Data Recovery Use Cases


Jun 04, 2019
 

Common Data Recovery Use Cases

Knowing what data recovery options are available is important when researching data recovery services. This can be a trying process, especially when you are contending with the panic of losing your data. To simplify the process, we have provided some common use cases below. This is why we offer free quotation & free shipping, eliminating all risk on your side.

Failure Level Examples
Logical Simple File system corruption
Complex User deleted data / reformatted the partition, volume, drives
Very Complex Error caused due to multiple factors
Physical Simple HDD Smart / Sector Error
Complex Damage on HDD head / media (= require to open HDD)
Very Complex Error caused due to multiple factors

 

 


Direct Attached Storage Cases

 

Issue:

The message "please format/initialize the device" appeared when the storage device is connected.

Diagnosis Result: 

Logical/Simple Failure

The file system information was corrupted. Since there were no physical issues on the hard drive and the data area remained safe, we were able to fully recover all data.

Such an issue can commonly be caused by a power issue such as power outage or unexpected power shutdown, or by disconnecting the storage device without the performing the “Safely Remove Hardware” process. When removing a hard drive or USB memory, do not skip the “Safely Remove Hardware” process.

Suggested Next Steps:

Disconnect the storage device immediately and contact us. If there are no physical issues with the hard drive and the data area remains safe, we should be able to recover all data on the storage device.

 

Issue:

Important data was deleted by mistake.

Diagnosis Result:

Logical/Complex Failure

Accidental data deletion is a very common user error. Most commonly, the data may not have been totally erased, just moved to a different sector and the original space is marked as available. This means that data recovery is usually possible as long as the deleted data has not been overwritten by new data. However, if you continue using the storage device, it becomes increasingly likely that new data will overwrite the deleted files, making recovery impossible.

Suggested Next Steps: 

Disconnect the drive immediately. If it is an internal drive connected to a device such as a computer, stop using that device. Even simple activities such as running an application can create a cache of temporary files that may overwrite data. As long as the target data has not been overwritten, we can recover it.

We do not recommend using any data recovery software since some software will attempt to write to the partition, which could compromise later recovery attempts if not successful. Once you have ensured that no further data will be written to the storage device, contact us.

 

Issue:

Storage device was formatted by mistake.

Diagnosis Result:

Logical/Complex Failure

Accidental drive format is another common occurrence. Sometimes the wrong drive is formatted, and sometimes a drive error forces a reformat. Hard drives on a storage device typically use file systems to manage how data is organized and recorded on your storage device. Typically, when a drive is formatted, the index information is rewritten or erased. This essentially means that all data still remains on your hard drive, only they are unmarked, so all sectors are considered free space.

Some format processes will end up overwriting some data. For example, if the hard drive was formatted as a Windows recovery drive, a portion of the drive will be overwritten. As long as the target data has not been overwritten, we can recover it.

Suggested Next Steps:

Disconnect the drive immediately. If it is an internal drive connected to a device such as a computer, minimize your usage of that device. Even simple activities such as browsing the internet can create a cache of temporary files that may overwrite data.

We do not recommend downloading or using any software that “unformats” your storage device, since using those programs further risk overwriting your data or worse, present security risks to the device. Once you have ensured that no further data will be written to the storage device, contact us. Depending on how the drive was formatted, we may be able to help you fully recover the data.

 

Issue:

The storage device is recognized by the computer, but it takes a very long time to read data on it and the drive would sometimes freeze.

Diagnosis Result:

Physical/Simple Failure

Such an issue is commonly caused by bad sectors on the recording surface. A bad sector can dramatically slow down the drive since it has to repeatedly attempt to read over the damaged area – and sometimes unsuccessfully. Bad sectors can arise from physical damage, such as the drive naturally wearing down from use or being dropped, and from logical damage, such as data corruption from sudden power loss or malware attacking the data system. Bad sectors may have already caused some data loss, but the key is to prevent additional data loss. The more bad sectors that accumulate on a hard drive, the more data you’ll lose on it, and the more likely your drive will crash.

Suggested Next Steps:

Disconnect the drive immediately. If it is an internal drive connected to a device such as a computer, stop using that device. It is imperative to prevent the damage from spreading to other sectors of the drive. Once you have ensured that no further data will be written to the storage device, contact us. We may be able to help you recover the target data.

 

Issue:

The storage device is making noises and is no longer recognized by the computer.

Diagnosis Result:

Physical/Complex Failure

If the drive makes strange noises and becomes inaccessible, it is most likely a physical failure. Commonly, clicking, clattering, grinding, or excess vibrating noises mean that a mechanical component of the drive, such as the magnetic head, has failed and bad sectors have been created on your drive. In this scenario, it is imperative to prevent further damage to the data recording surface. Even if the drive cannot be powered on, no damage or minimal damage to the recording surface will greatly increase the odds of fully recovering the data.

Suggested Next Steps:

Once you recognize that the drive cannot be read and strange sounds occur, turn off the power immediately and disconnect the drive. If it is an internal drive connected to a device such as a computer, stop using it entirely. Once you have protected the data recording surface from any further use, contact us. As long as there is no or minimal damage to the drive, we can recover your data.

 

Issue:

The storage device was dropped in water.

Diagnosis Result:

Physical/Very Complex Failure

If a hard drive has been dropped in unclean water, data loss can result from water damage. Unclean water contains a number of contaminants that could corrode your data recording surface. Additionally, the longer the drive remains wet, the more likely that water could seep into areas and damage sensitive electronic components. In the event of submersion, it is important to take immediate action.

Suggested Next Steps:

Remove the drive and wrap it in paper towels, then put the drive in a plastic bag and seal it after removing as much air as possible to prevent oxygen from corroding any components. Once that is done, contact us immediately. If the recording surface is cleaned and becomes readable again, and no water damage occurs to any sensitive parts, data recovery is possible.


Network Attached Storage Cases

Issue:

NAS cannot be accessed.

Diagnosis Result:

Physical / Simple Failure

If a NAS device is online but cannot be accessed, it is likely that one or more drives in the NAS has failed. Drive failure can occur due to a variety of factors and depending on your NAS device setup you may have a much larger issue at hand. For example, if your NAS device is set up with a RAID 5 array and it becomes inaccessible, it means that more than one drive has failed, and thus will require careful diagnostics to determine whether data recovery is possible. In some cases, it is possible that all drives in the NAS device have bad sectors, and data recovery is dependent on the extent of the damage.

Suggested Next Steps:

Power off the device immediately. Since it is impossible to tell whether any or all of the drives have bad sectors, it is imperative to prevent the damage from spreading. Once you have ensured that no further data will be written to the NAS device, contact us. We will perform a detailed diagnostic and help you recover your data.

 

Issue:

Drive failed while rebuilding RAID.

Diagnosis Result:

Physical / Complex Failure

If a drive fails while rebuilding a RAID array, the array could become “disordered” and the parity could be overwritten. Once that occurs, data from the failed drive cannot be recreated on the array. Furthermore, if another drive fails while the array is in degraded mode, the array could collapse, making the NAS inaccessible.

Suggested Next Steps:

Power off the device immediately. If a drive is damaged, using it further could overwrite important data that needs to be recovered before the NAS becomes inaccessible. Once you have ensured that no further data will be written to the NAS device, contact us. We will perform a detailed diagnostic and help you recover your data.

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