What can you do to recover hard drive files that look like they are gone for good? There is actually no single solution when it comes to hard drive recovery, but realizing where to start is critical. Whether you’ve accidentally deleted files, mistakenly partitioned or formatted your hard disk drive or simply had a run of the mill hard drive failure, the first 15 minutes to one hour is a key time for you. Your actions during this time should be the difference between retrieved data and happiness, and a pricey data recovery nightmare.
Having a data loss emergency is something no one wants to happen to them, but inevitably will. Preparing today will save you a lot of pain in the future. Consider these few tips:
1. Staying Calm Under Pressure – It isn’t going to be easy, that much we can say for certain, but ensuring that you don’t let panic take control is the best thing you can do when faced with a situation where you must recover hard drive data. If you’re missing a file, take a moment to note what you were doing when that file went missing. Do the same thing if you suspect your computer will not start because your hard drive has failed. Although your occurrence may make it look like all is lost, pause for a moment. Only the rarest occurrences make data unrecoverable, and it’s probably not the case here.
2. Don’t Bother With Data Recovery Software, Run From Utilities – Are you an experienced user of data recovery software? If so, go to it. But if you’re in a panic and are looking for “that answer”, anything that claims to recover hard drive data back to where it was, pause for a moment. Understand that data recovery software is a very shady game. Shops who market this application make their living playing off of the fear and panic of distressed users. Ask yourself this: is there a cash back guarantee? Will the developer be liable and pay you for lost data? Both questions are an obvious no. Don’t waste your time. And as for utility applications, understand that in the hard drive data recovery industry, these are known as data mass murderers. The fact is, these applications aren’t specifically made for data recovery purposes, so why use them for that purpose?
3. Get Professional – If the data you’re sure is going to sink you if it’s lost for good is really that crucial to you, would you trust it to a novice? The answer is likely no, so why would you qualify yourself to assess and recover hard drive data? Do you have a secret job as a data recovery technician? Fine. Go for it. But if you don’t, for the sake of yourdata, contact a professional. The call is pretty much always free (if it isn’t, hang up!), and these experts work with panicked people that are afraid their data is gone everyday. Even if you don’t want to pay for a service, they can at least advise you correctly. Consider this first!
Don’t commit the same errors that the majority of people commit when they’ve lost a file or an entire drive. So much of whether you can recover hard drive data has to do with the things you do when it happens, so sit back, take a breath and call a professional.
Maureen Davies is an instructor, data recovery engineer and the current editor of http://www.harddriverecovery.org/. Read more about how you can benefit from professional hard drive recovery services at her company site.