Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption (SDE): data recovery in the event of physical disk failure

  • Article ID: 57259
  • Updated: 01 Oct 2010

If you suspect that you have a physical disk failure, or you have followed the Sophos SDE recovery guide and it has led you to this article, do not attempt any further recovery yourself. Switching the PC on and off is likely to make things worse and increases the risk of data loss.

To salvage data from a corrupt hard disk, contact a professional hard disk recovery company, who will charge you for their services.

What to do

  1. Ask the hard disk recovery company to create a sector-based copy of the defective disk onto another hard disk of identical size and disk geometry from the same manufacturer. It is important to retain the exact structure and format of the drive you are attempting to recover.
  2. Once the data has been transferred to the new hard drive, insert it into the affected machine and try to boot the operating system.

If the hard disk boots up and you can see your files, you will likely need to re-encrypt the data. Depending on the amount of damage to the hard drive, some files may not be available.

If the hard disk does not boot up or you have other problems, you may have to perform an emergency decryption on the new hard disk. For more information, please see Sophos SafeGuard Disk Encryption (SDE): how to perform an emergency decryption and uninstall SDE.

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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