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We are all familiar with that deep fear that one sudden day, you are going to encounter a disaster where you lose all your precious and valuable data. The hard drive might show corrupted files, deny access or even stop responding completely. Your hard drive is a complex piece of hardware that was multiple components that can break down anytime. Mechanical elements might malfunction, system might get infected or files can get corrupted. But fear not, with the advancement of technology and the existence of data remanence, recovering your lost data is still possible, given the circumstances are right.
We should begin by first looking into how data recovery works. Data is constantly written in your drive even when you are not doing anything. And every time data is deleted or lost, it leaves behind a residue called data remanence. As long as these residues are not overwritten by new data, it is still possible to reconstruct and restore them back to their original form. But this is also what makes data recovery so challenging. The longer time you spend reading the drive and trying to fixing it, the liker the chances are that it will overwrite the residual data. Thus, dead or corrupted hard drive must be dealt with caution, prior knowledge and planning.
Trial-and-errors can be a big gamble for data recovery philadelphia unless you know exactly what to do. Spending too much time not working on the right steps can further extend your damage and costs you a lot of money, or worse make the data irrecoverable. If the hard drive is still readable by the machine, we can certainly give it a try. If not, it might be a mechanical issue and professional help might be needed. Thus, we provide you with five simple steps to recover your data with minimum risk:
The first thing to do is to try to grasp an understanding of what could be wrong with the hard drive, if any at all. Start with some basic check up of USB plugs and pins and make sure that nothing is broken. Is the disk rotating when it is connected? Is it making any noise? Is the drive visible through the computer? Whether it is an external hard drive or internal, take it out dust it off and check for any visible damage. Next, try connecting it to a different machine. If it was something wrong with your primary machine and its connections, the hard drive should work fine on a different one. Is it showing the same issues? If so, you can be certain that something certainly is wrong with the hard drive and move on to the next step.
Before you move further and start overwriting your existing data, shut down your primary machine where the issue initially occurred. This will keep a clone copy of the hard drive’s current memory and act as a backup when reconnected. Next, connect the drive to a secondary device and check for any form of corruption or error. Run some antivirus and antimalware tests to make sure that the drive is safe to work with. This will help to reduce further damage and risk of exposure to potential threats.
If your hardware is facing a logical failure, i.e. non-mechanical, the chances are you can still recover some if not all of your lost data. There are various data recovery software services available both free and paid to help you out. Recuva, Boomerang data recovery, Prosoft’s Data Rescue PC and Ontrack Easy Recovery Data Recovery would be just some of them to begin with. Pick one and download it to the secondary machine to which the drive is connected. Now you are ready for the next step.
To restore your previous files and data, you must at first create a new, secured folder to keep them. Make sure that it is not the same as the corrupted drive folder. Once you have that ready, run the installed recovery software and wait for a while. It might take some time, but depending on the severity of the damage, you should be able to recover some if not all of the lost data. Unless all your lost data footprints were overwritten and it’s not a mechanical failure, most recovery softwares should be able to do the trick. If the first software fails to do so, give it a second and third try with newer ones. However, if it still doesn’t work, we might have to consider step number 5.
If all the previous steps failed and you are still stuck with a dead hard drive, it might be time to consider that your hardware is be facing some mechanical issues. Assuming that you are an average joe and not too much of an IT expert, it can be quite tricky to work with all the different components of the hard drive. Furthermore, it can risk further damage and end up costing you more, or worse make the data completely irrecoverable. Thus, it might not be the worst idea to seek assistance from professional technicians. Let them diagnose and assess the situation. Given their experience and expertise, they just might be to bring to all you have lost.
Data recovery and be a tiring and expensive process, and risky altogether. Care must be taken throughout all the steps to ensure that the data isn’t exposed to further damage and hopefully by the end of it, you will have all your files back to how they were.