HDD logical failure


With more then a decade of experience and top of the technology equipment, ou Laboratory can access and identify most file system signatures. Here are only some of the signatures we have in our know-how database: EXfat, FAT 12/16/32, NTFS, HFS, UFS, EXT2/3, JFS, NSSREISER, XENIX, SOLARIS (XFS)…

The term “logical failure” defines as a type of malfunction where HDD, USB Flash, SSD or any other type of media has LBA access (that is access to the data zone), but the data itself is not accessible for any number of reasons. Practically, this is manifesting itself as a corruption of certain files and/or directories or whole partitions.

The most common malfunctions are consequences of viruses or malware, or file system corruption due to appearance of BAD sectors.

To be capable to access data area of the media implies that you can read every sector of the media. If this access is possible, our Laboratory starts to clone the patient.

The cloning process of “working” media is what separates Data Solutions Laboratory. The protection of your data is alwayst our first priority. What does that mean for you as our client?

First of all, it provides data SECURITY. Data Solutions Laboratory will ALWAYS use any sector access to create IDENTICAL copy or disk CLONE. All other procedures and file system reconstructions will be performed on our medias, since they are very stressful to the media itself. In that way, the original disk is protected untill the client can make sure of the quality and type of the data recovered.

Here is a common example:

Client whose disk suffered a minor damage to the BOOT sector (MBR) – takes his disk to his friend who is a computer technician. That technician does what any friend would do: puts the disk in one of his computers in the his workplace and starts to “scan” the media. This procedure is well known to all who used any commercial data recovery software at one point or another. Basically, those programs address every sector of the disk and try to reconstruct directory structure with more or less success, depending on several things. In our case, the tech guy really finds the partition which has been lost, but in the process of copying the disk fails completely! And from 300GB of data, only ten or so is copied. Why does this happen over and over again, and what happens after that?

After the case in question, the client, normally, very upset, appears at our doorstep, and this time his diagnosis is completely different – mechanical failure!

What happened is that during the process of scaning the disk, which lasted over 60 hours, the disk itself overheated, generated a bigger number of bad sectors on a damaged media, and as a consequence, on of the heads used for reading the data, failed.

For all of you DIY enthusiasts, and those who take the media to a friend who knows “computer stuff”, here are a few advices:

  • Never work on a “live” system

If there was a loss of the partition or single directories, and the system is still turning on, that is almost certanly the consequence of BAD sectors appearing on a part of the disk. Before you start anything else, determine the top priorities of your directories (mails, documents etc). If they are not damaged, copy them to external media(USB HDD) AT ONCE, without shuting down your system.

  • Never, ever, “scan”the patient disk! Only the copy.
  • Determine for yourself what data is most important to you and define your priorities well.
  • If you notice that the disk is generating a large number of errors while reading the disk – stop the operation – you are dealing wit ha damaged media or a large number of BAD blocks – both cases are out of the reach of commercial software.
  • Think well what kind of “hot plate” are you handing over to your friend, who wont turn you down – How will you react when something goes wrong, would you risk your friendship?
  • Think well is the “neighborhood kid” the right person for the recovery of YOUR data or do they have some meaning to you?


Read all comments

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply