hard drive

Technology is a part of our daily lives.  The amount of time the average person spends interacting with their digital devices continues to climb with each passing year.  The amount of data being processed and stored accumulates and the size of our storage devices continues to grow.

At one point of another, for many various reason, access to the data is lost.

Corrupted Data

Corrupted data referes to errors that occur duing writing, reading, transmission or processing which introduce unintended changes to the original data.  Data corruption in an image file can manifest as artifacts on the image that shouldnt be there. In an audio file, it could be garbled or skipped audio.  In a word document, it could be jumbled characters. For any of those file types, it could be so bad that they are no longer recognized as images, audio or text and they no longer open in your favorite application.

Hardware Failure

Common ways for data corruption to be introduced is due to faulty hardware.  Failing random access memory, or RAM for short cause introduce corruption as the data is commited to the hard drive from RAM.  There are various technologies that help mitigate memory corruption.  ECC Memory is a server technology not normally available for consumer grade computers and is generally much more expensive than normal memory.

A hard drive can also begin to have problems with individual sectors/blocks that can introduce corruption.  When a sector/block goes bad, one peice of the stored data becomes inaccessible.  Windows has the ability to recover from some of these errors with utilities such as Check Disk.  When a hard drive has a large amount of failed sectors, the operating system itself can become corrupt and unable to boot.

Data Recovery

Its important when dealing with data that special care is taken to ensure that the data corruption is not made worse.  There are ways to preserve the original state of the data incase more than one attempt is needed to recover the data.  Cloning is the term used when a service technician makes an exact copy of the old drive.

Once the drive has been cloned, utilities like checkdisk can fix corrupted data.  Sometimes the built in utilities are not enough and 3rd party utilities can be used to peice the data back together again.  Often these utilities have a free version you can test to see if they can recover the data with additional fees to recover all the data.

If the problem is severe and the physical device is bad, the device can be sent to an advanced data recovery facility where it is disassembled and physically repaired.  These types of services usually cost in the thousands of dollars for the basic tier.

Cowabunga! Data Recovery Services

We offer basic data recovery services.  We do a free assesment of the drive and offer a quote for recovery.  If we cannot recover any of the data, there is never any charge.  We can then refer you to a mainland partner that provides clean room disassembly services.