Q&A Atola Imager
A.Will the Atola tool repair my XYZ hard disk ?
There is no "Magic Box" to repair a defect hdd automatically.
There is no "one button solution" available.
. . . but
Atola tools will assist to diagnose defect hdd.
Atola tools are built even to be used from non technicians.
They are the best choice for forensical cloning or data retrieval
- even from defect hdd as long as they are accessible.
B.Will the Atola tool retrieve data after it was overwritten ?
Once new data was written to a sector - the old data is lost !
The more new data was written to a hdd, the more of the old data is lost and
the "old" (not overwritten) data (fragments) are corrupted.
For those not overwritten areas there is a (very little) chance to retrieve data
with special software like R-Studio.
1.) Is it possible to clone more than one source drive to the same target drive ?
No - if you create a direct clone with the target hdd,
yes - create image files out of the source drives and store them on a big internal hdd of the pc.
Create a clone hdd out of an image file whenever you need it.
Explanation: You sell 5 different PC-configurations and you want to set up each configuration
only once. Use the Atola tool to create an image file of each configuration as a back up. When
needed produce the clone hdd for a new pc system within 5-10 minutes.
A typical Windows installation will need about 10 - 20GB. The image file of such an installation
hdd will have exactly this size. No matter which size the original hdd has (500GB and up).
2.) Is is possible to repair cklicking or buzzing HDD with an Atola tool ?
Clicking or buzzing is usually the result of mechanical, pcb or firmware issues.
They cant be resolved with Atola Insight.
Usually this needs a pcb repair or a mechanical repair in the cleanroom.
3.) Is it possible to repair an HDD like Seagate or WD with their typical firmware issues ?
The Atola Insight tools have a built in terminal feature with a serial cable to connect an HDD.
A user with deeper knowledge and experience is able to access the drive to repair such issues.
There are no features to "automatically repair" such issues. If they would be available, they
could be misused and cause even further damage or inaccessability of HDD.
The most drive issues are bad sectors. That can be overcome in using an Atola tool to copy
either the needed data from the faulty drive or to produce an image (clone) for data retrieval.
Do you look for a tool_simple to use_for over 90% of the issues
or do you want to spend money for less than 10% of the cases?"
4.) What is the maximum data transfer speed ?
The data transfer speed depends on the hard drive. With the DiskSense USB it is about 40 MB/sec,
with the DiskSense Ethernet it can reach speeds up to 180 MB/sec. Never the less the speed may
be much lower when working with older, slower or defect HDD, but reaching the maximum speed
when imaging a perfect working modern HDD.
5.) If I do not extend my subscription, can I continue to use the Atola tool ?
Certainly, yes. You can continue to use your Atola tool with the last software upgrade which was
published within your warranty or subscription period.
It is advisable to continue the software subscription - you would automatically cover your tool
with a full hardware warranty ... and the subscription price is really affordable"
6.) Will a disalignment be corrected while cloning to a modern AFD 4K HDD ?
No, Atola Insight does not modify the data in any way. A read sector will be written to the target at
exactly the correct corresponding address of the source HDD. A disalignment on a modern AFD HDD
or a SSD must be corrected after the imaging was completed.
Read the explanation in Wikipedia"
7.) Can I use the Atola tools for forensic work ?
Yes, they are one of the best choices - if not the best - for forensical work. One can protect the
source against being overwritten or altered in any way and one can create 100% correct clones
- proven with checksum calculation even parallel on source + target drives while imaging.
8.) Will Atola find / retrieve disappeared data or partions of an HDD ?
Yes and no: There is a very strong software engine included with the Atola tools. It might
even retrieve partitions or (deleted) data which are not any more recognised from the
standard operating systems.
If this software does not find the lost data or partition(s), one can try to retrieve them from
a good working drive (clone of defect source) in using specific data recovery software, i.e.
R-Studio or ReClaime.
9.) Can the tool decrypt encrypted data or correct corrupted data ?
No, Atola Insight does not modify the data in any way. The image/clone will contain the data
in the same way as the original HDD:
- when the original is encrypted, the image/clone will also be encrypted
- when there is a data corruption on the source, it will be on the clone too
To be clear:
If a corruption is caused from a defect of the drive, it might be solved with the
cloning - in worst case no data is copied from defect or unreadable sectors.
10.) Is it possible to recover RAID systems - or to retrieve data from RAID systems ?
It is possible if you treat each (defect) HDD seperately and use Atola tools to create a clone
of it. Once you have a clone you can try to use this HDD instead of the faulty one. You need
to use all RAID HDD in the same order within the same environment (RAID system, NAS etc.)
as they where before.
If this does not work within the original raid hardware environment, mark/number the
order of your HDD connected in the RAID system.
Then connect all raid HDD including the clone (instead of the defect one) to a PC and use
the Data Recovery and RAID recovery software which we offer optionally ."
11.) Is it possible to use data recovery or RAID recovery software with an Atola tool ?
No, this does not work. You need the Atola software to access a harddisk.
The standard way is to create a 100% (forensic) clone out of a source drive
(infact we suggest to create two or more clone hdd parallel, which is possible
with our Atola Insight Forensic tool) - and then to work with the clone to
retrieve the data - as follows:
The best way to continue is to create 2 or 3 clones of all Raid hdd and use only
the cloned drives for the recovery.
Insert only cloned hdd in correct order into the original RAID hardware instead
of the original drives and try an automatic raid rebuild with it.
or (if eihter above way failed or the original Raid hardware is not available)
try a RAID recovery on a seperate PC (with clones from all Raid HDD) using our
optional RAID recovery software.
Its much, much better (less stressing a defect hdd) to clone a drive completely
- better all Raid hdd - and retrieve the data using the clone(s).
12.) Is the Atola tool "compatible" with other recovery software ?
Please read also the explanation for # 11. Besides lots of other features of the tool,
the HDD connected to the Atola tool can only be accessed with the Atola software:
Atola Insight: One can use it to see the file and folder structure, copy files and folders to
a target drive of an HDD connected to the PC or to create HDD images.
Atola Imager: The software is for imaging the source drive only.
Finally: To use other special data retrieval software, one needs to image (clone) a (faulty)
drive first - and then connect the image (clone) to a PC and use the software for this drive.
13.) Which HDD connector standards and sizes are supported? SSD, SAS, SCSI ?
There are several connector standards like, LIF, ZIF, mSATA, Micro SATA and HDD sizes.
With special adapters its possible to connect drives with such connectors to either the
SATA or the IDE port of the Atola tool.
We have most of these adapters on stock.
* * *
SAS HDD are supported as source drive with the optional SAS adapter for
the Atola Insight Forensic, SCSI HDD are not supported with our tools.
14.) Does Atola offer training for their tools ?
If you would realise - after about 60 minutes working with a tool - that paying or travelling
for a training is pouring money down the drain - how would you feel ? *)
In other words - using Atola tools is so simple, its not necessary to offer an extra training.
Never the less - because a lot of customers want to have the security of a written operation
manual - we (Atola-Europe Distribution) published one for our customers for free."
*) Because its so simple and logically to understand and work with the tool.
15.) Is it possible to sell this tool at a later time ?
What you do with your tool is up to you - a valid subscription remains valid.
It is advisable to inform Atola respectively Atolas local representative about
the changed ownership.
16.) Can I use this Atola tool to retrieve data from defect USB flash drives ?
cloning of defect USB flash drives
If one can access a flash drive, but the partition or data is missing - then one should be able to retrieve
the data with a professional data recovery software. If that is not successful, then follow the advice of
the next point:
If one can't access a flash drive or the access is slow or with lots of errors, then each further access will
degrade the data. In such a case one needs to start a data recovery with special tools for flash memory.
One can use the Atola tool to clone USB flash drives 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3 or to retrieve/copy data, if the drive
is accessible and properly working.
If you have a problem with the 1st time installation of an Atola Insight click here
Field of Application (= where + when to use the Atola Insight Forensic) click here