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The Essential Data Recovery Report
Saturday, October 27, 2007

Your worst nightmare just became a horrifying reality. You keep hearing that little voice in your head mockingly shout you should have backed that stuff up The voice keeps echoing throughout your head as you perform a quick inventory all of the important information that you just lost..your client database, a years worth of e-mail, your entire inventory database, even your family photos. Even worse, youve got a deposition in two-weeks and key information needed to help win the case were also lost. You quickly call a service technician and have them come over to check the computer out, only to hear the worst news of all.your data has been lost. When a hard drive crashes, its too late to worry about what you should have done.

Today data recovery is a multi-million dollar industry. The number of data recovery firms out there seems to exceed the number of fast food restaurants for the entire planet. These companies specialize in helping their clients retrieve data on anything from hard drives to flash-roms. In the following report, we will discuss what data recovery really is; the different types, the costs, and what you can realistically expect when it comes to getting your data recovered.

What To Do In The Event Of Data Loss?
Around 44% of all data loss is caused by hardware failure. Its important to make sure that you immediately shut your system down if you suspect that hard drive has crashed. Dont even try to go through the shutdown procedure, just pull the plug from the wall. Do not try to run off the shelf data recovery software or drive utilities. Many times these applications will assume the drive is functioning properly and will increase the risk of permanent data loss.

Types Of Hard Drive Failure

When we discuss data recovery in this report, we will primarily focus on issues surrounding hard drive failures; since these types of failures are most common. There are really two primary forms of failure in a hard drive, logical and physical. Logical failures are usually a result of file-system corruption. This can occur due to a virus, accidental deletion of key files or registry components, and in some cases even electro-static discharge. In most cases where a logical failure has occurred, the drive is still recognized by the system BIOS, but it will not boot. In most cases, your data should still be intact on the drive, even though it may appear to be inaccessible.

If the system BIOS does not detect the presence of the hard drive, then chances are a physical failure has occurred. Physical failures can result from a wide variety of causes. There are really two sub-categories for physical hard drive failures; mechanical and electronic. Mechanical failures usually result from a failure of the spindle motor. Spindle motor failure can result from excessive heat due to a bearing failure. The increased heat resulting from the bearing failure will expand the drive shaft and therefore seize the spindle motor. Suddenly, your drive will become inoperative. Occasionally, you will get a warning that something bad is about to happen. You may hear a loud whining, a grinding noise, even high-pitched screeches. If anything like this starts to occur, BACK UP YOUR DATA IMMEDIATELY.

Another physical issue that sometimes rears its ugly head is an electronic failure. If you look at a hard drive you will notice a circuit board on the bottom. This board is basically the brains of the drive, and it is where the computer interfaces to the hard drive. An electrical failure can occur unexpectedly at any time. Even brand new hard drives are not totally immune to having electrical failures. Sometimes its just a faulty component, sometimes its improper installation (i.e. electro-static discharge, grounding out the board, damaging circuitry during installation). Its important to also keep your system clean and well ventilated, since excessive heat can damage the electrical components on the drive. If you have a system that is in a somewhat contained area, you may look at adding an additional 80mm fan to cool the internal components of the system, especially the hard drive. No other component of a computer works as much as the hard drive, and therefore it is vitally important not to overlook it when cooling issues arise.

How Is My Data Recovered?

One of the most often asked questions that customers ask is, how do you get my data back? Well, its really not black magic or rocket science. Its just a matter of having the right tools and the knowledge necessary to know what to do, much like a surgeon performing heart by-pass surgery. Many prominent data recovery facilities have a large array of hardware, software and tools for recovering data.

Generally speaking when a hard drive is received by a data recovery firm, the first thing they do is evaluate it, and determine what recovery solution will be necessary. If the drive failure is a logical issue as mentioned earlier, then a scan of the drive will be performed to try and repair the file system corruption. Sometimes a partition can be repaired and the drive restored to the status that it was before the failure. If this is not possible, then a very low-level scan will be performed that essentially searches every sector of the hard drive for files. Once the files are located, they can then be copied to the media of choice, i.e. a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or another hard drive. Logical recoveries can take up an enormous amount of time, especially if the drive is on the verge of physical failure. Its not uncommon to allow for one day of scanning and a day for recovering the found files.

If the drive has suffered a physical failure, then the recovery procedure is quite a bit more challenging. As mentioned above, there are really two sub-categories of physical failure; mechanical and electronic. An important element in recovering data from a physical failure is having the necessary parts to get the drive functioning again. Unfortunately with hard drives if you have a 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for example, then you will need another identical 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for salvaging parts. In cases where the electronic circuit board has failed on the hard drive, then you have to have the exact same circuit board on hand in order to retrieve the necessary circuit components for replacement. Many times you cannot even exchange circuit board for circuit board. These repairs generally require soldering skills and a thorough knowledge of electronics to be successfully completed. You will most likely hear Class100 Clean Room thrown around a lot when talking to data recovery professionals. Simply stated, a Class100 Clean Room maintains exceptional air purity, and contains less than 100 airborne particles larger than 0.5 microns in each cubic foot of air. This is vital in protecting sensitive internal components of hard drives. Anytime a hard drive is having an invasive procedure performed on it, a Class100 clean room or better is needed.

The time frame for recovery is generally 5-10 business days for physical issues and 2-4 days for logical issues. Sometimes if components are not readily available, then it may take weeks to complete the recovery. Some firms offer expedite service and you definitely pay for this added attention.

What About Data Recovery Software

This is one area where you really do get what you pay for. Try to stay away from software in the $20-$60 range, since these utilities are generally very limited in what they can do. Also make sure that you NEVER and just to emphasize, NEVER EVER get data recovery software that writes anything at all to the damaged disk. You run the risk of overwriting data that may otherwise have been recoverable, but will be lost forever. If you are fairly computer savvy, then there are a few good data recovery software solutions available.

What To Look For When Shopping For Data Recovery

Theres an old saying, you get what you pay for. In most cases this is true. However, just because a company with a fancy website quotes you $3,500 for data recovery, does not mean that they are any better than a company that quotes you $1,500. Also, try to stay away from companies that want to charge $50-$300 for evaluating your drive. There has been a movement in the data recovery industry over the last couple of years to offer a number of free services. Most reputable data recovery companies will evaluate standard IDE drives free of charge; so dont let the word free this or free that stop you. The data recovery market is quickly becoming saturated, and a company does not necessarily cheapen itself or lack expertise by offering free evaluations.

You will find as you shop around for data recovery that prices vary greatly. You will get quotes that range from $300 to $5,000 for standard hard drive recoveries. Its not uncommon to literally get quotes that have at least a $1,500 high/low spread. We shopped one prominent data recovery company where we gave them specific indicators of a physical hard drive failure. We were eventually quoted a price range of $600 to $2,900 for the recovery. Many times this is a bait and switch type tactic. They get you to send in the drive with the low-end $600 price, then they let you know its going to cost $2,100 for the recovery. You end up being well under the $2,900 high-end price, but well over what other reputable companies would charge. Since most customers wont go through the pain of having the drive sent back, only to have to send it out to another company, these bait and switch companies end up making huge profits off of unsuspecting customers.

Try to find a company that will give you an up front cost for either a logical or physical recovery. Most companies will be able to tell you within a couple hundred dollars the cost of a recovery. However, dont misunderstand a company that gives you a price for two different procedures. For example, some companies will give you a price if the failure is logical and a price if the problem ends up being physical. We called one firm and were told that if the drive had a logical failure the price would be $400 and if it ended up being a physical issue the price would be $1,600. This is not a high/low spread as mentioned in the earlier example, this is simply quoting a price for two different types of recoveries.

On average you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $600 for logical recoveries, and $1,200 to $2,000 for physical recoveries on standard IDE hard drives. If you have RAID drives, SCSI, etc. depending on the configuration prices can be as high as $15,000. Remember, backup backup backup backup backup!!

Can My Data Be Recovered?

In most cases the answer to this question is yes. On average, the success rate for data recovery professionals is about 75-85%. However, there are times when the data is just lost, either due to extensive damage to the platter or unavailability of replacement parts.

How Do I Get Started?

If you have a hard drive that has crashed, the most important thing you can do is contact a data recovery professional immediately. Make sure you arent being charged an evaluation fee if you have a standard IDE hard drive. Most companies only charge evaluation fees for complex RAID and network server drives.

It is important to do your homework, call and talk with the companies. When you find one that you feel comfortable with, give them a chance. Your hardest job, may be finding data recovery firms that actually have someone available to answer the phones. Ask questions and be sure to have the following information available:

Size of the drive
Operating system (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
Situation of failure (what happened just before the drive stopped working)
Is the drive recognized by the computer or not

Good luck in getting your data recovered, and make sure you always backup your important information on a daily basis.

Greg Duffield is the founder of ACS Data Recovery, a premier provider of data recovery services. You can visit them on the web at or call toll-free 1-877-646-0546.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 2:43 AM  
Nucleus Kernel for FAT Data recovery software
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Nucleus Kernel for FAT recovers data from deleted, formatted, damaged, or corrupted partitions where FAT based operating systems, such as Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003 are installed on the hard disk or data storage media. During recovery process a complete scan of the damaged drive or data storage media is performed to locate and revive the lost partitions, files and folders. After the complete scanning the data found in the damaged disk is displayed in a tree like structure from where you can easily copy your recovered files to a working disk or volume. Nucleus Kernel for FAT Recovery Software helps in easy recovery of your all-important data lost after an accidental format this data recovery utility examines your inaccessible hard drive and shows you the data that is present in the hard disk. Simple FAT disk recovery process requires you to only select listed files & directories and copy to a working drive. Nucleus Kernel for FAT is a quick, simple and easy to use FAT recovery solution that helps you in file recovery in moments of a disk crash. Nucleus Kernel for FAT Data Recovery Software uses quick algorithm for searching and restoring lost partitions, files and folders and hence is fast, simple and easy to use Windows data recovery software, which helps you to recover your lost data and files in minutes in case of disk crash or data loss disasters and hence supports your business continuity. Nucleus Kernel FAT recovers data from deleted, formatted, damaged, or corrupted FAT partitions. Nucleus Kernel for FAT recover after partition loss, boot sector corruption or any other type of file system corruption or after using fdisk or scandisk programs. During recovery process a complete scan of the damaged drive or data storage media is performed to locate and recover the lost or deleted partitions, files and folders. Nucleus Kernel FAT will recover your data if the hard drive's partition table, boot record, FAT/MTF or root directory are lost or damaged, data was lost due to a virus attack, the drive was formatted, fdisk has been run, a power failure has caused a system crash, files were lost due to a software failure, files were accidentally deleted.QFSCI (Quick File System Component Identification) Technology will make sure that all directories and sub directories are put together as they were, and that long file names are reconstructed correctly. Nucleus Kernel for FAT data recovery software recover data from for Unexpected system shutdown or software failure. Windows Registry Corruption. For more information on the product please visit

Nucleus offers a complete range of data recovery software and utilities for Windows, Linux, Unix, Novell Netware, Apple Macintosh operating system and supports various file systems including FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, NTFS5, Ext2, Ext3, ReiserFS, NWFS, Net386, NSS, HFS, HFS+, UFS, FFS, VxFS, EAFS, HTFS etc

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 5:54 AM  
How To Recover The Hard Disk's Data From A Dead Laptop
Sunday, October 14, 2007

This guide will show you how to recover the data of a dead laptop , since it stopped functioning for another thing that a failure of the hard disk.

1 To unmount the hard disk

The first stage is to unmount the hard disk (seek on the site of the manufacturer or on the net for the service manual of your notebook). Generally it is an easy and simple operation.

2 To recover the data

There is much way of recovering the data of a laptop hard disk, the simplest way is to connect your hard disk to another PC.

With this intention you must use either a 2.5' ' usb or firewire drive enclosure or a laptop hard drive adaptor kit 2.5 to 3.5 inch IDE hdd. Once connected simply copy the data of your laptop hard disk towards your PC.

3 Damaged or unreadable data

In this case you must use a tool as Unstoppable Copier. It is a tool which makes it possible to read the data of a damaged disc, if it encounters a file it cannot copy, the file will be skipped and copying will continue.

4 Case of a very damaged hard disk

In this case it is necessary to use Ultimate boot Cd for Windows (tool that everyone should have) Firstly it should be checked that the data can be read using Explorer XP.Then launch Unstoppable Copier which is included in Ultimate Boot Cd, choose for example the source drive as C: which was the laptop hard disc and made E: the destination drive which is the hard disc on the desktop PC.

For more information and solution visit The Laptop Support Community.

Didier Pradel is the webmaster of The Laptop Support Community where you can find many useful informations, and help for your lovely laptop.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 4:52 AM  
Zip File Recovery
Monday, October 8, 2007

Ever tried to send a folder or file with big file size and disk occupying space through email. Many a times your email account cannot send the file and displays error messages. Why does this happens?

This mainly happens when the size of the file which you are mailing is large or your internet connection speed is slow or your ISP is not able to transfer your request. But this can be solved by using the WinZip software – a compression utility to reduce the file and disk storage size of a file.

WinZip software is used to compress a file into an archive so that it occupies less disk storage space. Files and folders with heavy file size can be compressed with WinZip compression utility which will reduce the storage space on the disk.

For example, the size of a folder on disk comes to be 276 KB but when the same folder is compressed with the WinZip utility, its occupying disk space becomes 160 KB. A straight away reduction of 116 KBs. Now this folder can be transferred easily through email and will take less time to get transferred to other storage medium.

Corportaes, students, accountants, designers and many other professionals use WinZip software to send important data thus reduce file size, which then can be easily transferred from one place to another. But at times these zipped files may get corrupt in the electronic transit or by virus attacks, software malfunction, or the storage media where the zip files are stored might get corrupt; any situation can lead to file corruption and make you face data loss situations.

At this time of data loss situations, zip repair software proves helpful to recover the lost data. The deleted, corrupt, damaged and inaccessible data can be recovered with the help of zip file recovery software.

Winrar is another useful compression utility used for reducing file and disk storage space similar to WinZip. Thus the reality cannot be ignored that WinZip and Winrar compression utilities have made their mark in daily file transfer usage and are helping users to transfer their data.

The author is a technical writer for Nucleus Data Recovery – the leading provider of data recovery software, data recovery services, email recovery, zip repair, database repair. For more info, visit

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 6:17 AM  
I Deleted A File - It Happens To Everyone
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If I had a penny every time my less technical friends or family members told me “oops, I accidentally deleted a file” I’d certainly be richer by a few thousand pennies. Accidental file deletion is usually attributed to computer novices, but saying they are the only ones it can happen to would be an utter lie. Accidental file deletion and data loss happened to everyone at some point, regardless of their technical prowess. Sure, an 8-year old learning to ride a bike will fall down more often, but that doesn’t mean Louis Armstrong doesn’t take forced landings every now and then!

Anyway, hopefully now you’re less embarrassed by the fact that you accidentally deleted a file, knowing that you’re not alone out there. What you need to know next is:

A. That your file is not lost

B. That it can be easily recovered

C. That you should backup your important data in the future

Let’s start with point A and see how exactly the file is not lost, since, after all, you don’t see it in your directory structure and you disabled the recycle bin, so it can’t possibly be there. When you delete a file, it doesn’t actually get deleted in the fullest sense of the word. It simply gets removed from your directory structure and put away for safe keeping. You simply won’t see the link pointing to it, but the file is still there, trust me.

This leads us to point B, namely data recovery. You have several data recovery options, including trying to get the data back using your operating system’s standard recovery tools (if any), buying a data recovery program or employing a professional data recovery company, in case you don’t want to take the risk in your own hands. Although each of these methods has different means, a different efficiency and cost, they all rely on the same basic data recovery principles: they will restore the link to your lost file and the initial file structure it was in.

And lastly, point C and the backup issue. The thing is that we don’t really care about backing up our files until something bad happens. Everything is running smoothly, you’re using your computer on a daily basis and nothing seems to be going wrong. Then a sudden power outage, computer virus or an accidental file deletion changes our view on the importance of backup.

Backup has two rules: save your data constantly and make backup for your backup. It’s important that you save your data on a regular basis, but also keep an organized way of storing it or you’ll end up with a mountain of CD’s, each with its own document. Instead, try to have a single DVD or just a few CDs of data that you constantly update the data backup on (when you burn a CD or DVD you can choose not to close the session, which allows you to add additional data over time). When a considerable amount of data has been gathered on the backup disk, make a copy, just in case something happens to the first one. It might seem an exaggeration, but you’ll be surprised how many people rely on their backup disks when they lose all the data on their hard drives, only to find the backup CD scratched and dirty to the point where it’s unusable.

Fraser Wheaton is a data recovery expert and owner of the website.

We can help get back any file you have deleted or lost.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 6:04 AM  
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