Recovering Information from Damaged Media

A wide variety of failures cause physical damage to storage media. Compact discs (CDs) can have their metallic substrate or dye layer scratched. Hard disks can suffer several types of mechanical failures, such as head crashes and failed motors. Tapes can simply break. Physical damage always causes some data loss, and in many cases, the file system’s logical structures sustain damage as well. This results in logical damage that must be dealt with before any files can be salvaged from the failed media.

End users can’t repair most physical damage. Generally, they don’t have the hardware or technical expertise required to make physical repairs. Further, end users’ attempts to repair physical damage often ...

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