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Data Recovery Glossary [part 2]

The lab at Kroll Ontrack

Our last blog entry started a series of glossary posts about common data recovery terms. Here is the next batch of useful definitions.

Formatting: It erases all the hard drive data and re-establishes the file system, readying it for an operating system to be installed. The reasons for doing this are several, e.g. our hard drive is running slowly and we want to improve performance, or we want to clean all the junk that we have stored on it. There are two types of formatting:

  • Quick format: Imagine that the image to the right is a hard drive where we have our data stored. The black part contains the Master File Table (MFT).This section contains the index telling us the exact sections where our data is stored in the hard drive. This part of the disk is linked to sections A, B and C which contain all our data. What we do with the quick format, is to break these connections, so that the MFT cannot read the sections A, B and C. When this happens, data recovery software can help to rebuild these broken links and access the data.
    Quick format - beforeQuick format - after
  • Full format: With this type of format we erase all the data in the sections A, B and C, therefore data recovery software cannot recover any of the data.
    Full format

File extension: When you save different file types, the computer adds an extension at the end of the file name to know what type of file it is and what programme is used to open it. When you send your media to a reputable data recovery company, you can choose to recover all your data or specify files with a certain file extension.

Encrypted: When we encrypt our data we make it illegible for people and computers to read without the decryption key. When the engineers have to recover an encrypted storage device they first have to take an image of it. Then, they will need the password(s) to decrypt the data because without it, it  would be impossible to make sense of the data.

Cleanroom: Is the dust- and static-free environment where the engineers “fix” the broken media. Here the goal is to repair a storage device to a level where they can obtain a successful image of the drive, so that the data can be returned directly to you if there are no logical problems, or be sent to our lab if there are. Kroll Ontrack’s cleanroom adheres to the ISO 146441-1 Level 5/Class 100 standard.

Lab: Once the cleanroom engineers have taken the image, the data recovery engineers can start to piece the data back together. One this has been completed, they then ready the data to be sent back to you.

Is there something that you don’t understand or a concept that you think is missing? Don’t hesitate to comment below and ask us your questions!

One Response to "Data Recovery Glossary [part 2]"

  • MAC Data Recovery
    23 September 2014 - 1:30 pm

    I will positively recommend viewers to go through this article on laptop hard drive recovery as your services seems to be offered by quite an expert team of engineers.