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Full Format Recovery

posted May 30, 2015, 8:02 AM by OMG Data Recovery   [ updated May 30, 2015, 8:03 AM ]


Did you know that a Full Format (unchecking Quick Format) will not necessarily overwrite, thus erase, everything?


Every hard drive has magnetic anomalies straight out of the factory. These are 'pre-tagged' and avoided by the drive when writing data. During its normal lifetime operation the drive develops more anomalies, sometimes in several tens of Mb. Transparent to the user, these sectors are also tagged, their data copied onto another area of the drive, then written off the address table.

When a user selects a FULL format, say because the drive is 'slow', Windows will overwrite 0s to every cluster in the address table.

Did you see what happened there? The tagged damaged sectors that were written-off the address table, STILL contain some data. This is not accessible on computers because the myriad of tables are part of the drive's firmware, electronically and on several special areas on the drive. At OMG Lab we access and manipulate the firmware of every manufacturer to suit the case.

Therefore, unchecking the Quick Format option to enable full format WILL NOT securely erase ALL the data, and we can still recover that remaining data.

To securely ensure that all the data is erased, contact us for a special Certified service. A Certificate of Secure Data Destruction will be given. This is necessary for :
- Companies auditable Asset Recovery procedures
- Sensitive Data Destruction (banks, insurances, enforcement, individuals)
- Drive Sanitization (eg. RAID server reset)
- Forensic cases / Legal evidence
- Individual requests


OMG Data Recovery
Malta's Specialised Hard Drive Lab
M: 79437846