One afternoon, a phone call was received from a distraught customer who required data recovery from a pair of diskettes. The data related to an important presentation. The customer was asked the nature of the problem and eventually confessed that the diskettes had suffered some ‘physical damage’. The problem related to one of his four-legged canine friends who had chewed the diskette!

The damage to the disk cases was severe, with large tooth marks evident on the surface of the disks. Eventually both disks were imaged with only sector damage and the FATs (File Allocation Tables) were rebuilt. All the files were successfully recovered and restored to the grateful customer. Case Study: Flying Low Having flown numerous times on business Data Recovery without a problem, our customer was surprised to find that his Toshiba laptop wouldn’t boot. On contact with us, he finally mentioned that it had traveled in the cargo hold of a plane.

We had a nagging suspicion that it had probably not only been thrown around by the baggage handlers but also bounced its way down the carousel! Luckily for him, it had not been swipe damaged by any x-ray equipment at the airport. Our hardware specialists opened the head disk assembly and found there was some speckle damage, confirming that it had been bounced around as the heads had dented the actual platters. Following a successful head stack swap, the drive was imaged and we found 112 bad sectors, of which we were finally able to read 86. The customer vowed always to take his laptop as hand luggage from

Case Study: Sinking Ship A seismic survey ship sent far away in a distant sea sent us a tape. It contained the results of a number of geological surveys as part of a search for oil, but also contained a media flaw right at the start. If the data could not be recovered they would have to send the ship back out to sea to repeat the tests – a rather costly operation! The IBM drive is one of the fastest tape drives around.

Data Recovery

The monster is capable of storing of uncompressed data on a single cartridge and transferring that data at up to MB per second. At the heart of this mechanism is a read-write head which records data tracks at a time. Gaining control of these various systems, finding the undamaged data on the tape and then persuading the drive to read it, was complex. However, after much perseverance all the important data was safely on one of our systems, and we could call for a courier to take the Facebook data back to Singapore.

Case Study: Credit Card Monster The customer was a well known credit card company who stored their last few hours’ transactions on failed disks. There were no backups. It was a NetWare Server and RAID array in one large, very heavy metal box, containing wide SCSI drives and weighing nearly. There were three failed drives amongst the remaining batch of eight drives. One of the drives had suffered component failure on its electronics assembly, the other two had serious HDA (head/disk assembly) problems which needed work in the cleanroom.

Using our database of drive components and technical knowledge we worked to correct the faults on the drives so we could take images. When we finally finished, all 18 drives had been imaged with a total sector loss of just seven bad sectors. The total good sectors imaged that night was just under 88 million! The customer’s valuable data was safe.