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Data Recovery Help - A Complete Data Recovery Solution
Friday, August 24, 2007

No matter what kind of computer you use data recovery is a main concern for everyone. Laptop data recovery, PC data recovery, notebook data recovery all fall in under one roof when it come to data recovery. So what can you do about it?

Data Recovery Situations

Most data recovery situations are common to most users like file deletion or damages, virus attacks, lost files due to emptying recycle bin… So the best solution for these kinds of situations is the use of data recovery software. These software products are cheaper and can recover most of files and easy to use. These sophisticated software products can restore deleted files, restore graphic files, restore music & video files, and restore zip files…

What can you do to physical damages to disk data like damages to expose to rain, power failure damages or even boot failures due to disk issues? It’s much advisable to consult a data recovery company who hire professional data recovery experts for your data recovery.

What if you or your friend just passing by the turned on laptop accidentally spilled with water the laptop in damage? In these kind of situation you should call a data recovery expert in aid in data recovery.

How to avoid data loss and data recovery

So far the best method is to back up data regularly and use of good well known anti virus software while it’s highly recommended to cool down your hard disk as much as possible when it’s working. Do not remove your hard disk from casing very often and in case of a data loss or boot failure do not panic because data is still there in the disk it will remain as it is as long as that particular particle get replaced by new data. So when you know that data is being loss, do not work on the PC that might cause data loss permanent. Yes of cause you can use data recovery software.

David Cohen,
Visit WebSite: Laptop Data Recovery
Provides all types of Laptop, Notebook, PC data recovery Help

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 10:31 PM  
Data Recovery Tips
Monday, August 20, 2007

If you have ever faced the loss of data, you will know what it’s like to have anxiety over severe trouble with your server, hard disk or RAID health. This is however, a time for some caution in terms of time and money.

Data recovery can sometimes be worked out yourself, with help of software and some simple tips. This is usually the case when the drives are not physically damaged. If they are damaged however, you will need to send the drives to a specialist who will recover the data for you.

Here you need to decide the optimality, as the costs of data recovered needs to be balanced with the cost of data involved. If the lost data is not important, just take a lesson from this failure; replace the faulty drives, and start backing up. There should be adequate drive space and a schedule, so that you regularly create copies of your data.

There is no foolproof method where you will have 100% of your data recovered or will never have a crash. However, as they say, prevention is better than cure. Backing up is the prevention method when it comes to computer data.

Data loss

If you suspect any data corruption, drive corruption, or data loss, the possible symptoms will be:

• Error messages informing you that the device is not recognized.
• Previously accessible data is suddenly nowhere to be seen.
• Scraping or rattling sound in the drives, especially hard disks.
• Hard drive may not spin and may be still.
• Computer or hard drive does not function at all, like no booting is possible.

All of these indicate that the drive is corrupted. 44% of data losses are due to drive malfunction.

Tips on how to recover data

Some quick tips that can get you out of this gruesome situation are:

1. Recovery through software: First try to locate some data recovery software from your technically inclined friends. They may have some disk recovery software that can be used to get your data back.

2. Hardware Crash: If you have detected that your hardware is at fault and has crashed, by no means try the normal shutting down procedures. Just pull out the plug, and do not wait. Never try to save or recover the data at this time, as you may lose the otherwise safe or recoverable data as well.

3. Pinpoint the trouble in the hard disk: If you are not sure of the issue, listen to your hard disk for any scratching or unusual sounds. If this is the case, you will need recovery service; something that will cost you money and will take time also.

4. Determine the health of the drive: If you have determined that the drive is healthy by the above means, you may still be able to recover the data by yourself. Try using the recovery software or using the drives as slaves etc.

5. Slave disks: Try to connect the drive as a slave to another computer. This way you might be able to recover all of the data.

6. Locate the corruption: This can easily be found by booting from the floppy drive, or using the F disk and then viewing the partitioning information.

7. Shop for recovery software: Do an online search for data recovery software and see what software is ranked best, and what suits you. This software will usually not be free, but it may access your data and recover it for you. You can also make enquiries at a PC software store in your area.

8. Server Crash: If you had been working on a server and it has crashed, never try data recovery on the same server.

9. RAID Drive Crash: Replace the RAID data drive that failed, never ever reuse it.

10. RAID Drives: Label the multiple drives in RAID array.

11. Database files: In the case of Microsoft Exchange and SQL data failure, you should never do direct operations. Keep a copy of the database files and then start the work on the copies, not on the main files.

12. Utilities: Do not try to run Volume Defragmenters and Volume Repair Utilities on the suspect drives.

13. Other utilities: Also avoid the use of Volume Repair utilities if there has been power outage, or if your file system looks corrupted. This must be done only by people who are extremely confident and are technically wise.

14. Keep information: Always keep the following information at hand:

- The 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

15. Boot drive malfunction: If the drive that has crashed also had the OS on it, things are tricky. In this case, try to get recovery software with boot functions. This way the computer will boot from the software, and then you will be able to see your data files and copy them to safe drives.

16. Avoid physical cleaning of drives: Never attempt shaking, or cleaning the data drive on your own. This may cause more physical harm.

17. Do not remove drive covers: Hard drive covers are best left to specialists. Never try taking them off yourself. This requires special equipment, and is best left to technicians in labs.

18. Dropping the hard disks: The disks should not be dropped to be unstuck. This will not help get the hard disk unstuck, and will just do more damage.

19. Exposure to water: The drive can not be dried by any dryer if it was exposed to water, so do not try that.

20. Scrutinize the workplace: Pay attention to the place where you had kept your computer or notebook, etc. Highly humid, warm places or shaky desks may also cause hardware failure.

21. Firewalls: Viruses run havoc on the drives, sometimes erasing the data. Make sure that you are well protected behind a firewall. If you have not had one until now, get one now. Protect the network as well as your servers.

22. Physically damaged drives: If the drives have been corrupted physically, they must be sent to a Class 100 clean room. This is a place where they can be opened and physically taken care of. While sending the drives to such a facility, take extra care while packaging them. If possible, try to get the original cases for packing.

If you have tried all the normal methods and you still have a problem with your data drives, it's time to hunt for a data recovery company. There are many companies which provide such services, but you will have to be very careful whom to trust. Visit their websites and find out their level of technical expertise.

You can also call their helpline numbers by phone, and find out about their technical experts and the facility where your drive will be worked on. A reliable company will reveal everything, and will be very open to your requests. Usually, a good company can report on their preliminary findings within 24 hours of receiving the drive. They will then wait for your approval, if you will like to get your drive repaired at the estimated cost/time and risk.

Article by Paul MacIver. For more Data Recovery information visit the Data Recovery Guide - You may reprint this article as long as no changes are made, and this resource box is left intact. Read more articles at Info Hub

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 6:15 AM  
How Computer Hardware Works
Monday, August 6, 2007

COMPUTER HARDWARE BASICS

MICROPROCESSOR:

Microprocessor is the brain of any computer. It controls all activities inside the computer. Basically it performs 2 types of operations - arithmetic & logical operation (internally), read & write (externally). Read /write operations are performed on 2 types of devices - I/O and memory devices. It uses the “address bus” to select any “location” on these devices, sends a read/write signal over the “control bus” and then the information over the “data bus”.

MEMORY DEVICES:

The CPU stores all information in the computer’s memory. There are two memory types - RAM & ROM

RAM (Random Access Memory):

This volatile type is a read & write memory device. This loses its contents when power is shut off.

The types of RAM are

· DRAM (Dynamic ram) – is similar to a capacitor, as it tends to lose its contents and hence requires to be refreshed. This is the Computer RAM.

· SRAM (Static ram) – Is faster than Dram and doesn’t require to be refreshed. This is costly and hence only a limited amount is used as CACHE memory in the computer.

ROM (Read only memory):

ROM can be programmed using a programmer and then it acts as a “read only” device. This device is used as the textbook for the CPU in the computer and is called ROM BIOS. It stores all the basic information of programming the devices present inside the system as well as the POST (Power On Self Test) sequence. AMIBIOS and AWARD BIOS are the most common ROM BIOS.

The types of ROM are

· PROM (Programmable Read Only Memory)

· EPROM (Erasable & Programmable Read Only Memory)

· FLASH ROM

· EEPROM (Electrically EPROM)

· EAPROM (Electrically Alterable ROM)

I/O DEVICES:

Apart from passive memory devices, there are certain controllers in the system, which assist the CPU in performing various operations. These are referred to as I/O devices. These devices include Interrupt controller, Timer, Ports, DMA Controller, Floppy Drive Controller, CRT Controller etc.

BUSES & EXPANSION SLOTS:

These are the means through which communication between various devices of the computer takes place and the types are as mentioned below.

ISA (Industry Standard Architecture):

ISA bus consists of a 24-bit address bus and the 16-bit data bus. ISA can support 8MHZ clock speed.

MCA BUS (Micro Channel Architecture):

MCA bus is available either in 16 bit or 32 bit versions. It was developed in a new line of computers called the PS/2 (personal system 2). The clock speed is slightly faster (10MHZ instead of 8MHZ).

EISA BUS:

EISA has a 32-bit Address and Data bus and 10MHZ CLK speed.

VL BUS/VESA LOCAL BUS:

It is a 32-bit bus which was positioned local to the CPU and hence its name. Therefore it could support high bus speeds (that of the CPU).

PCI BUS:

PCI has many benefits over other bus types. First of all, it supports 64 bit and 32-bit data paths. So it can be used both for 486 and Pentium based systems. PCI can run up to 33MHZ speed and has the advantage of being isolated from the CPU. INTEL developed this bus.

PCMCIA: (PC Memory Card International Association):

The PCMCIA was first designed for expanding the memory in small, handled computers. PCMICIA’S bus width is only 16 bits, but a 32-bit version is on its way. There are three types of cards namely

· Type 1 (3.3 m thick)- used for memory card.

· Type 2 (5 mm thick)- used for modem and LAN adapter.

· Type 3 (10.5 mm0 thick) - used for most common applications like PC hard disk Cards.

ADD ON CARDS:

These are cards plugged on to the main board, the mother board (The one that houses the CPU & RAM/ROM Bios). Each performs specific functions of interfacing the Motherboard to peripheral device like mouse, Monitor etc. Some Add-ons are discussed below.

DISPLAY ADAPTER:

These interface the motherboard with the monitor and there are several types of cards. The variations are in resolution, no. Of colors supported and speed.

CGA (Color Graphics Adapter)

640 X 200 pixels

MDA (Mono Display Adapter):

80 characters wide 25 lines long

EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter):

640 X 350 mode

VGA (Video Graphics Adapter):

Advanced versions of SVGA/TVGA which start from a resolution of 640 X 480 pixel

AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port):

Introduced in the celeron/P II based systems, this caters to the demanding multimedia applications with its high performance.

IDE I/O CARD:

Supports the following functions.

SERIAL PORT:

Communication external to the computer is done serially (bit after bit) through this port. It is used to connect communication devices like mouse, modem etc.

PARALLEL PORT:

8 Bit data transfer takes place between the computer and an external device. It is typically used to connect a printer.

GAME PORT:

It is used to connect a joystick for playing games.

IDE (Integrated/Intelligent Drive Electronics) Interface: This interface is used to communicate with IDE Hard disks.

FLOPPY DISK CONTROLLER:

The FDC can support up to two floppy disk drives. The FDC is connected to the system bus and to the DMA controller. It performs data transfer in DMA mode.

SOUND CARD:

This is the card that adds audio effects to the computer by providing interface with microphone and speaker. This is used in Multimedia Computers.

PERIPHERAL DEVICES:

FLOPPY DRIVES:

1.44 MB & 1.2 MB are two types of popular Floppy Drives.

HARD DISK DRIVES:

ST 506 & ESDI are old types. IDE hard disks are popular because their price to performance ratio is very good. For very high performance, SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) is the ideal option, if price is not a criterion.

CDROM DRIVES:

CDROM drive is used in a multimedia system as it can support all types of CD ROMs – be it data CD, Audio CD, Video CD. It has a great advantage of storing about 650 MB of data in a single CD.

KEYBOARD:

Keyboard translates the keystrokes into letters or numbers. These letters are interpreted and the computer CPU depending executes commands on what was sent. Variations in terms of XT/AT, no. of keys, type of keys used may be observed.

MOUSE:

To interact with the pictures (ICONS), a special pointer device was introduced into the computer world. This device is known as mouse and is connected to the serial port.

The mouse contains a round ball that makes contact with two rollers-one for X-axis (the horizontal) and one for Y-axis (the vertical). Moving the mouse causes the ball to roll, and the ball, which is in contact with the two rollers, causes them to turn. This is used for moving clicking the mouse buttons makes a pointer head on the screen and selection.

SCANNERS:

In addition to keyboards and pointing devices, there is another very common method of getting data into the computer. A Scanner is used to scan an image (say from a photo) and editing may be done using a suitable software.

MONITORS:

The monitor receives video signals from the computer video adapter card and displays the video information as pixels (picture elements) on the monitor screen. A variety of monitors ranging from CGA mono to SVGA colour are available for users to choose from (though the former is totally obsolete).

CONFIGURATION SETUP:

This is where we define the system configuration. This is done only when the system is assembled and configured for the first time or when it is upgraded. (One may enter the SETUP by pressing “Del” key as the system is powered up). Different BIOS’ support different options but the most essential ones, which are found on all systems, are listed below.

DATE & TIME: It displays the correct Date & Time. It has to be set when system is first installed.

FLOPPY TYPE:

To define the Floppy drives connected (1.2MB or 1.44MB).

HARD DISK TYPE: To select the Hard disk type (Primary or secondary)

DISPLAY TYPE: Its select the types of video adapter used for the system monitor.

CACHE ENABLE/DISABLE:

This category speeds up the Memory access. (Default value: Enable) and defines presence or absence of cache memory.

QUICK POWER ON SELF TEST: Its speeds up the Power On Self Test after you power up the computer.

PASSWORD SETTING: This allows you to set the System password.

POWER MANAGEMENT: This category allows you to select the type (or degree) of power saving.

LOADING DEFAULT VALUES:

There are many parameters, which need to be defined in the CMOS setup, and one may not want to do so manually. This option loads certain default values, stored in the BIOS ROM, which have been defined by the manufacturer for optimal system performance.

ENABLE/DISABLE ON BOARD FUNCTIONS:

To enable/disable certain onboard functions like Floppy Disk Control etc (This applies only to integrated Motherboards where the ADD ON functions are integrated on the Motherboard itself).

PNP FEATURES: This category is used to configure the PCI Bus slots.

IDE AUTO DETECTION: This allows you to detect the IDE Hard drives automatically.

SAVING & EXITING:

This allows you to save the new setting value in the CMOS memory and continue with the booting process.

POST (POWER ON SELF TEST):

This POST firmware is stored in ROM on the motherboard. This POST is a series of a simple program to test and catch faults in different components and circuits. It tests the microprocessor, interrupt controller, PPI, DMA controller, ROM, RAM, peripheral controllers etc.

SYMPTOMS:

In case of error detection during POST, indications like error beeps/error messages helps troubleshoot problems.

SPEAKER:

With the help of speaker error beeps, we can troubleshoot faults. Each fault causes the speaker to emit different patterns of beeps.

DISPLAYED ERROR MESSAGES:

When system is powered on, error message will be displayed on the screen (Floppy disk fail), if the Video Adapter is functional.

DIAGNOSTIC CARDS:

The advanced diagnostic add on card captures details of POST sequence and displays a hexa code which may be used for in-depth & accurate diagnosis of a POST problem.

CDROM DRIVES:

A computer CD-ROM drive uses small, interchangeable, plastic-encased discs from which data is retrieved using a laser beam, much like music compact disc. And like a music CD, a computer CD-ROM stores vast amounts of information. This is achieved by using light to record data in a form that’s more tightly packed than the relatively clumsy magnetic read/write heads a conventional drive must manage.

The drive is controlled by a software in your PC that sends instructions to controller circuitry that’s either a part of the computers motherboard or on a separate board installed in an expansion slot.

How a CD_ROM drive works? · A motor constantly varies the rate at which CD-ROM disc spins so that regardless of where a component, called DETECTOR, is located in relation to the radius of the disc, the portion of the disc immediately above the detector is always at the same speed.

· The laser projects a concentrated beam of light that is further focused by a focusing coil.

· The laser beam penetrates a protective layer of plastic and strikes a reflective layer that looks like aluminum foil on the bottom of disc.

· The surface of the reflective layer alternates between lands and pits. Lands are flat surface areas; pits are tiny depression in the reflective layer. these surface are record of the 1s and 0s used to store data.

· Lights that strikes a pit scattered. But light that strikes a land is reflected directly back at the detector, where it passes through a prism that deflects laser beam to a LIGHT-SENSING DIODE.

· Each pulse of light that strikes the light-sensing diode generates a small electrical voltages. These voltages are matched against a timing circuit to generates a stream of 1s and 0s that can understand.

Author is an MCSE and having more than 8 Yrs. of Experience in Networking and System Administration. Has delivered guest lecture in various Indian Colleges. He can be contacted at kkpathak@technetindia.net Web Site: http://www.technetindia.net

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:00 AM  
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