Is your hard drive failing? We do data recovery, or hard drive recovery.

Any of these symptoms may mean the hard drive is failing. If you do not have a back up, try to make one immediately. If unable to do backup, then it is best to shut off and bring machine to us so we can do data recovery.

Common Symptoms:

  • Unable to boot (either outright failure to boot)
  • Boot loop, where computer tries to boot, then dies, then tries again, over and over
  • Spinning circle of Death: Hourglass or spinning dots, just go round and round, never coming out of it.
  • Error message from Windows stating hard drive will imminent fail.
  • Blue screen of death (Windows machine): a blue screen appears with a cryptic error message and system is totally locked up.
  • Grey (or white) screen of death (Apple Mac or Macbook machine) : a solid grey screen, with or without a cryptic error message and system is totally locked up.
  • Mac message during disk utility that drive will imminently fail.
  • Kernal error (Apple mac machine)
  • Freezing Mouse: Mouse and system just freezes. Only restart can unfreeze mouse.
  • Hard drive churns. Hard drive LED always on, and one can hear drive churning and churning, even when computer is idle.
  • Excessive slow speed. All operations are delayed.
  • Intermittent reboot. System restarts all of a sudden randomly, yet after restart, no error message is given and everything seems normal.

Internet Special

Free Diagnosis on your computer. Also a $25 off coupon for any data recovery done.

Data Recovery For Regular Disk

For rotational drives, most hard drives fail incrementally. If the motor spins and the heads move, most failures are bad blocks. This is where parts of the disks is unreadable, but other parts are. So data recovery is able to retrieve the data from parts that are readable. Fortunately, not all data on the drive is valuable to the customer. Much of the drive is devoted to operating system information. So even though some of the data is corrupted, it may be possible to reconstruct the useful information from the remaining good parts of the drive. However, this may be a long, time consuming process.

The environment inside a hard drive has to be very clean. The platter spins at thousands of RPM (typically 7000 RPM for a 3.5 inch drive, 3000 RPM for a 2.5 drive, and 10,000 RPM or more for high speed server drives), the heads fly over the platter disk microns above the surface. This is less than the width of a human hair and any dust will cause a disk crash (a scratch on the disk which renders that part of the disk unreadable).

Sometimes there are complete failures, like the motor no longer spins, or the heads are out of alignment, and clicks as it searches back and forth for the alignment mark. In these cases, the data is safe, but unable to access, so the drive must be opened and then the platters placed on a separate motor and head assembly and extracted.

Another source of data corruption are malware and virus attackts. A typical virus actually changes various files, while malware changes the way the system operates, and may delete or substitute other files. Even after the virus is cleaned, many files may need to be recovered.

Data Recovery: How it is Works

Data recovery typically utilizes the fact the most files have a known format. For example, a word document will have a header that tells the computer special information about the file (like what kind of file, date stamp, fonts needed, etc. Similarly a photo .jpg file will have information that it is a picture. Even the data stream itself has markers that identify what type of file it is. Hence data recovery involves reading the data bit by bit, then comparing the results to known types of files.

Once the type of file is determined, then the header info is patched together as best as possible, to make the file readable. Even after the file is readable, large files may still need another stage of recovery. For example, a photo or jpg file may have corruption, so only part of the file can be reconstructed as a picture. Special software is used to do the reconstruction. Similarly, even after data recovery, large word documents and email files like Outlook, require another recovery step to recover as much usually info as possible, and items not recoverable, like corrupted emails, are lost forever.

Thus, data recovery is typically a time consuming and expensive process. Not only the physical recovery (trying to read the bits off the failed drive) but also the software reconstruction of the read bits into actual files.

Hard Drive Recovery List of Services:

Data Recovery Level 1: Able to read Drive, but Unable to find Files

Here, the hard drive is not damage, but the files cannot be found. They can be accidentally moved, renamed or deleted but not overwritten. Fortunately, it is possible to retrieve this data by using software, scanning and examining the resultant files for the missing data.

Data Recovery Level 2: Unable to read Files, but Hard drive not Physically damaged

In this case, the hard drive is readable, but it has been accidentally formatted, the partition removed, or files accidentally deleted and overwritten. It is possible to retrieve this data in many cases by using software that will reconstruct the partition or deleted files. However, sometimes information like the file name is lost, so the user must still spend a great deal of time to review the recovered data. Special software, plus judicious manual inspection and reconstruction techniques can restore critical files and perform the data recovery.

Data Recovery Level 3: Hard drive repair

In this case, the Hard drive is damaged and needs repair. This is the common bad blocks problem. Because of critical nature of hard drive platters, and the extreme density of the data, it is prohibitively expensive to create perfect defect free hard drives. Hard drive manufacturers provide spare sectors (empty areas of the drive). If certain parts of the drive become unreadable, the hard drive electronics will reprogram itself to use the spare areas, and exclude the bad areas.

However, if the drive fails while holding critical data, then we have a crash. The drive can normally be repaired via software using the spare sectors and once data is retrieved, the drive can be used again. However, this is highly NOT recommended. The reason is the spare drive sectors are normally not sequential, so after data recovery, and reallocation of the spare sectors, the drive performance is seriously degraded.

Data Recovery Level 4: Hard drive badly damaged

In this case, the hard drive has serious physical damage. This includes bad blocks, but also drive electronics, and motor controller. In this case, if the motor works and heads work, it is possible to replace the drive components and restart the drive. However, every drive has a chip which holds the original factory information on the bad blocks found during manufacture. This chip has to be copied or transfer to the new drive board to make the drive read correctly.

Data Recovery Level 5: Sent out Third Party

In this case, the motor itself is dead or the head motors are not working. The drive needs to be sent out to a clean room where the motor or heads can be replaced and so the data recovery can be completed.

Manufacturers Covered

We cover all manufactures, shown above and more, like Western Digital, Maxtor, Toshiba, Seagate and others.

CD, DVD Flash Drive, SSD Drive Recovery

We also recover data from CD, DVD, Flash Drive and Solid state Drives (SSD)

SSD Harddrive

Data recovery for memory type devices is different from rotational drives. The good news is that memory type storage devices tend to be more durable and less prone to fail. There is no motor, and more importantly, no read/write heads flying less than the diameter of a human hair over platters spinning at thousands of RPM.

However, one of important failures of memory type drives like flash and SSD is a column write zero, which means by means of an electrical signal, the entire drive will be written at once with zeros. This is a catastrophic event, as far as the data is concerned, because in one fell swoop, everything is wiped out.

Now normally the flash and SSD circuity is designed not to allow this to happen. But all memory chips have this function, to quickly clear and test the chips during manufacture. So if a “glitch” occurs in this way on the flash or SSD, the drive is wiped out. The drive itself may still be good. In fact, it will look like an unformatted drive, and after formating, will behave normally.

Anything short on this catastrophic failure, for Flash and SSD drives data can be recovered just like a rotational drive. Corrupted data is reconstructed via software to the corresponding word, excel, photo or other type of document.

So the most important thing if using SSD drives is to always have a backup. For Flash, use smaller but more numerous flash drives, so if if it does fail, less data is lost.

Data Recovery Near Me

  • Aliso Viejo
  • Coto de Caza
  • Foothill Ranch
  • Irvine
  • Ladera Ranch
  • Laguna Beach
  • Laguna Niguel
  • Laguna Woods
  • Lake Forest
  • Mission Viejo
  • Rancho Santa Margarita
  • San Clemente
  • San Juan Capistrano

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