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January 19, 2017

When Data is Lost

Group of workers repairing HDD. Hard Drive repair concept

“Dos and Don’ts in a Data Recovery Situation”

Data loss is real.  It is a phenomena that has baffled a lot of IT Experts through the years.  Inspite of advances in technology and manufacturing, hard drives crash, SSD’s (solid state drive) don’t mount, and data becomes inaccessible.

In our more than 10 years in data recovery, we’ve heard these common queries from our customers:

I just bought it recently, why did it crash?

I thought Macs never crash?”

SSD’s are crash-proof, right?

The hard drive fell by just one inch.  I didn’t think it was high enough to cause damage.”

There may be other issues, but the truth is all storage devices will fail eventually.  There may be a 10- to 15-year-old hard drives that are still working, but these are the exception rather than the rule in this day and age.

Causes of Data Loss and What to do

Probable Cause Prevention and/or Next Steps
Mechanical failure such as a component or manufacturing defect, the unit being dropped. Restore from backup or data recovery services.
Security Issues such as a computer virus or Ransomware. Installed and update frequently update the Anti-Virus Software. Regularly, update the operating system.
Natural Calamities like flood and fire Such occurrences, however, cannot be prevented nor predicted. The best way to protect an organization against natural calamities is to use offsite storage facilities and to create a disaster recovery plan. These methods can help protect a company from possible data loss due to a catastrophe.

First Aid for Data Recovery

In case of a sudden situation arising that calls for data recovery, we suggest that users take the following actions:

  • Stay calm.
  • Turn off the computer.
  • Unplug the Hard Drive from the USB port.
  • Seek the help of a professional.

In our experience, the first shot is the best shot and may the only shot in recovering the data. What a user does immediately right after hugely determines if the data can be saved or not.

We strongly recommend not forcing the hard drive to work or to start-up again as it may lead to more internal damages that will make data unrecoverable. Physically opening the hard drive in an uncontrolled environment to take it apart is strongly discourage. Hard drives are made up of small and sensitive components. Attempting to open the hard drive without experience or expertise is a great way to make data loss permanent.

The Data Recovery Process: What You Need to Know

Data Recovery is a unique process and is very different from your regular computer repair. Recovery requires the focus and discipline of a specialized expert, not to mention very distinct tools and equipment.

As such, Data Recovery is worth more than a regular computer repair. Turnaround time is likewise longer; jobs may take days or weeks to complete.

Truthfully, not all data can be recovered. Depending on the extent of damages of the hard drive, some situations of data loss can be permanent. In case of unrecovered data, user need not pay anything.

It is also critical that data and personal information is protected. Even if the data being recovered are of a personal nature such as home videos and photos, our client’s privacy is always respected.

Preparation and Knowledge are Key

With the rapid pace of new technology being introduced to the market, the amount of data being produced will continue to grow, the demand for large storage device will continue to escalate, and the potential for data loss will continue to become greater than ever.

Regardless of how heavily a user is invested in new storage device, device failure will eventually happen and data loss will occur. To be prepared and to avoid heartbreaking loss, it is important that customers understand the course of action to take to enable them to recover their data. If the inevitable happens, it is always good to know the options.