What is Full Disk Encryption on a Hard Drive and How Does It Affect Data Recovery?

Encryption Recovery

 

24 Hour Data specializes in encrypted hard disk recovery, which includes drives using full disk encryption (FDE) technology. Let’s take a look at what full disk encryption is and why it is harder than other encrypted drive recovery, requiring more time in the lab and tops-in-their-field, experienced data recovery engineers.

What is Full Disk Encryption?
FDE is drive encryption that takes place at the hardware level. You can buy disk encrypting software and add it to hard drives to encrypt your data. But with FDE, even if your hard drive is removed from the computer and put into a different machine, the data will be inaccessible.
FDE is common on laptop and notebook computers, which may be at risk of theft. If your drive does not use FDE, even if the thief doesn’t have your laptop password, he can remove the drive and read it.  With FDE, this is impossible.

FDE is also common on external hard drives for the same reason; these storage devices may be vulnerable to loss or theft.

How Does FDE Work?
FDE encrypts data as it is written onto a hard drive. The authentication key is required to decrypt the data and read it from the drive. This occurs when the computer is unlocked via the password. All data, including the operating system, is encrypted, which may slow down access times. However, it is the most secure form of data encryption available today.

Drawbacks of FDE
In addition to slowing down the computer due to the encryption and decryption process, full drive encryption also makes data recovery more difficult. Encrypted drives using FDE are vulnerable to the same data loss threats, including logical and physical hard drive failure, as any other hard disk drive. But data recovery techniques are more complex.

Encrypted Drive Data Recovery
Often, when a drive requires physical recovery, data recovery engineers remove the drive and replace worn parts with parts in another drive of the same make and model, or place the platters storing the data in another, working drive. This process takes place in a certified clean room environment and adds time and costs to the data recovery process. 

Recovering an encrypted hard drive that uses FDE adds another step to the data recovery process; the data must be decrypted. This requires specialized knowledge and technology.

Not every data recovery service has the expertise or experience in successfully recovering encrypted hard disk drives. 24 Hour Data has been working with FDE and other encrypted drives for as long as the technology has been available. We will recover lost data from your encrypted drive, or there’s no charge for our service. 

 

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