Every business has data that is essential for their operations, whether it’s files, documents, records, plans or proposals. But what happens if you lose that data because it is corrupted, hacked or deleted? All too often, both businesses and individuals find themselves in the position of missing essential data without any backup. While the situation can seem hopeless, you do have options for getting your data back, and this is called data recovery.
What is Data Recovery?
Data recovery is the process of recovering and restoring digital data that has been lost, damaged, corrupted or accidentally deleted. Important files and data are no longer accessible by users and this can cause a huge headache for companies and individuals trying to keep records and do business.
Do I Need Data Recovery?
The key sign that you need data recovery is when you are no longer able access important files and documents on your computer or digital device. You may see an “Error” message appear when you try to open a file or connect a storage device such as a USB or external hard drive. Data can be lost due to physical damage to the storage drives, logical damage, accidentally deletion, human error, or malicious attack.
Types of Data Loss
Unless you’re experienced in data recovery, you will probably need the expert assistance of an IT consultant to retrieve your files.
Physical Drive Failure – If the drive is physically damaged, it can prevent data from being accessed. Because technicians may need to open up hard drives and replace parts or the printed circuit board, hard drive repair should only be done in a controlled environment with the proper tools. Common problems with the hard drive include circuit board issues or problems with the actuator arm which reads the platter. Replacing these parts can restore function to your hard drive and retrieve your data.
Logical Damage – Logical damage is where the internal system or storage may be corrupted due to unintentional partition, accidental formatting and deletions, power failure, virus attacks or memory overflow.
Is DIY Data Recovery Safe?
In the event of logical damage there is data recovery software that can be used for DIY repair. This software is offered for free download online, however, should be approached with great caution. While the software is intended to help, data recovery is a complex process, and using a free data recovery software could actually result in accidental loss of all your data. The best option is to take your computer or hard drive to a qualified IT consultant. An IT consultant can provide a customized solution to retrieve as much lost data as possible.
Professional Data Recovery Techniques
Data Remanence – Data that has been accidentally deleted by a user can typically be recovered because of data remanence. This means deleted files are not removed immediately from a physical drive and can be recovered by a professional IT consultant who knows how to access them. This is only if they have not overwritten by other files, which is another reason why it’s important to avoid DIY repair which could cause further damage.
Disk Imaging – Disk imaging uses specialized software to extract corrupt data and retrieve what can still be ‘read’ to reconstruct data. If you have lost or are unable to access your files, it’s important to seek professional advice as soon as possible to prevent further data loss or damage. Talk to an IT professional about emergency data recovery and a backup and recovery plan for the future to protect your data.