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Becoming a Data Recovery Professional

Hello to all,

I just got a new job, and as part of the job is to is to setup data recovery with a clean room.  I have done software recovery for 5 years without opening the drive or replacing boards.  They are willing to build a clean room to my specks.  

My question where & how do you learn to be a professional data recover tech?  I have found Certified Data Recovery Professional offered by InfoSec . What do you all recommend? If you have taken the InfoSec course how was it?

We will be doing computer forensics but, I am looking to focus on the drive data recovery & drive hardware failure. We have people on staff who are certified for forensics .

Thanks to all for the help
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Hacking_For_Christ
Asked:
Hacking_For_Christ
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3 Solutions
 
Hacking_For_ChristAuthor Commented:
sorry system lost a zero
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DavidCommented:
you've never effectively touched the hardware, yet feel you can take a class, buy a cleanroom, and jump in?   I have zero confidence in anybody who thinks they can do this, because it shows they don't know enough about the hardware, software, and experience you need to recover data.   Who will you bounce questions off of, or prevent you from making rookie mistakes?  Not everything is written down, unless you are going to specialize in specific make/models.

My advice is to hire the lead engineer, pay him/her a good 6 figures, and set him up to be the mentor, and you can be the mentor for the RAID, data, and file system recovery part of the biz.  Recovery is more art, instinct, and experience more than science. You need to have an apprenticeship model.
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BillDLCommented:
Hello Hacking_For_Christ.

I find it very surprising that any company would offer somebody a job and immediately, in the full knowledge that he or she had no prior experience with opening and recovering data from failed hard drives, would entrust that person with the task of providing specifications for a clean-room and launching that aspect as a new company service.

I can see a valid reason for a company wishing to add such a service to seek a very experienced and fully qualified forensic data recovery specialist and THEN offer to put that person through as many courses as was necessary to enable that person to THEN suggest specifications and begin doing it for real.  The company would have to be very patient and generous to make such an offer, because that kind of hands-on experience takes years of training and learning, and any form of training involves trial and error mistakes.

Even hiring an ex-employee from one of the large hard drive manufacturers to do the physical tasks in the cleanroom to allow the recovery experts to do their job may not pay off, because hard drives have advanced in leaps and bounds in the last few years, and knowing the intricacies of one company's hard drives may not provide the depth of knowledge into those from other companies.

Take a look at dlethe's profile:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/M_75577.html
and I'll bet he is STILL learning ;-)
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btanExec ConsultantCommented:
Probably as in all course especially with hand-ons needed, the paradigm has to shift from "simply 5 days training and I will be ready" to "need to persists with experience learning from expert, practice on the job and review necessary resources". The recovery of physical HDD is especially crucial as you will be dealing with the data - you cannot simply test on clones since you are already at a stage of physical fault. You will need professional leads and assistance before you can really go independent, futhermore, the skillset may not necessary be within the recovery aspects, I always believe in forensic process, there is an element of inquisitive mindset to try to not only solve the problem but find out the root cause. Importantly, it needs the judgement call to say this is the point to stop for its post-mortem processes.

May also want to check out players in this domain. Poll them on the infosec and see how they feedback ...
@ http://www.cbldatarecovery.com/data-recovery-training-and-consultation/

Just some quick thoughts....
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veedarCommented:
Scott Moulton is well respected in the field and offers one week training courses at various locations. He also has video's up on youtube...  http://www.myharddrivedied.com/data-recovery-training

Visit the forum where the pro's hang out you can learn a lot there... http://forum.hddguru.com

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DavidCommented:
(Thx BillDL -- and BTW, I am learning all the time, and with my decades of experience working from test/design, firmware, software, etc .. then i do not consider myself qualified. Sure, I could probably be guest instructor for maybe a whole day, but not EVERY day.  I know my limitations.  I wouldn't consider taking such a job w/o a solid 3 months hands-on (with the mentor keeping his/her  mouth shut except if I was about to screw up).    

In other words, the more one knows about this aspect of the technology, the more one knows what they don't know.   You think this would be easy to jump right in, and that PROVES you are unqualified to do the job.  If I was company management, and you were a new hire, then I would fire you for being so bold as to think you could pull this off.   (Sorry, I don't do political correctness).

Nothing wrong with telling somebody you aren't qualified, nobody is born with this experience.  You are dealing with situations where, at best, if you screw up, you waste a half day or longer.  At worst, you miss the only opportunity you had to recover some data, and it is gone forever.   With software recovery techniques, you don't run into such situations as you can alway start over.  Not so on the hardware side.

No room for error.   You must HIRE experienced talent to do this job. You can't get it from a book or class, except in limited situations where you'll get lucky
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
If you already know the software side of data recovery then once you've done the lab course and got your clean room you're ready to practice. When you get an xyz drive in for recovery buy a few faulty drives of identical model and rebuild them until you're happy that you are ready to go to work on the customer's one with the data on it. Most faults are electronics, so you can do a lot without needing a cleanroom.

I used to swap heads and platters a long time ago, they were bigger then so having fat fingers wasn't so much of a problem. I didn't know you did the hardware side of them David, thought you just did software/firmware side.

You could try this dismantlement test, http://gam.ebb.jp/hdd.html
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DavidCommented:
Well, a big part of it *IS* software, but with the disks we have today and near-zero room for error then the tricky part is getting as much of the raw data / slippage so software techniques can be used.  

I stay away from that part because you do only get one chance.  Get it configured to the point where I can use a PC-3000 to grab what I need, and I can take over, and then it is all relatively downhill from there, assuming you have a good library of software.  But opening up a sealed canister that has "that smell" you know I am talking about, and dealing with calibrating something where you have over 400Gbits per square inch requires experience.  Miss a particle and you not only destroy your own equipment, but take out data forever.  

You could pretty much calibrate some of those older CDC winchesters with a ruler ;)
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Hacking_For_ChristAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for the help, you have repeated what I have heard from friends.  This is not going to be my only responsibility.  I will be the manager of the service side & hiring the best help we can afford is a top priority.

At first I was not sure I could take a class and do the job; from what I have been hearing I know I cannot. The best skill I have is to say that is beyond my limits.

Thanks to all
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
If you were a watchmaker you could probably take the class and do the job.
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DavidCommented:
'If you were a watchmaker you could probably take the class and do the job'
 - GOOD one

Or maybe a nuclear ordnance repairman -- somebody has to do it :)
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