Data Recovery in South Africa
SouthBit Data Recovery provides the most affordable and professional data recovery services in South Africa. Based in Cape Town we provide leading data recovery services for hard drives of all types and brands, from laptop, desktop and external drives to NAS and RAID servers.
Data recovery process
Upon receiving a customer’s hard drive, SouthBit follows the steps below in order to achieve a successful data recovery outcome:
- Analysis: The hard drive is analysed in order to determine the fault/s. An accurate diagnosis is key to an efficient and successful recovery.
- Quote: Once analysed, SouthBit determines whether data recovery is likely to be successful and a quote is sent to the customer.
- Restoration: Upon agreement of the quote, the restoration process begins. Returning the hard drive to a functional state is required in order to recover the data. If parts are needed for hard drive repair they are sourced (locally or internationally) and used to perform the recovery process.
- Confirmation and recovery: After the hard drive is restored to a functional state the customer is sent a list of files and folders that are recoverable. If this list is to the customer’s satisfaction, payment is made and the data recovery process is completed. Recovered data is copied to DVD or another hard drive/media, depending on the amount of data and the customer’s preference.
Hard drive failures
Hard drive failures are usually broken down into 2 separate categories, namely logical and electro-mechanical.
Logical – this failure is related to the file system rather than the hard drive itself. The hard drive is physically functioning correctly, but the data has been lost due to a virus attack, accidental deletion, format or reinstallation.
Electro-mechanical – this failure is a result of damage or failure of any of the hard drive components. Failures could be caused by physical damage such as the hard drive being dropped, or due to a faulty component as a result of gradual wear and tear or a manufacturing fault.
Steps in the restoration and data recovery process
- Analysis will determine the exact failure points of the hard drive. These could be firmware related, faulty PCB, weak or damaged read/write heads etc. There is often a combination of faults, for example firmware issues could be attributed to a bad head.
- If safe to do so, an attempt will be made to image (copy) any data that is retrievable in the drive’s current state with special equipment. For example, a drive could have 1 bad head (out of 4 total). Installing a new set of heads involves a certain amount risk, we therefore image the functioning heads first. Once complete, the head assembly will be replaced and the data from the remaining head will be imaged, resulting in a full image of the user’s data.
- In cases where data is completely inaccessible in the drive’s current state we will repair or replace the required components. Included in this would be head replacement in the lab environment, replacement and adapting of a new PCB, firmware repairs and rebuilds, imaging of degraded media etc.
- Once we have a full image (in some cases a full image is not possible due to media damage) the data is analysed on a software level which results in usable client data.