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.
I have recently used R3D to retrieve data from an external hard drive.
I called Andy at 11pm on a Saturday after my hard drive failed, he immediately ran through the symptoms and calmed my fears that all data was lost, but was honest that data recoveries are not always successful.
I required the data immediately as it was for a deadline the following Friday, the issue was I was based in London and the lab based in Sheffield.
After searching all data companies in and around London none would answer my call on a Saturday. In fact no one else would answer my call or say they could look at my case on the Sunday.
I took the drive myself to R3D and was very impressed with their facilities. Andy also explained the whole process and what they were doing at each stage.
Unfortunately the hard drive had a physical failure and needed to be rebuilt to have any chance of recovering the information.
After starting the rebuild at 4pm on the Sunday, Andy advised it would take him and his team until the morning to know if any information was recoverable - fantastic I thought. Andy and Mark got to work on my drive as soon as I left and by 10pm on Sunday they had retrieved almost the entirety of the information of my hard drive.
I cannot reccomend R3D highly enough, they are clearly experts in their field and have a passion for what they do. Through the whole process Andy kept me informed of progress and explained everything they were doing.
If you have a crisis or any data recovery needs these are the guys you need!
R3 Data Recovery is rated (4.6) by 294 customer reviews on Reviews.co.uk