Category Archives: PC Services

Data Recovery

Failures happen, data can become corrupt, drives can become unreadable and this can happen for many reasons. The most common reason for data loss is hardware failure, this can be due to the age of the equipment, a fault in the system or even a loss of power.

There are of course many other things that can result in the loss of data including: the accidental deletion of files, viruses, malware, partition errors, formatted hard drives or system crashes which result in the dreaded blue screen. 

Once this happens your options are limited, you can write off the data if it is old or no longer required, you can spend time trying to reconstruct the data or if it is important you can see if it can be recovered using one of our data recovery options.

What you shouldn’t do is tamper with the drive, the least amount of damage the better chances we have of recovering your files, we hear horror stories of hard drives being hit while they spin up, put in freezers and powered up ice cold or being opened and spun up to see if the heads are engaging. These techniques will only cause further damage to the drive and lessen our chances of recovering your data.

Once we have your storage device we will check to see what is causing the problem, sometimes it can be something as simple as a corrupt boot sector. If it turns out to be a hardware failure we can analyse the drive to identify what has failed, it might be something electronic like a blown fuse or it could be an internal failure like a head crash. For USB Sticks, SD/Memory cards and SSD drives we carry out the same test procedures and if necessary can carry out a NAND read to attempt a recovery.

We can work with most storage devices including: Hard Drives, SATA, IDE, SSD, Flash Media, Micro SD Cards, SAS, RAID and NAS Drives. The good news is that in most cases the data can be recovered in house and we have successfully recovered data from many failed hard drives, formatted memory cards and faulty USB sticks.

If the drive has suffered too much physical damage for us to repair and recover from in house, we can send it to one of our associates for a more specialised laboratory recovery.

Deleted Data, Accidental Erasure, Formatted Hard Drive, Partition Error, Hard Drive Failure, System Crash or the Dreaded Blue Screen, don’t despair as all is not always lost, our skilled engineers will run a full analysis of your system and can often recover the data without you having to take out a 2nd mortgage. We have successfully carried out work on many storage devices including: Hard Drives, SATA, IDE, SSD, Flash Media, Micro SD Cards, SAS, RAID and NAS Drives. As well as Data Recovery Services we can also carry out Forensic Analysis and Clinical Data Destruction to Ministry Standards.

Data Destruction

The GDPR exists to ensure that personal data is properly secured and protected against data breaches, leaks and hacking. So before you recycle your old computer or donate it to a charity shop make sure that you have removed all of the data from it.

Resetting the PC or formatting the hard drive will not remove all of the data, even if you have deleted your files prior to carrying out the procedure. If you are wanting to recycle the computer then you will need to have the data wiped from it permanently, this is not only for your protection but is also a legal requirement under the Data Protection Act.

Data is stored as binary numbers, by magnetism, electronics or optics and you have to remember that data is not only stored on the hard drive, it is also stored on other components within the computer. The computer’s BIOS for example contains operating instructions, including passwords stored as data in its electronic memory.

If you are considering recycling your old tech then you should give us a call and we will carry out an in depth “Clinical Data Destruction” procedure to “Ministry Standards” and return a clean machine to you. We can even re-instate the operating system, drivers and supporting software so that the machine can be donated fully functional.

Data Disposal:
If you are wanting to permanently dispose of your old computer, then we can carry out a level one destruction of the components that may contain data, this includes the hard drive, processor, bios and memory chips.


Enterprise Drives:
Enterprise class drives are constructed with heavy duty components and are designed to withstand higher temperatures and prolonged usage. Enterprise SSDs are typically made of longer-lasting flash memory and use different architectures to optimise performance, and often house three boards rather than the one found in consumer drives. Enterprise HDDs are constructed with heavy duty components including a headstock with higher structural rigidity, larger magnets and air turbulence controls, and double-anchored spindles. In addition, they often contain heat sinks and cooling tubes. So given the durability and the amount of heavier components installed into these drives, you will appreciate that they cannot always be destroyed by conventional means.


GDPR – The General Data Protection Regulation
PII – Personally Identifiable Information
CUI – Controlled Unclassified Information

OLD MEDIA DATA FILE TRANSFER & RECOVERY SERVICES

OLD MEDIA – NO PROBLEM

The 3.5″ floppy became the standard storage disk in the late 1980s, due mainly to the fact that it provided better protection and more compact data storage than its predecessor the 5.25″ floppy. This was slowly replaced by other formats including Zip, Jaz and Tape Drives.

We can access data on most media types including, Zip, Jaz, Tape, Cassette, CD, 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks and then transfer the salvaged files onto a more accessible media.

Many companies still have files stored on these types of media and use our services to recover or transfer data from them.


ADSG Jaz Drive and media (Advanced Digital Systems Group) was a Sony Data Storage System launched around 1999

The Iomega Ditto and Ditto Max tapes from the 1990’s were aimed at small business file back-up and archive storage

Syquest 5.25″ inch removable cartridge drives (44, 88 and 200MB capacities) were commonly used on Apple Mac systems.

Magnetic Tape Storage