Data recovery is the art of restoring lost or corrupted files from a hard drive or other form of digital media. While there a countless number of software-based solutions that promise to do everything from restoring lost files to freeing up disk space, and while some of them do a better job than others, there are comparatively few hardware options available for the average computer user.
The 3 Data Recovery Phases
Often referred to as 3D, most data recovery jobs follow a specific order. The first phase, drive restoration, covers the initial diagnosis and repair. Disk imaging, the second phase, involves creating a duplicate of the data on the affected disk, and phase three, data retrieval, covers the actual processes of extracting data and verifying file integrity.
While these steps can be performed, at least in part, with various software solutions, some extreme cases do require a hardware-based approach.
Data Recovery Hardware
There are very few instantly recognizable names in the niche of data recovery hardware, but DeepSpar remains at the top of the list. Not only do they offer their own proprietary hardware, but they carry products from other top manufacturers in the industry. Some of their products include:
As mentioned, DeepSpar offers a few data recovery products from other manufacturers via their website. These include:
Head Stack Removal
Depending on the nature of the recovery job, you might need to inspect, remove, and replace the head stack assembly. This is especially true when working with traditional hard disk drives (HDDs) that have been dropped or knocked over.
This type of recovery job requires highly specialized tools, a keen eye for detail, and extreme precision. There are many tools that are helpful, including microscopes for a better view of miniscule parts, tools for removing stuck heads, spindle replacement tools, and tools for working with the drive motor itself.
Because this is such a sensitive operation, a head stack removal, repair, or replacement should only be completed by an experienced professional.
Clean Room Operations
Most professional operations perform all their drive assembly, disassembly, and diagnosis within the safe environment of a clean room. While this isn't always a viable option, especially if you're working with a drive in your own home, portable laminar flow workstations make an excellent substitute. These devices give you all of the benefits of working inside of a clean room with virtually none of the space requirements, so you can work on a hard drive or other sensitive equipment nearly anywhere.