Data Recovery Lab Blog: Data recovery and computer forensics

Data Loss Can Be Extremely Frustrating

Posted on: April 17, 2010

What a calamity! I have lost my data! What do I do?

Data Recovery, Hard Drive Recovery

Data Loss: Recovery of Data From A Faulty Hard Disk

Imagine a situation where you have been working on a university, business or school project and exactly at the time you want to put the finishing touches onto your completed projects, you get the dreaded blue screen on your computer and every goes bang. You desperately try restart the PC but you find no joy in getting the beast to restart! How disappointing! How heart breaking! Now it is time to cry out loud and blame yourself why you did not fulfill your promise of doing a backup. Certainly need someone get you out of this misery. It is devastating to find out that your deadline will come to an end in 3 days’ time and your hard disk has just failed and your data has vanished. Don’t panic and just keep cool. You are not alone in big trouble. Unfortunately there are many people like you who have lost their data and your situation is not unique. The good news is that all is not lost and data recovery specialist can indeed help recover all your data. It is reassuring to know that in such a terrible state to know someone can help you retrieve all your lost data. Data recovery technology has made massive progress since 1998 when the first specialist data recovery companies began operating in the UK. Now it is possible to recover data from any faulty hard disk no matter how bad the damage is.

Logical vs Physical Data Recovery

Hard Drive Recovery

Internal components of a computer hard disk

Generally, your hard disk may have failed in several ways. Here are some of the possibilities:

  • Your dropped your external hard disk or your laptop:

This most probably will cause serious physical failure which may lead to read/write head seizure; this is analogous to human cardiac arrest. In order to recover the data from a hard disk which has suffered from a physical failure, it has to be taken apart in a dust-free environment and read/write heads have to be replaced. In addition to this, the the motor, which spins the platters, has to be re-aligned. In prectice, this means athat a temporary repair of the hard disk is required in order to keep it alive enough to clone or image it bit by bit. Once we have the image, data can be recovered from the image. The repaired hard drive is no longer required and it may even fail after it has been imaged.

  • Your hard drive has been damaged as a result of a power surge:

Unregulated power, wrong polarity or power surge is a major cause of hard disk failure. This normally results in the burning out of the PCB (Printed Circuit Board) on the hard drive. Sometimes a chip on the PCB may be fried and it can be visibly detected. The common misconception among most users is that if you buy an exact match of the failed hard disk from eBay or some other online shop and swap the PCB, the hard disk will work and data can be accessed without any further action. This is wrong!This can be potentially dangerous because if you do not have the correct PCB with the exact firmware version, you may even damage your hard drive and render your hard drive completely inaccessible. In most cases, a data recovery technician would repair the original circuit board and the replace the faulty chip or power component using special tools. This requires a special hot air gun to be blown onto the faulty chip or electronic component so that the data recovery technician can replace the faulty parts without damaging the adjacent miniature components. Quite often, even after the hard disk PCB has been repaired, the data stored on the partition, is not yet accessible because the original electrical fluctuation and wrong polarity may have corrupted the partition. Therefore when you mount the disk after the repair, it shows up as “unallocated” in the disk management utility. In order to recover the data from the corrupted partition, the disk has to be edited manually using a hexadecimal editor by a suitably trained data recovery technician.

  • Logical or soft hard disk failure:

This happens when your hard disk becomes inaccessible as a result of a virus infection, partition corruption or multiple bad sectors. A more serious failure in this category is when the SMART- Self Monitoring And Reporting Technology -which is responsible for recoding the bad sectors and error correction, fails. This can extremely slow down access of the data on the hard disk and in some cases, will completely render the disk inaccessible. Recovery of data from logical or soft failures is less complex and data can recovered more quickly and cost-effectively.

Data loss can break your heart but not necessarily your back:

If you have lost data in any of the above ways, you must seek help as soon as possible because hard disk failure is progressive and the hard drive can degenerate quite rapidly. Data Recovery Lab specialises in data recovery services including hard drive recovery, RAID data recovery, PC recovery, Mac recovery, laptop data recovery, USB external hard disk data recovery and computer forensics. Recovers data from faulty or damaged hard drives and computers. It provides free data recovery analysis and free quotes. Operates a no-data, no-fee guarantee. Data Recovery Lab has ISO-certified data recovery lab facilities employing highly experienced data recovery technicians equipped with advanced data recovery tools. Data Recovery Lab has been serving business as well as private customers since 2001. For more details, visit or call 0800 840 21 31.


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