Posts Tagged ‘hard drive’

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.

How A Data Recovery Company Recovers Data From A Hard Drive Failure

Monday, October 14th, 2013

This weeks thoughts are about computer failure, or to be more specific, broken hard disks. I’ve chosen two decent quality links for you:

> Data Recovery Services by DataClinic – who are a UK based company> Hard Disk Drives – on Wikipedia

Hard disk headstack assemblyIf you have ever had a hard drive on your computer crash, you know what it means to have that sudden sickening feeling, wondering if you have anything backed up anywhere. The average life of a hard drive is about 5 to 8 years, before it gives up the ghost and crashes, or ceases to work. Yet, here you might have half of your life stored on that hard drive, and that is a sobering moment in anyone’s life.

While it is wise to backup our information on another storage device, it doesn’t always happen that way, and the backups are not always perfect. If you are one of the fortunate ones who has your information backed up, you can breathe a sigh of relief. If not, then things could be bad.

In the early days of computing, a hard drive crash meant that the read/write head on the hard drive had come into contact with the magnetic disc, which is spinning. This would cause a whole lot of damage, thus the use of the term, “crash.” Modern discs are pretty well protected against that now, and are less vulnerable to many of the problems that used to surface.

In these days, a similar situation can happen, but it is a problem with software, more than hardware. It can also be loose connecting cables, which can be easily checked, but if not then a partial recovery is still possible. Most of the time the problem stems from a file system that become corrupted, and usually it has to do with the files that communicate from the drive and the hardware of the PC, or the operating system. In this case the actual files that are stored on the hard drive will still be intact, in most cases, so they could possibly be transferred to another PC by a USB caddy, or another portable hard drive. If a virus is causing the problem, it might not be wise to transfer the data, because you will be transferring the virus as well.

Most data loss events are caused by human or mechanical error. The human part also includes not properly protecting systems from malicious viruses and such types of programs. The recovery of data can be performed by commercial services that can get to the bottom of what caused the problem. It can sometimes be expensive, depending upon the extent of the problem.

Recovery of file systems can usually be handled by system administrators or by users. Sometimes files may have been corrupted to the point of having their entry code changed, and it is a matter of changing it back to its original state. The file was not lost, it was just not talking. In these cases, once the file is repaired, then it can be accessed.

The best way to avert the problem is to store important data somewhere else in a separate location. In recent years, some commercial capabilities have offered their services to do just that, and more recently service has been made available for storage in the cloud.

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.