Now in it’s new 7mm slimline form factor, and Advanced Format specification. This hard drive is proving a popular choice for Vendors with limited space within their new hardware such as Ultra thin laptops and slim portable external cases. Now being manufactured by Western Digital under the brand name of HGST, the 500GB boasts just a single media platter to store all that data. I would like to make customers aware of the new Advanced Format specification of these drives. Certain Operating systems such as Windows XP require the use of the HGST Align Tool provided by Western Digital. Customers with the latest Macintosh Operating system and Windows 7, do not require the use of this Tool.
Advanced Format has been introduced to cram more data on a single platter. To do this the manufacturer has increased the standard 512 byte sector size to a whopping 4096 byte sector. This format design also incorporates better data integrity, hopefully giving the customer all round better performance.
Customers need to remember at the end of the day, electronic devices can malfunction at any time. So make sure you always backup your precious data.
Plenty of shops will sell you a “Mac Hard Drive” but there is no reason why you cannot use a windows format drive on a Mac. You just need to format it first. There was once a time when a drive was specially formatted by Apple to use on their Macs, but these days Apple use the same hard drives as everyone else. To use with the latest versions of OS X I would recommend following the steps below.
NOTE: Formatting your drive will destroy all the data. Make sure there’s nothing on there you need.
1. First attach the drive to your Mac. The Mac will notify you with a small finder window to initialise the drive. See below.
Initialize Your Drive For A Mac
2. Once you have clicked initialize you will see the Disk Utility Application window. See below.
Mac Disk Utility
3. You need to select the drive you want to format in the left hand window of the utility as highlighted in blue. Internal drives show as grey and external drives show as yellow. At this point make sure you choose the correct drive, the utility will not allow you to format the internal boot drive. See below.
4. Now choose the Partition Tab. See below.
5. Now click on the Partition Layout drop down bar and choose the first option “1 Partition”. Also to the right under Partition Information give your drive a name and below that choose the partition type you want which will be Mac OS Extended ( journaled ). We are nearly there. You now need to click on the options tab in the bottom left of the utility window and choose GUID Partition Table and click okay. As you will read in the text information, this allows the drive to be used with all current OS X Macs. See Below.
7. Now all you need to do is click the apply button as shown in red below.
8. Another window will appear asking for confirmation to partition the drive. Click partition. See below.
9. A formatting window with a progress bar will now appear and then disappear when done. You will now see your named drive in the left window, which means that your drive is now formatted. Close the disk utility and the hard drive is ready to use. See below.
We have been offering Apple Mac Data Migration as a service for many years now. Here’s a quick reminder about this service which we call Mac Setup. You are bound to be over the moon when you are told that we have recovered your lost data, but in many cases this is only half the battle.
We wrote a detailed blog on the subject back in November 2011, but it still appears to trouble many customers.
We still often get the questions: ”What do I do with the recovered data once I receive it?” and “How do I get the data back into it’s original places on my Mac?” For out-of-warranty Macs, this is where our Mac Setup comes into play. For a fixed cost we will provide you with a new installed hard drive, with all your recovered data migrated into it’s original locations, so that when you receive your Macintosh computer back, hey presto! it’s as if your Mac had never failed in the first place, everything up and running as it was.
In most computers, the data you save gets stored on a hard drive. However the drive does not store your files in a straightforward way. When you save files on your computer the data is written magnetically by a fixed comb of heads stacked above one another. These heads pass between several magnetic discs, writing data as they go. In most cases, instead of storing files on one whole disk they are split up and distributed among the disks. This means that when we carry out data recovery we usually need all of the disc surfaces in good condition to get the data back.
How Hard Drives Store Data Across Multiple Heads
When required we can use a process to take the data from the drive one disc surface at a time. This can allow us to avoid using a failing head until we have the rest of the data extracted. When we have extracted all of the data the parts are rejoined to allow access the files. In some cases this is the only way to get the data back.
Hard drives do not allow access to individual disks during normal operations so we need to use specialist hardware and software.
It is surprising how many times were are asked this question when a customers data is recovered and ready to be put onto a hard drive to send back. Apart from a customers personal pictures and documents many of them are not familiar with what other information they may need. This will include such data as Mail, Address Book, Internet Bookmarks & Favourites, Calendars and some Program Data Files.
The operating system you use will determine where this data is held. I will try and give a general description below of locations for Mac & PC users.
PC Windows Operating System
All user data should be stored within the users profile folder, which is created when the PC’s is first used. This is usually located in the following locations depending on the version of Windows:
Windows 95,98,NT,2000 & XP Local Disk C:\Documents and Settings\User ( for example C:\Documents and Settings\John )
Windows 7 Windows C:\Users\User ( For example C:\Users\John )
In systems earlier than Windows 7, some software may put user data or settings within the “Program Files” folder in the root of the drive. This was considered bad practice so in Windows 7 any Program Data should be found in the “Program Data” folder on the root of the drive and not in “Program Files”.
Macintosh Operating System
All user data is stored within the users profile folder, which is created when the Mac is first used. This is located in the following location.
Macintosh HD/Users/user ( for example Macintosh HD/Users/john )
Following the success of our local data recovery partnership with Novatech, we now have expanded our partnership services to cover Novatech’s other stores nationally. You will find our leaflets at the service department counter in your local store.
We see various types of camera media come into us for data recovery, with surprisingly many different photo image formats. Many camera manufacturers use their own particular raw format set as a default when the image is taken.
This raw format is called a “digital negative” containing untouched data straight from the camera. These raw format images are usually larger in size compared to standard compressed JPG images.
The benefits are that it allows modification of the untouched uncompressed image such as sharpness, saturation and white balance at a later date using relevant photographic software. It is surprising how many customers we see who are not even aware that their digital camera stores the images in this way. Below are a few of the different raw file types in use today
The following is a description about some RAW formats:
CRW - Canon Digital Camera Raw Image Format. Raw image format for some Canon digital cameras. Raw images are basically the data as it comes directly from the CCD detector in the camera. Raw files can also contain text information about the picture and conditions in the camera when the picture was taken.
CR2 - Canon Digital Camera Raw Image Format version 2.0. Raw files can also contain text information about the picture and conditions in the camera when the picture was taken. These images are based on the TIFF image standard. Konvertor will display these EXIF metadata.
NEF - Nikon Digital SLR Camera Raw Image File. Raw image format for some Nikon digital cameras. Raw images are basically the data as it comes directly from the CCD detector in the camera.
RAF - Fuji CCD-RAW Graphic File. Exif (Exchangeable Image File) information is within the file along with the image. Some graphics programs are starting to recognize the format; e.g., Qimage, Thumbnails for Fuji, and others.
X3F - Sigma Camera RAW Picture File. Use the SIGMA Photo Pro software provided with the camera to download and manipulate the photos. The Foveon X3 direct image sensor captures all three colors at every pixel location and requires special software to manipulate the RAW files.
BAY - Kodak/Roper Bayer Picture Sequence. A specific Kodak picture format used by some high speed video cameras such as Kodak HRC-1000.
ORF - Descent 3 Outrage Room Format.
MRW - Minolta Diamage Raw Image File. Raw image format for some Minolta digital cameras. Raw images are basically the data as it comes directly from the CCD detector in the camera. Raw files can also contain text information about the picture and conditions in the camera when the picture was taken.
RAW - Image Alchemy HSI Temporary Raw Bitmap
SRF - Sony DSC-F828 Raw Image File. CCD-Sensor RAW Data File from Sony DSC-F828 8 megapixel digital camera. Adobe Photoshop CS with Camera-RAW-Plug-In v2.2 opens this file type.
This hard drive was opened in our clean room for internal rework. In the process we found that the rubber crash stops attached to the VCM magnet were perished. They were oozing sticky rubber solution contaminating the drive internally. A word of warning to anyone who may still have one of these hard drives with critical data. I would recommend back up and replacement. This particular hard drive was out of a synthesiser that had stopped working.
We have just received an 8GB USB pen with a broken connector. The customer started phoning around and was shocked by the costs he was given. He then called us and was pleased to hear that we only charged £90.00 if the rework was successful. This rework includes dismantling and repair of the USB Pen even when to the customer it looks as if all is lost.
These old Maxtor single platter non SATA slimline 40GB hard drives are prone to manufacture data area start up problems. For the customer they sound like a mechanical problem as the internal heads cannot settle and make a clicking noise. They also do not show up correctly in a computer bios.
We have just received one in for data recovery with the same fail symptom. With our past experience we have been able to overcome the problem without having to open up the drive .