Integration with Hard Drive Recovery Hardware

The IT industry has an increasing demand for professional data recovery equipment that can recover failed drives, that is, drives that cannot be recovered by means of data recovery software. Many of these drives have disk read-instability issues, such as numerous bad sectors, occasional non-responsive states, and extremely slow command processing times. These drives can be recovered by professional data recovery disk imaging equipment without the need for replacement of mechanical or electronic parts. Drives with such issues usually cause the system software (BIOS/OS) to stop responding or even to not recognize the drive at all. Because the problem is at the BIOS/OS level, its solution requires an investment into dedicated hardware.

R-Studio now provides features at the hardware level of hard disk drives, based on its integration with the DeepSpar Disk Imager (DDI).

This integration allows for the following:

Advantages for R-Studio users Advantages for DDI users
Low level hardware solution bypassing the computer BIOS Wider range of supported file systems and their different variants
Disable specific drive read/write heads File based imaging directly from RAID arrays
Disable SMART subsystem, Bad Sector Reallocation, and Read Look-Ahead Extensive raw file recovery capabilities
Read sector timeout controlled by Software/Hardware/PHY drive reset commands Improved algorithms for file system recovery
Bit level analysis of corrupted data to filter out the read-write channel noise User friendly interface of R-Studio
Fully customizable multi-pass imaging Extended reporting functionality

The next step up from software recoveries has always been data recovery disk imaging equipment. Why? Here is a list of recovery procedures and tools involved in professional data recovery processes, prioritized by return-on-investment (based on initial and operational time/costs/risks):

  • Logical Recovery Software: Low initial cost and minimal knowledge required because the software automates most tasks.
  • Data Recovery Imaging: Moderate initial cost and low knowledge required to perform disk imaging operations. No operational costs.
  • Hard Disk Drive Board Swap (also moving an external ROM chip from a failed board to a donor): No initial costs, but high operational time/costs/risks and expertise required to find a compatible donor.
  • Firmware Repair (Drive System Area & ROM): Much higher initial cost of equipment and expertise, as compared to disk imaging.
  • Heads/Platters Transplant: Very high operational time/costs/risks and expertise.

This new integration allows our users to easily add data recovery imaging capabilities to their processes. The result is the user-friendly environment of R-Studio using its advanced algorithms to go after your files with the powerful DeepSpar Disk Imager hardware working to handle drive instabilities on-the-fly underneath it all.

The DeepSpar Disk Imager PCIe board should be installed into a separate network computer (the DDI computer) that has the source and clone drives connected to it. The DDI computer should be started using the boot USB stick supplied with the board. R-Studio running on another computer (the R-Studio computer) accesses the disk via a Local Area Network. So, all data recovery operations are being done through the following setup:

Such integration allows imaging to be performed on a file-by-file basis avoiding necessity to image the entire source drive prior to analyzing and repairing the structure of the file system. In other words, whenever R-Studio needs to analyze a particular element of the file system, such as MBR, a boot sector or an MFT record, sectors that belong to those elements are being retrieved by the DDI from the source drive, copied to the clone drive and then returned to R-Studio over the network.

DDI disks appear in the Drives pane of R-Studio as regular disk objects and can be processed as such. For example, they can be included into RAID objects.

Moreover, R-Studio can read and process images and disk maps created by standalone DDI hardware.

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