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  Data behind format layers 
 
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Aftab Majeed Jun 17, 2008, 09:57pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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I purchased an open box computer from 'Best Buy', took it home, used for 3-4 days ad then came to know that the computer inside is not the one i paid for. Naturally, the first response of guys must be that I bought the open box laptop, took it home, swapped it for another machine, put that old machine back in the box and then returned it claiming they sold you the old computer.

They ran all data recovery thing on computer and then declared that

"Our data recovery software can recover up to 6 format layers and data of magnitude up to 600 GB on a 120 GB HD. Your files, which we recovered, were behind a low level format layer (may be they used LLF by mistake an dintended to say HLF). This format was done before the date of purchase. How can you Explain it?"

I never formatted the hard disk and they say that it was formatted and my data was recovered against a format that was done before the purchase date. I am unable to conceive it.

How is it possible? Any suggestions ...


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Suspended User Jun 17, 2008, 10:17pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
WTF?
So the format was done before you bought it?

If this is the case, then they are IDIOTS.

Gerritt Jun 17, 2008, 10:59pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Aftab Majeed said:
I purchased an open box computer from 'Best Buy', took it home, used for 3-4 days ad then came to know that the computer inside is not the one i paid for. Naturally, the first response of guys must be that I bought the open box laptop, took it home, swapped it for another machine, put that old machine back in the box and then returned it claiming they sold you the old computer.

They ran all data recovery thing on computer and then declared that

"Our data recovery software can recover up to 6 format layers and data of magnitude up to 600 GB on a 120 GB HD. Your files, which we recovered, were behind a low level format layer (may be they used LLF by mistake an dintended to say HLF). This format was done before the date of purchase. How can you Explain it?"

I never formatted the hard disk and they say that it was formatted and my data was recovered against a format that was done before the purchase date. I am unable to conceive it.

How is it possible? Any suggestions ...


Ummm, the data recovered on a OPEN BOX computer, that is yours?
No it is the original purchasers....unless they can show actual data that has your personal information on it. The utilities used by Best Buy probably do not come under the Forensic Recovery standard, so how they are saying this, unless they have escallated this to some inhouse fraud prevention unit is beyond me. 600GB on a 120GB drive?!?! BOGUS. If they can do that, then they've gone beyond not only physics, but reality.
Insofar as file time stamp tags, this information is carried in the actual directory tables and not in the FAT or NTFS allocation tables, so after a Low Level Format, much less a High level format, once again, BOGUS.
Six format layers?!? Even when I was working for the NSA we couldn't do that without several months worth of work, and then only on systems that had been in use for several months....so need I say it again?
It is possible that someone is trying to scam Best Buy, but unless they can prove beyond doubt that it is you, then they should refund your money, and if they refuse to do so, you can take them to small claims court. Before that happens though, I'd suggest that you escallate your issue to Best Buy corporate, then the BBB.

If you are without fault, I wish you luck.

P.S. Always check the serial #s and model #s on the box and the system before carrying them out of the store on any open box purchases...where every you buy them.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Aftab Majeed Jun 17, 2008, 11:20pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Yeah .. this is what surprised me.

It is impossible .. I Purchased Laptop on June 13 .. copied my data on June 15 .. Moved all of my data to an External HD on June 16 .. Never formatted the main drive. And they are telling me that they recovered my files and that those are associated to a previous format layer. The layer which corresponds to a date earlier than the date of purchase. Implying that the computer was in always in my possession.

I understand files can be recovered ... but to be associated with a previous format .. i can not comprehend it. Do you any idea about it. Is it possible?

FordGT90Concept Jun 17, 2008, 11:26pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 17, 2008, 11:27pm EDT

 
>> Re: Data behind format layers
It is possible to recover 600 GB from a 120 GB drive (here comes the joke); however, most of those 600 GB will be an exact match to what was recovered on the first pass (the initial 120 GB pass). Basically, they are taking the image of the drive and copying it five times in sequence. They claim they are recovering 600 GB from past formats but realistically, it is unlikely you'll find nothing but traces of low-level erased files (not enough to build the complete original file)...

I really can't explain much better than that; this is just marketeer wording to stretch the truth a bit in order to convince something worthless is actually valuable. Gerritt used a good word to describe their claims: "bogus."

________________________
If I remember what I forgot, I have not forgotten it.
Aftab Majeed Jun 17, 2008, 11:38pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Okay .. So, Case is that they can tie the files to me, they have shown screen shot of one of my assignments and then asked me to explain why the recovery date is of January when i purchased the system in June.

I told them that your staff is so incapable that they even not know that data is recovered against 'Date modified' which is part of file's meta data.

It was after all of this discussion that they started this all crap about this 600GB thing. I don't get it anyways that how my recovered files can be associated to a previous format layer. Is there any scientific explanation for this? or they are just playing BOGUS mind games.

I am 100% right in this case and not a culprit. What do you think .. should i go for forensics and what are the chances that forensics back up my assertions?

Gerritt Jun 18, 2008, 12:06am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Aftab Majeed said:
Okay .. So, Case is that they can tie the files to me, they have shown screen shot of one of my assignments and then asked me to explain why the recovery date is of January when i purchased the system in June.

I told them that your staff is so incapable that they even not know that data is recovered against 'Date modified' which is part of file's meta data.

It was after all of this discussion that they started this all crap about this 600GB thing. I don't get it anyways that how my recovered files can be associated to a previous format layer. Is there any scientific explanation for this? or they are just playing BOGUS mind games.

I am 100% right in this case and not a culprit. What do you think .. should i go for forensics and what are the chances that forensics back up my assertions?


OK, now you have to get down into the nitty gritty of what has happened, but YOU NEED TO GET THE UNCHANGED laptop back into your possession. Once you have it, you can not use it in any manner. DON'T EVEN TURN IT ON. Notify the local Best Buy representatives that you are concidering taking legal action (IF they still have the laptop in their possession at this point in time they may try to say "oh but we deleted that" in which case you've WON). When you have it back in your possession, contact Best Buy corporate (if you do this via email make sure you get a delivery and read response, but the best thing at this point in time is to send copies of everything you have via registered mail). Give them time to respond, then contact the BBB both locally and through the one where their national headquarters are. In contacting the BBB they will probably settle your case based upon their not wanting the hit (you can also contact On Your Side at PCWorld Magazine). If this doesn't work, then you will have to bring suit in Small Claims Court. Go with everything you have, and you may want to have a Legal Aid look over your claim before you go (but you shouldn't need a lawyer). If it does go to SCC make sure to incorportate all of your registered mail, legal aid, and other cost in your claim as well as the original purchase cost. You probably will not be able to claim any losses, but at least you should be able to get this out from under you.

YOU COULD OFFER TO GET A STORE CREDIT FOR WHAT YOU PAID FOR THE OPEN BOX PRODUCT. This most likely will fly if you can talk to a manager at the store, but go there with the documentation that you'd use in a court or BBB case...most likely he/she would allow this quicker than giving cash.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Aftab Majeed Jun 18, 2008, 03:27am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Geritt! your answer is really most concise and really helpful. I appreciate your support. I am a bit curious about what the tech told me about formatting thing

She explained that a magnetic layer is formed after every Format that makes the drive ready for use, and we can see through these layers that which data was present on drive before the format was completed. According to her, my personal files were associated to some Format that was done before computer's purchase date.

Do you think there may exist a possibility of finding my personal files (Resume etc.) corresponding to a format that is done before i brought the computer at home due to any reason. I never formatted the hard drive of this laptop.


Suspended User Jun 18, 2008, 05:01am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Do you have the receipt? Can they not check instore surveillance? Showing your purchase date.

Shawn Langley Jun 18, 2008, 06:57am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
im no expert ive only done basics of data recovery after destroying paritions and wiping out a fat tables, but multipull magnetic layers on one physical plater created after each format doesnt seem right to me,

a format wipes the directory information for the location of the actual data to my knowledge,
and a low level format replaces the directory information and the actual data with 0's and 1's destroying the data forever (basicaly anyway im sure data recovery companies have some trick to defy me!)

But like i said im no expert and this is just my basic understanding of a format i could be totaly wrong, id love to know actualy if it is any differnt to my basic understanding

personaly i think they are bluffing hopeing your an idiot and will accept complicated acronyms and just give up

Having voices in your head is normal. Listening to them, common. Arguing, acceptable. However, when you lose the argument, you're in trouble.
john albrich Jun 18, 2008, 02:39pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 18, 2008, 02:40pm EDT

 
>> Re: Data behind format layers
To recover data from each of the six independent disk formatting actions , I'm sure they used the Transdimensional Recovery And Sifting Heuristic (TRASH) program. The TRASH program recurses the drive through time and space, thus uncovering the "layers" of data hidden by each format. The TRASH system further implements the Test And Repair Data In Segments (TARDIS) protocol to bring each "layer" forward to the present and save it to local storage.

I'm sure the disc-shaped, super-conducting "Ring of the Ancestors" is somehow involved as well.

Yeah, sure, you bet'cha.

Aftab Majeed Jun 18, 2008, 03:41pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 18, 2008, 03:47pm EDT

 
>> Re: Data behind format layers
What do you guys think, if i go for forensics .. then may it backup my assertions?

Aftab Majeed Jun 18, 2008, 03:45pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jun 18, 2008, 03:49pm EDT

 
>> Re: Data behind format layers
John! Your reply is a classic description of the events. :):)

Gerritt Jun 18, 2008, 10:18pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
ONE Ring to RULE them ALL!
I've been in environments that I had to smash DRAM modules due to latent capacitive "preference" due to static memory utilization on some old systems. It is possible to figure out using millions of dollars of equipment to be able to "pull" latent data from DRAM modules.
When you format a drive, you change many things. But one thing that doesn't take place is the 1s and 0s on each segment, it just changes how the drive sees this in relation to allocation tables. Even a LLF can leave data on a drive, but only as sector, non-associated blocks of data. If you want a "overwrite" you need to either do a multi-pass checkerboard write, or you need to degause the drive.
Having said that, what they are claiming is "Transdimentional" :)

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Aftab Majeed Jun 23, 2008, 07:14pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
My issue is resolved and I have got the new Laptop. I appreciate your support and am thankfull for the knowledge you transferred. Once Again .. Thanx a lot! :)

Gerritt Jun 23, 2008, 11:06pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Aftab Majeed said:
My issue is resolved and I have got the new Laptop. I appreciate your support and am thankfull for the knowledge you transferred. Once Again .. Thanx a lot! :)

So was any of the input from us usable in your resolution?

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Aftab Majeed Jun 24, 2008, 01:22am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Data behind format layers
Indeed! :)

All the discussion helped me a lot to discuss things with the staff their at shop and thanx God they yielded. All because of the comments posted at this forum. I really appreciate your sincere help.


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