If you’re technically-minded, or you’re thinking of becoming a trade partner, this page is for you. We have scoured the technology world to find the most effective data recovery tools—both hardware and software—to equip our laboratory.
The equipment in our lab is very different to conventional computer repair/servicing workshops. Most of our recovery hardware must be imported. Some of the software is hard to get, like our Homeland Security-based forensic application from the USA. Here’s some of what we have:
- Clean room: Even slight contamination from dust, hairs or moisture can wreck an otherwise perfectly recoverable drive. To ensure no contaminants can get onto the platters or under the heads of your disk, we do all our drive repairs in a custom-built clean room.
- Disk parts: We have an absurd number of old and new hard drives stored in our lab. We cannot even estimate how many—but it’s over 9,000. This means we can almost always source parts for a repair, even with uncommon devices. (Very occasionally we have to send for parts from overseas—usually heads—which may increase the cost and timeframe of a job. We will always let you know before doing this.)
- A slew of software tools: Obviously we have various utilities to repair every conceivable file and filesystem. In this photo you can see the output of some hardware-level disk scans we’re running. (We thought they were more interesting than the other programs.) These screens are attached to a bank of recovery computers, which you can see further down.
- The usual electrical equipment: Super fine-tip soldering irons, variable power supplies, multimeters, a whole array of common resistors and diodes that fail in devices—even a microscope to help with jobs that are too finicky to achieve with the naked eye. In this photo, you can see our technician, James, using the microscope to do some very fine soldering work on a damaged hard drive in our clean-room. This kind of work is very common, especially on flash memory, which usually requires electrical components to be replaced or re-soldered. James is quite the solderer.
- PC-3000 Flash Spider Board Adapter: This incredibly handy gadget connects directly to the pins of integrated flash chips. It often eliminates the need for any micro-soldering work, which greatly speeds up many jobs—and sometimes makes recoveries possible which previously would not have been. It works with micro-SD, SecureDigital, UFD, MemoryStick and eMMC.
- PC-3000 hardware/software complex: The staple of all advanced data recoveries, this tool lets us access the firmware and the ROM of a drive to correct faulty code.
- Hardware disk imager: This can get data off disks when software-based imaging tools fail. It is much more advanced than standard data recovery applications as it does not have to connect to the disk through the operating system—it talks to it directly at the hardware level.
- PC-3000 Flash: We use this to extract data from NAND-based flash devices such as USB drives, audio recorders, mobiles etc. Unlike hard disks, which all use the same file system, flash memory manufacturers make our lives especially difficult by using different controllers on every device, encrypting your data with any one of dozens of different keys. This makes it impossible to recover your data without hardware-level tools like this one.
- PC-3000 RAID: With this we can recreate a failed RAID array of any level. This isn’t usually an issue for home users, but for business customers who have serious server failures, this is the only way to reliably recover their data.
- PC-3000 Data Extractor: This lets us extract data from any corrupt filesystem with far more reliability than the myriad software tools you can download off the internet (in fact, we highly advise against using those—they often make things worse).
Need data recovered?
Now that you know we have the equipment to handle it, why not start the process?
Request a recovery