Computer Forensics and Data Recovery

Data recovery is also a term some people use interchangeably, though mistakenly, with computer or digital forensics. Data recovery typically refers to the process of salvaging data from media that is either corrupted or physically damaged. This process can be quite expensive. For example, hard drives may be subject to water or fire damage, compact disks may have their reflective surfaces scratched, and USB drives may have their ports physically damaged. Oftentimes the process of data recovery from damaged media can involve the disassembly of the media (including hard drives in special “clean rooms”) and repair of damaged parts. Also, sometimes data becomes irretrievable by the user because the data has been corrupted in some fashion. Data recovery experts can sometimes find and retrieve that data.

Some computer forensic consulting agencies have a data recovery division separate from their computer forensics division. Having a data recovery area can be incredibly useful for a computer forensic consulting firm because there are times when a suspect tries to destroy the hard drive or other digital media, knowing they are guilty and fearing that information will be found during a forensic examination. In these cases, data recovery specialists try to recover the damaged media before they turn it over to the forensic analysis department.

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