Home Business IT Technology Data recovery from external drives may be harder than you expect
Data recovery from external drives may be harder than you expect Featured
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A data recovery specialist has warned that WD external drives present particular recovery issues when failure occurs. WD says it's not that simple.

Adrian Briscoe, general manager of Kroll Ontrack's Asia-Pacific operations told iTWire that the growing use of encryption is causing some problems when the company tries to recover data from damaged disks.

In particular, he said that WD external drives incorporate an encryption chip, so if there's a problem with the case it isn't possible to transplant the drive mechanism into another case.

That sounded like a serious matter, especially as Briscoe noted WD's big market share in Australia. So we checked with WD, and it turns out it's not quite that simple.

WD My Passport models - the company's portable range - do indeed include hardware encryption, but its use is not mandatory. Encryption and portable devices go well together, as there's probably more chance that you'll lose a drive while travelling than have it stolen from your office.

Encryption makes sense when sensitive data is stored on notebooks (Windows and OS X both support drive encryption), and the same goes for portable storage.

But WD officials confirmed that Briscoe was correct to the extent that if the encryption feature of a My Passport drive is activated then it is not possible to recover the data after transferring the mechanism to another My Passport enclosure.

Read more of what they had to say on page 2 - along with a warning for SSD users.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.