computer data recoveryComputer Data Recovery is most often needed in cases of virus infection, malfunctioning software or a plagued operating system. Besides the “invaluables” saved to disk (people do run into burning buildings to save family photos), businesses could not operate in today’s environment without a fast and reliable computer data recovery plan.

Home computing allows users to save (besides those “invaluables”) financial records, accounting information, grandma’s favorite wine recipes, games, music and videos and grandma’s favorite wine recipes, etc,.

Everyone’s computer should be equipped with a UPS (battery backup) that make it possible to keep the system on in case of power outages and electrical surges and to at least give you enough time to save your open files and shut down properly.

No matter who you are or what computer brand you use, data loss will happen. At some point in time (the worst possible time), your hard drive will crash or malfunction, guaranteed. If you have been diligent by maintaining a recent “backup” you won’t be tempted to pull out the rusty razorblades. You will just replace the disk (if it won’t power up), install the backed up data and you’re back in business.

Ensure that your data is duplicated (backed-up) on at least one other device (external disk) that is not connected to your computer, and avoid the possibility of a “budget-busting” expense.

Computer data recovery programs are great and simple to use. They should be downloaded before your problem. You don’t want to be writing anything over the data you want to recover. Install the program before hand so that when disaster strikes you’re ready to rock. Most programs keep your previous data and information on file, so when something does happen to your system, it will be “backed-up” (somewhat).

In the event of a hard drive failure, virus, or natural disaster (Grandma floods the African Violets sitting on top of your tower), there are common techniques that you can use for data recovery. The most popular is downloadable data recovery software for a simple undelete or to recover a lost partition.

Two other common data recovery issues involve:

  • An operating system (OS) failure where your goal could be to simply copy all wanted files to another partition or external storage device. Disk partitioning and moving valuable data files to a different partition than the OS system files are good ideas.
  • Disk-level failure, such as a compromised file system or disk partition, or a hard disk failure where data cannot be easily read is another common problem. Depending on the situation, solutions may involve repairing the file system, partition table or MBR, or hard disk recovery techniques ranging from software-based recovery of corrupted data to hardware replacement on a physically damaged disk.

    In case of permanent failure of the disk, “recovery” means sufficient repair for a one-time retrieval of the files. For businesses and corporations, technicians are the preferred way to go. Technicians can recover your files, even rebuild your hard drive if needed.

    Even though it may seem like your data is gone forever, it can be retrieved (think F.B.I). Technicians that specialize in data recovery can retrieve it too (even without law enforcement’s electron microscopes and ILook IXImager). It begs the question, “How much do you want to spend?”. DIY recovery can take a lot of time (especially if it’s your first time). So, if you consider “time is money”, you may want to just “take it in”.

    Here are some favorite free (not demos) data recovery software. Some are easily found in “portable” form so you don’t even need to install them onto your computer.

    Recuva is a Windows-based tool that holds the power to resurrect missing files via its file-recovery wizard or application manual mode. When you are not quite sure of where your files are located or lost, the file-recovery wizard proves to be handy not only in retrieving missing files but also locating long forgotten files.

    TestDisk works for Windows, Mac and Linux data recovery needs. It is a powerful tool with a learning curve that will undelete suddenly lost and accidentally deleted files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 file systems. Its functionality includes recovery of damaged boot sectors from backups, rebuilding boot sectors and finding lost partitions.

    PhotoRec is a good complement to TestDisk and is primarily focused on recovering photos and images from digital cameras and flash disks. It quickly and safely copys your lost files to another disk.

    Restoration could be the most helpful addition to your Windows-based USB toolkit. Not only does it help restore missing USB files but also your personal computer files. While it lacks advanced functionality it outperforms many other data recovery tools with its simple application.

    If your computer won’t power up, in-home data recovery software isn’t going to work (obviously). Hardward repair should only be performed by children and highly skilled computer engineers.

    Recovering data from physically damaged and malfunctioning hardware can involve multiple techniques. Some damage can be repaired by replacing parts in the hard disk. This alone may make the disk usable, but there may still be logical damage.

    A specialized disk-reading process is used to recover readable bits from the surface. Once this image is acquired and saved on a reliable medium, the image can be safely analysed for logical damage and will possibly allow for much of the original file system to be reconstructed.

    Virus surveys find that PCs are infected at a rate of more than 10% each month. 35% of all PCs sold to businesses are laptops and 1 in 5 of these laptops will suffer hardware failure in the first 3 years. Computer data recovery from “burnt” hard drives can be a very time consuming process, all depending on just how bad the drive has been damaged. Some data may be lost forever.

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