Posts Tagged ‘hard disk’

Datlabs Data Recovery Launch New Web Site

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

UK data recovery experts Datlabs have launched a new look web site for their hard drive recovery business. The growth of the site reflects the growth in their hard drive data recovery business over the last 18 months or so.

Datlabs logoI called Datlabs to ask them about their new web site and how they are fairing in the complex world of data recovery. “We have seen a huge upturn in the amount of work being sent in to us where portable and external USB hard drives have broken” said Datlabs tech wizard Ashley Gomes. “Whereas only 5 years ago we would see comparatively few external and portable data storage devices, we now see an increase of almost 5 fold.”

This is a statistic that is common amongst many data recovery companies the world over: external hard drives are just so much more popular these days, and the fact that they are portable means they get lugged around from place to place and get knocked and dropped.

“Inside the casing a hard drive is a very delicate storage device”, continued Gomes, “a jolt or knock can cause real problems with accessibilty, whilst dropping and external hard drive can result in the data being lost forever”.

With the likes of web sites http://thursdaynightblues.com/ and http://harddriveman.com/ reporting on many different types of hard drive fault, Datlabs should be busy, and their new site rocks!

All Flash Data Centres?

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Will we ever see data centres where spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) have been replaced by flash hard drives (SSDs) ?

Flash memory (SSD)The answer is probably, but according to this news article it won’t be for time yet. The problem is multi faceted, but much of the big issue revolves around the cost of producing SSD flash media when compared against the same process for HDD manufacture. Hard drives of the HDD variety have been around a long time and they are mechanical devices that rotate – this means that to rotate them they have to have a constant power supply which keeps them spinning at exactly the correct speed. For data centres that have many thousands of hard disks this is a big deal as the costs of keeping the HDDs spinning is considerable. Then there is the heat issue too – thousands of rotating HDDs produce a lot of heat that has to dissipated – usually an elaborate air conditioning system is used to effectively transport the generated heat away from the the hard drives. This means more money is spent.

Helium hard drives have been developed that produced less heat and are able to store more and these are getting into data centres but their cost is higher than standard HDDs. SSDs are also made from rare earth materials so there is a finite supply which keeps the price high.

Using a CCTV DVR System to Monitor Your Business

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

CCTV and DVR SystemsSecurity is an important concern for any business.  Having a strong security system is not only important in terms of deterring and preventing theft, but it can also be an important factor in determining your insurance premiums.  Businesses need to worry about theft by local gang bangers as well as employees with access to inventory and the cash register.  Even a full time security guard does not have eyes in the back of his head.  To get the most comprehensive surveillance possible, you need video monitoring.  CCTV DVR systems represent a great system towards these ends.

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are at the heart of any monitoring system.  These provide the watchful eye that scans your shop, potentially 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  These can be acquired in simple black and white, color, or even with infrared capability.  The latter is especially useful if they will be monitoring the place in the dark.

Each camera is outfitted with a lens that defines the viewing angle.  These lenses can be configured for a very wide fisheye style viewing angle to cover the most real estate possible.  They can also cover a narrow field if you need a close up view with detail, such as perhaps near a cash register where one might want to be able to catch the denominations of any bills pulled out.  Cameras can also have zoom lenses that can pan in and out when controlled remotely.

It is not uncommon for CCTV cameras in such a system to be hard wired directly to a digital video recorder (DVR) which will record all of the footage in real time.  However, many modern cameras are being produced to work without being physically wired in to any other device other than the electrical socket supplying power.  These usually have their own wireless data transmitter that is connected to a wireless router or hub.  This hub then usually connects to the worldwide web and the DVR. The DVR can be either at the location being monitored or somewhere off site where it is secured from being tampered with by employees or thieves.

There are many advantages to this setup.  First, this makes setting up the system relatively easy.  There is no need to worry about running cable lines from various parts of the establishment, which could require substantial refits to the premises.  Each camera in such a system can also be polled remotely using its assigned IP address in real time.  If the DVR fails for some reason, this could be useful for obtaining real time security.  Certain cameras might even have the ability to pan back and forth and zoom in and out.  These could then be controlled remotely using by the IP address with this setup if suspicious activity is observed.

The DVR’s primary function is to collect and store the incoming data.  In older systems this would have been handled by a video cassette recorder (VCR).  The obvious disadvantages of the latter system are (1) the short duration of the tape which requires frequent replacements, (2) the ability to only record one camera per VCR, and (3) the inability to go back and view previous video frames on the tape while it is still a problem.  DVRs solve all of these problems.

DVRs utilize a hard disk to store the data instead of a tape.  All video is digitized at the level of the CCTV and then compressed into a digital file using standard computer video formats.  Due to the speed of the digital processing power of the DVR, it can handle signals from many cameras at once, writing all the data onto different hard drive files as the data comes in.  Since computer hard drives can hold up to four terabytes of data, a lot of video can be stored before the old video would have to be backed up to some other sort of backup.  Since hard drives operate on the principle of random access, one can always go back and view any frame or multiple clips from multiple views simultaneously even though the system is still recording. As you probably know, hard drives can break from time to time and the data on them lost. Should this happen it’s frequently necessary to contact a CCTV or DVR data recovery specialist.

DVRs can be configured as standalone units, like home entertainment center DVRs, or as personal computers outfitted to perform the same function.  A computer DVR will give a business owner much more flexibility in terms of software that can be used in addition to software and hardware expansion possibilities.  However, a standalone unit can be more stable since it is usually not working on a bloated PC operating system that can be prone to crash.  Multiple PCs can be used, one off site and one on site, if crashes are a concern.  The latter configuration also provides some redundancy in case of an outgoing network failure effecting the off site DVR or physical tampering of the data at the on site unit.

CCTV DVR systems have provided business owners with more options to monitor their operations more efficiently. Deterring crime with 24/7 surveillance has never been more easy to install and cost effective.

Data Clinic Help Businesses Recover From Weather Damage

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

dataclinic ltd logoHigh tides and strong winds combined to defeat flood defences and damage many shops and businesses in Hull this week. Companies, shops and houses were evacuated as flood water disrupted computer systems causing them to crash and their data to be lost. Subsequently IT support companies have been called into many businesses to restore failed computer systems such as RAID servers, stand alone PC and Mac computers. Recovery work is also underway across the region as companies try to restore their computer data and get their businesses back up and running again.

Flooding causes widespread disruption to computer systems and large scale data loss. Hard drives that have been involved in floods are often water damaged and have to be cleaned and carefully dried before attempts to access the data on them can be made. The drying process has to be very carefully managed as once a hard drive begins to dry out its components begin to oxidise. Oxidation of the hard drive must be prevented as it will prevent any type of successful data recovery result. One of the worst things that can be done is for a water damaged and oxidised hard drive to be powered up. Doing so will damage the platters of the drive and destroy the data.

Water damage will frequently break the hard drive controller board by causing a short circuit. Swapping the controller board will no work because controller boards are now unique to the hard drives they are shipped with and contain data unique to that hard drive.

A recommended data recovery company like Data Clinic are specialists in recovering the data from flood and water damaged hard drives. With many years experience in hard drive faults and data recovery they are often the company of choice for many UK businesses and individuals. With regional offices throughout the UK, customers can call in and have their hard disk assessed or take advantage of a countrywide free collection service. Drive faults and damage is assessed and then a price given for the recovery of the data. It’s then the customer’s choice whether they wish to proceed with the recovery or not.

With all the bad weather around the UK at the moment it’s not only Hull that is suffering, many businesses on the East coast of England are also taking the brunt of the poor conditions with shops staying shut and business data going offline. Computers and hard drives are resilient to many things but bad weather is not one of them, and those businesses without data backups are in for an agonising wait while the data recovery firms work at repairing their hard drives and recovering their data.

Whether it’s for your business or personal use, you can’t go wrong backing up your data.  You should always create a backup of your data at least once a month, even more than that if you have a lot of important information that you add to your laptop on a frequent basis. To put it in simple terms, nothing in the computer industry is fool proof.  Hard drives can crash, computer hard disks can get stolen, or be dropped and rendered useless. To ensure that we are never left without our valuable data, we should always create a backup of our information. There are several methods available that ensure data is backed up. Online services that back up data remotely can be used, alternatively so can external hard drives. Another cheap way to back up data and files is to burn them to a data CD or DVD. If you don’t have that much data to back up you could also use a USB memory stick. Preserving data is something you should really look into, especially if you have business material on your hard drive.

As mentioned above, the easiest and quickest way to backup important data is to use an online backup service.  Depending on your internet connection this can take from several minutes to several hours. It is time well spent though because at least you’ll know your data is safely stored to somewhere other than your hard disk should the drive crash. It would be an interesting study to discover how many businesses and households have lost data because of the recent flooding, what percentage of them had made backups and what percentage had to use data recovery services to rescue their data from their flooded hard disk drives.

SSD’s NOT Replacing HDD’s Anytime Soon…

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Infographic of SSD and HDD storage

The prohibitive cost and lack of huge storage amounts per unit make SSD a non viable option in many storage applications.

Contrary to popular belief, a large study regarding the take up of SSD and their impact on technology has been completed by HGST and found that SSD technology will not be replacing HDD technology any time soon. The major contributing factor to this is price.

Whilst SSD hard drives have significant benefits such as lower power usage, no moving parts and quicker data access, one of their drawbacks is their cost. SSD prices fluctuate depending upon the cost of the rare earth material that they are made from: on any given data they can cost between 3 and 30 times more expensive than a regular HDD. When you consider the amounts of data being stored across the world it makes using SSD’s prohibitively expensive.

The infogram illustrates how SSD and HDD hard disks will be used over the coming 5 years: as you can see the only place SSDs will make a significant impact in corporate markets is in high end, high profit, high data throughput applications and servers.

Also the significant breakthroughs in storage capacities of HDD devices (as of Dec 2013 the largest commercially available hard drive is 6TB) is another huge reason making SSD hard drive non competitive – SSD’s just can not provide this amount of storage at anywhere close to HDD prices.

Reviewing the WD MyBook Ultra Hard Disk

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

WD ultra hard disk driveCompact, elegant, and small enough to fit in your hand, WD’s My Passport Ultra is a portable USB3 hard-drive that is available in several various colours.

Western Digital include three utility applications using the My Passport Ultra:

1. WD Security lets you to really secure the drive’s content with a password. The protection feature supports strong encryption, and once you decide on a password, the drive’s data is utterly inaccessible in the event you forget the password.

2. Smartware is a backup program allowing you to back up your files either always in the background while you work or in accordance with a timetable of the wish. Smartware is intelligent enough to back up only those files which have changed since the copy, which saves time. You may select to back up special files or folders, or let the software reproduce entire groups of files, for example all of your pictures, music and movies. The program colourful images that visual depict just how much space is being used by diverse kinds of files, including files and jpgs.
Were you aware? – In place of backing up files to the My Passport Extremely, Smartware can back up files to your Dropbox account. If you wish these can subsequently be backed up to the Passport Extremely.

3. WD Drive Utilities comprises a housekeeping suite that includes characteristics that allow you to really check in the drive’s status, its features, run a SMART position report, as well as reformat the drive.