With every business relying heavily on their computers and network, it is a huge risk to not properly care for your important data.
The fact is a computer’s hard drive becoming damaged, corrupt, or even completely unusable is not an issue of whether or not it will happen to you, but rather an issue of when.
If you do not properly care for your data you may wind up in the unfortunate situation of having to recover your lost data.
Backup Your Data
First of all, the most important step in preventing lost or corrupt data due to a faulty hard drive is to back up your data. This may sound silly, but there are many people that simply do not have a good backup strategy in place to protect them from the inevitable hard drive failure.
You see hard drives are much like your car; they have moving parts that function nonstop as your computer works and processes data.
These moving parts eventually will wear out and when they do if you did not back up your data you will have to recover it. Backing up is your best solution for data loss prevention; it will save you a huge headache when your hard drive fails.
If you have a backup, the recovery process is as simple as buying a new hard drive, reinstalling Windows and your applications, and then transferring backed up data over.
Backups can be in many different forms from CD’s, DVD’s, Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, Online backup, etc. Whatever your choice, it is good practice to not only back up your data, but make sure you can recover it from the backup as well.
Unfortunately, many times we see business owners backing up their data, but never taking the time to do a test restore. It’s only when disaster strikes that they find out the backups had errors.
In the event that you did not have a good backup solution or it was not working/tested properly there is the option to try and recover the “lost” data.
If Your Hard Drive Crashes
In order to have the highest success rate recovering your old data make sure to follow the following procedures:
Upon realizing you have lost data make sure that you immediately stop using your computer.
The reason you want to make sure that you stop using your computerimmediately is that when data is lost as long as it is still on the hard drive and has not been over written on the actual hard drive disks it can be recovered.
When you use your computer data is randomly placed on your hard drive disks so using your computer after data loss greatly increases the chances of losing the data you wanted to recover because it was overwritten from the computer being used.
Avoid System Utilities
Do not run any system tasks such as a Disk Cleanup or Disk Defragmenter.
Running Disk Cleanup or Disk Defragmenter both can cause you to permanently lose data that you need to be recovered.
These system processes move data around and in doing so could overwrite your lost data.
As long as you follow the steps listed above you can bring your computer to Tech Experts, and we can run various programs that allow us to recover lost files that have not been overwritten by other files.
This is the reason it is so important to stop using your computer as soon as you realize the data loss.
Data Recovery Firms
If in the case your hard drive is damaged mechanically there are companies you can send your hard drive away to and have them manually open the hard drive and recover that data in a “Clean Room.” Just a side note, never ever open a hard drive.
When these other data recovery companies open your hard drive they use a clean room that exceeds the cleanliness of a surgical room.
They do this because even the smallest amount of dust or dirt in the hard drive will ruin it in a very short period of time.
This is the reason it is so expensive to have data recovered in this fashion, usually in the $1700+ range depending on the company you use.
Long story short, always make sure to have a good backup.
Having a good backup can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
Feature article by Frank Wright, Service Manager for Tech Experts