Fixing Hard Drives: Don’t Try It At Home!

While software-based recovery is pretty much the only method available to ordinary computer users, this method has an awful lot of assumptions. It needs your hard drive to be working and in a reasonably healthy condition, both mechanically and electronically. Your computer’s BIOS must recognize the hard drive, at very least exposing it to low-level functions of the OS. Finally, the OS must be able to read the drive, at least in low-level mode.

Linux File Systems: What You Need to Know

Linux. Lots and lots of people are using one or more Linux devices without realizing it. Android phones are running a variation of Linux, with their internal storage formatted in one of the Linux-supported file systems. Ubuntu is also a version of Linux. Many Web servers and nearly all NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices run an embedded version of Linux. Your home Wi-Fi router is probably Linux. Even your digital camera is most probably running embedded Linux! Chances are, your refrigerator and coffee maker will run Linux, sooner or later.

Unreadable Media. Corrupted or Unknown File System?

If you like experimenting with non-mainstream operating systems, you most probably know about the various file systems they use. With many alternative operating systems being able to read media formatted with FAT (or, to be previse, FAT32), it is easy to forget that it does not normally work in the other direction. Install an alternative file system to a USB pen drive, and your Windows boot won’t be able to access that drive. More often than not, you’ll see a message prompting to format that USB drive into a Windows-recognizable file system. If you confirm, Windows will indeed reformat the flash drive, but everything you stored there with the other file system will be lost.

External Drive Failed: Data Recovery from USB and Network Disks

Single-drive attached storage options such as personal clouds, USB 3.0 and SATA enclosures are becoming increasingly popular among home users and in small offices. WD, Buffalo, Shuttle, Synology, Qnap and many other manufacturers offer a wide range of sealed and removable-disk, single and multiple-bay solutions. Not all of these are created equal. Some solutions are inherently more feature-reach than others, and some models are more reliable than the rest of the crowd. However, even the most reliable storage will eventually fail or need replacement. In this article, we’ll have a look at what one can do to preserve (or recover) information stored in these systems.

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