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Data recovery – step by step

So what is the process of data recovery? A bit like recreating a loaf of bread from a kilogram of breadcrumbs. When we received the disk drive from the US space shuttle Columbia (the American space shuttle, which tragically disintegrated while returning to Earth’s atmosphere 1 February 2003) it was nothing like the device that we know from our PCs. The disk partially burned in the atmosphere, then fell from …Read More

Private investigation: The File Systems

The logical data structure on the disk is managed by the file system. FAT (File Allocation Tables) used to be a very popular file system known from DOS. Nowadays they’ve been replaced almost completely by a much more advanced NTFS. Both systems are mostly used in Microsoft operating systems. Open source operating systems are mainly based on the extended file system or eEXT (currently in its fourth version – ext4) …Read More

Where are my files? The investigation continues…

Probably everyone is familiar with a popular myth about the origin of the Internet. A global network was designed in the ’60s for the military. The network required communication to be allowed in the potential situation of a nuclear war, which meant it had to be resistant to the partial destruction of its technical infrastructure. So even if some hubs were destroyed, the network had to remain operational. This idea perfectly …Read More

What is really stored on a disk?

The idea of IT data is very abstract and usually described in an unattractive and boring way. Yet most of the data stored on hard drives is personal, important to us and quite often unique. Regardless of whether it’s holiday photos, favourite movies or business data, the value of your disk drive is equal to the value of the data you store on it. Almost 35 years ago, a tiny …Read More

Causes of data loss

Over the last 30 years, Kroll Ontrack engineers have restored a total of 103 million gigabytes. To store all that data, we would need about 25 million 4GB flash drives! In this post, I want to share a few interesting figures with you. They all describe the mysterious world of data loss – usually quite similar to a horror movie. Fortunately in this world, most stories have a happy ending. Let’s start with …Read More

A million ways to lose data but only a few to recover it

Around 174 years ago, the first calculating machine was created. The program that controlled it was used for handling Jacquard punched cards (the same that were used in the famous Jacquard machines for weaving patterned carpets). When the creator of the machine, Charles Babbage, presented his invention for the first time, he made a mistake by inputting the card the wrong way around, turning the programme into waste paper. That’s …Read More