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Linux Server Physically Attacked

“While showing an interviewee around our office, he suddenly pushed our server onto the floor, causing an immediately failure. A big thank you for retreving our data following such a shocking incident.”

D Smith, company confidential, West London

Three hard disk drives arrived at our laboratory in Oxford from West London a single 1TB black Western Digital hard disk drive and a pair of red 3TB Western Digital hard disk drives. An examination of the drives, revealed that 1TB drive had suffered a failure of the read/write heads, which had also caused extensive damage to the surface of the platters, as it was almost certainly accessing the drive at the time of the incident. One of the 3TB drives had suffered a motor spindle failure as a result of the impact, which the second 3TB drive was fully operational, but would need to be constantly monitored during the image process as such a drive having suffered an impact is prone to subsequnet failure.

Our hardware data recovery specialists were able to overcome the problems with the two damaged drives by using donor parts allowing them to be imaged. Sector-by-sector images of each drive were secured, with the pair of 3TB being successfully imaged without any problems. The 1TB drive proved problematic, due to the extent of the damage, with approximately 22 million unreadable bad sectors encountered during the imaging process.

The image of the 1TB was examined, revealing it to contain 4 Linux operating system installation partitions, confirming that none of them contained any user data, which was fortunate due to the severe damage spread across the drive. The images of the 3TB drives were examined, revealing them to each contained single 3TB XFS data volumes, each used a shared network drive, containing approximately 1.3TB and 1.6TB of data. The recoverable data consisted of an assortment of office documents, mailbox files, photos, scanned images, music and videos files.

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