hard disk drive is the central data repository for the entire system. All sorts of important files are stored on a hard drive, from the operating system itself to important work and personal data such as photographs and financial information. However, as with any component of a PC, hard drives can fail for a number of different reasons.

Few things are more distressing than trying to turn on your computer, only to discover that it will not boot up. In many cases, this is the result of a hard drive failure. A skilled technician may be able to provide the skills required, repair the damage and recover the data from the drive. However, his chances of success depend in a large part upon the cause of the failure.

One common cause of hard disk failure is an electrical problem. If may be a surge of electricity to your computer and the circuits can become damaged, making it difficult or impossible to control the hard drive. Common symptoms of this type of failure include a drive that powers on but does nothing, or a drive that makes a clicking sound.

In these cases, the data on the hard drive may still be intact, so retrieving it may not be terribly difficult. However, you may have to have certain parts of your PC replaced, or the technician may need to manually copy the files from the damaged drive onto a new one.

Hard drives are also prone to mechanical failures. Most hard drives involve a platter that spins at very high speeds. The read and write head hovers a fraction of a centimetre above this platter. In rare cases, a collision can occur. This is known as a “head crash.”

These collisions can severely damage the hard drive and lead to the loss of data. Recovering data from a hard drive after a head crash can be very difficult, and requires the use of specialised equipment such as a clean room. If your hard drive is making grinding noises, or if it makes no noise at all, this may indicate a mechanical problem.

Hard drives can also fail for non-physical reasons. In these cases, the drive itself is fine, but the data on the drive has become damaged or corrupted so that the computer can no longer access the files and folders. For example, if the information that tells the computer where each file is located becomes corrupted, you will be unable to open your files.

Fortunately, fixing these logical failures is generally a simple procedure. The technician will simply have to replace the corrupted data with new copies of the proper information. Once this has been done, your system will once again be able to access to your files. Even if some of your files are damaged, a skilled technician may be able to retrieve the remaining lost data.

Hard drives can crash and fail for many different reasons. Properly diagnosing the cause of the failure is the first step that a good hard drive recovery technician must take in order to solve the problem.

Cyber Threats and Acceptable Risks

Cyber Crime and criminalityThere are numerous security problems that jeopardize the IT field now, in-fact data security is really a problem over the whole IT field. Risks often focused around WIFI systems, mobile phones, and also the cloud.

Do you know the Problems in Protection right now?
For system managers (even prior to the utilization of the web) network protection (prevention of outside network attacks which might potentially trigger harm, entry or take private information or data) has been among the most significant and challenging problems.

I believe the present scenario together with the developments in information and communication systems, which comprise bigger segments of society, brings improved security issues over a large size that formerly didn’t exist. Protection breaches to info methods is just another problem and it improve at an amazing tempo daily and provided that social and individual reliance on IT systems boost the chance of security breaches may continue growing at exactly the similar speed.

More therefore, the rate of cyber-crime nearly increases annually and I believe this price may continue to grow in accordance together with the quick progress in web use because it becomes more readily available and obtainable in now’s technologies.

May we actually have great Protection on Mobile Phones?
I believe we may have great protection but since the utilization of said devices increases because, assaults to mobile products will grow, we won’t and ever have complete security on mobile devices. Certainly, security measures are improved too with technical progress but however mass utilization of mobile phones also increases user recognition and understanding of aforementioned methods which that may maybe transforms like a security dangers. (INFORMATION technology experience is really no longer a specific area recognized by a couple thousand individuals but by millions all over the world and such information is freely-accessible with several experts being self educated.)

Likewise, technical systems and mobile phones are produced by folks as are protection measures. Thus, there’ll remain the threat that such methods may probably be subjected to assaults by systems specialists. While technical improvement raising an individual’s functionality and functionality also it may expose them to risks from specialized experts who investigate and then uses any program weaknesses.

Nevertheless, computer crimes increasing nearly twice by annually and it’ll keep increasing as web use increase. Consequently I believe every passing day provided that technology maintain creating people increasingly begin with them (more people become a specialist) mobile devices won’t be as safe.

Do Wi-Fi Systems must become more safe?
Wifi Networks are merely another sort of system that isn’t completely risk-free like the rest within the INFORMATION technology world. Actually it may be quite harmful if some significant components aren’t taken into consideration. As wifi networks offer a link with the web from just about any place, you will find more possible targets for hackers than other kinds of systems.

Definitely by getting some protection measures including altering password before begin using it (many Wi-Fi access apparatus and device includes default password that are simple to discover.), limit your access to your own Wi-Fi network (hence only trusted individuals who you enabled can employ your system.), change your wireless system name, secure your wireless signals, Mac filtering (so just the given products can link to your own Wi-Fi network.), decrease the number of the Wireless Transmission etc it’s not really difficult to turn your wireless network more protected.

But after taking all these security measures which largely prevents the others using your online or getting charge of the pc during your own wifi network, the concerns which should be requested here are “does our internet velocity stay steady?”, ” are we encountering delays while moving or delivering data or advice?”,”can such delays change our business?” etc.

Do you know the Primary Difficulties on Protection inside the Cloud?
Cloud computing supplies computing resources on-demand using a company as opposed to keeping your personal equipment or software environment. In a different words, we don’t must save data into our personal pc hard disks anymore, rather than this we use tremendous on-line computers. Picture without taking your laptop to be able to get all your own own personal data at any certain minute, being able to manage and share data, photographs, films, contacts, emails, files, etc. to your pals, family, or coworkers from just about any on-line resource.

Along with this there are many more advantages of businesses when working with cloud computing, including decreased IT price (prices of equipment and software), improved efficiency, immediate upgrade, endless storage capability, enhanced integration between os, increased document format compatibility, enhanced data protection. Cloud computing become quite appealing, nevertheless if we mention cloud computing before many of the benefits, the very first query that seems within our head is; could it be protected, as soon as we consider all these benefits? Obviously cloud computing could be compromised, there isn’t any strong protection program, however, I believe security within cloud processing could be considerably greater than that businesses can supply itself.

The primary problem here is; will there be any guarantee that not one of the cloud providers are going to have access to view our info or data? But if I were the proprietor of a large business I’d feel unsafe using cloud computing since there isn’t any guarantee that nobody has the capability to get an encryption key and take, damage, destroy or promote my businesses’ advice and data.

What’s Appropriate Risk?
In daily life, nothing that we’re utilizing or performing is completely protected. There isn’t any guarantee that we aren’t likely to perish with a falling brick striking us around the top while strolling along the street or run over with an automobile while crossing the street and so forth (even though the opportunities are reduced these sort of mishaps occur). Because, there’s always a danger of dying, should we quit going outside? Therefore, even though heading outside has some dangers, we may accept these as an okay dangers.

Their own acceptable risk levels are defined by everybody. For example some folks won’t travel by airplane thinking the amount of threat isn’t adequate due to the risk of crashing and so they favor vacationing my car-even though it requires more time. But, nearly all people don’t share this perspective and use airplanes knowing should you examine morbidity between plane crashes and motor vehicle collisions that statistically more individuals perish on your way.

Also, there’s always a danger from hackers while using communication and info technology methods but this really does not mean we ought to stop using them because they make our existence simpler. Provided that some protection measures are obtained (this cannot be 100 percent safe) we could maintain carry on with them.

The amount of acceptable risk depends on personal options, as I mentioned above, this applies to businesses. Every business identifies their own amount of acceptable risk depending on their demands. Like using cloud computing is found by some businesses being a suitable danger (even though there’s no guarantee the cloud providers won’t grab their info and market it onto other businesses) which shields them from hackers better-than using other systems, together with the additional safety from dropping details or data together with the lack of notebooks, exterior hard-drives and data storage products (Cloud computing also provides an individual the chance to get all their data anytime from just about any on-line source). But, some businesses consider the utilization of cloud processing is really not a satisfactory amount of danger that they’ll consider and where they could guard their information by personal approaches they would rather use their particular systems.

Recovering Data From Damaged Mobile Phones

Damaged SmartphoneFor the past couple of years we’ve successfully extracted data from numerous mobile device, including mobile phones, smart phones, tablets, and so on. Among devices to be analyzed, we came across faulty cellular devices (damaged mechanically, by fire or on account of being kept in harsh or hostile environmental conditions) that electronic evidence must even be pulled. We’ve developed several strategies to analyzing damaged cellular devices which we’d like to tell our colleagues.

Before analyzing a damaged cellular device, a forensic investigator should ascertain just what is damaged within the unit. It isn’t essential whatsoever to desolder a memory chip simultaneously and execute further manipulations on it. Experience has shown there are generally simpler options for extracting data from damaged cellular devices.

The most typical flaw in cellular devices obtained for forensic evaluation is really a busted screen. In other words, a mobile system is functional but, due to a broken screen, doesn’t show any data. The assessment of said mobile devices presents no difficulties. To analyze cellular devices using a busted screen, we use UFED (Cellebrite Cellular Synchronization LTD) and.XRY (Micro Systemation). We produce a physical memory dump of the mobile device and extract data (a phonebook, calls, SMS messages, graphical files, movies, etc.) from it. At Times, when accessible products doesn’t assistance developing a physical memory dump of the mobile device, we perform a legitimate extraction of data. In this instance, lots of forensic applications for mobile system evaluation can be utilized. For instance, Oxygen Forensic Suite (Oxygen Software Company). Furthermore, You, you could usually replace a broken screen using a brand-new one. This creates the assessment more costly and timeconsuming, but it’s frequently the sole possible remedy (for example, when analyzing an Android apparatus with USB Debugging program alternative disabled).

Sometimes, to extract data, we use specific flasher tools (RIFF Box, Medusa Box, etc.) designed for fixing cellular products. Such flasher tools use JTAG interface for their work. Utilizing specific flasher tools, you can pull data from mobile devices that have broken system software or information protected with a PIN.

Processor swapping. The approach consists in extracting a memory chip from the damaged cellular device and installing it into the same great device. In the process, you solve several complicated difficulties which would need to be confronted should you choose to utilize a “Chip Off” method: there is no urgent need to understand the kind of a control employed by the unit to procedure memory chip data, the format of memory pages to the chip, the kind and characteristics of the file system employed by the unit, the format where data is saved (Oh, once you need to manually decode a physical memory dump, you’ll see that which we mean!), etc. The disadvantages of the approach contain the demand for a system (preferably two devices) that will be identical to the one obtained for assessment. Desoldering a processor is a quite complicated and laborious task. There’s a threat of destroying data because of heat or mechanical injury to the processor. You may even need gear for reballing. For instance, JOVY SYSTEMS JV-RKC – a package for reballing BGA chips.

When using this approach, it’s impossible to underestimate the possibility that, following the processor is swapped within the unit, all the data to the memory chip will probably be erased. This frequently occurs when a memory chip control is installed in the system board as a different processor. Usually, structurally it seems like a sandwich: to the one aspect of the system board there’s a memory chip, to another – a memory controller chip.

And So, if you got two identical devices that you are able to use as “donors”, attempt to swap their memory chips and examine the unit behavior before analyzing the unit.

Where memory chip swapping leads to data loss, you ought to put the memory chip as well as the memory chip control in the damaged device to the donor device.

When analyzing a broken device, you ought to focus on the building of its own system board. We analyzed a Motorola V3 cellphone which had spent two years within the earth. The phone appeared terrible. Numerous oxides had broken its casing and program board. It was out-of order. However, following the mobile was disassembled, it was discovered the program board contains several components. Part of the system board, using a memory chip on it, had endured environmental vulnerability minimal. To extract the data from this telephone, we purchased an identical one for an internet auction. We swapped part of the system board using a memory chip in the bought telephone for the component extracted from the broken telephone and read the data.

If not one of the previously described approaches has helped, you’ll need to utilize a Processor-Off method.

An investigator who would like to extract data from the mobile device memory chip must-follow four primary measures:

1. Chip extraction
Chip extraction is a fairly easy job: it is enough to warm the chip having a heat stream from the soldering station and separate the chip in the system board. With this measure, it is quite important to not overheat the processor (this can lead to data erasure) and damage it mechanically. Steadily climb the temperature of the new air.

2. Extracting data from the memory chip
Our co-workers occasionally ask us, “What flasher device ought to be utilized to extract data from the memory chip of the?” The inquiry is wrong. Mobile phone makers can alter a chipset of mobile devices even though generating just one batch. In other words, when we’ve got two mobile devices in the exact same batch, we can’t say with confidence they use similar memory chips. That’s the reason, not understanding what special processor is utilized within the mobile device to be analyzed, it’s impossible to answer the inquiry about the flasher tool, even though you’re conscious of the telephone design. Another bit of bad news is the fact that a mobile device may have many memory chips. You need to find all of these.

3. Flash translation layer (FTL) reconstruction
This measure isn’t difficult so long as you got a flasher device with the adapter for a crucial kind of BGA processor form-factor. However, to discover this kind of flasher device is a good difficulty. We’ve had lots of discussions with colleagues in what flasher device to purchase for a Processor-Off technique. A great flasher tool with a huge variety of adapters for different form factors of BGA chips can really cost a fortune. It’s unprofitable to invest as much on the system that you won’t frequently use. Consequently, we’ve achieved a consensus that, if needed, we’ll let such gear from enormous service centres that focus on electronics repair.

4. Dump decoding
Dump decoding is a complicated job. Fundamentals of dump decoding are educated at training classes (for instance, given by Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization LTD). Nevertheless, you shouldn’t believe that you simply’ll manage a physical dump of the telephone to be analyzed as readily as you execute an exercise dump. If XRY (Micro Systemation) or UFED Physical Analyzer (Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization LTD) supports decoding a physical dump for your device you’re analyzing, then you can attempt to decode the extracted dump utilizing all these programs. It is simpler to use UFED Physical Analyzer (Cellebrite Mobile Synchronization LTD), since it permits to customize motion sequence when processing a physical dump and also to create custom modules in Python for physical dump analysis.