Saturday, 02 August 2014
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Putting data recovery engineering to the test

The Engineer decided to take out its anger on some unsuspecting hard drives in order to find out just how far data recovery techniques can go.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Why would The Engineer be full of anger to start with?

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  • It's been a long year.

  • Childish spite and it is not even April 1st

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  • It could be useful to know just what is successful in rendering an old harddrive incapable of recovery. I am thinking of the security aspects in ditching old computers.
    Total destruction seems the favoured route, but is it the only one?

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  • As the video shows, denting or breaking the disk itself renders it unreadable. Strong magnets can also wipe it off all data.

  • Always interesting to know where new recovery limits have advanced to. I fully expect to learn that such mechanically deformed platters are, or will be, optically read at some stage, though the days of conventional magnetic storage devices are numbered.

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  • After talking to a policeman friend of mine the only true way of getting rid of data is to turn the hard drive into dust.

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  • What a lot of people may not know is that hard disc drives in modern data centres can also be damaged by the sound such as that created by the release of a gaseous extinguishing system used to protect such assets from fire. The damage can be either loss a data transfer, or permanent damage to the disc itself. New discharge nozzle designs from Siemens have been specially developed to reduce the peak noise and alter the frequency to ouside of the range which HDD devices are sensitive to.

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  • It would have been useful to see how effective the recovery of data from a HDD that had been been wiped using a program such as 'Eraser' - which ISTR is free of charge. These type of programs use a process of repeatedly writing 'random' data onto the complete disc and seem quite sophisticated. And at the end of it you still have a working hard drive - there's enough waste in the world as it is without resorting to destroying a HDD with a hammer.

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  • Please stop nodding your head as the technician is explaining the fact that you completely destroyed the hard drive with a sledge.

    Slightly annoying on a Monday morning!

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