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An Overview of Professional Data Recovery Process

How is Data recovered in Professional Data Recovery Lab?

Data is the most important thing not only for organisations but also for individuals. While more and more people exposed to consuming data through the internet on mobile phone, laptop, hard drives, etc. on a daily basis. Problems due to data are also increasing with rapid speed. Loss of critical data is one most common problem related to data these days.

Nothing is more frustrating than losing critical data stored on a digital media devices such as a laptop, PC, Memory Card, Pen Drive, Hard Drives etc. Although we all are aware that data loss is unavoidable, one needs to take proper care of storage devices. Following are some of the data loss situations that the customers face :

  • Hard Drive Failure
  • Broken Laptop
  • Damaged Mobile
  • Accidentally Formatted or deleted data
  • Corrupted or Damaged SD Card, Pen Drive, Flash Drive
  • Raid/NAS/SAN Server Crashed etc.
  • SSD Drives

Data loss can occur due to human error, software related issues, virus attack or may be any physical damage to the storage device. Therefore, it's important to identify the right service provider who not only can recover your data quickly but will also ensure the safety and integrity of your data. Recovering your data from your device can be a complicated or simple job. In some cases, a simple software can help whereas in other cases, it may require professional assistance to recover data. Therefore, it's crucial for you as the owner of the data to understand the processing of Job in a professional data recovery lab.

Broadly, we classify data recovery job in 3 categories.

  • Logical Recovery
  • Physical Recovery
  • Logical cum Physical Recovery

Logical Recovery

The Logical Data recovery cases are simple jobs to mid-level complex jobs. Following data loss situations are apt to describe logical cases:

  • Deleted Data
  • Formatted data
  • Virus affected data
  • Ransomware affected data

In most of the logical cases, typically your hard drive/storage media is functioning normally. You are just not able to see/access your data in storage media.

Physical Recovery

As the name suggests, if there is any physical damage to your storage media, this is classified as physical recovery job. These jobs are mid-level complex to high-level, complex jobs. Following data loss situations are classified as physical data recovery jobs:

  • Hard drive not detecting
  • Problem with Head
  • Physically damaged drives/storage media
  • Motherboard/PCB damaged
  • Scratches on platters
  • Problem with drive rotary function
  • Problem with hard drive spindle

In most of the physical recovery jobs, your drive is not functional. There may be some random noise coming from your drive. Check out these noise samples here:

Clicking Heads Noise

Dead Heads Noise

Torn Heads Noise

Scratch Noise

Stuck Motor Noise

If you hear any such sounds from your hard drive, most likely there is some physical issue with your hard drive.

Logical cum Physical cases

As the name suggests, these case are a mix of both logical and physical. These jobs are also a mid-level complex job to high-level, complex jobs. All above scenarios require a different setup, different data recovery process, and various technology to recover data.

Logical Data Recovery Lab Overview

All logical recovery cases are opened in Logical data recovery lab. A logical lab is a controlled environment, where our experts work on storage drives that exhibit logical failure scenarios. There is a difference between a normal computer/hardware shop and a logical recovery lab. In Logical data recovery lab, no unauthorised person can walk in randomly. There is access control system installed on the gates, and only an authorised person can visit the lab.

Ideally, It takes 1-4 business days to process a logical job. Depending upon the number of jobs which are in process and complexity of the problem.

access control system
Access control entry system for Logical Data Recovery Lab
Logical Data Recovery Lab Overview
Logical Data Recovery Lab

Physical Data Recovery Lab Overview

Physically damaged cases are incredibly complex and sensitive jobs. In addition, these jobs require skilled technicians and a specialised environment to open the storage media. I.e. the Class 100 Clean Room Lab. A Class 100 Clean Room is a controlled environment where pollutants such as dust, chemical vapours, airborne microbes, etc. are at a considerably low level.

This kind of environment is mandatory and hard drive manufacturers also recommend to open hard drives. If someone is opening your hard drive in a non-controlled environment, it may further damage your hard drive condition which can lead to permanent data loss.

Stellar's Class 100 Clean Room is authorised data recovery lab where all the entries are restricted accept our experts. Only authorised technicians have access to the data recovery lab. We are an ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified organisation. We have internal processes and procedures safeguarding customer's data within our premises. The Class 100 Clean Room lab is a prerequisite for a successful data recovery process. We maintain a high level of data security and confidentiality; your complete data recovery process is risk-free in Stellar Data Recovery.

restricted accept our experts
Access control entry system for Physical Data Recovery Lab
Logical Data Recovery Lab Overview
Class 100 Clean Room Lab


Note - A Class 100 Clean Room Lab is mandatory and recommended by hard drive manufacturers for opening all physically damaged hard drives and other storage media devices. Read more details here

What kind of device/storage media are operated in Physical Lab?

All kind of storage devices, which are physically damaged need to be operated in Class 100 Clean Room Lab. Devices such as hard drives, raid server, NAS/SAN servers, physically damaged mobile phones etc. The devices that cannot be treated in a normal environment are operated in Clean room lab.

How does a Physical Data Recovery Lab look like?

A Class 100 Clean Room Lab or physical lab has artificially regulated environment especially for opening Hard Drives. The lab has less than 100 dust particles of size 0.5 microns per cubic foot of air as against a typical air-conditioned office building containing 5,00,000 to 10,00,000 particles per cubic foot air. Stellar has ISO Certified Lab, that has an advanced temperature, humidity, pressure, and contaminant controlled environment. Furthermore ensuring no further damage occurs to the storage media device. All data recovery experts wear CLEAN ROOM clothing (boots, lab coats, bouffant caps, gloves, hairnets, etc.).

Our lab not only provides data recovery solutions but also has humongous inventory, where we have spare parts, including hard drive heads, PCB boards, platter cleaning equipment etc.

A close look at our Physical Lab:

 Physical lab
Access control entry system for Class 100 Clean Room Lab
 Physical lab
Entry for Class 100 Clean Room Lab
 Physical lab
Data Recovery Engineers Working on Media Devices in Class 100 Clean Room Lab
 Physical lab
Opening of Hard Drive in Class 100 Clean Room
Inside Stellar's Data Recovery Lab - Certified Class - 100 Room Environment

Data Recovery Process Steps Followed Inside Our Data Recovery Lab

1. Submission of Media - The first step of the data recovery process starts once the client submits the drive for data recovery in our centre. We assign a unique Job Id to the media device and finally submit it for data recovery to the lab. The technician notes down essential details of jobs, like device details, data to recover from storage media.

2. Analysis - The technician connects the hard drive to a computer and runs proprietary data recovery software to check the state of the hard drive. The technicians perform a different check on the media drive to find all relevant details, which is the Assessment Report. An assessment report essentially contains the following information:

  • State of media
  • Problem Type
  • Possibility of Data Recovery
  • Time estimation

3. Consultation with Customer - Our Lab technicians share the assessment report with customer service team. And they forward this to the end customer and then discuss this report with the customer. The customer service team inform the client about all detailed finding of the storage media. We address all the customer queries regarding their data recovery and ensure them of successful recovery.

Typically this consultation call goes on for 10-30 mins, depending upon customer queries and detailed finding.

4. Data Recovery - Post-approval from a customer on quotation and time estimate, we finally proceed with data recovery. If the storage media has the logical failure, the technician operate on it in a logical data recovery lab. For physical failures, the storage media requires specialised environment i.e the Class 100 Clean Room. Read here, Importance of Class 100 Clean Room

A Data Recovery Job, exposed to physical data recovery process, undergoes following tasks:

Spare Transplantation
Spare Transplantation
Hard Drives Spare Transplantation

For physically damaged hard drives spare, the technicians fix it by doing spare transplantation. Spare transplantation is exceptionally complex and sensitive process. It's like kidney/heart transplantation in your hard drive. If this goes wrong, it may damage your drive permanently. The first step before we do a spare transplantation is to identify right spare for your hard drive. We have a significant inventory that has over 50,000 of spare parts of different Hard Drive models. Also, we take spare part from a donor hard drive; the data recovery specialist fixes the damaged hard drive. Once the repair is complete, they proceed to next data recovery step, i.e. "Cloning". If we don't find a spare in our inventory lab, we arrange it by buying a new hard drive, to ensure data recovery is complete and 100% successful.

Cloning Process
Cloning Process
Hard Drive Cloning Process

Once we through with spare transplantation, next step is to create a clone of your hard drive. Cloning is creating taking a dump of your complete in-accessible hard drive data. After spare transplantation, your hard drive is made functional temporarily to complete the cloning process. Creating a clone of your hard drive data can take minimum 1 day to several days, depending upon other factors like scratches on platters, bad sectors, etc. Data Cloning process takes place, the data on the damaged drive is cloned on a new drive. Technicians perform all the data recovery task on this cloned drive.

Data Verification

Post successful recovery of data, we share "file lists" with the customer. We offer two option to the client for data verification:

  • Either the client can visit the desired data recovery center to verify their data.
  • Or we arrange a TeamViewer set up for the client. So that client comfortably verifies their data without visiting Data Recovery Center.

If the customer is not able to verify their data, furthermore, we reprocess the job again. We have strict No Recovery - No Charge policy*. If we are not able to recover desired data, there are no recovery charges.

Data Delivery

After receipt of approval from the customer for the recovered data listing, and the customers need to give signing of data verification and acceptance. We hand over data to the customer on a new external hard drive which customer has to provide. Or the customer can also buy a new external hard drive from us which comes with a data care pack at a discounted price.

We deliver data on a new external storage device which customer has to provide. Alternatively, you can also buy a new external hard drive from us which comes with a data care pack.

With data delivery, we thereby come to the end of our data recovery process.

*Data delivery is subject to agreed terms of payment.

Data Wiping

Upon realisation of data recovery charges (and other charges if any), Stellar wipes the data beyond recovery after 7 working days.

*Any device, media and data unclaimed or left with Stellar with or without full payment after 60 days from the date of signing Media Assessment Form will be disposed at the discretion of Stellar. And will release Stellar from any obligation of confidentiality related to the device, media and data and customers ceases the right of ownership to that media.

data recovery Lab

Your Hard Drive is handled in this professional ISO certified Class 100 room environment.
data recovery Lab

The Data Recovery Expert is doing parts transplantation in your hard drive in a controlled environment
data recovery Lab

Data Recovery Expert manually checks the quality of your recovered files, to ensure the files recovered are in best state


We Care - Your Data Remains Secure

iometric controls

Biometric controls are installed in our recovery lab to ensure only authorized experts can enter the laboratory.
iometric controls

No mobile phones or electronic devices are allowed inside data recovery lab to ensure your data remains secure.
iometric controls

Your personal details are not shared inside a DATA Recovery lab. All recovered data and clone are erased after data recovery process is completed.


Stellar being an ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified organisation, ensures that all your data inside our premises is entirely safe and secure.

So next time, you visit any data recovery service provider, just make sure that they have adequate infrastructure and precise data recovery process or techniques safeguarding your essential data.