ACE Data Recovery, provider of hard drive data recovery services, has developed a custom hardware/software solution that can recover data from failed encrypted Western Digital hard drives.

ACE adds an ability to extract self-encrypted data from not only external My Book and Passport hard drives with well-known USB-SATA bridge encryption, but also any WD internal self-encrypting drives (SED).

When a part of a hard drive becomes unstable for any reason, modern hard disk drives employ G-List to remap unstable sectors. It works well for the user area of the hard drive, but if errors occur in the system area of the drive, the G-List and other service data become inaccessible.

 Data recovery companies can get access and repair the system area of unencrypted drives using special hardware. However, Western Digital SED restricts access to the system area.

“In most cases, hard drives work perfectly until a customer powers off or reboots his computer. And this is when the system area, that is mostly used at the reboot time, becomes corrupted,” said Igor Samuilik, ACE senior encryption specialist.

“ACE Data Recovery has developed a custom hardware/software solution to get access to the system area of Western Digital SED. When it becomes accessible, engineers make the hard drive stable by repairing corrupted system modules and tables. At this point, there are two ways to extract clients’ data. Engineers can either disable a built-in encryption feature or get an image of encrypted data and decrypt it after the copying process is finished.”