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Data Recovery services in Canberra

By Igglepiggle - 26 August 2009 20

I couldn’t find via search that this has been asked before, so can anyone give me any advice on a good local service for data recovery services? I’m looking to get information off a formatted hard drive that was running Windows XP and has all the photos of my baby’s first 8 weeks of life! There is obviously a whole bunch of other information too, but even if I can only get the photos back that would be great. So where to take the box for help?

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Data Recovery services in Canberra
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Igglepiggle 7:02 pm 26 Aug 09

It seems that ours must have been hidden but not lost as the software seems to be finding heaps of files- not the baby pics yet , but it is a long slow process that will keep Mr Igglepiggle occupied for days yet.
Thanks heaps everyone for your suggestions and descriptions (clearly some of you work in IT as having read some of these responses several times I still don’t get it!)
I will let you know if and when the baby pics reappear (I am hopeful!)

Fisho 6:20 pm 26 Aug 09

Igglepiggle said :

Jivrashia said :

Formatted hard drive?? As in, formatted properly (takes several minutes to complete) during a fresh install of Windows XP?

I think the odds are against you, but good luck…

And if you do find a professional who can do it, it will probably be not cheap (around the $1000 mark I think).

Yep that kind of formatted- Mr Igglepiggle is in big trouble!

thanks for the suggestions- will look into them

I’ve recovered data from a drive that someone did a factory system restore on 7 times (as in format, overwrite), then decided to call me. I got most of it back quite easily with EasyRecovery Pro.

Depends on a number of factors as mentioned above. Basically try the software recovery route, if that doesn’t work you are looking at specialist data recovery. Best price I’ve seen is about $10/mb recovered. So its about a $200 problem* or a $2500+ problem.

Alternatively if you still have the SD card or media from the camera you could try the recovery from there.

*Or a case of beer and a mate’s time problem.

Slashor 6:07 pm 26 Aug 09

Data is always able to be recovered, it just depends on the time and money you want to spend. For most people this is prohibitively expensive. Most commercial software should recover files for people providing they haven’t be doing a lot of writing to the sectors that they want to receover from.

GregW 5:31 pm 26 Aug 09

My understanding is that no one has ever successfully recovered data from a modern hard drive which has been overwritten, whether through reuse of the sectors or complete formatting. It has been speculated that recovery is possible using the method Jivrashia and taco mentioned, but I am not aware of any researchers managing to do this.

If it was only a quick format then you may be able to use a file carving application (I would also recommend Easy Recovery Professional, but only after trying a free application like photorec), but these will only be able to recover files with known signatures such as photos, mp3s, word documents etc..

taco 4:18 pm 26 Aug 09

Jivrashia said :

Now, I understand that, theoretically, data can be recovered even after a format, due to the slight variance in the magnetic field that may exist between a recent write and a write that occurred some time ago. But you need very special equipment to read that slight variance (e.g. CSI stuff) and need to dismantle the harddrive.

That’s how I understand it too. Data may be digital, but the method of storing it on a magnetic platter isn’t as simple as 1 and 0, on and off, it’s more high and low.
A “0” could mean anything between a reading of 0.0 to 0.4 and a “1” would read from 0.6 to 1 (where 0 means no charge and 1 means maximum charge)
If you had a byte of “10101010” and formatted every bit to “0”, which to the hard drive controller looks like “00000000” which is what it tells the operating system, but to a CSI style recovery the data might look something like .2, 0, .2, 0, .2, 0, .2, 0 – which you could reconstruct as “10101010”

Modern hard drives apparently have much lower charges on the individual bits, so it’s supposedly much harder to do now days (plus drives are bigger and denser, so more costly try), and it’s also harder if the data has been overwritten (e.g. writing 11001100 over 10101010 may actually result in 1, .8, .2, 0, 1, .8, .2, 0 which you can reconstruct back to 10101010 again, but gets more complicated the more times it’s been written to)

Hells_Bells74 1:26 pm 26 Aug 09

Oh total sympathy for you and baby pics are so precious. I too lost all my pictures a couple of years back which were the last thing to be burned onto a DVD before I formatted, and I forgot them and took no copy.

I thought it was hopeless nothing I could do, so I am so pleased for you there may be something to get them back.

Best of luck.

Jivrashia 1:21 pm 26 Aug 09

amelie said :

Buy a copy of Easy Recovery Professional. It can recover just about anything – deleted files, formatted files, even files that have been subsequently over-written.

amelie, I hate to say this but I believe you have been misinformed.
‘Deleted’ and ‘over-written’ files are not deleted as we understand it. They are removed from a table that tells the operating system (e.g. Windows XP) where to find the file on the harddrive, so the OS can no longer ‘see’ it under normal operation.

The software you mention ‘recover’ these files by scanning the whole harddrive and seeking out what looks like legitimate files , but which are not registered on the said table.

One doesn’t format a file, but format a partition. And when formatting (not a quick format, which just wiping out the said table so a file recovery is still possible) null data is written to all parts of the partition, thus effectively erasing everything that could have been recovered.

Now, I understand that, theoretically, data can be recovered even after a format, due to the slight variance in the magnetic field that may exist between a recent write and a write that occurred some time ago. But you need very special equipment to read that slight variance (e.g. CSI stuff) and need to dismantle the harddrive.

Igglepiggle 1:20 pm 26 Aug 09

Thanks everyone- trunking symbols suggestion of PC inspector seems to be doing the job nicely- its found over 900 file so far and is retrieving them for me -yay! Hopefully most of the baby pics willbe amoongst that lot.

DLWM- Backups are great for everything up until about 3 months ago- seeing as i have an 8 week old baby, our sleep is still in survival mode so the backups haven’t been done. Good reminder for everyone though to make a set!

johnny_the_knife 1:03 pm 26 Aug 09

To maximise you chances of recovering the data, first, STOP USING THE COMPUTER. That means turn it off and disconnect it from the power to help prevent someone else from accidentally using it. I would then contact a data recovery specialist, this does not mean the computer shop down the road who have some software they use to recover files. In some cases, this will only make things worse.

I reccomend Payam data recovery (http://www.payam.com.au/), they are based in Sydney and will accept your drive by mail or courier. Costs vary from a couple of hundred dollars to a couple of thousand, but given what you have told us, I expect it would be at the lower end of that spectrum. I have used them before, their success rate and response timesare nothing short of excellent.

housebound 12:48 pm 26 Aug 09

Be careful with who you choose – make sure they copy the drive first, before attempting any recovery.

I tried this with one mob (not at Phillip) who did no more than I could have with the free software. What a waste of money. In the end, a friend helped me out. Don’t knock the friends who can be bought for a case of beer, provdied they know what they are doing.

harvyk1 11:24 am 26 Aug 09

Call John Phillips from ocean computing solutions, their number is 1300 558 121.

I know John has had experience with data recovery before. Sadly your going to have to spend money on it (sorry cmdwedge, but I don’t think I’d trust a restore from someone who has offered it for a case of beer and has stated they have had some success in the past).

What ever you do don’t use the computer again until you have had someone to look over it for you, as the files are probably still there intact, and using the computer will simply risk overwriting the data.

cmdwedge 11:11 am 26 Aug 09

If you’re in the Woden area (near my work) or Gungahlin (near my home), I could have a go at it for you. Case of beer + about 2 days for you to be without the drive. I’ve been quite successful in the past when having to recover data.

Let me know if you’re keen.

DarkLadyWolfMother 11:11 am 26 Aug 09

Restore from backups?

(Sorry, someone had to say it)

phototext 11:05 am 26 Aug 09

Bummer.

But, considering that to properly erase data usually takes a lot of re-writes it should be recoverable, but, may cost a bit. There is software you can use yourself to try and recover data, but, being pictures of your child, maybe safer to get a professional to do it if you are not computer savvy.

First step though is to not use that drive, remove it from the PC and buy a new one and install XP onto the new one. Guessing you’ve already stopped using it eh.

Igglepiggle 10:58 am 26 Aug 09

Jivrashia said :

Formatted hard drive?? As in, formatted properly (takes several minutes to complete) during a fresh install of Windows XP?

I think the odds are against you, but good luck…

And if you do find a professional who can do it, it will probably be not cheap (around the $1000 mark I think).

Yep that kind of formatted- Mr Igglepiggle is in big trouble!

thanks for the suggestions- will look into them

kieran AP 10:49 am 26 Aug 09

if it was a quick format the information should still be there, just not visible and as long as you haven’t overwritten the data, it should be retrievable with minimal effort. There are a number of FREE data recovery tools avaialble for download from sites like tucows or the pcauthority website.

amelie 10:44 am 26 Aug 09

Buy a copy of Easy Recovery Professional. It can recover just about anything – deleted files, formatted files, even files that have been subsequently over-written.

ns 10:33 am 26 Aug 09

There’s a place in Phillip you could try. I think it’s called Office Essentials. They are located in the court that is just behind Magnet Mart. Altree Court I think.

Jivrashia 9:50 am 26 Aug 09

Formatted hard drive?? As in, formatted properly (takes several minutes to complete) during a fresh install of Windows XP?

I think the odds are against you, but good luck…

And if you do find a professional who can do it, it will probably be not cheap (around the $1000 mark I think).

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