The software application "Data Extractor" is intended for the retrieval of user data from partially defective drives as well as from non-defective drives with damaged logical structures (all types of FAT and NTFS). Any ATA HDD working in LBA mode is supported. Data Extractor can be used to retrieve data (completely or partially) from drives with such defects as bad sectors, partial servo destruction, heads assembly damage and others. The amount of recovered data depends on the condition of the drive and differs from case to case. The Data Extractor works under Windows 95/98 in conjunction with the PC-3000 PRO testboard.
Basic principles of data recovery using Data Extractor:
The damaged drive is connected to the PC-3000 PRO testboard using the adapter PC-3K PWR, mounted on it using an ATA cable and power cable. When the application starts, power voltage +5V and +12V is supplied to the drive automatically. During the data recovery process, the retrieved data is initially transferred to the disk image file, and then this image (or any part of it) is copied to any ATA drive of suitable capacity. During the data recovery process a detailed map of the defective drive is described, giving the condition of each physical sector. The process of recovery may be stopped at any moment and then continued during another session when needed. The state-of-the-art algorithm combined with a power control system prevents a drive from entering a state that might cause any further damage to the disk, and makes it possible to retrieve the maximum amount of retained data even when one or more heads are damaged.
The Data Extractor contains a special "Explorer" which allows an analysis of the logical structure of the damaged drive and, where the degree of logical destruction permits, allows selection of the specific files that the user needs to recover. It is especially important in cases where the drive continues to deteriorate, has very high capacity, or a large number of defects. The Explorer may be used for data recovery in cases where the drive has no defects but its logical structure is destroyed (MBR, BR, sometimes FAT and ROOT). If the HDD translator module is damaged, Data Extractor provides a manual mechanism for creating a map of offsets and also facilitates the copying of the necessary data using both the explorer and the created map.
Before extracting the data, the defective drive should be diagnosed. This can be done using either the PC-3000 PRO or any other diagnostic software. All of the defective drives can be grouped according to the type of defect:
- Bad sectors and/or Servo defects. The amount of retrieved data is high and the recovery procedure is fully automated.
- Heads assembly defect. The amount of retrieved data is in inverse proportion to the quantity of the defective heads.
- Service area damage. The probability of full data retrieval is considerable, but the service area will have to be rebuild (this procedure can be done by the PC-3000 PRO) or a non-defective drive of the same HDD model will be required to perform the Hot-Swap procedure (replacing the controller board with the power supply turned on).
- Controller board defect. A non-defective controller board from the same drive model will be required.
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