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General Information
DiskSense Unit
Supported Drives
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Disk Diagnostics
Disk Imaging
Selective Head Imaging
Imaging Speed
Password Removal
Segmented Hashing
Case Management
Bad Sector Recovery
File Recovery
Firmware Recovery
Disk Utilities



Disk Utilities

Device utilities in Atola Insight

Complete hard drive management

The Atola Insight Forensic comes standard with a series of utility functions for altering hard drive configuration and stored data. These functions are usually used for conducting research, preparing hard drives for certain actions, or other special case-specific tasks. These capabilities allow the operator to manage cases in a more efficient manner by eliminating the need to use separate additional products for performing minor tasks.

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Security features

Security features in Atola Insight Forensic

Set and remove ATA passwords quickly and easily. Using this function, the operator can set and remove the User ATA password (both levels High and Maximum are supported) and change the Master ATA password.

Unknown ATA passwords can be automatically extracted and removed from most hard drives using the Atola Insight Forensic's Password Removal function (see details).

Fill or Erase

Disk wiping methods

Forensic experts are often required to wipe/erase hard drives before they are (re)used to receive forensic images. This is usually done to guarantee the accuracy of the data and at the same time verify the destination drive for any errors by overwriting every sector. The Atola Insight Forensic wipes hard drives at the hard drive's maximum speed using a specified HEX pattern to overwrite the sectors. It can also execute the Security Erase function, perform a Zero-Fill, NIST 800-88, and DoD 5220.22-M compliant wiping.

All supported wiping methods:

  • Zero-fill
  • Custom pattern
  • LBA number in each sector
  • Security Erase
  • DoD 5220.22-M
  • NIST 800-88
  • GOST R 50739-95

Hash calculation

Calculate Hash

The Atola Insight Forensic can perform hash calculation for both source and target drives simultaneously via a Calculate Hash menu. Moreover, MD5+SHA1 or MD5+SHA256 can be calculated on each drive at the same time.

Supported hash types: MD5, SHA1, SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, SHA512

Host Protected Area

Host Protected Area

Take full control of hard drive HPA feature sets by changing the max address to any specified LBA (can be changed permanently or until the next power cycle) in both LBA28 and LBA48 modes. Whenever an HPA is set on a hard drive, a note is posted on the Atola Insight Forensic main screen.

Device Configuration Overlay

Device Configuration Overlay

Access and modify the following hard drive parameters using the Atola Insight Forensic's smooth, user-friendly interface.

  • Display/Enable/Disable supported features sets
  • HPA (Host Protected Area) feature set
  • SMART feature set (including SMART self tests)
  • Streaming feature set
  • 48-bit LBA feature set
  • AAM (Automatic Acoustic Management feature set)
  • Command queuing feature set
  • Power saving feature set
  • Security feature set
  • MWDMA and UDMA feature set
  • Forced Unit Access
  • Maximum LBA number
Unclip HPA/DCO

Unclip HPA/DCO

Automatically removes LBA address restrictions set via Host Protected Area (HPA) or Device Overlay Configuration (DCO).

Media Recovery

Media Recovery

Quickly and easily repair so-called "Software Bad Sectors" (sectors with damaged ECC field). This feature is generally used for light bad sector repair.

Compare Devices

Comparing two disks

Compare data stored on any 2 or more devices sector-by-sector. The number of matching and non-matching sectors is listed in real time for reference. This function is used to check whether or not two hard drives are identical.

Disk Editor in Atola Insight Forensic

Disk Editor

View and modify any HDD sector at the click of a button. Master Boot Records, FAT/NTFS/ext Boot Sector, HFS headers, NTFS File Record and Index structures are automatically detected and parsed into a human-readable form by Insight.

SSD Trim in Atola Insight Forensic

SSD Trim

We recommend "Trimming" SSD drives used as Target media on a regular basis to ensure maximum data transfer speed. Additionally, this module shows how attached SSD behaves during read operations on trimmed sectors.

Device Features in Atola Insight Forensic

Device Features

Access and adjust the following HDD features: Advanced power management, Acoustic management and Read/Write caching via the Atola Insight Forensic's smooth, user-friendly interface.

Generation of bad sectors

Generate Bad Sectors

Create a bad sector at any specified LBA by entering the sector number and clicking a single button. Reading of such sectors will now result in an Uncorrectable Error. The change is reversible using the Media Recovery feature, however, all data in such sectors will be lost. This feature is generally used for research.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click questions to expand text

  1. What are the HPA and DCO functions used for?
    HPA and DCO are used mostly to limit capacity of an HDD. They reduce a hard drive’s capacity by making a certain portion of the drive invisible. For example, if you took a 500GB hard drive and set a DCO max LBA or HPA at 300GB, the hard drive would appear to computers and other devices as 300GB capacity. This process is sometimes referred to as “clipping” a hard drive. A DCO clip or HPA can be set or removed in seconds.