The processes and methodologies taught in this class will train you to collect an image on damaged evidence where standard forensic imaging would have failed. You will learn to understand what kinds of problems hard drives have and what your options are to recover the contents. Specialized data recovery trade secrets that are used in these processes specifically will be discussed so we can acquire data from damaged disks. We will perform some exciting labs, where you will format a hard drive, put data on the drive, disassemble the drive down to the bare metal, and then "successfully" reassemble the drive and recover your data from it.
You will learn things about GMR Heads, sectors and how data is stored by the heads physically on the platters. In addition you will learn about passwords on hard drives and what it takes to clear them, and you will find out what the G-list and the P-list are, what can happen when a disk is wiped, and what data is left behind when they are not taken into consideration. You will also find out how the locations of partition structures affect the speed of your system and its relationship to zone tables.
This class will highlight the tools that work well with corrupted file systems, both in demonstration and in the lab exercises, and students will learn the basics of file systems and logical recoveries. There will be information regarding FAT, NTFS, Mac OSX HFS+ hard drive formats, as well as EXT3 and Reiser recoveries and what to do when there is damage, and there will be examples of each in labs. Students will also perform logical recoveries where we will use software and specialized data recovery equipment to image memory sticks, hard drives, and image files.
After we are done with our basic understanding of file system recovery, we will move on to dealing in depth with the methods of reviving RAID 0 / RAID 5 / JBOD configurations. There will be lab exercises that will be used to demonstrate how to reconstruct RAID 0 and RAID 5 Arrays. The final portion of the class will discuss solid-state drives, the direction of storage in the future, and what challenges they propose when introducing evidence into court.
If you would like five bootcamp days of training and learning about trade secrets of the data recovery profession, this is the class for you. It will consist of lecture and labs with mentoring on disassembly and reassembly of the hard drives. Usually by the second day, the majority of students are able to rebuild a hard drive and recover data from it. However, this class is about process and methodologies, teaching the techniques used in data recovery labs so that you can understand and build on those skills.