info@dr.com.mt
  • Data Recovery from Broken Media

    5 steps to getting your data back

  • 5 steps to getting your data back


    • 1

      Contact Us

      Above all, don't panic. Do not interfere with or try to repair the medium yourself. Any non-expert interference decreases the chances of recovering your data. Send us a description of your problem via the online form or to email address info@dr.com.mt. Please describe what happened, whether the drive fell, or if it emits unusual sounds (clicks, ticks, whir, buzz). Please provide more rather than less.

    • 2

      Send It Over

      Send us the drive in the proper packaging. When dealing with hard drives, the packaging must protect your drive from vibrations (foam, bubbles, etc.). Please avoid styrofoam due to its tendency to capture static electricity. More on this under FAQ.

    • 3

      Examination

      After we examine your drive, we give you the estimation of the price and time needed for the recovery. We give you this information based on the type and extent of damage of the drive.

    • 4

      Data Recovery

      After your confirmation, we start with the recovery.

    • 5

      Pick-up

      After we receive your payment, you can pick-up the drive personally or we can ship it to you.

  • Data Recovery FAQ


    1. Is my data recoverable?
      In majority of cases, yes. Whether there was a physical failure, inconsistencies in the file system or an accidental deletion, in most cases it is possible to recover data using special equipment and procedures. However, it is vitally important for you not to try recovering the data by yourself. Data media, in particular hard disks, have no user-serviceable parts. Interference usually lowers possibility of a successful recovery.
      There are instances with damage so severe that no data can be recovered at all. One of the typical examples is where read/write head crashes onto the plate and destroys ferromagnetic layer. However, there are a number of cases where recovery was possible after damage occured, but became non-recoverable by a disk utility that assumed a working disk drive. That is why we advise against DIY approach. A sense of urgency helps, too: in case of a read/write head in a failing condition immediate shutdown enables imaging and sucessful recovery, while continuing running the drive deteriorates condition to irreparable.
    2. How can I tell whether my drive is physically damaged?
      If your computer doesn’t recognize the drive, chances are your drive has suffered physical damage. When the damage is recent, you can hear subtle crackling, ticking, whirring, buzzing, or rubbing of different metal parts. These are fairly well recognizable to be told apart from usual working sound of a hard drive. In this case, stop using drive as soon as possible and send it in.
    3. Can I try to recover or "undelete" the data myself?
      Unless you are a data recovery professional and fully understand what you are doing, we strongly, very strongly, advise against it. In our experience the users’ attempts to recover their data by themselves drastically decrease the chances of successful recovery. Never open any data medium if you want to get any data off it.
      Many of disk utilities or "undelete" programs make changes to the drive but don’t save the changes themselves. They can also overwrite the data in question, thus rendering it unsalvageable. If your disk is making strange sounds (crackling, buzzing or rubbing of different metal parts), do nothing else, but turn off your computer and send in the drive to be recovered in our clean room by one of our professionals. This is crucial because most programs like Norton assume that the drive is working normally when it is in fact not, and they worsen the current physical damage to the drive or even cause additional damage.
    4. Do I have to be technically qualified to remove the drive from the computer?
      No, it is not a complicated task. If you are not sure where to unplug your drive, consult computer manual or contact us and we will be glad to help.
    5. How does the process of examination look like?
      1. We determine whether your drive has physical damage, software damage, or both.
      2. In case of physical damage, we find the appropriate spare part(s) from out inventory or source them from partners or vendors.
      3. We copy the whole drive to our equipment, from where we continue with our process of data recovery.
      4. We examine the condition of data structures and determine the amount that is salvageable.
      5. Upon completion we contact you with an estimate of time and cost of the recovery.
      After your confirmation, we recover your data.
    6. How long does the examination take?
      We try to complete the examination in 3-5 working days from the time we receive your drive. The examination may take longer in cases of physical damage due to extensive read re-tries, severely damaged data structures, when needed spare parts are not available, or in case of a large amount of work. In such case, we inform you about it as soon as we can and then keep you advised.
    7. How long does the process of data recovery take?
      We try to recover your data in 3 - 15 business days after, but the time needed may vary from case to case. We give you the estimation of the time period in which your data will be recovered after we have completed the examination. The time needed for recovery depends on the type of damage caused to the drive, and (in the case of mechanical damage) if we have the needed spare parts in stock. The time also depends on the amount of drives we have in the process of recovery.
    8. My data is confidential. Will it remain confidential?
      Yes. There are ethical reasons: Your data is yours only and you alone decide who to share it with. And there are practical reasons: We have no way of knowing which data is confidential and which not, so we treat all of it as confidential. If you require NDA for legal reasons (contractual, auditing, etc.), please send it to us with the medium.
    9. How do I pack the drive?
      Hard disk drives are the most sensitive of the media, particularly to vibrations and shocks. Wrap the disk in an anti-static bag, or, if not available, a freezer bag. If you don't have original packaging any more, use a box made of sturdy cardboard that is big enough to put in the disk wrapped in two inches of foam padding of bubble-wrap. It is vitally important that the material has anti-vibrational properties. Please do not use styrofoam due to electric charge it generates, it could cause damage to your drive.
  • Media from which we recover data

    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Memory cards

    Optical media

    success rate

    >90%

    recovery timeframe

    7-15 days

    Data Recovery From Hard Disk Drives

    Hard disk drive is the most frequent medium brought to us for recovering data. This is in part due to its complex design, partly to its ubiquity and partly to its high capacity. The complex design results in a wide array of possible faults and damages which have wildly differing consequences on data loss. When data loss occurs, above all, stay calm.


    Physical damage

    Listening to hard drive offers hints about possible physical damage. If you hear unusual sounds, such as clicking, ticking, grinding, humming or buzzing, it is likely that physical damage occured. It is vitally important not to use the drive any longer than absolutely necessary and turn it off as soon as possible. Send it in for an evaluation so that damage can be assessed by an expert. Experience tells us that in early stages of physical damage all the data can be successfully recovered. It is paramount so send it in as soon as possible!


    Software damage

    If there is a logical error, or you accidentally deleted a file or folder, it is important not to write anything on the drive. Newly written data can overwrite data in question and thus render it much harder to get to or even unrecoverable.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

    success rate

    >80%

    recovery timeframe

    10-20 days

    Data Recovery From SSD Drives

    SSD stands for Solid State Drive (or Device, or Disk). It contains no disk at all but rather electronic circuit assemblies used as memory. Most of SSDs use NAND Flash technology, so called because transistors are connected in a way resembling Negative AND logic gate.

    SSD disks have become much more popular after initial technology limitations were overcome and have taken multimedia professionals by a storm. They are becoming ever more popular in all other fields as well.

    Isn't data stored on SSD safe?

    Contrary to popular opinion, no more than on good old hard disk. If it doesn't have moving parts to break, it still has electronic components that can go awry. There is actual medium, capacitors, power supply, controller chip. Experience shows that SSD reliability is about on par with hard disks and that wear-out seems approximately linear. They are also more vulnerable to conditions hard disks are not: magnetic fields, electric charges and abrupt power loss.

    Is data recoverable?

    Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, but it is anything but easy. SSD architecture is much more complicated than any RAID array architecture. Some of them are closely guarded trade secrets due to manufacturers' trying to gain a performance edge over competitors. Each data recovery situation is unique. However, we have developed some techniques that enable us to map the drive and recover data.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

    success rate

    >85%

    recovery timeframe

    10-30 days

    Data Recovery From RAID Arrays

    RAID array is a group of disks (or other media, e.g. SSDs) arranged together into one logical drive, or volume. Operating system and user are presented with one logical device, while read and write operations are distributed across all the disks in array. Data is distributed across all disks in a way that reflects users' needs: either it is optimized for speed, or reliability, or both.

    Common types

    RAID 0: block level striping
    RAID1: mirroring
    RAID 5: block level striping with distributed parity
    RAID 6: block level striping with double distributed parity
    RAID 0+1: mirroring striped sets of drives
    RAID 10 ali RAID 1+0: striping mirrored sets of drives

    Recovery

    Data recovery from RAID arrays complicates already complex matter of salvaging the data. When turning your media in, please give us more information rather than less: RAID type, controller manufacturer, model and firmware revision, date of creating the array, software and version that created the array. The more you can give us, the higher is the possibility of recovering all of your data.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

    success rate

    >90%

    recovery timeframe

    3-15 days

    Data Recovery From USB Flash Drives

    USB flash drives are memory media based on NAND flash technology. They differ from their predecessors (floppy disks, iomega zip disks, and partially CDs) in several important respects. Memory storage is not organized in cylindrical manner like in disks, but rather in a matrix. They have distinct advantages as a portable media: they are light, small, resistant to vibration both during operation and storage.

    Some of the more common damages are program defects, overuse of the drive that comes with large amounts of data written on it, and physical damages.


    Data recovery from USB flash drives

    Due to their highly portable nature USB keys are routinely exposed to heavy wear and tear. Data loss occurs for a wide variety of reasons: water, dust, shock (just because they have no moving parts does not mean they are indestructible), accidental deletion, viruses, physical breakage. Data recovery depends on extent of damage, but generally the success rate is high.

    When faced with data loss, keep in mind to react calmly and wisely: if your USB has been broken, do not bend it, move the contacts as little as possible and don’t mechanically overload it. Pack it appropriately and send it to us into examination.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

    success rate

    >80%

    recovery timeframe

    3-15 days

    Data Recovery From Memory Cards

    Memory cards are storage media based on NAND flash technology. They are found in increasing number of electronic devices due to small sizes and ever larger capacities. One of key factors for explosive growth in usage have been smartphones and tablets. Memory cards come in many form factors and flavours: SD, miniSD, microSD, CompactFlash, Memory Stick, to name the most common ones. As in USB flash drives, storage is organized in a matrix and share advantages with their USB cousins: they are light, small, resistant to vibration both during operation and storage.


    Data recovery from memory cards

    Data can also be recovered from memory cards. Whether the damage is physical, the card is accidentally thrown in the water, is broken or driven over, in most cases the data can be at least partly recovered. Remember to react wisely: don’t bend the broken card so you don’t damage the contacts, flodden or wet cards should be washed with distilled water (especially if they have been in saltwater) and then slowly dried. Drying your memory card on very high temperatures isn’t a good idea; these drives are designed to handle the highest temperature of 50-60 degrees C.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

    success rate

    >70%

    recovery timeframe

    1-7 days

    Data Recovery From Optical Media (CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.)

    Optical media (CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM, Blu-Ray or magneto optical drives) rely on visible light for reading and writing data rather than on magnetic force like hard disks, magnetic tapes, floppy disks, and so forth. To get a coherent light, devices use lasers. Data is written on a thin layer of special material encoding pits (shine through, 0) and lands (reflection, 1). This thin material resides on a thicker and stronger substrate, in case of CDs and DVDs this is usually polycarbonate.


    Data recovery from optical media

    Optical media are very vulnerable to scratches and strong light, particularly sunlight. Designers foretold possibility of scratches and the majority of media has mechanisms in place to reduce vulnerability to small scratches. Usually this is done with some sort of clever data encoding using more space than actual data takes itself. This does not help very badly damaged media, however. The amount of recoverable data depends on the damage; when dealing with scratches it depends on their depth, direction, and the hardness of the object that has caused them. There are some techniques to get as much of data from a damaged medium as possible, some of them quite efficient.


    Hard disks

    SSD drives

    RAID arrays

    USB flash

    Mem cards

    Optical

  • About us


    Rubisco Limited
    152 Triq in-Naxxar
    San Gwann SGN 9030
    Malta

    Contact

    Please use the contact form on the right.

    Who are we?


    We are a group of experts in the field of data recovery. We do not give up easily and have recovered data from cases others proclaimed impossible.
    Data recovery represents a working challenge to us, and we enjoy doing what we do.

  • Order Examination Of Your Drive


    After you have sent us your order, you will receive an automatically generated message. There will be an number added in the subject, a number with which your case is identified. Please save the message.