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5 Tips On Using Data Recovery Software
Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Data recovery software can be used to correct errors in hard drives that result in data loss. There are many brands of data recovery software on the market today. Some are simple shareware utilities, while others are full commercial products.

Here are 5 tips on using data recovery software.

1. Data recovery software and broken drive

You should never attempt to use a data recovery program if you suspect your drive is broken. If there are unusual noises coming from the drive, take it to a professional data recovery service. The more you use a malfunctioning drive, the more damage you can do to it.

2. Data recovery software and file system errors

Data recovery software typically uses two main techniques to repair errors to file systems that cause files to be inaccessible. The first is known as consistency checking. Here the program will scan the logical structure of the file system for missing or unexpected results. Examples of utilities that follow this reasoning are the Linux fsck and the Microsoft equivalent chkdsk and scandisk. Fsck refers to file system consistency check, and generally runs when the system is booting up in order to detect errors caused by an incorrect shutdown. Consistency checking does not work if the file system is too badly damaged. 3. Data recovery software and file system damage In the case of severe file system damage, another type of data recovery software can be used. These programs ignore the file system structure and attempt to read whatever data they can from the drive. The program then attempts to recreate files using a set of preprogrammed rules. This type of data recovery does not attempt to repair the file system. Instead, it tries to recover any files that it can, and then save them to a functioning drive. The damaged drive can then be either reformatted or replaced, depending on the cause of the damage. Although this technique is noticeably slower than consistency checking, it can recover data even when the logical structures are badly damaged.

4. Data recovery software and boot drive

If your boot drive has crashed, you may be unable to start up your operating system in order to run the data recovery software. You can try booting up your computer from a CD-ROM, purchase a new hard drive and install your operating system on it, or you can remove the hard drive and install it in another functioning computer.

5. Data recovery software and undo feature

When selecting data recovery software, make sure it has an undo option. You should never perform data recovery on a drive without the ability to undo any changes you are making. If you are unable to retrieve the missing data with this software, you want to be able to try again with another program or to use a professional data recovery service.

By following these tips, you may be able to safely recover your lost or deleted data. It is always good practice to back up your important data regularly so as to minimize your losses.

There are instances when data recovery software cannot be used to recover lost data. Learn about when you must seek professional data recovery services.

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