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Desert Data Recovery - Phoenix
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Fire Damaged Security Surveillance DVR:
As this recovery was for a court case and insurance claim, legal proceedings prevent us from showing the actual security surveillance DVR. This DVR had been severely fire damaged. However the hard drive was still in tact and the data was accessible. However data recovery of a DVR can be highly complex. Manufacturers create their own proprietary software to record video images on surveillance systems. The type of data saved is called codecs. Without the original software it is almost impossible to decode the video stream as camera feeds are all recorded simultaneously. So our best option was to repair the DVR motherboard and re-write the firmware. We were then able to connect the drive power it up and recover the data for our client using the proprietary DVR software.
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Seized Motor on a Western Digital 320GB Hard Drive:
Our client bought in a WD hard drive for data recovery that had motor seizure. This is not a very common occurrence and is caused by either the motor bearing seizing due to overheating, or by severe damage to the spindle after the drive had been dropped. This instance was motor seizure due to excessive heat. In cases like this the only way to recover the data is to complete a platter swap. ie we took the platters and read-write heads out of one hard drive chassis in our Class 10 Clean Room and transplant them into a donor chassis of the same type. This is not a task you take on lightly as moving the platters out of alignment by even one millimeter means the data is no longer accessible. Once we completed the platter swap, the drive was then put onto our imager.
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Fire Damaged MacBook Pro:
The MacBook Pro had not only been involved in a fire, but was also soaked with water by the fire crew doing their best to put out the fire. When we got the MacBook it already showed signed of connections in the motherboard beginning to corrode. We extracted the hard drive and worked on replacing the hard drive circuit board which had suffered acute damage. We extracted the ROM information form the circuit board and loaded it onto the replacement (circuit boards are paired to drives so this firmware swap needs to be completed for the new board to work). We then recovered the data on the drive. We also recovered an external backup drive for this client, although that recovery was a little easier..
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Failed RAID 5:
While a RAID 5 set-up is extremely robust and has redundancy built into the architecture, even RAID 5's are not immune to failure. We had a RAID 5 with 4 x 1TB drives in for data recovery. A RAID 5 allows for one drive to fail and the other drives continue to work as if nothing has happened. Once the failed drive is replaced, the array re-builds itself and the RAID continues to operate as if nothing has happened. However problems occur when one drive fails and the failure is not noticed or acted upon. Because when hard drives are purchased for a RAID they are purchased together (usually the same make and same model) then they tend to fail at the same time. We recovered the data by using the two good drives and the most recent one to fail so the data recovered is as up to date as possible.
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Broken Flash Drive Connector:
This is a common occurrence with flash drives. They are commonly inserted into laptops and the laptop gets knocked over, or someone hits the flash drive walking past. With this particular flash drive as well as soldering on a new USB connector, we also had to complete some re-work to the circuit board in order to recover the data. This is not unusual as when a connector gets broken off, their is inevitable some additional damage to the board.
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