This case outlines recovery of data from a WinMagic SecureDoc-encrypted hard disk drive (HDD) having Windows OS, which underwent physical crash while the user accidentally formatted the HDD.
As described by the customer, he had nearly 300 GB data stored on this 500 GB HDD. Despite trying to plug this HDD as a secondary drive in multiple Windows computers (desktops, laptops, etc.), the customer was unable to access its contents.
Problem Statement and Inherent Challenges
The customer needed to retrieve the entire 300 GB data from the physically crashed hard disk drive that was originally encrypted, before formatting.
After cloning this drive, stellar data saviors had found that the drive contained unencrypted data. It was learnt— upon checking with customer—that the user had indeed formatted the drive twice over. So as per the technical analysis, this encrypted HDD had actually undergone multiple cycles of formatting, with continual usage until the point of its physical crash.
This was a truly challenging and complex data recovery case because it spread across the physical and logical facets of the storage. And, given the usage history of this HDD — repeat formatting and overwriting on each formatting — it was obvious that a significant amount of data would’ve been already overwritten* with new information.
Solution — How Stellar Data Saviors Rescued the Situation
Stellar data saviors began the data recovery task with the following steps:
1. HDD dismantling and head assembly replacement in state-of-the-art Class 100 cleanroom
It was necessary to examine the HDD for specific physical issues, as it was reportedly making a clicking sound and couldn’t be detected on any of the Windows computers. The following steps ensued:
2. Disk cloning to provision a functional clone for secure data recovery
3. HDD decryption to recover the original encrypted data
4. Deep scanning for data recovery
Stellar data saviors successfully recovered 170 GB of data from the encrypted HDD, which was lost through its inordinate history of formatting and usage. This highly convoluted case would have led to irretrievable data loss unless the highly specialized data recovery techniques as outlined above were devised and implemented by the data saviors.
Another notable outcome of the case was that the data was recovered with 100% integrity, as confirmed by the customer. Further, this entire data recovery project was completed and delivered within the committed timeline.
*Note: Repeat formatting and continual usage of storage media after a data loss incidence overwrites the lost data. Such overwritten data is permanently lost and cannot be recovered with the help of any kind of data recovery service or product. We recommend to immediately stop using the storage media -from which data has been lost- to get the best possible data recovery results.