Recovering Data From Flood Damaged Drives
December 2015 saw the Security House lab literally swamped with damaged servers and hard drives.
R3 Data Recovery Ltd Use Verteq Nitrogen Centrifuge and Ultrasonic bath to maximise success rates in recovery of effluent contaminated hard drives is a major factor in overall success.
During flooding it is not always realised that flood waters are not just surface run off. In towns and cities the sewers also are affected by the deluge.
R3 Data Recovery staff have extensive experience of handling large scale flood disasters such as those in Sheffield in 2007 and other more recent examples such as 2015 – Keswick, Lancaster, Hull and York.
The contamination of servers/PCs and laptops in 2007 caused sever business disruption in parts of Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster and surrounds, even an R3 Data Recovery Ltd staff member lost her car to the flood but work continued.
Luckily Andy and his team of data recovery engineers was still able to help most of them.
The Security House lab is fortunately on a second floor. Royds Mill being a secure site close to the river Don was affected when it rose over 25 feet in places and flooded the site up to 5ft in water. The downstairs toilets and meeting room did not fair so well.
However the contamination left behind after flooding presents its own challenges in the cleaning of hard drives and printed circuit boards in preparation for data recovery.
The risk of contamination and damage to platter surfaces is of far more concern than the effects on the electronics. After all the platters are where the data is.
Using a combination of de-ionised water to rinse larger contaminants is common practice but using specially developed solvents, specially tuned ultrasonic baths and a nitrogen centrifuge ensures the cleaning of platters is as thorough as possible to maximise the chances of successful recovery.
The verteq nitrogen centrifuge lifts any remaining sludge or chemical contamination left behind.
R3 Data Recovery have been successful in the recovery of data from drives which have been submerged in Salt Water, Foam, Chemical immersion, effluent and other industrial waste contamination.
The few unrecovered flood affected drives are those which were unfortunate enough to be allowed to dry out after water penetrated the breather hole and crystalline growth on the platter caused head crashes and severe platter damage before the R3 had been called.
Andy and the team at R3 are one of the few real world data recovery labs able to handle most disasters but they too have their limits turning down over 100 recoveries for one organisation which saw them all dumped because of time constraints.
R3 data recovery engineers expertise and equipment has ensured that thousands of drive declared Unrecovered or Unrecoverable get the highest chance of recovery.
Those wanting to add a data recovery lab to their disaster recovery plan can arrange by appointment a tour of the lab and meeting with operations managers.
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