SSD’s – Losing Data??

Solid state drives are the data storgage of the future.  On the surface they seem to overcome many of the failures of spinning disks.  Accessing data is extremely fast and there are no moving parts to fail.  Research show that your data is at risk on SSD’s from new angles.

SSD

 

Read the article on PC World’s website – Leaving Unpowered SSD’s… The research comes directly from Seagate, in a presentation to industry peers.

Remember – no matter what type of storage media you have your data on, it is not backed up unless you have 2 separate copies on different media.

Yes! Yes, we can recover data from your 2013 Macbook Air!!

Why is the 2013/14 Macbook Air Special?

Apple is using a new custom connector for the SSD’s in the latest version of the MacBook Airs and MacPro desktop units.  This connector as a 12/18 pin configuration and the physical size is slightly different than previous versions.  Until recently no one, except for Apple, had the ability to read these SSD’s outside of their original devices.

Working with our suppliers in China we have identified an adapter board that will allow us to work with these new SSD’s.  With this adapter we can use our standard collection of data recovery techniques and software to minimize the cost of recovery over traditional SSD techniques of removing NAND chips or micro controllers.

mbair11-13

 

About Data Recovery Link:

We are always expanding our capabilities in the data recovery field with the addition of hardware, software and new techniques.  Recovering your data is our only goal! We are your go to data recovery in Denver. Contact us for a recovey quote today.

 

Keeping up with payment technologies

Data Recovery Link is ready for the next wave of credit card payment technologies.  EMV or Chip and Pin card readers will be required by banks and merchant service firms in October of 2015 if business do not want to assume fraud liability.  Partnering with Wells Fargo, our credit card processor, DRL is ready for the new cards.

 

The upgrade from Wells Fargo also allowed us to accept Apple Pay transactions.  Apple Pay takes the chip and pin technology to the next level of consumer and merchant protection.  Using tokenization and NFC technololgy our customers account numbers are protected from fraud and we can be assured that payments are guaranteed.  If you haven’t had the chance to try Apple Pay, I can assure you it is as easy and seemless as it is advertised.

 

DRL is investing in all of our technology, payments and recovery tools, to make your experience with us the very best it can be.

Apple Pay logo

Press Release – Data Recovery Link offering discounted recoveries for victims of tornado in Moore, Oklahoma

Hope for damaged Computers Data Recovery Link Offers Data Recovery for Victims of recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

oklahoma tornadoDENVER, CO. (May 21, 2013) – Data Recovery Link, Inc. (DRL), is offering data recovery service for computers and storage devices that suffered physical damage from the recent tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

At DRL, we’ve helped many of our customers retrieve critical information lost to devastation from fires, hurricanes, flooding and physical destruction. Even if a computer has been crushed by debris, we can still recover its’ data. Data lost in this type of devastation only adds insult to already inflicted injury.  If we can help bring back some portion of an individuals belongings or a companies business records, we are honored to provide that service.

DRL is offering to heavily discount its data recovery service to help victims of the tornado who have lost their critical files and backups. We are reducing our service fees by 50%.  The discount will remain in effect until June 30th, 2013.

The company operates a Cleanroom where specially suited technicians disassemble and reassemble damaged hard drives. Combined with a years of experience and proprietary tools, DRL achieves industry leading success rates.

DRL recommends limited testing of hard drives that have been affected by debris, rain and excessive dirt.  If you aren’t able to get normal response from your hard drive in the 1st few minutes of examination, stop! Further testing can render the drive unrecoverable. Contact our expert recovery technicians for advice on how to proceed.

About Data Recovery Link, Inc. Established in 1998, Data Recovery Link, Inc. remains a leader in the data recovery industry. Using industry leading technology as well as proprietary hardware and software our skilled technicians have a 99% success rate for data recoveries on both hard drives and RAID array units. DRL has recovered data from hard drives and other storage media that have been damaged, burnt, crushed, and drowned. The company recovers data in as little as 24 hours from all operating systems and storage media including: hard drives, disk arrays, floppies, CD-ROM, DVD, tape, removable cartridges and digital camera media. DriveSavers is factory-authorized by all hard drive manufacturers to open sealed drive mechanisms without voiding the original warranty. For more information, visit www.datarecoverylink.com.

Media Contact: Randy Smail Phone: (800) 625-6451 Email: info@datarecoverylink.com

How old is your backup hard drive?

You backup your computer monthly, weekly or even daily, and you actually perform a test restoration once a quarter.  You are “dialed in” on your backup procedures!!!  One question – how old is the hard drive you are backing up your data onto?  We often see customers coming in for data recovery that thought they had a good backup.  They have suffered a drive failure on their computer or server and have come to learn that their backup drive has not been working for the last 2 weeks or even months.

 

It goes without saying that hard drives have a limited lifespan, but there is some question about just how long it is.  Manufacturers rate their drives in MTBF.  That is NOT an acronym you might use while texting.  MTBF is defined as Mean Time Between Failure.  That is a measurement of the Mean time that a random sample of hard drives might fail. MTBF for Enterprise level drives, those intended for use in scenarios where a failed drive is unforgivable, can be over 1 Million hours.  Consumer level drives have a MTBF of 500,000 hours.  MTBF can’t to tell you how long your drive will last, it is more of an indication of how likely a drive is to fail prematurely.

 

ct genie posterWe see drives of all ages in our lab for recovery. So, I can tell you that all drives regardless of their MTBF will suffer failures.  We have seen hard drives fail within a week of being pulled out of the anti-static bag.  We have also seen drives still running after 10 or more years.  What does that mean for your back up drive?  It means that you just never know when the drive might fail. Only a hard drive genie would be able to accurately predict the failure and warn you to replace a drive.  

 

The best way to protect the data that you are so diligently backing up is to pro-actively replace your backup drive on a regular schedule.  Hard drives, both internal and external models, have become very inexpensive over the last 5 years.  For less than $150 you can get a quality drive that will back up all the data you could store on your home or work computer. We have always recommended to our data recovery customers that they replace their backup drives every 3-4 years at the very least!  The best way to make sure that happens is a very low-tech solution… take a Sharpie and write the date the drive was placed into service on the case of the drive.  If you insist on being more high tech, then set a reminder in your calendar application of choice for a year or two down the road.

 

If you find yourself with both your main drive and your backup drive having failed give us a call.  We can evaluate both drives to determine the best location from which to recover your data.

Data Recovery of Encrypted Western Digital drives.

Did you know that the majority of external hard drives that you can buy today, manufactured by Western Digital (WD), have hardware encryption built into the enclosure?  Seems like a good idea right?  It is a great selling point for Western Digital, right??

We are all for protecting your data. Keeping it safe from those who might use the picture of you dressed up like Little Orphan Annie from last Halloween as blackmail is important.  little orphan annie

But, when data is encrypted at a hardware level you have very little control over your data should something go wrong.  And with they way WD has implemented this encryption, your data isn’t really all that safe just because it is encypted.  Consider this, the data on the drive is only protected if the hard drive is removed from its enclosure.  The enclosure itself has the encryption chip.  So, if your hard drive is stolen from your office anyone could plug it into a computer and see your data.  Not much protection, eh?

Encryption works by running your data through an algorithym that scrambles the data based on an encryption key.  So, saving the word “CAT” in an encrypted format might look like “$r,”.  If you lose that key, there is NO way to decrypt that data.  What happens if your encryption key is actually stored on a computer chip and determined by WD, then that chip stops working.  Cancel Christmas!!data encryption

 

We have recovered data from many, many WD drives that other firms and IT groups have determined that the data is lost because of this encryption.  If you have a WD external drive do not ever throw away the enclosure – it is the key to a successful recovery.

SQL Databases – Hard drive killers!!

Just happened again today… A client brought us a hard drive for data recovery approximately 2.5 years old, they have been using it in their server to host a SQL database.  The server had been experiencing slower than usual performance in recent weeks and then 2 days ago the drive was not available to the server.

SQL, Structured Query Language, is a database programming language used to manage information in a relational database.  It is a widely used application that manages tens of thousands of websites across the world, customer relationship applications, and many other types of applications.  SQL databases are the underpinning of more applications than you might realize.

Database files are almost always contained in contiguous space on a hard drive, that is to say the entire file is one location.  Just like the carpet in your hallway, the sectors of a hard drive “wear away” in areas of more frequent traffic.  So, if you are constantly reading and writing information to your SQL database (or really, any kind of database) you are wearing down the ability of your hard drive to work in that area.  All this traffic can ultimately cause the hard drive to fail.  damaged platterThe real question is, can we recover your database?  It all depends on the severity of the failure.  If we get the drive before it is too bad we can usually get a good working copy of your database.  But, if the drive is left to run too long, the read/write heads can actually wear a concentric groove into the platter where your database used to live.

 

As I mentioned, this phenomenon is not limited to just SQL databases.  We just happen to see more drives with SQL databases than any other type of database. But, if you are using any kind of database or an application that uses an underlying database you could be at risk too.

 

The best way to prevent this type of hard drive failure from happening is to proactively replace your hard drive(s) on a regular basis, especially those containing databases.  If you can’t replace your hard drive proactively, using a database “aware” backup application will at least prevent you from losing too much work.

RAID Recovery Denver – Are you sure it’s that drive that has failed??

RAID

Redundant Array of Inexpensive Devices

 

Most often found in upper end servers and some NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices.  These types of storage have amazing abilities to protect your data, make it accessible to your entire network, and provide increased performance.  They can also become a giant mess when you have a drive or multiple drives fail.RAID Storage

 

Some server storage enclosures have anywhere from 3 to 12 drive slots.  When a drive goes offline it can be difficult to isolate which drive that really is and where in the enclosure it is sitting.  Some enclosures have miniscule LED’s that are supposed to communicate trouble, some have LCD screens, others have only alarms.  So, why does knowing which drive has failed matter so much?  It is a RAID right?  They are built to recover from failures, you can just pull a drive or two out and replace them, right?

 

Not so fast!  Knowing which drive has failed is important.  If you have multiple failures, knowing which went offline first is VERY important.  Imagine this scenario…  Two doctors begin practicing medicine at the same time.  One doctor changes professions after 2 years and the other practices for 10 years.  If you were given the choice of getting care from one of those 2 doctors, you’d want to know which one had been in practice most recently.  If you tried to get care from the doctor who retired after 2 years, his practical knowledge would be out of date.  Plugging him back into a client room could cause mass confusion.

 

Replacing a hard drive in an array is similar.  Trying to rebuild your array with a drive that has been offline for days, weeks or months can RUIN the rest of your good data.  Rebuild with the good drive and and you are back up and running.

 

Moral of the story…  Make sure you know which drive is which in your array, determine which drive had gone offline first and if you are sure of any part of this equation – call in a data recovery expert!

Should I freeze my hard drive?

Your hard drive has stopped working, and you’ve turned to the Internet for help.

There is no shortage of home remedies and recovery myths floating around along with the sound and effective advice.  What is good advice and what is bad?  Today, we’ll discuss one of the bad ideas, actually one of the worst!

 

To put a drive in the freezer or not, that is the question.

Well, let’s think about it for a minute; what benefit will I get from cooling the drive, what problems can I create by cooling the drive?

“My drive is hot to the touch.  Maybe that heat is causing my drive to not work.  If I freeze it, the drive will be cooler when I try to use it and maybe, just maybe it will work.”

We can see the initial logic here: eliminate heat as a potential cause of your drive not working.  If you want to rule out heat as part of the problem, just turn it off for 30 minutes, then try your drive again.  The case will have cooled to room temperature as well as all the internal components of the drive.  The real problem that heat can create is a change in the performance of a drive as it heats up or overheats.  So, the real solution is to keep the drive cool using an ice pack in a plastic bag.  You need to make sure that the drive stays dry, don’t let any condensation or melting ice contact the drive.  You are risking an electrical short otherwise.

So what could happen if you do freeze your drive?  Frozen Drive

Well it is a common misconception that a hard drive is a sealed unit.  Actually, there is a small amount of airflow in and out of the spinning platters.  So, if you put your drive in the freezer the water particles in the air will condense onto the platters when is warms back up.  The platters in a hard drive are manufactured and installed in a clean room environment – zero dust or particles in the air.  If you introduce water droplets onto a drive platter you have contaminated the platter.  Any contaminants can render the drive irrecoverable.  As water forms on the platters it interferes with the heads and how they read information from the platters.  See the following page and video about -How do Hard Drives Work.

If you are going to try and recover your own data, cool the drive down by either directing a fan to it or insulate the drive with some plastic and wrap it in a cold pack.  If the drive doesn’t initialize or work properly after this has been done, please contact us (800) 625-6451, for a free evaluation.

 

 

Recovering Bootcamp Volumes – It can be done!

We all have done it.  Install software then lose, misplace or otherwise not have access to the installation files when you need them.  Most Windows applications and some Mac applications can not usually be recovered from a damaged drive and then transferred to a new hard drive.  Even if it was possible, it is always better to reinstall applications from the original media.

 

We just recently had a client in this predicament.  Fortunately, his Windows operating system and applications were contained in a Bootcamp volume.  For those of you unfamiliar with Bootcamp – it is one of the technologies that allows you run Windows or Linux operating systems on a Macintosh computer.bootcamp

 

After getting a successful clone of the failed drive, we were able to restore the Bootcamp volume onto a new partition of his new healthy hard drive.  A little editing of the Boot.ini file and he was up and running with Windows and his applications just as they were prior to the hard drive failure.

 

So it just goes to show, you never know what is possible until you ask.  Ask us about your data recovery situation, you might be surprised by what we can tell you.