FAQ Disks

Hard disks, Jaz, Zip and memory chips typically store information the same way. What can be expected on recovery is also similar.

Q Can all deleted files be recovered

    A It does depend to a very large extent on what has been done to the media since the files were deleted. If many new files have been written to the disk, the chances of recovery are limited, but if nothing has been done to the disk, the chances are very good.  If a disk has been fragmented file that were stored at the start of the disk may be lost, while other files at the end of the disk may remain intact. As a very firm rule, do not defrag a disk with problems, or potentially lost files on it.

Q Is it possible that recovered file will be corrupted

    A There is always that possibility. If a file is short, eg less than 16K there is little chance of corruption, but for a very long file, (more than 1MB for instance) the original file may be fragmented.  Often when deleting, the details of how the file has been fragmented is lost.  It may be necessary to link the file sections together by hand which can be a time consuming process, but for very valuable data it may be considered good value for money.

Q Will file names and directories be preserved

    A It is normally possible to keep the original file name, though sometimes the first character may be unknown. Depending on the mode of recovery being used subdirectories may be lost, or the tree structure unknown. Dummy directory names will be inserted when full path cannot be established.

Q Boot sector is missing

    A CnW can restore a boot sector.  There can be two approaches, either the sector is written back to the disk, or CnW can restore files even when the boot sector location has totally failed

Q Can you work on Macintosh hard disks

    A We have done some very successful Mac recoveries from HFS Plus hard drives. New tools are being developed to work in different ways with Mac disks.

Q This disk is not spinning, can you help?

    A The answer is probably no.  We do not have the clean room facilities to open up disks, but nether do we have the cost overhead. If a disk is making a nasty scrapping noise, unplug it immediately. This is not something we can investigate for you. If it is quiet, and there is a slight vibration, then it is probably spinning, and we will investigate it for you, even though the computer may not see the disk a being there.

Q Why do files get lost?

    A There are more answers to this than days in a year, but typical reasons include

      • Operator error
      • Accidental deletion
      • Operating system failure
      • Accidental formatting
      • Modifying partitions
      • Hard disk failure, or partial failure
      • Software crashing
      • Power glitch
      • Physical shock
      • Virus (actually this is very rare)

Each problem has a different type of solution, but our experience will let us recover files quickly from any type of failure


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