[1] Backup [2] Upgrade to iOS 12

It looks like iOS12 should be available on September 18th. There have been countless articles written about the new features it has, so we won’t delve too deeply into those here, but you can look here, here, here, or here if you would like to find out more.

As with every operating system upgrade, be it Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, or Linux, backing up BEFORE you do the upgrade is the essential first step that not everyone makes. Upgrades in the past few years have gotten a lot more reliable, but there are always cases of unfortunate people running into issues during an upgrade, and without a backup, you could really be putting your data at risk. Data recovery is possible in situations like this, but success is a lot more likely from a hard drive than a smart device. That being the case, make sure you back that iPhone or iPad up sooner rather than later. See our post from before the release of iOS11 for some quick and easy instructions to backup your phone with iTunes.

As always, if you need data recovery, get in touch us today and we’ll do whatever we can to help you!

Is data recovery from an iPhone/iPad possible?

(This is an update of a post we wrote a few months ago, but a lot of people have been calling us about recovering data from iPhones, so it does bear repeating)

Short answer: maybe

Long answer: yes, but it really depends on what has happened to your data, i.e. did you delete photos, erase all content and settings, or is your device not turning on at all? These are all very different scenarios and will affect the likelihood of being able to recover your data.

Apart from trying to recover data directly from your iPhone/iPad, there might be another option; we might be able to recover data from an iTunes backup that you didn’t even know you had. How you ask? If you’ve ever connected your iPhone/iPad to your computer, iTunes would have asked if you would to keep your backups on iCloud or on ‘this computer’.

(click to enlarge)

If you have chosen the iCloud option, click here and then enter your Apple ID and password (the same one that you use to buy songs from iTunes for example) and you should see something like this, and with a little luck, the data you are looking for might be there.

If the option to back up to ‘this computer’ has been chosen, then we might be able to help. Every time you plug-in your iPhone/iPad to charge at night (as long as your computer and device are on the same wi-fi network) your iPhone/iPad should have been backing up to your computer. Here at Data Recovery Works we have software that allows us to access these backups and try to recovery your data. If you are someone who is comfortable installing and using software downloaded from the Internet, this could be the type of issue you try to fix on your own – be careful though and follow all instructions that come with the software! If you’d rather leave it to the professionals, bring in your computer and we can have a look at it for you.

If you would like more information about the above processes, check out the Apple KB articles here and here.

As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need data recovery and feel free to add us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. If you sent us a letter in the post, we’d probably read that too 😉

-Data Recovery Works

New Reviews Page

Thanks to a couple of new plugins and some work from our webmaster, we now have a revamped reviews page which highlights all the positive reviews our customers have given us!

Click here or on the Reviews tab to check them all out.

new reviews page


You should probably get that iOS 11.1 update…

And for two major reasons:

1] A fix for the KRACK vulnerability you may nor may not have heard about.
2] 70 new emojis:)

While those 2 should probably be enough for most people to upgrade, there are a number of other fixes too, both for security and functionality of your device, including possible fixes for battery life.


Updating is easy, just click Settings/Software Update

Did we mention you need to back-up before you update?


Before you upgrade to iOS11…

…backup your device! These days the upgrade process tends to go smoothly, but whenever making changes to the operating system of a device, there is a small chance something could go wrong and you might have data loss. There are two ways your iPhone/iPad could be backed up: 1] to iCloud 2] to your computer. Open up iTunes and you can see which one you are doing and the date of the last backup. The advantage to a local backup is that if you need to restore your phone, you don’t have to wait for it to download everything from the cloud, whereas with the cloud you can restore your phone regardless of where your computer is.

If something happens to your iPhone/iPad during the upgrade process, it is very unlikely that data recovery will be possible, so this backup is important. If you do need data recovery from other devices, get in touch with us today!


Why is my hard drive clicking?

What’s that sound?

Can you hear a click? As you can probably imagine, unusual sounds coming from your hard drive are not a good thing, but it doesn’t mean that your data is lost forever! Check out our post about hard drives to learn a little about how your data is stored. If you look below, you can see the tiny head that is responsible for reading and writing data to your drive.

bad head

So what exactly is causing that sound anyway? Here is a little video we took from a drive with bad heads to show you what is happening inside the hard drive.

Now what??

Okay, so if you’re hearing a clicking sound from your hard drive, it’s probably an issue with the heads. That is just about the worst-case scenario and it definitely means that you’ll have to have a data recovery professional look at the drive. In order to get your data back, it’s likely that the heads will need to be swapped with parts from a donor drive. All hope is not lost, and your data isn’t necessarily lost forever!

Contact us if you need data recovery!

Do you need data recovery?

Well that actually depends on what you’ve lost and what you’ve lost it from. As you probably know, all your computer really understands is a series of 1s and 0s. Most people tend to think of their hard drive as being full of these binary digits, but the platter (the metal storage device inside magnetic drives) actually has trillions of tiny magnets that can be up or down (1 or 0). That being the case, your files can never really be deleted, you can’t delete a magnet! What happens when you delete a file, is that the space where the file was allocated, is marked as empty, i.e. it can be copied over. Whether or not this happens right away depends on a number of things, but if you have just deleted a file, there is very little chance it will be copied over immediately. In fact, it could remain for weeks, months, or even years!

Hard Drive Platter
Fig. 1 – Mirrored surface of the platter

Can I fix it on my own?

For the average user who has accidentally deleted a file or folder, there are a lot of data recovery software options that you can use and you probably don’t need to pay a data recovery company, as long as you are comfortable installing and running the software. Some software has a limit on how many files or how much, (in terms of megabytes or gigabytes) you can recover for free, but a quick Google search should find what you are looking for. A piece of advice though, if you go this way and you output the results of the scan, make sure you save it to another device. If not, you could be writing over the very file(s) or folder(s) you wanted to recover!

Hard Drive Issues

Apart from accidental deletion, there are a lot of other reasons that you might not be able to access your data, and here is where you probably need to let a data recovery expert look at the drive. Issues with hard drives can be divided into two categories:

    1) logical issues
    2) physical issues

By way of analogy, a book with a logical problem may have grammatical errors, poor sentence structure, or even just strings of random gibberish. You can read it just fine, but it doesn’t make any sense. A book with a physical problem has pages that are torn out, ripped, wet, rotten, chewed, or they came out of a printer that was running out of ink. It is anyone’s guess if you can read something meaningful off the page.

Logical issues can include things like a corrupted partition table, MBR/$catalog file errors, bad sectors, firmware corruption, etc. Symptoms might include your drive running very slowly, files and folders being visible, but not accessible, or not being detected at all by your computer. A combination of specialised software and hardware can address logical issues, so in terms of severity, these are on the lower end of the scale.

Physical issues cover things like damaged heads, PCB/power issues, and platter damage. Symptoms might include your drive not being detected by your computer, making strange sounds like beeping or clicking, or the drive not turning on at all. To remedy these issues often requires finding a suitable donor drive and exchanging parts, which although it doesn’t sound complicated, it’s very specialised and requires a lot of special equipment; ideally done in a class 100 clean room. You should never open your drive on your own, there is nothing you will be able to do to fix it and you will almost certainly make the problem worse.

What to Look For

A reputable data recovery company will examine the drive before they give you a quote and then allow you to decide if you want to proceed before they start recovery. Make sure you find out their policy on this and if they charge to look at your device.

Data Recovery Works is based in Perth, Australia and can be reached on Facebook, Twitter, email, or telephone.