Forget the times of manually testing every drive through endless clicks and menus. If you deal with drive unlocking and data imaging for data recovery or forensic purposes daily, you’ll like what we’ve done. Among other enhancements of the recent update, ACE Lab team created an easy-to-use streamlined interface for PC-3000 and Data Extractor to simplify drive testing and imaging. This makes the job much easier and better organized for:
- Data recovery learners
- Digital forensic experts
- HDD repair technicians
The Easy Mode interface helps you solve simple cases quickly by saving time on many routine operations. Use it when you know the drive is not physically damaged. For physically damaged drives, it’s still highly recommended to use full PC-3000 functionality.
The new easy mode interface is a dashboard-like opening screen. The application launch parameters define the ports of PC-3000 Express/UDMA/Portable boards to be used, and the interface mode. For example, you can configure SATA0 to always act as the source and SATA1 – as the destination for data copy. For convenience you can create multiple shortcuts for various PC-3000 ports.
Create a new shortcut for new mode, open the properties and add -newmode:0
into the Target field, apply the changes and close this tab.
Add -newmode:0 to the launch parameters
The easy mode interface automates some steps of the drive examination. This way is as functional as the traditional PC-3000 and DE approach. Now a single click on a button performs dozens of operations in PC-3000 & Data Extractor, which means you can check the drive condition, test the data access and create a task in Data Extractor automatically.
The buttons on the left side trigger specific automated sequences for data recovery. PC-3000 utilities or Data Extractor software components are interrelated in the sequences, and will be launched depending on your selection and drive condition. It’s important to have both PC-3000 utility and DE to fully access the functionality of the easy mode.
The right-hand, bigger part of the screen shows the status of current procedures along with diagnostic or other necessary information.
What you can do now
In the current simplified version of the interface you can:
1. Manage drive power. Read and analyze drive identification data.
2. Read and analyze drive SMART data.
3. Perform quick drive test. This allows to check the drive’s condition most efficiently and make a decision about next operations in order to get the data.
4. Perform complex test. This allows to perform comprehensive testing of the connected drive, when necessary.
5. Remove password if a drive is security-locked.
6. View Data (a DE task without copy creation), create Data copy (a DE task with copy creation) or work with previously created tasks.
DE task creation steps are significantly simplified and automated. You can add a sequence of automatic operations during task creation (e.g. to generate a drive’s heads map, detect defective heads/surfaces, build a general map of used sectors and utilize it while copying, and perform logical analysis).
Simplified PC-3000 interface is essential for digital forensic experts when looking for evidence from storage devices. You can easily:
- Analyse logically damaged drive
- Unlock password
- View target data
- Create disk images
- Recover data using DE
How to run
Proceed as follows:
- Connect the drive to the required port of the board. If you need to create a copy, connect a valid “destination” drive to the other port.
- Use the configured shortcut to launch the application.
- Turn on the power for the drive under examination.
- Read (if possible) the HDD identification data and analyze it.
- Read (if possible) the SMART data and analyze it.
- Run a Quick test of the drive and use the results to decide, which further operations should be performed with the HDD.
- Run the steps of HDD Complex test, if necessary and possible, or skip it.
- If the drive is security-locked and PC-3000 knows how to remove the password protection, perform the automatic UNLOCK procedure.
- Create a Data Extractor task of the appropriate type (depending on the results of previous steps) with an optional selection of automatic operations for data copy creation.
The easy mode interface is a way to make work easier and smoother for inexperienced PC-3000 users. You can close the simplified interface and proceed to work with PC-3000 and Data Extractor as usual, if you already know how to work with the standard PC-3000 and DE interfaces. This is particularly useful when you encounter a complicated case. In the future the PC-3000 easy mode is expected to be enhanced with ready-made solutions for typical problems in specific drive families and models (selected automatically based on diagnostics results) and creation of copies with hash calculation in e01, aff, and raw formats (similarly to manual DE tasks now).
PC-3000 Easy Mode functionality is available in the latest software update for PC-3000 Express/UDMA-E/Portable Ver. 6.2.23 and Data Extractor Ver. 5.5.4. Please make sure you have this version of the software and your technical support is valid. Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to become an authorized tech support user.