Guardonix USB3 Write Blocker

Guardonix is the latest release from DeepSpar, a Canadian manufacturer of high-end equipment for professional digital forensics and data recovery since 2004. The Guardonix brand of products offer better tools to help digital forensics investigators save time and seamlessly handle read instability issues. Guardonix comes in a standard edition or professional edition, with the optional add-on of a PCIe adapter set.

Standard Edition

  • Hardware-level write blocking
  • Real time status reports:
    • current reading speed
    • sector address being read
    • drive status (Idle, Processing, Not Responding, Disconnected)
    • bad sectors
    • write attempts
  • Stabilizes USB connection
    • USB protocol requires the PC and storage device to be in constant synchronization with one another. If the storage device fails to respond quickly enough or responds irregularly due to bad sectors or other read instability issues, then it may lose its current state and become de-synchronized with the PC, causing Windows to freeze, crash, and/or drop the USB storage device. Guardonix hardware stands between the PC and storage device, making sure that the connection to the PC is always well-maintained, regardless of what’s happening with the storage device. This way, even if the storage device becomes de-synchronized, only its connection to Guardonix hardware will be re-initialized, which will not have any impact on the PC, allowing data acquisition to proceed without interruption. Guardonix hardware maintains a live connection even if the storage device is entirely disconnected during imaging.
  • Works with any of your software tools

Professional Edition

  • Speeds up bad sector processing
    • Instead of allowing a drive to get stuck retrying bad sectors for tens of seconds or minutes at a time, Guardonix cuts bad sector processing within a few seconds, dramatically improving imaging speed of drives with bad sectors and reducing drive degradation from internal read retries. This functionality is critical when working with drives that have a non-trivial number of bad sectors.
  • Automatically re-powers drive as needed
    • As a last resort, if the source drive suddenly stops responding to all commands, Guardonix will automatically re-power it to seamlessly continue the data acquisition process.
  • Graphical display of speed and sector map
    • Real time sector map shows good sectors, bad sectors, and write attempts, giving clear feedback on how data acquisition is proceeding. The speed is also displayed graphically to show how consistently the drive is reading, allowing for the time-to-completion to be estimated.
  • Blocks filesystem mounting
    • Optionally prevents Windows from mounting the filesystem (assigning drive letters), saving time and eliminating the possibility of drive errors causing Windows to hang during mounting.

Optional Set of Adapters
Broaden the capabilities of the Guardonix with this optional adapter set. Some Guardonix features are only guaranteed to work on SATA devices with these adapters; see asterisked (**) items in the table below. Other adapters may not be capable of passing on the necessary commands.

The set includes adapters for:

  • SATA
  • NVMe PCIe M.2 M-key
  • AHCI PCIe M.2 M-key
  • Apple 12+16 pin PCIe SSDs
Standard Professional
Absolute Hardware Writeblocking
Stabilizes USB Connection**
Automatically Repowers Unresponsive Source Drives ✔ Slowly ✔ Quickly
USB-SCSI Error Reporting Display
Complete logging
Manual Control of Source Drive Power
Works Bus Powered
Shows Current State
Speeds up Bad Sector Processing (Read Timeout)**
Accelerates Flash Storage Acquisition Speed
Keyword Search
Blocks File System Mounting
Supports Degraded SATA/NVMe SSDs
Limits Bad Block Read Retries
Different Responses to Write Attempts
Sector Map & Speed Graph
Turn off Source Power due to Inactivity
Access HPA & DCO hidden data areas**

**These features are only guaranteed to work on SATA devices with the Optional Set of Adapters that we offer (see above table). Other adapters may not be capable of passing on the necessary commands.

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