Data Recovery

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 RAID Array

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data extraction emergency help

Expert Full Service Labs

Whatever the cause, when you have critical data and you need disk data extraction service, our professional  repair Engineers with an average of 23 years experience each on every problem imaginable, will be more than happy to assist you personally with your repair needs.

Raid array data extraction and Reconstruction

Raid Recovery is by far our most researched field. Our success rate for disk drive data extraction on Raid arrays is close to 99% due to the redundancy built in to a raid system. Usual turnaround is between 1 to 5 business days for priority service, Emergency support can be provided upon request.  

Our Labs have several facilities throughout the nation equipped to faster serve your needs. We can provide end user recovered files within 24hrs using our Priority Services in ultra-critical cases. The average case to recover hardware failures is usually performed within 5 business days.

For immediate emergency help, call: 1-866 432-8291

New York Lab

9322 3rd Avenue, #454, Brooklyn, NY 11209 (866) 432-8291

Montreal Raid Repair Services

Montreal RAID Server

4000 Boul de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montréal, Québec (514) 238-4090

"Data Recovery"

The trick of pulling information from a defective disk can be very simple or extremely difficult sometimes even impossible, this usually happens if the technician has gone too far in his attempts to repair the defective disk
Data Recovery Contact information
Raid 0-5 Data Rercovery for failed Servers
Problems with data recovery can be as simple as some data corruption of the system area easily repairable to stuck data read/write heads or a stuck spindle bearing requiring further work to retreive the data stored on the disk. Questions and answers for missing Data storage devices
The PCB controller of the hard drive can also overheat and burn out the hard disk but can usually be replaced by an identical drive controller found on the internet, To get the data drive to work again you may have to replace the 8 pin flash chip on the controller for the recovery as this chip contains the firmware information for your defective disk.
This is a fairly simple process that requires a PCB Pre-Heater and SMD (Surface Mount Device) rework station or a Toaster Oven for de-soldering and a soldering iron with a steady hand for this recovery. Just remember to mask out the flash chip using aluminium foil to protect the sourrounding components or you will just give yourself extra work for nothing replacing those microscopic resistors and transistors in that general area.
Other times the head pre-amplifier can burn out for no apparent reason, just cheap components I guess, Anyway you would then have to change the head assembly inside the sealed drive disk case. This process is usually done in a clean room for best results although, if you're careful and don't leave the disk open for too long, you can get away with blowing off the dust with an air duster compressed air can. Don't blow too as this could leave a freeze mark in the data area on the platter surfaces creating additional bad sectors.
The compatible donor must be found, using the part number is usually acceptable.
Next to replace the head assembly, I usually start by removing the damaged heads of the defective hard disk, in this way I learn how the good hard disk is put together before removing the good data read/write heads. If you damage the bad heads, it wont matter just don't damage the hard disk platter surface or leave any finger prints that will degrade the recovery effort and will also cause some bad sectors in the recovery attempt.
Putting the new read/write heads for data recovery in requires a fair amount of skill, I suggest you try on some empty hard disks first to get the hang of recovery on a test hard disk. I found the little finger always wanders off and touches things best left untouched. For a successful recovery, you have to physically seperate the data read/write heads so that they can slide over the platters or the heads parking dock.
You can buy the special tool or you can make a head separator using a small piece of plastic folded in two, I found the plastic in a floppy disk to be quite adequate. Only seperate the heads enough to clear the area, too much will damage the heads and make them un-usable.
Once you have changed the heads, unless there is some serious structure damage making recovery complicated due to improper shutdown, you should now be able to plug it in and copy your data to a safe location.
After you have copied all your files you should be able to continue recovery using the repaired disk but beware that the disk can no longer be trusted and would be risking data loss by continuing using the repaired disk after a successful data recovery. Safe guard the data recovery to be used as your last working backup.
The next possible problem is firmware malfunction. Seagate 500GB disks are especially vulnerable. Indications and symptoms are the disk is no longer recognized by the system, it sounds like it's spinning up properly but is not recognized by the computer. For this hard disk repair you will need to communicate with the disk controller with a RS232-to-TTL adapter.
There's a simple drive procedure involving placing a business card between the head connector and the data disk controller board temporily then clear the S.M.A.R.T. followed by a format using the m0,2,2,0,0,0,0,22 command.
This instantly resets the problem of a the bricked disk and makes it completely accessible. Heads can get stuck to the platter surfaces during in imporper spin down. If the hard drive heads get stuck, they will end up somewhere in the middle of the platter surfaces making it impossible for the motor to spin up because the heads are not properly parked. You must be very careful when trying to recovery un-stick the heads, you can break one or more heads creating irreparable damage microscratches to the platter surfaces.
Data Recovery chances are lowered when there has been some damage and the data disk stopped turning. Complete recovery is reduced because the data read/write heads were in direct contact with the platter surfaces like skid marks.
These areas are damaged and must be avoided when you start cloning the hard disk. This is where practice is very usefull, I first try a light crisp smak of the disk as its trying to spin up (usually one or two attempts at the most).
You must be ready to clone the disk when it starts to spin, becaused it's damaged you have to avoid the damaged areas by cloning from sector 0 to the damaged spot the reverse cloning from the last sector backwards for a thorough data recovery. You can tell when you're approching the damaged areas, the cloning rate will slow or even stop. Move the heads immediately or risk the recovery by damaging the heads and surfaces further.
Repairing problems with a raid drive array is usually very simple to resolve hard but can become un-recoverable very quickly. The usual mistakes are hard disk overwriting caused by a rushed hard drive technician that wants to save too much time and cut corners with the drive raid array repair attempting a rebuild without backing up the array data volume first.
We normally clone each drive of the array before attempting any repairs. Next after having cloned the disks you now should know what hard drive caused the raid array to fail. If the data array is raid 5 then you need all the disks except one to recover 100% of the hard drive array.
All the data disks should be identical so you can use parts from the good drive to clone one of the bad disks. Once you have all the necessary hard drive of the array you should be in a good shape to recover the data and able to install all the recovered disks in the failed server forcing the missing elements of the degraded array hard back drive online for the final data recovery process and immediately backup your files then probably boot the server.
If you don't have access to the server or the client screwed up the array somehow and it doesn't mount properly then you have to recover data manually from the hard drive array. Using r-studio you can re-assemble the raid virtually. The order of the disks might pose a problem but using the default raid settings you should a fairly good chance of success.
I usually do a quick scan for data and check for the integrity of the data recovery by previewing few large JPG images, you might have to tweek the settings a bit but I've had good success with this method. If the data array has oddball settings like HP Proliant servers or the array was setup by some over zealous drive tech trying to get more speed from the server the data recovery will be more complex then you have to decode the data array striping order by hand.
This method is very time consuming and involves mapping the record numbers of the $MFT. The data recovery might be screwed if the array failed a rebuild in which case there will be data corruption and then all you can do is get close to the correct data settings and recover data as much of the data array as you can from the hard disks. RAID 0 drive array is the worst data configuration you can possibly be cursed with having in a storage device or computer system. RAID 0 by definition is the a volume that is data striped across two or more disks with no redundancy.
If just one fails out of the array, the array is lost and cannot be repaired, the probablity of failure is much higher than a single volume. The more disks in the raid 0 data array, the more risk of failure. These types of RAID 0 were set up by cheap profit oriented companies to increase data capacity for the least cost possible (no redundancy), Lacie BigDisk is a perfect example for using the Raid 0 data array, it has two drives in RAID 0 configuration in a confined enclosure with very little ventilation, just a small cheap fan, when one of the disks fail, data recovery is not possible unless you can recover the failed disk.
Of course these enclosures having two data disks will heat up much more than a single disk leading to the eventual death of one or more drive elements. They could have saved a lot of individuals' and companies precious data from failed hard drive elements and eventually did offer a RAID 1 (Mirrored hard disks) and RAID 5 (Redundant Array data of independent disks) storage which still failed but at least data was recoverable.
I don't think there are any more of these BigDisks around but if you do have one, I suggest that you back up the data and remove it from service. Certain Gateway and Acer Computers were set up with RAID 0 Data Arrays without telling the consumer or it was mentionned in fine print somewhere that the Computer was using a RAID 0 Data Array, eventually this practice was also stopped and data recovery was facilitated on these computers. RAID 1 is the easiest for data recovery just connect the good disk and copy the files, if it's a software RAID 1 Data Array you would have to use r-studio or something similar.
Successful cloning of the failed disks is essential, if you try connecting a damaged or dying disk to Windows or Mac, these operating systems will try to run a recovery utility like CheckDisk in Windows to repair defective disks creating further logical damage and even possible killing the defective disk.
Apart from the fact that Windows or Apple computers will probably lock up while trying it's data recovery utilities to read the failing disk, the system will attempt it's own data recovery to repeatedly read the bad spot until moving on, this usually damaged any further data recovery successes and often creates further damage to the disk surfaces by scraping the damaged area even more and reduce the amount of files in subsequent data recovery attempts.
There are a few solutions to properly clone data areas from a defective disk, you should find or create software that will clone each sector of the hard drive without looking at the drive structure or use a drive recovery PC3000 type cloning tool that has built in functions to ingnore or retry reading bad sectors.
Skipping over bad data sectors is required in recovering any and all data information stored on the data disk, most times data is stored all over the disk and the chances of critical data loss is very little.
Useful data stored on these bad sectors is rare except of course if the bad sector lies on the $MFT for Windows, Catalog file for Apple, data recovery might be incomplete, if the directory table needed for data recovery for these filesystems might be missing or damaged you would get raw numbered files.
External storage device black boxes can fail and contain ordinary disks that are sometimes just fine for recovery, you just have to remove the disk for data recovery from the storage unit for recovery. Connect it directly for data recovery as a slave disk to a Computer or purchase an external case and connect your disk to it.
NAS (network attached storage) usually work with a LINUX operating system (Because it's free and works pretty good) it can easily beattached to a Linux box for data recovery, if you take the disk out for data recovery, Windows and Apple will not read Linux disks for data recovery.
You can run r-studio for data recovery on Linux although for softwaye Raids you might not be able to read the file system for data recovery. You can download a Knoppix or Ubuntu Linux Live data CD to read these disks out of their enclosure, however these NAS data devices are very prone to failure to the file structure due to improper shutdown like during a power failure with no battery back up.
RAID 5 data repair of a damaged NAS system can be accomplished data using the MDADM (Multi Disk Administration) data services of Linux, once hard it's setup on your Live Linux CD, it will make it easy to detect and mount a software RAID Array.
If it doesn't mount you will have to target the RAID partitions of each disk in the Array then use the same Order and Striping detection methods described above. RAID can be very complex to recover this is why We charge so much money for hard drive data recovery but it is a lot of fun when you are successfull pulling data from the failed hard drive.
For most disk failures, data recovery can be accomplished fairly easily if we get the disk at the prime data recovery time which the begining of the failure, however waiting too long will impede any further data recovery attempts.
Since for recovery many times minor problems can be fixed easily and data recovery is immediate, people will try sometimes very aggressively and destructively to get their disk to work not realizing the damage they potentially create by their efforts. Sending the defective disk to our Data Recovery lab always the best solution for the highest success rate. Call 866-432-8291 for immediate help.

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