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Drive-independent data recovery: the current state-of-the-art

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3 Author(s)
Sobey, C.H. ; ChannelScience, Plano, TX, USA ; Orto, L. ; Sakaguchi, G.

The term "data recovery" herein refers to accessing logically and/or physically damaged storage media, for which no functioning backup exists. The state-of-the-art physical techniques for recovering data from failed hardware can all be described as "part replacement." To achieve high data density and high manufacturing yields, modern drives are "hyper-tuned" in the factory so that their data layout, zone frequencies, and various channel settings are optimized for each head, surface, and zone. This greatly complicates part replacement because a transplanted headstack, for example, no longer matches the servo, preamp, and read channel parameters that were optimized for the original headstack. Methods and challenges are discussed for replacing, or "refreshing," firmware and system area information and for replacing all of the drive's electronics. The data recovery industry's point of view, limitations of current techniques, and some probable future directions in data recovery are also presented. It is predicted that data recovery will be more important in the future as drives are exposed to more extreme mobile environments. Drive manufacturers may be able to differentiate themselves from their competition by designing for recoverability.

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Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 2 )