At R3 we get plenty of jobs that need data recovering in certain ways, whether it's a mechanical recovery (if a customer has most likely dropped the Hard drive), or if a drive has accumulated bad sectors due to its age/use of the drive. More often than not we get jobs that are sent to us which need data recovering that has either been deleted or overwritten, or if it has had an operating system installed over the top of it.
Normally if it's just deleted data then we would be able to search for the data easily after one simple scan from our recovery software (although the data may be damaged due to some sector changes with the files after they become deleted).
However, if it turns out the data has been overwritten or the drive has had a re-installed operating system, then we would have to delve deeper to find any trace of any of the customers data. So, to try and improve the accuracy of our findings we look for the file types that the customer requests using a sector by sector recovery (RAW recovery).
What this means is that every individual sector is scanned for whichever file header(s) you have searched for. One of the main problems with this type of recovery is that it will recover any file no matter how large as long as it has that file header it will recover it. So, it could be a file you deleted 5 years ago but if the file header is still there and it hasn't been overwritten it will recover it, but in most cases, these are corrupt as the rest of the files sectors have been overwritten by new data.
Another downside with this recovery method is that it doesn't recover the names of the file but only the contents of the file which causes you to have numbered files e.g. 037654.jpg the number indicates the beginning sector of the file which is the sector where the file header will be located. In some cases, this is the only option that we have to have a chance of recovering the customers data.
The hard drive failed on my MacBook Pro. Applestore advised they couldn’t recover the data when they fixed the laptop, and that the data would be lost (including my photos that had not been backed up). I described the issue with R3 by phone, and they were confident they could recover the data and confirmed the cost. It took just 16 hours from registering with R3 that I wanted them to look at the failed drive, to being notified what data had been recovered. I was kept informed of progress throughout, and all my files were recovered.
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