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The Science Behind Data Recovery

January 19th, 2009

The computer data that seems solid and reliable when you see it on a monitor or hard copy printout really exists only as minute electrical impulses crammed tightly on tape, diskettes or hard drives. Depending on how it is stored, that data will continue to exist until the medium is destroyed, scrambled by a virus or overwritten by other information. In other words, some ‘physical’ event prevents you from accessing your data. Data recovery companies work to reverse that process, any way they can.

There is no single method to retrieve data. In fact, it is extremely rare to apply a solution more than once. To avoid damage from repeated scanning, a skilled data recovery company will find a way to duplicate client data, even if it must be done bit by bit.

Hard disk drives store data store data on metal oxide platters spinning as fast as 10,000 revolutions a minute while an actuator arm reads and writes magnetic charges one millionth of an inch above the surface. Even though any contact can and does destroy data, a great deal of information can still be harvested from physically damaged media. Because the manufacturers of storage media like hard drives are constantly striving to compress more data on to smaller surfaces, a data recovery specialist must have a ‘clean room’ to avoid dust or dirt causing more damage to the delicate magnetic media.

Data recovery requires not only specialized equipment but people with advanced skills and the creativity to apply them in unique and demanding situations.

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