ZCOPY – ACE Data Group full-featured, professional solution for hard drive recovery
One of the most common causes of data loss is media degradation of the magnetic surfaces of hard drives platters. To ensure successful data recovery, ACE Data Recovery technicians create a sector-by-sector image of the defective hard disk drive (HDD) and then work with that image, leaving the original drive intact. Therefore, all of the subsequent stages of the data recovery process depend on the integrity and completeness of the drive images.
The degradation of the working surfaces of the hard disk drive results in unreadable clusters, the so-called “bad” sectors. Their occurrence may be caused by natural wear, shock and vibration during transportation, overheating, voltage drops, and other factors.
When accessing the defective sector, the HDD finishes the command with a sign of error. The mechanism for processing this situation depends on the application, operating system (OS), a set of drivers, the hardware implementation of the host controller, and the type of drive interface. In many cases, accessing a defective sector leads to unstable operation and causes freezes in the work of the OS and applications. A lot of commercial data recovery software is not capable of working with hard drives with defective sectors, which makes it impossible to create full sector-by-sector images or leads to significant time delays.
The second problem with copying data from defective HDDs is that when a defective sector is detected, the OS makes repeated consecutive attempts to read data from those sectors. However, in addition to increasing the copy time, these attempts result in another problem. In some cases, the surface damage progresses rapidly, and at a certain point the process becomes irreversible. That can lead to a partial or even complete loss of data during copying. To resolve this problem, ACE Data Recovery R&D department developed the ZCOPY hardware and software system that provides quick and safe data recovery from hard drives with physical surface defects. The capabilities of the complex system allows us to work with damaged hard drives or restore damaged logical structures on disks. ZCOPY provides access to hard drives at the interface command level without using operating system resources. As a result, it can build the most optimal data recovery algorithm for each case.
The main functions of ZCOPY include:
- data recovery from hard drives with a large number of bad sectors
- restoring damaged logical structures of the file system
- creating full copies (images) of hard drives
- saving recovered data to stable drives
To increase chances of successful data recovery and enhance productivity, the complex utilizes a number of unique technologies created by ACE Data Recovery’s R&D team:
- Adaptive reading technology makes it possible to automatically optimize the number of multiple reads from defective sectors for a given reliability of the restored data. It reduces the required time to recover data and decreases the risk of further destruction of the disk’s magnetic surfaces.
- The technology of selective data collection provides the possibility to select LBA addresses of sectors for subsequent data recovery. With the progressive destruction of disk surfaces, it ensures ZCOPY can read the most important data quickly and with minimal loss.
- The technology for processing defective sectors allows separating processing of good and defective sectors according to the results of preliminary scanning of surfaces. ZCOPY writes special data to the place of defective sectors in the drive image. These markers will allow identifying such sectors at further stages of data recovery.
- ZCOPY ensures the maximum possible copying speed for a specific defective HDD, which can significantly speed up the process of recovering data from defective media. ZCOPY also provides an opportunity to decrypt self-encrypted HDD “on the fly” for selected makes and models. The list of available models is constantly growing.
ZCOPY can work in both automatic and manual operation modes. The automatic mode is optimized for fast data recovery with a minimum number of accesses to drive sectors. The manual mode makes it possible to independently change all complex settings over a wide range of options and build the most efficient data recovery algorithm in complex cases when automatic recovery is impossible. The unique feature of ZCOPY is File System Parsing. When a customer provides a list of the most important data files/directories, ZCOPY allows selecting only specific physical sectors which belong to those files. The feature is available for a wide range of the most popular file systems. Using this feature, ACE Data Recovery can significantly decrease overall recovery time, as well as prevent further media degradation for severely damaged drives.