Data Recovery as an Industry

By: James Walsh


IBM invented the hard drive as a means of storing data, in 1956. Being less than perfect, naturally, the hard drive started facing a host of problems related to hardware failures and software-based errors. Since people had started using the computer on a large scale (because it was touted as a panacea for all your ills and in the bargain also made homework easy!), data loss started making its first of many appearances.

The common man learning to use the machine, with its unfriendly operating system (how can we forget DOS?), was in itself a big deal. The simplest solution to data loss, way back then, was to type a few lines of text or code, insert the 5-1/4 inch floppy disk into the drive and save your work. So, enter data ... save .... enter data ... save, was the usual primitive method employed for combating data loss.

Then people started losing data on the floppy disk! Some techie decided to make it a hobby, to try and recover the data. The long line of people outside his front door, asking him to recover their data, forced him to think again and make it into a business. Data recovery, as an industry, was born.

With the advent of multiple storage devices and increasing data storage capacity of these devices, more and more data was getting recorded and the rate of data loss kept pace with it. More techies scrambled to make their fortunes out of crumbling data.

Today the data recovery industry is split down the middle, with a few on either side trying to bridge the divide. On one side is the category of Do-It-Yourself data recovery software that promises ease of use, confidentiality, time saving and data recovery success rates to match the performance of the data recovery professionals, on the other side. Either way, the world of data recovery has never seen it so good for computer users, as now.

The increasing storage capacity and the portability of the storage media have popularised these storage mediums for the storage of all types of data ranging from sentimental family photos to history-altering national security data. With increasing usage, comes an increased chance for data loss. When the data loss occurs, you just cannot send the device back to the original manufacturer and ask them to repair it or recover your data, just because your data is precious to you. How on earth can they focus on churning out another million pieces of the same device, guaranteed to fail shortly in the future, if they were to attend to the data recovery from millions of already sold, faulty pieces? It just doesn't do any good for the turnover of the company.

Data storage device manufacturers are pumping in billions to come up with faster, smaller and more delicate storage devices. They are not going to commit suicide voluntarily by creating a storage device that carries on forever. So, in come the data recovery professionals or the Do-It-Yourself data recovery software, to pick up the unedifying job of data recovery.

The manufacturer does not have the time or inclination to repair his or her faulty creation or make it durable; data recovery professionals are just around the corner and Do-it-Yourself data recovery software are available for download. What more choices can any one ask for, to recover lost data?

The business of data recovery requires an investment in knowledge, latest technology and adequate infrastructure, just to keep pace with the growing tribe of data recovery professionals in this industry. The industry has a place for newcomers with these essential qualifications because of the rapidly increasing digitisation of all and sundry data. Moreover, the data recovery industry is rapidly gaining ground in other allied fields like data forensics and gaining wider acceptance during legal proceedings. However, to belong among the front runners of this industry, it is the solid performance of your data recovery success rate and the high marketing visibility of your organisation that count. It isn't a bad business to be in.

As long as data is around, erratic human behaviour persists and frail data storage products abound, the data recovery industry will keep gaining ground.

Data Recovery
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