Data Recovery - is it Ever to Late to Recover Data?

By: Stephen Morgan

Hard Drive Recovery - a phrase guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of most Computer Technicians (or would do if most of them really knew what it meant) but what causes it and what can be done either to prevent it or certainly to make sure it is handled and remedied correctly.

We can all picture the scenario, a hard pressed systems technician or home worker, up against a deadline to deliver a project in on time or under budget sits back, presses the enter button and......zippo, nada, nothing or even worse than that, the entire system juts flashes up the computer equivalent of "Gone to lunch, back whenever."

If you have never been in that situation (and haven't we all at some time or other) then believe me as someone who speaks from battle hardened experience then I can guarantee you that medical science has discovered no laxative quite like this. Boy, the phrase "losing ones lunch" conjures up a whole new image. Not pretty I can assure you.

The answer to all of this is usually quite simple. Back up your data more often and take better care of the equipment you use and hopefully it will take better care of you (or so the story goes) but sometimes it is not that simple.

Data loss can occur for a number of reasons and the five most common are "Hardware Malfunction" and this accounts for 44% (allegedly) of all Data loss situations. Next there is "User Error" and this accounts for about 32% of all data loss. An amusing euphemism for this was once used by one of my colleagues when describing a particular client one day, he went on to describe the source of the problem as being an "interface problem occurring between the keyboard and the chair!"

In approximately 14% of the cases, the data loss occurs through software corruption, Computer Viruses account for 7 % and the remaining 3% occur through what can best be described as "Natural Disasters".

However in most cases and if dealt with correctly i.e. talking to the right people the situation does not necessarily require or dictate that the perpetrator immediately reach for an old rusty razor blade, meaning that is a lot of cases the problem can be fixed to some degree or other.

Don't let me build false hopes entirely. If you are in position whereby you do think you have lost data then the first thing you do have to do is talk to someone who knows what they are talking about but accept there will be a certain amount of "collateral" damage in the attempt at restoring your lost data. Sometimes this occurs when the lab you are dealing with encounters formatting issues with hard disks etc and these are unavoidable. However in situations like this you will usually find that the core data recovered (even if a little strange in layout) is at least usable.

So just when you think that all is lost, it need not be the case, in the case of Data Recovery; you just need to know to talk to right people.

Data Recovery
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