Hard drives hold some of the most valuable information to us, and most DriveFish customers can attest to how fragile they can be. So you can imagine a hard drive in a computer being sent to Mars would have to be able to withstand extreme conditions far beyond those of your average computer room.
First of all, everything has to stay working because there is obviously no one up there to fix it. Curiosity’s sensitive electronic parts must withstand the coldness of space, radiation extremes, impact events, electric overload, and the killer of many hard drives on Earth – dust. These elements are all present in extreme forms on Mars, a planet with very little atmosphere for protection compared to our home planet.
So with this in mind, it makes the hardware components of the on-board computer less to scoff at. The specifications are barely on par with decade old home computers, including a PowerPC 750 clocked around 200 MHz, and 256 MB of DRAM with 2 GB of flash storage to store video and data before being transmitted to Earth. But the full computer suite had to be specially designed to withstand the elements of space and the Martian surface.
What happens when the software needs to be upgraded? No problem, we’ll take care of it remotely! Yes, the software in Curiosity was upgraded after reaching the planet’s surface to be geared towards day to day activities on the red planet. So even if the computer in Curiosity doesn’t seem as top of the line as you might guess, it should be an understatement to say it is still an impressive feat of technology.
Hard Drives, Hardware, Software
We are in the age where most of the world’s information is in digital form, all encoded as little 1′s and 0′s firing in circuit boards. So how much of this information ever makes it out of the digital world into our physical one? According to a recent study by UC Berkeley scientists, only about 7% of information in the digital world ever leaves. This means most of the world’s information exists solely in the digital realm.
Many people out there might like for this information to stay digital. Those who commit cyber-crimes use a number of methods to cover their traces, such as giving important files obscure names and moving them to a hard to find location. While this seems like an easy solution for digital investigators, time and legal restraints can make finding and extracting these files challenging.
A cyber criminal can simply change a file name or location or delete files. Deleted files can often be retrieved from the Recycle Bin, or if the Recycle Bin has been cleared, using other investigative methods. Even formatted drives can be recovered depending on the thoroughness with which the drive was formatted. It is important for investigators to pay attention to hidden and inaccessible files as these commonly contain useful evidence. When very determined, a criminal can physically destroy a drive, which if done successfully there can be no recourse for.
The digital realm is a vast one with lots of nooks and crannies for information to hide in, but computer security experts are tenacious and will always be trying to keep up with protection methods.
Data Recovery, Hard Drives, Hardware, Prevention
We often get asked if we can recover data from laptop hard drives, and the answer is YES!
Just because it’s packed in a little tighter and harder to find, hard drives in laptops work like hard drives in desktop computers, which also means they’re capable of failing the same ways! If your laptop hard drive dies and you need to recover data off it, you can send DriveFish the entire laptop, or simply remove the disk from the laptop – it’s only a few small screws!
We are of course not limited to desktops and laptops either. We are capable of recovering from external hard drives like Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, Samsung, and Toshiba. We even recover camera memory cards like Canon and Nikon, so whatever your media format is, don’t hesitate to let DriveFish be the company to recover your data!
Data Recovery, Hardware
But also don’t power up your computer again!
Does this mean you have lost everything? Not necessarily!
We have discussed this in earlier blog posts as sometimes relating to a head crash. This is when the read/write heads literally strip the magnetic material off the platters of a drive, permanently taking the data with it.
However it is important to remember that a clicking drive does not always mean a head crash, as clicking can be caused by a number of other much less serious problems. It is very important to remember that when a disk clicks, you should never power the computer or drive up again, or you may cause permanent data loss!
The best idea is to send it to DriveFish for a free diagnosis. We know how important your data is to you, and we will always protect it and use the utmost care with your drive. If it does turn out your drive is suffering from a head crash, we will help you every step of the way in determining the best advanced recovery options if that is what you choose to do.
At DriveFish, we get personally invested in our customers and do everything we can to help get their data securely back to them.
Data Recovery, Hard Drives, Hardware, Misconceptions
We offer data recovery on all types of hard drives including Western Digital.
Western Digital, often referred to as WD, has been making hard drives since the early 80′s and make good hard drives. Western Digital data recovery isn’t needed any more that any other brand of drive in our experience. We do have great experience with Western Digital (WD) drives because of how common they are in the marketplace.
If you have a Western Digital hard drive in need of data recovery simply fill out our easy web form and send us the disk. If you have a warranty situation we are happy to RMA the disk for you after recovery – just let us know what the RMA number is and pay shipping. Western Digital accepts drives directly from DriveFish and our labs do not invalidate any warranty so you can rest at ease.
Western Digital Data Recovery? Click here!
Data Recovery, Hard Drives, Hardware
Not neccesarily. If your disk is clicking that generally indicates that you have a problem with the read/write heads attempting to scan the surface of the platter. If you hear a clicking, grinding or other odd noice from your disk we suggest you shut it down immediately and send it in. If it is in fact a head crash, you may need advanced recovery.
It could also just be a problem with the electronics, motor, actuator arm or any number of problems. You best bet is to pack it carefully and send to us so we can give you the best chance of recovery. Don’t give up hope – if we recover your data you pay a reasonable flat fee!
Hard Drives, Hardware, Misconceptions
A “head crash” is a term that describes what happens when the read/write heads of a hard drive touch the spinning platter causing damage to the magnetic coating that contains the data.
A hard drive is somewhat like a record player in that there are spinning platters (records) that are read by read/write heads on an actuator arm (the tone arm and needle). Instead of the r/w heads actually touching the platter though, it hovers just above it reading the data magnetically. Sometimes it’s a small bump or jarring of the disk, sometimes it’s a small piece of dirt or other particulate on the disk surface. Whatever the cause, if the read/write heads touch and chip or scratch the magnetic coating of the spinning platter(s), that is a head crash!
A head crash has to be handled carefully as once it happens and some coating has been scratched off the platter(s), the problem become worse very quickly. You have to catch it quick before all of your data is literally scratched off. A common disk speed is 7200 RPM – that’s almost 75 mph! A head crash occurring at that speed can be catastrophic.
Be smart. If you hear clicking, clunking, grinding or any other odd noises you could possibly have a head crash. We suggest you pack it up and send it to a company that you know will give you the best chance of recovery.
Hard Drives, Hardware
While you can always set the jumpers on a hard drive you want to recover and slave it in an exsisting system, it is much easier to use a USB enclosure to connect a hard drive to your system for testing/diagnosis. When hooking directly to the system, you risk the integrity of the connections and hardware inside the case. If you are looking for a better way – go pick up a USB enclosure from a local computer store (try to find a locally owned shop) and use that instead!
If you want to order online, here are some good prices:
The only thing you need to be concered with when buying is the connection type of your hard drive. Generally they are either SATA or PATA (IDE). You need to buy the type that supports your type of hard drive.
PATA (IDE) is on the top, SATA is on the bottom.
Once you connect your disk, simply plug the USB cable into your computer to access (or attempt to access!) the data.