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PCIe SSD Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 implements data recovery imaging functionality for PCIe solid-state drives.

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Forensics Add-Ons for DeepSpar Disk Imager

DeepSpar Disk Imager Options:

PCIe SSD Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 implements data recovery imaging functionality for PCIe solid-state drives.

NVMe PCIe SSDs are currently the fastest growing storage device segment. Due to a drastically different architecture, moving from SATA/IDE/SAS/SCSI/USB storage devices to NVMe PCIe means that everything changes on all communication layers, requiring all-new hardware and software.

The DeepSpar Disk Imager PCIe SSD Add-on is the world’s first data recovery solution offering complete hardware and software control over the PCIe interface and NVMe + AHCI protocols, enabling key functionality which users have grown to expect from the DeepSpar Disk Imager product line, including multipass imaging with sector map, recovery of specific files/folders, read sector timeout, and more.

PCIe SSD Add-on allows DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 users to:

  • Recover both NVMe and AHCI PCIe SSDs in read-only mode
  • Manually control the PCIe link speed
  • Manually control the number of PCIe lanes being used
  • Send various types of PCIe-level and Protocol-level resets upon read timeout or read error
  • Repower the PCIe SSD and seamlessly continue imaging if resets are insufficient
  • Use different ways to retry accessing data on unretrieved blocks
  • Support all types of PCIe SSDs, including M.2, Macbook, and U.2
USB Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 implements data recovery imaging functionality for USB2.0/3.0 drives.

The data recovery industry is seeing more and more drives with a USB interface. As a result, imaging processes for unstable/degraded USB drives (especially those that have an onboard USB connector) are becoming a concern for many data recovery companies.

Good news! Finally, after such a long time without a proper imaging solution for USB drives, DeepSpar is introducing a professional data recovery tool built specifically for USB drives.

The USB Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 is the industry’s first USB hardware imager that implements native USB support. By bypassing BIOS/OS, it has full control over imaging processes for USB drives, nearly at the same level as for ATA drives: the add-on enables multiple passes with sector map, read sector timeout, effective and timely device resets, drive repower, and more.

The USB Add-on allows DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 users to:

  • Image USB 2.0/3.0 drives with an onboard USB connector (such as Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, and Toshiba USB 2.5” drives) or drives mounted in a USB enclosure
  • Support communication to USB 2.0/3.0 drives via the Mass Storage Device Bulk-Only Transport and ATA-over-USB protocols
  • Image by heads for Western Digital USB drives
  • Unlock password protected Western Digital USB drives (locked by WD SmartWare) with a known user password
  • Access hidden USB LBAs (security area) located at the end of Western Digital drives
  • Support ATA commands over USB, such as Disable SMART operations (Drive Pre-configuration) and Drive Sleep Mode
  • Support an extensive USB-SCSI Error Messaging system for extra diagnostics of the drive
  • Achieve maximum data transfer speeds for USB 3.0 drives using smaller read blocks (imaging speed up to 120MB/s with real-time MD5 hashing)
  • Implement a native USB read-only (write-block) mode
DeepSpar Recovery Environment is a free Windows-based application extending File System Recovery capabilities of DeepSpar Disk Imager.DeepSpar Recovery Environment is a Windows-based application that provides all DeepSpar Disk Imager users with a friendly interface and additional capabilities.

The DeepSpar Recovery Environment allows DeepSpar Disk Imager users to:

  • Recover files from partially corrupted file systems (Phase 3)
  • Image and save specific files on NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, HFS/HFS+, XFS, and Ext2/3/4 file systems
  • Locate and validate lost partitions with Partition Scan
  • Verify the integrity of specific files based on the number of bad sectors that belong to the file
  • Get imaging statistics and reports on bad areas
  • Display file system elements with the Sector hex editor “View As” command
  • View the entire DeepSpar Disk Imager sector map in one picture

When the Network Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager is installed, the DeepSpar Recovery Environment has the additional capabilities .

DeepSpar Operations Server is a client communication system that professionalizes your business and the interactions with your clients.Does this sound familiar . . . ?

“I spent the whole day today trying to figure out what the customer wants.”

“Honestly, for some jobs, I spend more time on operations than on data recovery.”

“I just don’t have the time to professionalize and automate our business processes.”

You are not alone.

Missing business processes and poor client management are serious risk areas for DR companies that result in mismanaged cases, customer dissatisfaction, lost revenue, claims, possible liabilities, and too much time wasted on tasks that don’t generate money.

However, most data recovery companies focus on professionalizing their case management success – they purchase new technology tools, invest in data recovery training, and seek out the latest tips and tricks – but they don’t take time to set up professional business operations with formal business processes, templates, documents, and e-mails for managing their interactions with their clients.

Read about this product here.

Current Monitoring Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager provides extra drive hardware diagnostics capabilities.The most common issues that this function identifies are:

  • Power circuit failure, such as a failed fuse or power converter chipset
  • Motor seizure or heads sticking to disk platters, for example, a mechanical issue preventing the drive from spinning up

The function also identifies some other failures, such as a failed motor controller chipset or a failed CPU. However, identifying these failures may require some expertise. You must compare graphs taken from a failed drive with graphs from a good drive of the same family, because the lower level diagnostic is drive-specific.

In general, taking into account the fact that most 3.5” drives consume 5V for CPU and voice coil actuator operation and 12V for motor-related circuitries, it is possible to identify an area of the drive where the problem lies. Since all 2.5” drives consume 5V only, their diagnostic is a bit less functional; however, common issues such as the two failures mentioned above are still easily identified.

Network Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager allows interactive communication between DeepSpar Recovery Environment and DeepSpar Disk Imager over LAN and Remote Desktop (via LAN).The Network Add-on allows DeepSpar Disk Imager users to:

  • Access DeepSpar Disk Imager through a virtual terminal from any computer on your local area network (LAN)
  • Access DeepSpar Disk Imager remotely with Windows Remote Desktop Connection
  • Retrieve data over the LAN

Virtual terminal: Clients tell us that one of the most difficult things about disk imaging is how technicians constantly need to go back and forth, checking on imaging stations. The virtual terminal feature in the Network Add-on is less costly and just plain more convenient. DR technicians can access any number of DeepSpar Disk Imagers from a single computer on the LAN without having to move a leg.

Remote desktop: When imaging an unstable drive, you might hesitate to leave the drive unattended overnight – what happens if it dies? With the remote desktop feature in the Network Add-on, DR technicians can log in to DeepSpar Disk Imager from any computer using the Internet. It gives you flexibility and makes you confident that your client’s DR job is being given the best attention.

Recover files over LAN: The old way of cloning the full source drive and then saving files from the clone is time-consuming and not always viable with the larger drives that we see today. The Network Add-on allows DeepSpar Recovery Environment to take control over the DDI over LAN to offer on-the-fly Phase III data retrieval functionality, effectively allowing technicians to target specific files/folders for recovery prior to making a full clone. It’s safer and it saves a lot of time.

Take a look at the DeepSpar Recovery Environment interface:

Forensics Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager provides computer forensics capabilities.This option adds the following forensics functionality to the advanced data recovery capabilities of the DeepSpar Disk Imager 4:

  • Forensically sound imaging process. It is impossible to write to the source hard drive.
  • The ability to remove or view unknown HDD User and Master Passwords for the majority of hard drives.
  • Ability to use Vendor-specific ATA commands to disable Auto-Relocation of bad sectors, so that you retrieve more data rather than lose it.
  • An option to image any healthy storage device connected to the PC to a raw DD image file. Sector by sector imaging is still required for data recovery functionality.
  • Full logging of every action taken by the investigator when working on a case.
  • Normal and Enhanced Security Erase for the destination drive.
  • Access to the DCO hidden area.

In addition to the above, file-level forensics reporting functionality is introduced. This forensics File Status Report contains the following data for each imaged file: absolute path, filename, size, create date, modify date, total number of sectors, integral sectors, corrupted sectors, unreadable sectors, unprocessed sectors, location of all file fragments, MD5 hash, and more.

When dealing with hard drives that contain bad/unreadable sectors, it is important to know exactly where those bad sectors are located. They may be present only on unused space of the drive (and therefore are of little consequence) or they might be in critical evidence. The main purpose of such a report is to address this issue and to show the integrity status of specific files in order to prove that evidence files are fully integral or partially corrupted. A basic example of the File Status Report:

ATA Extender Add-on for DeepSpar Disk Imager 4 provides extra ATA channels that can be used for additional destination hard drives.

This hardware add-on is a PCIe card which provides extra ATA channels that can be used with the DeepSpar Disk Imager 4. If used for traditional 1-to-1 disk imaging, the extra channels lead to an increase of imaging speed of up to 20%. The two extra SATA and one extra IDE interfaces can be used to connect additional destination hard drives, allowing for simultaneous imaging to three HDDs, or parallel wiping of three HDDs.

The most common usage of this add-on by data recovery companies involves using one destination drive which is larger than the source to hold all the user data along with imaging metadata (sector maps, head maps, etc.) and a second destination drive which is equal size to the source. If the imaging process goes smoothly and all data is retrieved then the second drive with all user data can be simply given to the client, saving a lot of time. If the imaging process is complex and file system recovery is required then the first destination drive containing the relevant metadata can be used.

Integration of R-Studio Technician and DeepSpar Disk Imager allows to perform file system recovery while imaging files on-the-fly. This includes support of a wide range of file systems and recovery of RAID arrays.R-Studio Technician Edition is a software suite built to handle logical-level problems, such as file system corruption. It supports a wide range of filesystems including NTFS, NTFS5, ReFS, FAT12/16/32, exFAT, HFS/HFS+ (Macintosh), Little and Big Endian variants of UFS1/UFS2 (FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD/Solaris) and Ext2/Ext3/Ext4 FS (Linux). It also offers raw file recovery functionality in case the file system elements are entirely inaccessible.

For more information about R-Studio please visit the developers’ webpage Integration with Hard Drive Recovery Hardware.

R-Studio is integrated with the DeepSpar Disk Imager (DDI) through Local Area Network (Network Add-on is required). This integration brings the following advantages to DDI users:

  • Wider range of supported file systems and their different variants
  • Extensive raw file recovery capabilities
  • Improved algorithms for file system recovery
  • User friendly interface of R-Studio
  • Extended reporting functionality

In addition to the above, RAID arrays are now supported. Drives that are part of a RAID array can be connected either to multiple DDI systems on the same LAN, locally to the R-Studio computer, or to a mix of both. A virtual array can then be built within R-Studio, which allows imaging by files to be done directly from the array. This is the first solution of its kind as previously, a full image of each drive within the array was required before file recovery could be attempted.