Acoustic Damage to Hard Disk Drives

The use of sonic and ultrasonic sound waves as a strategic weapon is nothing new however recent applications have shown that they can be used to disrupt the operation hard disk drives (HDD) used in Computers, Computer Networks , Laptops, CCTV ,  ATM and the like. Researchers said the attack can be performed by integral or proximity sound emitters such as a laptops installed speakers.

Adversaries without special-purpose equipment can cause errors in the hard disk drive using either audible or ultrasonic acoustic waves. Audible waves vibrate the read/write head and platters; ultrasonic waves alter the output of the HDD’s shock sensor, intentionally causing the head to park,  Both of these types of errors can lead to operating system-level or application-level problems, including persistent corruption and system reboots.

The experiments show that audible sound causes the head stack assembly to vibrate outside of operational design limits ; ultrasonic sound causes false positives in the shock sensor, which is designed to prevent a head crash.

In one attack scenario against a PC with a Western Digital Blue WD5000LPVX drive, researchers exposed the drive to vibrations induced by a 5 kHz tone at 115.3 dB SPL and a 5 kHz tone at 117.2 dB SPL. Those noise levels are roughly equivalent to sound of a car horn, live rock music or chainsaw, according to a comparison.

Prolonged exposure to those levels can cause “permanent data loss, program crashes and unrecoverable physical loss in HDDs.”

Tests were conducted on three different HDD manufacturers: Western Digital, Toshiba and Seagate. Attack scenarios also involved vibrations created by ultrasonic tones, which is sound that is created at a frequency higher than can be heard by humans (20 kHz and up).

“Ultrasonic attacks are less likely to cause a head crash, but could be damaging the drive in other ways such as causing the head to become unstable over time because of excessive parking,” researchers said.

In tests using a Toshiba HDD exposed to ultrasonic signals, researchers said they were able to make the HDD’s read/write head park in rapid succession on the hard disk platter, “possibly causing damage to the head controller.”

They added, “This instability could make the drive less reliable in its reads and writes, leading to sectors being marked as bad.”

A third type of attack targeted a HP Elite Minitower desktop PC equipped with an internal HP DC7600U speaker. Using the system’s own speaker, the proof of concept was able to cause intermittent freezing of the system running a Western Digital Blue WD5000LPVX HHD.

“For self-stimulation attacks, the victim accesses the adversary’s website — perhaps through a phishing attack or a link within a malicious email,” researchers wrote. “The site then plays malicious audio without permission over the system’s built-in speaker to attack the HDD. The frequency response of a built-in speaker may limit the ability for an adversary to deliver ultrasonic attacks, but some speakers may be able to deliver ultrasonic or near ultrasonic tones.”

The answer to why sound vibrations cause system interruptions and crashes varies. In one case, researchers analyzed the Windows 10 system crash dump files of a targeted computer. They were able to establish that the hardware driver called “miniport” was returning a device error that the OS could not handle properly.

“The operating system does not seem to handle this error correctly, leading to UNEXPECTED_STORE_EXCEPTION. This indicates that the memory manager required data from the disk, but was unable to write into memory because of an in-page I/O error,” researchers said.

Disproportionately vulnerable to these type attacks, say researchers, are older systems that still rely on legacy magnetic HHD technology. This is typically found in medical devices and other systems that are difficult to retire, such as CCTV surveillance camera storage, according to the paper.


One ingenious attack scenario demonstrated by the researchers saw them target a digital video security camera.

The surveillance camera contained a DVR that stored footage on a hard disk drive. However, when hit by an acoustic attack the system could no longer write any data to its hard disk drive. The camera continued to try to save video data in its RAM, but within about 12 seconds it ran out of available space, and lost all data until the acoustic attack was stopped.

It’s easy to picture how a criminal could use such a technique to avoid being recorded on security cameras.

The researchers from the University of Michigan and Zhejian University in China. presented their research last week in San Francisco at the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy.

Find out more:-  about Datlabs Data Recovery from Damaged Hard Disk Drives.

Seagate Portable Hard Disk Drive with Power Unit.

Seagate has developed a strap-on portable drive and battery combo for HTC’s Vive Focus virtual reality headset.

Seagate Technologies new VR Power Drive is a strap on portable hard disk drive with a combination battery pack offering 5000mAh capacity. The unit hooks up to Vive Focus headset using a MicroB cable and USB-C adapter and clips the user’s waist belt.(Seagate already delivers a 1TB hybrid hard disk drive in Sony’s PlayStation and a 2TB external hard drive for the Xbox.)

The Vive Focus’s on-board battery provides up to three hours of active use, four hours for seated vehicle passengers. Active use means playing VR games or watching movies. The Seagate VR Power Drive could double this.

The Focus has a MicroSD slot supporting up to 2TB of external memory for its Snapdragon 835 CPU. Seagate’s 1TB addition looks a tad mean. A Seagate spokesperson said: “We will continuing investigating the market needs.”

The unit costs $600 and is only on sale in China and will be available elsewhere later this year.

Call Datlabs Data Recovery the experts in recovering data from faulty, clicking and beeping hard disk drives.

Click Datlabs Data Recovery Services from faulty Seagate Portable Hard Drives  to discover all you need to know about recovering data from faulty and inaccessible Seagate hard drives.


We Are Making Changes!

Our business expansion and improvement plans mean there are changes to our UK footprint:

UK Local offices are affected as follows:-

Temporarily Closed: Bristol, Reading, Southampton/Portsmouth.

Business as usual:  London Chiswick, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool.

Partner channels: Remain unchanged.

New office addresses will be added in line with demand and as soon as they are open to the public.

Where offices are closed a free secure courier collect service is provided to our nearest point of presence.
Please contact our central help desk team on 0871 977 2999 for details.

Web site and local office information will be brought up to date in line with changes as soon as is practicable.

We apologize for any inconvenience

Datlabs Data Recovery Services and Local Offices throughout the UK. 

Helium Hard Disk Drive Manufacture.

The ambient air in standard hard disk drive enclosures adversely affects read/write performance and produces vibrations in operation that hinder efficiency.  Filling a hard drive enclosure with lower density helium reduces vibrations, decreases read write head drag and facilitates precision tracking.  Helium however has a tendency to leak through adhesive substances  and any cavities normally found in aluminium die cast base plates. Ensuring that the helium gas stays sealed inside the hard disk drive assembly  for the shelve life of the product presents a difficult challenge in manufacture.

Mass production of Hard Disk Drives  with zero defects, that can be sealed for 5 years without leaking any helium is essential. In order to ensure that the helium does not leak through the 1-2 mm thin base plate, every parameter of the casting process—the shape of each part of the metal moulding is optimized based on Computer Aided analysis of the flow of molten aluminium during casting.

The adhesive used to seal the Hard Disk Drives is another important factor in preventing helium leakage. After making sure that the adhesive is applied thickly, the individual components are joined together under very high pressure in order to maximize resistance to leakage.

Adhesive with a low out-gassing rate is chosen to avoid contamination caused by gases other than helium. The HDD components go through repeated baking procedures—removing gas in advance—during every step of the manufacturing process in order to minimize out-gassing from the adhesive and resin etc. The spindle motor fluid dynamic bearing uses a specialized oil with a low rate of evaporation and high resistance to external moisture.

The availability of helium-filled hard disk drive products is a result of numerous developments enabling thinner disks, greater number of disks and greater storage capacity. Advancements that result in much lower electricity power consumption.

Datlabs Data Recovery Services from faulty hard drives. 

Helium Hard Disk Drives at Altitude

Following  on from recent system problems, scientists  involved in the Event Horizon Telescope project have announced that they will be using helium-filled hard drives from Western Digital’s HGST division to store their deep space observation data.  The research project combines radio telescope data from 10 different high altitude mountain geographic locations into a single functional observatory.  These locations have however presented fairly unique data storage problems.

When the Large Millimeter Telescope began recording data on an array of 32 traditional hard drives,  28 of them failed due to the read write heads crashing on the surface of the disk platters.  In standard technology a hard disk drives’  read write  heads are designed to float on a cushion of air, but when the air density begins to drop due to the thinning atmosphere at altitude, the pressure within the drive isn’t sufficient to maintain this air bearing. The scientists involved consulted HGST who advised that  sealed helium hard disk drives  would  constitute  a viable solution to their requirements .

The amount of  data the telescopes collect precludes the use of SSD’s. Each participating telescope collects over 900 T Bytes of  project data. Whilst the price of consumer SSD’s has dropped precipitously in recent years, enterprise SSD’s are still quite relatively expensive.

Once the data  has been gathered at each individual location, the entire set of drives is physically shipped to the MIT Haystack Observatory, where a network of  over 800  processors  crunches the data through what  is referred to as a “silicon lens.”

By using advanced algorithms and specialized processing techniques, scientists are able to analyze the event horizon of the super-massive black hole at the heart of our own galaxy — Sagittarius A*.


Datlabs wont let your data disappear into a black hole as a result of head failure 


The future of Toshiba hard drive manufacture

iPhone assembler  Foxconn Technology Group representatives are to meet President Donald Trump in Washington. Foxconn is considering building a highly automated manufacturing plant facility in America and is also an  interested party to Toshiba’s plans to sell its semiconductor unit and other assets that have implications for U.S. national security.

Foxconn’s current Chinese investment partnerships employing circa 1 million people are considered by Toshiba and The Japanese government as detrimental to any prospective bid for Toshiba’s “memory” business however closer links to revitalizing US manufacturing interests may serve to mitigate this position.

President Trump has repeatedly criticized Apple,  whom Foxconn  relies on for more than 50% of its revenue, for outsourcing manufacturing to Asia and elsewhere and threatened to impose stiff tariffs on Chinese imports.

You couldn’t write the script !


Datlabs Data Recovery from faulty Toshiba hard drives.

Find out more about Datlabs and our professional data recovery services from

a faulty iPhone and  faulty Toshiba laptops.

Toshiba High Reliability 8 TB Hard Drive.

Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC) has launched the  MG Series of Hard Disk Drives.  The inaugural offering provides a substantial capacity of 8TB  of storage for the needs of business critical servers and shared storage systems. This hard drive is the first Toshiba 8 TB SATA 6.0Gbit/s capacity-optimized storage for the enterprise, making it the largest storage capacity product produced by Toshiba. This new 8 TB model improves  operational efficiency and performance,  meeting the needs of  software-defined storage infrastructures,  cloud and disk-based backup and data protection solutions,  virtual desktop interface (VDI); email servers, data-protection and other business-critical systems use-cases; public and private cloud storage; software defined storage; business critical servers; business critical storage systems (including NAS and SAN); disk-based backup systems (including cloud-scale data protection); data archives and digital records storage; and SMB servers and storage platforms.

The 8TB SATA HDD is designed for 24 x 7 operation,  550TB transfer-per-year and  an impressive 2,000,000-hour MTTF rating and is the first Toshiba Enterprise capacity SATA model to support the new industry-standard host-initiated power-disable feature for improved device management capability.

Datlabs Data Recovery from faulty Toshiba Hard Drives


Seagate Large Capacity Hard Disk Drives.

Large capacity hard disk drive data storage is available from Seagate Iron Wolf, Barracuda and Sky Hawk 10 TB  product ranges. 12TB helium filled hard disk drive products are in the final stages of pre-release product development and rolling out of  manufacture in the coming 18 months will also be 14 TB and 16 TB hard disk drive products. The availability of these products sends a strong message to the market that Seagate technologists can deliver against their demanding development program that is targeting an industry first 20TB hard disk drive product by  2020.

Reliable “product futures” availability projections from the likes of Seagate are key to stimulating affiliate development products such as  home hub, business, infotainment and surveillance systems. These high capacity hard disk drive products are essential components of future data storage systems, vital in satisfying the world’s exponential growth in creating and distributing data.

The ever adaptable and obliging hard disk drive remains the product of choice for system developers in the field of  long term, large capacity, low-cost, searchable digital data recording applications.


Datlabs Data Recovery from faulty Seagate Hard Drives.

Very Small Computer Chips.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory say they have discovered a new way to make transistors below 20 nanometres in size.

With current materials technology smaller than 5nm in size results in a quantum mechanical phenomenon called tunnelling, whereby the gate barrier is no longer able to keep the electrons from migrating to the drain terminals. This means the transistor gate becomes saturated and unable to provide a switch functionality.

Berkley research reveals that Molybdenum disulphide – MoS2 – in which electrons are “heavier” can be controlled using ion shorter gates. MoS2 can be manufactured in sheets 0.65 nanometres thick with a lower dielectric constant resulting in gate lengths of 1 nanometre.”

The potential application of this technology will hopefully facilitate the continued scaling down in the physical chip size used in computing and communication devices.

Hard Drive Data Recovery Service London

Datlabs data recovery services at both our London locations, Lombard Street and Chiswick Park have  got off to a flying start. With customers dropping off in the morning we aim to deliver a next day no obligation hard drive diagnosis service as standard. Our free courier collect service from business addresses in the London Area is also proving popular and avoids the need for un-necessary tube journeys, congestion and parking charges.

Our recovery work then takes on average between 5 to 10 days dependant on the nature of the fault and the condition of the stored data we extract. With a high availability of spare parts we also able to contain costs and reduce the time it takes to retrieve our customers important data. To find out more then follow the links below:

Hard Drive Data Recovery Service London


Hard Drive Data Recovery Service Chiswick.

To serve our out of town customers we offer the same level of service at our Reading Offices.


Hard Drive Data Recovery Service Reading.