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General Information
Supported Drives
DiskSense Units


Lifetime Warranty


Disk Diagnostics
Disk Duplication
Selective Head Imaging
File Recovery
Password Removal
Firmware Recovery
Disk Utilities
Case Management


Version log

Disk Utilities

Complete hard drive management

Device utilities in Atola Insight

The Atola Insight 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.

Click here to skip to this section's FAQ at the bottom of the page

Security features

Security features in Atola Insight

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's Password Removal function (see details).

Fill or Erase

Disk wiping in progress

Forensic professionals 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 wipes hard drives at the hard drive's maximum speed using any 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:

  • Custom pattern
  • LBA number in each sector
  • Security Erase
  • DoD 5220.22-M
  • NIST 800-88

Hash calculation

Calculate Hash

The Atola Insight can perform hash calculation for both source and target drives simultaneously via a separate Calculate Hash menu.

Supported hash types: MD5, SHA (1, 224, 256, 384, 512)

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 homepage and in this setting under Device Utilities.

Device Configuration Overlay

Device Configuration Overlay

Access and modify the following hard drive parameters using the Atola Insight'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

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

Media Recovery

Media Recovery in progress

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 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

Device Editor in Atola Insight

View and modify any HDD sector at the click of a button. Master Boot Records and FAT/NTFS Boot Sector structures can be viewed as well.

Generate Bad Sectors

Generation of 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 is an ECC?
    ECC stands for Error Correction Code. Every HDD sector has a reserved space for the ECC, which would list special code used to recover data in that sector in case of slight damage. When the term “bad sector” is used, it usually refers to a sector which contents cannot be recovered with the ECC algorithms. See Bad Sector Recovery article for more information.
  2. 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.