Data loss is something of a hidden bugbear that haunts basically any industry that stores information on computers.
Tech professionals generally know how to stay prepared…but not every business owner is a tech professional!
If your company has lost data, it’s not quite time to despair yet. Data recovery services exist which can often pull out lost data from damaged drives. You may not get literally everything back but there’s still hope the bulk of your data can be saved.
Losing data can be massively expensive. In some industries, it may even lead to lawsuits and will almost always cause a cascade of other problems. Even worse, the longer you wait to try and fix the issue, the worse it can get.
Luckily we’ve got you covered. Join us as we go over how you can best recover your data before those expensive problems start stacking up!
Lost data comes in two forms: Gone and “Gone.” Data storage is a pretty complex concept if you’re not familiar but to understand data recovery, it helps to know the basics.
To simplify quite a lot, data is usually stored via magnetism, electronics, or optics via some sort of device designed to communicate with the rest of an electronic device.
There are a host of devices that can store data but one of the most common is a hard disk drive (HDD). Most PCs hold the bulk of their information on such a device. The problem is these drives have a pretty high failure rate after four years.-
This isn’t really unique to HDDs either. Every method of data storage will fail eventually. Nothing lasts forever, after all.
That said some methods of storage are more reliable than others. Storing data on solid-state drives (SDD) tends to be more reliable, as these devices don’t use moving parts so they don’t wear as fast.
Why does any of this matter? Because if your drive just suddenly can’t be accessed, it doesn’t usually mean your data is literally gone. More commonly, a more minor technical or communicative error is occurring between the drive and your computer.
This data is “gone” but there are plenty of cheap data recovery programs out there that can help you get it back. You can imagine it’s like having a treasure vault but the door suddenly disappeared one day. You need a program that can force its way back in.
The way these programs work obviously varies but they basically “talk” to your data storage devices in a different way than normal, which can make it easier to look at files even when your computer wouldn’t ordinarily know how to.
Note that if your data storage device is having problems, you’re going to want to copy the data and put it on a device that isn’t having any issues.
We go over backing up data in a bit but it’s very important you stop trusting any data storage device that is acting up. It isn’t going to “get better” and could very well fail in a way that leaves the data on it gone forever at almost any point once issues start arising. Copy that data, move it elsewhere, and get rid of the storage device.
Admittedly, sometimes parts of the recovered data will be corrupted. As things go wrong on your data storage device, the stored files can start to break down. This could mean minor errors in the files (sometimes so small you won’t really notice) or bigger ones.
The worst corruption means the file is utterly useless. More moderate corruption might mean a file is technically recognized on your computer but doesn’t work right (such as a photo looking distorted or with blurs of color on it).
Sometimes these files can be repaired (although you may want expert help at that point) but it isn’t impossible for a file to be damaged beyond repair. At a certain point, if the necessary data is destroyed by corruption, there is nothing to fix.
The real problems with data recovery start when a data storage device is visibly physically damaged (especially if it was intentional) or special programs are used to wipe the data.
The reality is this type of data loss is often unfixable. Doing this intentionally is fairly easy but it can also happen in a fire or a big fall. To even attempt to recover data from devices that are heavily damaged or intentionally wiped, you will need the services of pricey professionals (who still may not be able to fix your problem).
This is what we mean we say data is gone, rather than “gone.” Sometimes we cannot see data but it is still being held somewhere in a device…other times the data has been totally destroyed or overwritten. Getting that data back is usually impossible.
We haven’t touched on it really but there’s a pretty easy way to avoid the bulk of this hassle. The tech-savvy business owners among our readers probably already know this but the first rule of protecting your data is to have backups!
Backing up data means that even if one of your storage methods fail, you still have the data elsewhere. Having multiple backups is best; it’s not impossible one or two methods fail at once, but three or four different ones? That’s almost impossible.
This obviously isn’t helpful if you’re reading this to deal with a problem you’re only now having but if you’re preparing for the worst…start backing up your data now!
It isn’t especially hard or expensive and any initial costs are way better than losing a lot of data permanently. When one drive gives you issues, you can just get rid of it, buy a new one, and copy your backup data onto it.
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