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Data Recovery Services – Why choose the South African Experts?

Data Recovery ServicesWhen the company server (or your business laptop) crashes and burns, and your precious mail, files and other critical information remains inaccessible, you’ve potentially got a big problem… especially if you absolutely need to perform a data recovery service to retrieve that vital information and data.

What can add insult to injury is if you unsuccessfully attempt to perform this data recovery yourself (as many Do-It-Yourself South Africans will) and end up damaging your data even further or destroying it altogether. Being faced with the consequences of what the potential replacement costs then might be can be the very stuff of regret.

Disadvantages of DIY Data Recovery

There are a number of disadvantages from the start of attempting to perform a data recovery yourself so it’s really worth while considering the following points before you make a decision:

Cloning data from faulty hard disk drive to a functional hard drive.

Cloning data from faulty hard disk drive to a functional hard drive.

Data being extracted from faulty disk drive

Data being extracted from faulty disk drive

Firmware being repaired on Seagate 7200.11 Series

Firmware being repaired on Seagate 7200.11 Series

Platter removal from 2.5" Seagate Hard disk drive

Platter removal from 2.5\

Hard drive recovery from 3.5" Hard disk

Hard drive recovery from 3.5\

  1. Do you really know what your data related problem is? Depending on whether the problem is logical, electrical or mechanical (or a difficult combination thereof), identification of the problem is the first mistake DIY Data Recovery amateurs often make. It’s critical that the right problem be identified from the start so that you don’t end up trying to fix what ain’t broken or compound your problems further.
  2. DIY Data recovery can take up a lot of your time with a steep learning curve. How savvy are you or your “technical” staff really with computer hardware technology and what is the potential time investment you’ll need to truly find a solution or software that will solve your particular data recovery issues? Often, the steps prescribed to perform your own data recovery services yourself are complex, require a steep learning curve and a lot of time to aptly apply.
  3. So many Data Recovery Programs and methods to chose from? Presuming that your problem can be solved by running a program, there are literally hundreds of Data Recover software programs to purchase on the Internet alone that perform very specific solutions… But which one is right you? You may spend many hours finding the right one and if you end up buying the wrong software you’ve lost money on the purchase and the time it took to find and buy it. And let’s then only mention the fact that you’re back at square one and your problem could be getting worse.
  4. Do you really want to start taking your hardware apart yourself? Let’s presume that you are computer savvy enough to know that you have a mechanical or electrical problem. There are many tips for this course of action suggested by computer geeks that wrongly presume (in most cases) that you have a similar wealth of experience in handling computer hardware components. But if you don’t really know what you’re doing, this is akin to taking apart your own car’s engine yourself without understanding a car’s basic mechanics to begin with. Computer hardware is a lot more fragile than you think and tampering with undetected (and even multiple) electrical or mechanical failures can lead to total destruction or loss of your data, and possibly further damage to your computer and its components. If you don’t feel 100% confident doing it – don’t.
  5. Trail and error based learning attempting to apply a risky solution. Is the risk of Doing It Yourself really worth the cost you might save? Data Recovery services albeit are not “cheap” but when compared to the potential destruction or loss of your data, it can start looking incredibly and regretfully reasonable

Data Detect – Smart reasons to the choose the Data Recovery Specialists

data recovery servicesYes, there is a cost involved in applying any worthwhile solution. But simply looking at the cost of a solution without realistically looking at the cost of the problem is not looking at things responsibly.

Doing a DIY data recovery service yourself is of course always an option – but if you take the above points seriously, then there is another smarter and more meaningful one out there like employing the use of a specialist Data Recover Service provider like Data Detect.

Data Detects trained and experienced Data Recovery technicians and experts will provide you with a free assessment to identify your data problem(s).They’ll then clearly explain (in non-techi terms) what your options are and where they’ll be able to help you. Leave your hardware with Data Detect and return to work with the knowledge that the very best is being done about retrieving your information because if anyone can retrieve your data safely, it’s Data Detect.

And the great thing about this whole process… If Data Detect cannot retrieve your lost data – you don’t pay! That’s right. No data, no bill. Data Detect is not for everybody, but definitely for those serious about having the right data recovery services performed to maximise the return of their data safely without the unnecessary waste of time, money or effort. Contact Data Detect today for a free assessment of your Data Recovery needs.

Seagate 7200.11 hard disk drives prompting outrage

In case you aren’t 100% up to date on all the latest tech news, there is something you might not know. Seagate has been having a lot of issues with their 7200.11 line-up of drives, problems that should concern everyone who has their drives.

Initially, problems seemed to be limited to the 1.5TB versions, drives were freezing during large video transfers and were then inaccessible.

Now however, there is talk of more problems with the 7200.11 series. The 1TB and 500GB versions seem to be ones most often affected. Problems include, but are not limited to a “Click of death”, showing as a “0GB” drive, or simply not showing up in the Bios at all.

Some are even claiming that Seagate is deleting users posts about these newer problems. Some drives have an update available, others have a section telling a user to contact support for an update. These same users are being told only that “there is a update set to be released in a few days”, but not what to do with their drives in the meantime.

The problem here is that, when a drive stops being detected correctly in the Bios, the updated firmware will not help. Your only options are then to either send the drive back to Seagate in exchange for a replacement, or send the drive data recovery. Seagate has posted assurances that data on the drives is not affected, and that it is still all there.

If you thought all that was bad, be warned that, until Seagate pulled some of their updates, users were reporting that, while it worked for 750GB and 1TB versions, 500GB drives were being broken by the update itself!

So what do we recommend you do with the drives? Call Data Detect for assistance in Johannesburg on 011-234-4757.

Can I afford data recovery?

This is a question that has been asked by many of our potential clients.To be honest, you should be asking yourself “Can I afford to lose the data that I cannot retrieve from my hard drive?”.

You will need to weigh up the pros and cons. If it’s lost business data, can it be recaptured and how long would it take your PA to do this task. Is there enough time? If the lost data is your precious family holiday photos, can you let them go or do you have copies on another hard drive?

If the answer to above is ‘Yes, the data is not that important’, put the hard drive aside, and wait until you can afford to have it recovered, else you will need to start from scratch. If you answered ‘No’ to this question, its time to invest in a respectable Data Recovery company who will recover the data for you – such as Data Detect.

Based in Woodmead, South Africa – Data Detect are South Africa’s data recovery specialists.Having been in the industry for the past 20 years, our highly qualified technical team of engineers can assist you as best as they can, getting your data back at affordable prices – data that would have otherwise been lost forever! (Not to worry if you are not a Gauteng resident, we offer free collection and delivery nationwide!)

Our services include data recovery on RAID Systems, Hard drives, Zipp, Digital Camera Media, USB Sticks, PDA’s, IPOD’s and all other types of media.

Data Detect offers data recovery services on a wide range of Operating Systems in South Africa with straightforward procedures designed to ease the pain of data retrieval and make data recovery more affordable for our clients.

Our data recovery company offers a free diagnostic evaluation of your hard drive or other media.This will include an analysis of the situation and a quote for the data retrieval. Other companies might charge for this, but we like to give our clients full transparency so that they can make an informed decision.Click on the quote button at the top of our website for your free quote.

For more on data detect and data recovery, to book your data recovery or to simply get a free quote, call our technical team on +27-11-234-4757/66/69. For emergencies you can call 076 908 5219.

Hard drive manufacturer warranty and data recovery

A question that is frequently asked by many of our customers – “Could data recovery void the warranty from the hard drive manufacturer?”


Imagine the following scenario.  Your PA has just finished capturing all your companies financial information into a database, when your newly purchased hard drive fails. 


The financial year end is near, and there is no time to recapture the data.  In your panicked state you send your hard drive to a data recovery company to get the important data recovered.  Once you have your data back, only then do you realize that you need to contact the hard drive manufacturer to replace the hard drive as its still under factory warrantee.  You are shocked when you find out that the warrantee is void as the defective hard drive has been opened.


This is a catch 22 situation.  You desperately need your data and in most cases the data is worth more than the actual hard drive.  You can however win both ways by not violating terms of the warranty by following the step below:


Make use of an authorized and reputable data recovery company


Data Detect have years of experience in data recovery and an incomparable technology / skills mix. Data Detect is the right choice whenever you are faced with hard drive recovery. 

We are authorized to recover data by the following hard drive manufacturers: Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate, IBM & Hitachi, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Samsung, Iomega, Lacie.

Our objective is to retrieve your data as quickly and effectively as possible, without voiding your warrentee. Remember that we do not charge if we don’t recover your data!

For more on data detect and hard drive recovery, or to simply get a quote, visit our ‘Services’ section or call our technical team on +27-11-234-4757/66/69. For emergencies you can call 076 908 5219.

Common warning signs of data loss and hard drive failure

“What is the most important part of your computer?”. If you had to be asked, your answer would probably be your hard drive. Its an easy question to answer as this component contains all your work and personal data.

Along with the optical drive, the hard drive has moving parts and is therefore one of the most fragile parts of your computer.

In the data recovery industry we often get asked about the early warning signs of hard drive failure and data loss. Even though the signs are few and sometimes difficult to detect, there are a number of warning signs to look out for:

Your computer is slower to boot than usual
If you notice that your computer is slower to turn on (boot) than usual, and you have not installed any new anti-virus software recently, your hard drive may be suffering from bad sectors or blocks. It is recommended that you run a full scan to rule out or fix any bad sectors.

Your computer makes a noise or whirling sound
Any change in sound from your hard disk could indicate that your hard drive is having difficulty completing a rotation. Remember that there are many moving parts on a hard drive, and even specks of dust could result in hard disk failure.

You receive warnings of read/write failures and errors
Warnings such as these indicate that your hard disk has failed to respond. A hard drive contains many magnetically coated metal disks, that if damaged in any way, will probably result in hard drive failure.

How can you protect yourself against data loss?

The number one rule is “be proactive” not “reactive”. Rather have a plan for data recovery after a crash, than try to protect your hard drive from a crash.

Although there are many safeguards you can take to protect your data, for example regular data backups, nothing can protect your computer from a hard drive failure and there are no fail safe ways to prevent this.

Do not attempt to recover the data yourself. This may lead to further damage. It is highly recommended to contact a reputable data recovery company who can assist you with recovering your lost data.

Datadetect own state-of-the-art data recovery labs and highly qualified technicians. We save our clients time and money every day, by returning critical lost data. We recover data on most storage devices and media along with most operating systems. Should you have a data recovery emergency – give us a call today for a quote or to book your media.

Solid state devices to take mobile computing by storm

The IT industry is constantly on the lookout for the next ‘big thing’. Speed, capacity and security are instant attention grabbers, and the smaller the better. IT experts are sticklers for anything original and unique, which makes it somewhat surprising that the current ‘big thing’ involves technology that has been around for decades. Up to now its cost (roughly the same a notebook or laptop) has put it beyond reach of everyday consumers, but recent developments have resulted in a surge in demand. It’s predicted that very shortly solid state drives will have a big impact in computing, especially portable computing.

According to, ‘solid state’ is an electrical term referring to electronic circuitry built out of semiconductors. So, a solid state drive (SSD) is a data storage device that operates with semiconductors, as opposed to the traditional magnetic media of a hard drive. SSD drives are similar to flash memory, as they both use non-volatile memory chips. They differ in that SSD is designed as an internal component that replaces the hard drive, while flash memory is an external memory system.

The biggest advantage that SSDs have over traditional magnetic hard drives is that they don’t have any moving parts. This makes them more robust and better able to handle the various bumps and knocks that accompany the transport of a mobile computer. The lack of moving parts also allows for faster data access. As the drive doesn’t have to waste time moving heads or spinning platters, data can be accessed immediately.

Because SSDs are non-volatile in nature, they use less power than traditional hard drives, which once again points to their effectiveness in portable computers, where power supply is always an issue.

It’s also possible to recover data from damaged or formatted solid state drives. So, in the event of an accidental drop out of a window or submersion in water, important data won’t be lost.

There are some negative aspects to solid state drives, of which one is capacity. As of 2007, they could hold a capacity of only 64GB, as opposed to current hard drives that have a capacity upwards of 200GB. And while the cost has come down significantly, they are still much more expensive than magnetic hard drives.

Vendors are addressing these problems, and developments are underway that will dramatically increase the capacity of SSDs to nearly that of magnetic hard drives. Competition is pushing the price down as more companies climb on the SSD bandwagon, which means that supply is able to keep up with demand, and consumers have the luxury of choice.

They may not be widespread at the moment, but as the next big thing, SSDs look set to take the computing world by storm.

Hardy hard drives

People are demanding creatures. It’s not enough that we have computers small enough to carry around in backpacks, and powerful enough to launch rockets to the moon (or something like that). We want them to be indestructible, and quibble when they’re not. We want to be able to use our computers anywhere, from the relative safety of our offices and homes to the wastelands of the Arctic and the monsoons of tropical rain forests. We don’t like to be denied our technology fix, and we’re most put out when we are.

Take, for instance, this request found on “I was wondering which portable hard drive was good enough to stand up to the life of a student. Something that can take a few bumps and not be harmed. It doesn’t have to be huge in capacity, but I need one larger than 80GB. I’d obviously like FireWire and USB 2.0 if possible, but I’m not trying to spend a fortune here either.”

The creators of the first computer would probably die laughing at his demands, once they’d figured out what he was talking about. From computers the size of basements to students demanding speed, top notch applications and durability, computers have certainly come a long way.

And it’s probably because we’re so demanding that it is in fact possible to use computers in a variety of outlandish situations and locations that, 20 years ago, would have been inconceivable. We now live in a world with LaCie’s Rugged Hard Disk, which is packaged in a scratch-resistant aluminium case and surrounded by shock-resistant rubber. With 500GB and USB 2.0 ports, as well as FireWire 400 and 800 sockets, it meets the requirements laid out by our demanding student. Its price tag, unfortunately, does not. With versions ranging in price from $300 – $400 (R2387 – R3183 or £153 – £204), it’s definitely not suited to a student’s pocket.

Alternatively there is MobileDemand’s xTabletPC. As reported in Engadget, MobileDemand has gone to great lengths to prove their new Tablet PC’s durability. They have created a video in which the xTablet is used to hammer a dozen nails into a board. They even added an accelerometer so that you can see exactly how much impact the Tablet PC is capable of withstanding.

While very few people would use their PCs as carpentry tools, no matter how great the frustration or temptation, it’s comforting to know that they’re available should the world ever experience a mallet shortage.

Some people who may not be taking comfort in the increasing durability of hard drives and computers in general are data recovery specialists. Although there is probably no real need for concern. After all, if people are going to insist on using their PCs in increasingly risky (and silly) situations, the chances are that data recovery business will continue to experience a boom.

Are you operating on a secure browser?

How many people give their Internet browsers much thought? Chances are that unless they’re directly involved in the IT industry, and the Internet is like mother’s milk to them, not many people do. This means that when new upgrades come out, many consumers are likely to ignore them. Even when they are prompted repeatedly, many people simply neglect to make the change.

Google, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and IBM joined forces to determine just how safely the billions of Internet users in the world are surfing the virtual wave. The study was conducted over 18 months using “non-personally identifiable” information from Google’s user database. Complete anonymity has been assured.

The study found that most users, 59% to be exact, have upgraded to the latest available versions of their browser. But according to IT professionals, the fact that 41% of users haven’t upgraded, and are using outdated technology, is rather worrying. Old browsers are more vulnerable to attacks than upgraded versions, and the problems experienced can be more difficult to fix.

The study also analysed how individual browsers are affected by user upgrades. Of the main browsers included in the study – Internet Explorer E7, Firefox 2, Safari 3 and Opera 9 – Firefox users were the most up-to-date. Internet Explorer had the lowest number of conversions, despite the fact that it has the highest number of users.

Researchers have speculated that the manner in which upgrades are presented could play an important role in whether they are adopted or not. Firefox for instance, has a quick one-click upgrade system, while Opera (which was second last in terms of users operating on upgraded versions) makes use of a “manual update download reminder”. From the data gathered, researchers recommend that auto-updates should be adopted by all browsers.

The researchers also made a rather bizarre suggestion that once implemented would no doubt prove immensely effective. They propose that software companies adopt the same labelling system as that used by the food industry. That is, the IT industry should adopt “Best before” labels that would automatically inform users when their browsers are about to expire. The browser wouldn’t necessarily cease to function should users pass the “expiration date”, but then daily reminders could be set to document the number of days that have lapsed since expiration. They add that these reminders could also include details on new patches as they become available, as well as how many patches users have missed.

By and large, the best bet for browsers seems to be an automatic upgrade process, as users have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to block out and ignore reminders, no matter how insistent.
Are you operating on a secure browser?

Volume of Internet data a potentially security risk

Researchers from technology research firm IDC said that in 2006, there was enough data on the Internet to stack books from the earth to the moon a dozen times. They predict that by 2010, the increasing volume of data on the Internet will rise from 161 billion gigabytes annually to 988 billion gigabytes annually. The overwhelming amount of data places IT infrastructures under immense strain.

Businesses bear the brunt of the burden, as they are responsible for the security, reliability, and privacy of 85% of all data that’s created and copied. To avoid a storage crisis, businesses need to improve their information infrastructures, and increase their storage adaptability and flexibility.

But is it fair to shoulder business infrastructures with the security and storage problems of increasing data volume? According to the IDC, only 25% of data generated in 2006 can be attributed to the business sector. By 2010 the figure will have risen by only 5%, despite the computerisation of small businesses and developments in industry applications.

Considering that the majority of data is generated from sources other than business, perhaps we should question the reasoning behind the allocation of responsibilities. Applications requiring a lot of bandwidth are the biggest data producers, as these include streaming radio and video feeds, interactive video, music downloads, and peer-to-peer file transfers. Of these, businesses probably only make extensive use of file transfers.

Admittedly, it’s a potentially daunting task to try and identify one single sector as the major contributor to data generation. The reality is that there are probably numerous sectors and industries adding their lot to the remaining 70 – 75% of the data generation pie. It’s far easier to lump all businesses under one super-business category, and have them take care of the looming data storage and security crisis. This is an effort that will cost an estimated $137 billion in hardware and software.

A side effect of overloading the Internet with data is that innovation will develop more slowly than it has in the past. The infrastructure currently available would simply not be able to cope with additional applications, no matter how efficient they are. Unless the much-needed investment in infrastructure is made, companies face a dramatic increase to the cost of Internet access. They also risk having their business systems grind to a virtual halt as network efficiency decreases.

Which perhaps gives us an insight into the reason behind making the business sector responsible for the continued safety of the Internet. As all of their transactions, communications and private agreements are supported by online applications, they have the most to lose should the Internet infrastructure go down. Loss of turnover and a decreased profit margin can serve as excellent motivators to retain the status quo.


Internet Giants Take Steps Towards Liberating Data

Because at Data Detect we’re interested in protecting information, we keep a close eye on the fate of Internet data and how it is treated. News at the moment is the partnership between Google, Facebook and DataPortability. The last of these is a company that places technologies into context in order to create reference designs; in other words, simplifying the movement of data across various online channels. Considering that Google and Facebook are the greatest data giants since the inception of the Internet, the three companies are embarking on a mammoth task.

The group is developing methods to allow users to take their data from websites they use, and to re-use it elsewhere. Also, vendors will soon be able to facilitate the safe exchange of data, whereas in the past privacy has been of central concern. This move will determine the status of Facebook and Google as either data magpies, or open platforms that are interactive, but maintain sensible data policies.

Obviously this sounds miraculous, and the reality will be a very long journey towards innovation. If it can be achieved, however, blogger Marshall Kirkpatrick comments that Internet users will move “into a future of powerful personalisation and logically augmented activity online – while avoiding Minority Report-style dystopian scenarios.” Good luck to all three companies, and here’s looking towards an Internet of easily accessible but fully protected data.