Virtualization – A Threat To Hard Drive Data Recovery

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Hard drive data recovery is the process of retrieving lost data from hard drive. This retrieval is done due to the inaccessibility of data through normal recovery processes. Notwithstanding the fact that your hard drive has crashed or locked up for some reason, you can recover the data using a variety of hard drive data recovering techniques.

Virtualization makes it complex to manage disparate virtual, physical and cloud resources simultaneously. There are three areas of IT where virtualization is making news – network virtualization, storage virtualization and server virtualization. Virtualization enables IT enterprises focus on their core competencies while their day-to-day troubles are taken care of by third party data centers and disaster recovery facilities. These centers offer end-to-end managed IT services on virtual systems to enable enterprises save on setting up IT infrastructure.

While virtualization is a great option, it is a path to leaving data unprotected. While IT companies are adopting virtualization to reduce costs, this process is adding to the complexity to their IT environments. This leaves the critical data unprotected. Only ten percent of the critical applications data that is stored on virtual system is protected. It is time IT companies resorting to virtualization assess the necessity of having a protection for virtual data. Almost half of the data stored on virtual systems is not even backed up.

One of the greatest drawbacks of virtualization is that there is a single point of failure. When the machine, on which all the virtualized solutions run fails, or when the virtualization solution itself fails, this crashes everything.

Less hardware is required in virtualizaton but it requires powerful machines. If the machines are outdated or archaic, the work might get disrupted. But given the cost of hardware, it is still cheaper to upgrade the machine and virtualize than install new hardware.

Performance issues arise in virtualization even though powerful virtualization of operating systems and applications are integrated in a machine. Frequently, an application running without any problem while not virtualized, brings to surface many problems when it is deployed in virtualized environment. There is no guarantee if an application will behave properly in virtualized environment. Performance degradation is one of the many issues when applications are deployed in virtual environment.

Although there are some disadvantages in virtualization, it is still a viable solution provided ample care is taken to overcome the possible snags. IT enterprises should treat mission critical data and applications with utmost care whether they are virtual or physical. Enterprises should adopt integrated tools for managing physical and virtual environments to save time, training costs and better automate processes.

The Process for Recovering Electronic Evidence

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

There are two primary steps in the process of recovering electronic data; “acquisition” of the target medium, and a forensic byte-by-byte analysis of the data.

Computer forensic science was created to address the specific and articulated needs of law enforcement to make the most of this new form of electronic evidence. Computer forensic science is the science of acquiring, preserving, retrieving, and presenting data that has been processed electronically and stored on computer medium.

Rather than producing interpretative conclusions, as in many forensic disciplines, computer forensic science produces direct information and data that may have some significance in a case. This type of direct data collection has wide-ranging implications for both the relationship between the investigator and the forensic scientist and the work product of the forensic computer examination.

Using customized computer forensic tools, the target medium is acquired through a non-invasive complete area-by-area bit-stream image procedure. During the imaging process, it is critical the mirror image be acquired in a DOS environment. Switching on the computer and booting into its operating system will subtly modify the file system, potentially destroying some recoverable evidence.

The resulting image becomes the “evidence file,” which is mounted as a read-only or “virtual” file, on which the forensic examiner will perform their analysis. The forensics software used by CFI creates an evidence file that will be continually verified by a Cyclical Redundancy Checksum (“CRC”) algorithm for every 64 sectors (block) of data and a by a MD5 128 bit encryption hash file for the entire image. Both steps verify the integrity of the evidence file, and confirms the image has remained unaltered and forensically intact. Using the MD5 hash encryption, changing even one bit of data will result in a notification that the evidence file data has been changed and is no longer forensically intact.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, a federal criminal statute outlawing various computer crimes, provides a civil remedy for companies victimized by a violation of the statute.In this new digital age, the CFAA is fast becoming recognized as a proactive tool that can be used by companies to retrieve stolen data, prevent its dissemination in the marketplace and obtain compensatory damages resulting from its theft, use and malicious destruction.

Hard Drive Recovery for Your Valuable Data

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

The most valuable assets of a company or an organization reside in files on computer hard drives. This is the main storage element in the system. In many cases the electronic evidence on the hard drive requires special skill and experience in data recovery to identify and retrieve the data. The current crisis of the system can be attributed to a number of factors, such as the inability to access a hard drive especially when back-ups are not available.

Hard drive crashes, Virus attacks or losing your valuable files through accidental deletion can be quite disturbing in your work. Unfortunately the data loss caused by such a failure will lead to financial losses in an organization, as well as to personal life. If the data disaster caused by a hard drive failure is not immediately managed properly, then the data loss can become permanent.

Hard drives are mechanical magnetic storage devices that are extremely susceptible to failure such as head crashes, circuit board shorts, electrostatic shocks, power surges, overheating, etc. To a major extent power failure could damage the hard drive. While Power surges and sags damage hard drives to crash and corrupt Windows systems, databases and other programs and services which need safer shutdown. Unless you have good surge protectors, UPS and backup generators, you can’t always believe to have good and safe data.

Hard drive crashes and Disk Failures in general can be broadly classified into five categories they are…

  • Firm ware corruption
  • Electronic failure
  • Mechanical failure
  • physical corruption
  • Logical corruption

Like other software, firmware can have bugs. When powered on, if the hard disk spins up and is not recognized by the computer then it can be altered as firmware failure. Sometimes the computer will properly recognize the hard drive spin up, but during boot up process it just hangs up before it starts up. The hard disk firmware is soft and corruption in it will not allow the computer to interact with the hard disk. The data in the disk could be recovered if the repair in the drive is rectified and reprogrammed. Recovery requires small level of programming and manipulation of the hard drive.

An electronic failure problem is based on the controller board of the actual hard disk failure where the computer power supply also acts as a source of fluctuations on the hard disk.

Mechanical hard disk failures are due to components internal to the hard disk itself. The data on the hard disk will become inaccessible as soon as an internal component goes wrong .This can be diagnosed, when the system is powered ON it makes a tickling sound. Do not attempt to open a hard disk if you suspect a mechanical fault because there is also a chance that you will destroy any chance of successfully recovering the data. Most common in recovery is unusual disturbing, which a hard disk recovery specialist alone could handle.

When your hard drive is making a ticking or a scratching noise due to bad parts, head crash, water damaged hard drive, and fire damaged hard drive can be caused and will indicate a physical failure. The aperture arm in the hard drive can fail motors or the platters can become damaged and lose the data that they hold.

In case of logical crash the damage is caused by the user such as invalid entry in file allocation, accidentally formatting the drive, loss of file system on a fragmented drive.

Of all these crashes you either need a hard drive recovery specialist or hard drive recovery software where hard drive recovery can work on all kinds of damages. www.datatriage.com is the specialists in data recovery where they retrieve the lost data by using the state of the art data recovery tools for crashed hard disk drives or damaged hard disk.

An Introduction To Electronic Data Discovery

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Computers and other electronic devices, equipment and systems are now widely used by nearly everyone, everywhere and for every purpose. Their use in business and industry, particularly large corporations, has brought their importance into focus.

Organizations regularly and routinely record data on electronic media for processing, transmission, storage or other business functions. Today, most such data is in digital form on magnetic media and includes files, databases, e-mail, application files, instant messages, text messages, phone messages and video recordings. It can be easily modified, deleted, over-written and processed in many other ways. One characteristic aspect is that unlike legacy documents on paper, digital data once recorded, cannot be completely and permanently erased. (more…)

A Guide To Electronic Evidence Discovery & Its Importance

Friday, January 25th, 2008

Technology is present in every aspect of modern life and it is constantly growing & nowadays business communications are done using electronic storage devices like emails, flash drives, hard drives etc. Surveys shows that more than 85 percent of all documents produced since 2000 are created in digital form.

As the technology is growing, a lot of people are exploiting these technological advances for illegal activities. Most of the time e-discovery is used in cases of intellectual property theft, sexual harassment in the workplace, fraud, breach of contract, divorce proceedings and spoliation of evidence. Here comes the Electronic data discovery which is quickly becoming the mainstream in civil discovery. (more…)