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Data Recovery - The Solution For Data Loss
Thursday, November 29, 2007

Is there something more annoying than losing a paper you saved in your computer, on which you worked for weeks? I guess not. For this reason, data recovery is the word of law for people who use computer in their jobs or for school or college.

Many things can cause data loss, such as accidentally deleting files, having your system invaded and corrupted by hackers, power failure when you hadn't saved what you had been writing and other hundreds of possibilities. The truth is: everybody that uses a computer will experience data loss at some point in their lives.

Well, if we are not safe from experiencing data loss, what can help us recover the data we've lost. If we lose something personal, in our homes, it's not as serious as if we lose some important paper from work.

There are mainly two categories of data recovery: Common Recoveries and Complex Recoveries. The first one consists of recovering the data of a single user, either from a floppy disk or hard disk. Complex Recoveries consists of recovering data from a computer with multiple users.

Using data recovery

Many people think that just because they can't find the file in the folder it was saved to means that they have lost the data and they need data recovery. It's not always like this. We may have accidentally changed the location where the file is saved or even renamed it. Before using data recovery, we have to be sure the data is lost. In general, people can use data recovery either if:

- they deleted the file by accident
- they deleted the file, but regretted it later
- the power failed and they haven't saved the information
- they had their data corrupted, usually caused by intruders
- they found some drives or partitions simplly are not accessible.

Recovering data

Experiencing data loss for any reason is really a nuisance. However, recovering the data may not be that difficult.

We in general forget - or simply are not aware - that all the files we lose, especially if we accidentally deleted them, remain in our computer, hidden somewhere where we can no longer see them. In order to recover the data, we just have to find where it is hidden and save it all again.

The best way to recover data without suffering for days and nights in order to accomplish this task has to do with creating backups of important data. You can save your data on CDs or floppy disks in order to always have a second copy of the file in case you lose it. It's important to keep it as up to date as the original saved in the computer because if you don't do that, the files will be different and you lose information in the same way.

Creating backups of data

One of the biggest problems people have is choosing the data to backup. It is a difficult task, we have to admit it. So, here is a simple list of things considered important enough for people create backups of:

- Financial information, including bank records
- E-mail address book
- Important correspondence
- Business information, especially if we are talking about companies and offices that deal with clients
- Papers from school or college
- Personal projects
- Important documents

People can create backups on the computer, however if they experience a theft, fire or flood it will be lost. That's why it's advisable to backup and save files in different places. In order to get the most of your backups, try to follow some guidelines:

- Always backup! If you are a home user, creating backups once a month is a good idea, however, if we are talking about companies and offices, the best option would be to create backups once a week.
- Avoid volatile data, which is data that is not saved in your computer because you are creating it and haven't saved it yet.
- We are humans and we forget things, for this reason configure your computer to create automatic backups.

Safe data recovery

Data recovery is not that simple do to, but it's not impossible either. In order to do data recovery in the right way, the best thing is to observe some rules:

- Don't try to continue doing data recovery if your computer starts making weird noises
- Running the scan disk is not the best option since it puts more pressure onto the system
- Running utilities that you don't know how to deal with can cause even more damage
- Formatting or reinstalling systems is not the solution either.

A last word: the best thing to do is to create backups and keep them up to date in order to avoid the problem of data recovery.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Data Recovery

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:15 AM  
Data Recovery First Aid: 3 tips to increase your chances of success

Let's get to the important part first - if you've just lost your data, skip past this introduction and go directly to our first tip, so you can start your rescue operation. If not, a few minutes spent now might help you a lot in the future. Pay special attention to our third tip.

I always thought of myself as a reliable guy with reliable data. I never deleted my files accidentally, I made regular backups and had a power supply for my computer to protect me against surges and outages. However last year I experienced two cases of data loss where I needed to use recovery software. The first was a dead hard drive that'd hardly served a year. Subsequently, I accidentally deleted a large project file that was too big for the Recycle Bin. Happily I've got all my data back, thanks to good advice and a little preparation.

These handy tips will help you stay confident in the face of data loss, no matter how it occurs.

Tip #1: Use your system as little as possible until you recover all of your lost files. The more activity taking place on your hard disk, the greater the chance that some of your lost data might be written over.

- Don't copy any files to the disk containing your lost data; - Avoid browsing the web, because your web browser saves cache files on the disk; - Don't launch any unnecessary programs, because they can also use your disk; - Don't restart your computer.

Tip #2: Before you go further, take steps to free up some space on the disk containing your lost files. The more free space your system has, the less chance of overwriting any lost files with new ones. You can do one or more of the following things.

- Delete old files that you don't need anymore (you can also move them to another source, like a USB flash drive, instead of deleting); - Empty your Recycle Bin - making sure that you haven't put any important files in there by mistake; - Empty your browser cache. For Internet Explorer, click on the "Tools" menu, then select "Internet Options". Then, on the "General" tab, click the "Delete Files..." button.

Tip #3: To install any software after data damage increases the risk of your data being overwritten, so if you haven't had any data problems yet, consider installing a data recovery program just in case. Prevention is always better than cure, and a recovery program is good insurance for your data. However, if you don't yet have a recovery program, find one and - if possible - avoid installing it to the disk where your lost files are located.

Most recovery programs work fairly similarly. You need to select the disk where the lost files are located, let the program analyze the content of the disk - this can take a while - and then select the file you want to recover. Then, provide a location where you want to save that file. You should try to avoid recovering files to the same disk. You could use another hard drive, a network or removable media like a floppy disk or USB flash drive.

After you recover your files, check that they are correct. If you've recovered applications, check that they still run, or if you've recovered documents, check that your words are still there. Even the best recovery software can't guarantee 100% results. If some parts of your files were overwritten - meaning that other data was saved to their location on your disk - after recovery they might contain invalid information. Depending on the type of file involved, partially recovered files like this can be mended by special utilities.

Article Source: http://www.softwaretalks.com/first-aid/

SoftwareTalks features regular articles from in-house experts facing personal technology issues rarely raised in popular media.

Web: http://www.SoftwareTalks.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:14 AM  
Hard Drive Data Recovery

Hard drive data recovery is the method of recovering data from hard drives when it cannot be accessed in the normal manner. This failure to access the hard drive could be caused due to logical damage to the file system or any physical damage that had occurred to the storage device, thereby preventing it from being mounted by the host operating system.

The physical damage to a hard drive could occur due to several mechanical failures such as failed motors or head crashes. The physical damage of a hard drive can always lead to some data loss and in many cases this can also results in damage to the logical structures of the file system. In fact, logical damages to a file system are more common than physical damage. This includes damages caused by power outages, which prevents file system structures from being completely written to the hard drive, system crashes, and problems with hardware (particularly RAID controllers).

Most physical damage to hard drives cannot be repaired by end users. For instance, opening a hard drive in a normal environment can cause dust to settle on the surface, resulting in further damage to the platters. Mind you, normal computer users may not have enough technical experience to make type of repairs. This is where hard drive data recovery companies play a major role in helping the end user to recover their valuable data from a damaged hard drive. Almost all these hard drive data recovery firms use Class 100 clean room facilities to protect your hard drive while repairing, and use the latest tools such as magnetometers to retrieve the lost bits from the magnetic media. The extracted raw bits retrieved from the damaged disk are used to rebuild a disk image, which can then be mounted to have its logical damage repaired.

Nowadays, there are several companies which offer hard drive data recovery software programs which help the end users to recover all their important files or folders lost after an accidental format, partition loss, software malfunction, file or directory deletion, or virus crash. Whether your computer crashes or you accidentally delete the files, hard drive data recovery software helps you to locate, recover and restore lost information from your disk.

Some of the main contexts where hard drive data recovery software could save one from the blues include a formatted drive, deleted file or directory, missing file or directory, drive not booting, inaccessible drive, support copying of system locked files like registry hives, damaged or corrupted partition table, recovery of deleted files and folders on FAT and NTFS hard drive or partitions, retrieve compressed files from NTFS partitions, data recovery on damaged FAT and NTFS partitions, and formatted hard drives.

Most of the hard drive data recovery software programs available in the market are easy to install and use and are virtually self maintaining. It is highly recommended to use any of the popular hard drive data recovery software in your computer along with other programs. The program frequently creates backup copies of all your files so that you need not have to worry of any potential unexpected data loss.

It is better to prevent and prepare than repent and repair later. Check http://harddriveusa.com for additional resources on hard drives.

Mac McClellan is the webmaster for Hard Drive USA http://harddriveusa.com, a useful site for information and resources on hard drives.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:11 AM  
Data Recovery 101

Almost all computer users have experienced this at least once - the need to get back a deleted /lost data file. This could happen as a result of a software failure, hardware failure, human error, power related problems, damage caused by flood / water, vandalism, virus damage, damage by fire / heat / smoke and sabotage. Whatever the cause and reason that you need data recovery there is no reason to panic, for help is at hand. The need and urgency to recover data has resulted in a plethora of data recovery software to rescue you from a crisis like situation.

Unless the hard disk is not working normally, the need for professional service is almost rendered unnecessary. If the hard disk is not making any weird noise like scratching, scraping or ticking (which means it is in good condition) data recovery can be done with the use of proper data recovery software, without the help of any technical personnel. The data recovery software that is available can be used for Mac, NT/2000/XP and RAID data recovery. The data recovery software is also FAT and MFT compliant.

Hard drive data recovery is possible from small hard drives of 2 GBs to big hard drives of 120 GBs. Hard drive data recovery requires the presence of technicians if there is a hard drive crash.

Data recovery software used for NT data recovery provides recovery of deleted files from the recycle bin, partition recovery from deleted partition or formatted logical drives, from lost folders and performs data recovery even if MFT is severely corrupted. NT data recovery software also recovers emails and all forms of files.

Mac data recovery software recovers HFS and HFS+ File System Data. Mac data recovery software also recovers partition if partitions are deleted or formatted, files from Lost or Missing Mac folders. Mac data recovery software recognizes and preserves long file names when recovering Mac files and folders as well as provides full support for IDE, EIDE, SCSI and SATA drives.

'Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks' or RAIDS offers better data recovery chances as long as the drives are cloned. RAID is a collection of hard disks that act as a single better hard disk than the individual ones. The hard disks of RAID operate independent of each other. A single drive failure is absorbed by RAID and does not result in loss of data. However, when RAID fails, it fails big time and then RAID data recovery software is used to retrieve data. Raid data recovery software recovers both RAID software and hardware.

Natalie Aranda writes about Internet and Computers.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:03 AM  
Data Protection And Hard Disk Recovery Go Hand In Hand
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

When it comes to hard disk recovery, the best method is to insure that you will never need it. Besides making frequent backups, the following measures will keep your system running smoothly.

Antivirus Protection

New viruses are invented every day, and system security is a concern for every business. Malicious software can damage your system to the point where it will not even boot up. The latest versions of Windows are the favorite targets of malicious programs such as spyware and viruses, and it is helpful to use 2 or more antivirus/anti-spyware programs to prevent destruction or theft of your data.

Spyware Scanner

The clues that spyware is on a computer include a barrage of pop-up ads, a hijacked browser,a sudden or even repeated change of your computer?s Internet home page, the appearance of a new toolbar or new screen icons, malfunctioning keys, random error messages, and most of all, sluggish computer performance. Any sytem with access to the internet is prone to this problem, but there is software to block spyware installation. In addition, make sure all employees using the office network do not download from unknown sites, and set your internet browser security at "Medium" or higher. Install individual firewalls to prevent uninvited users from accessing your network. A firewall blocks unauthorized access to your computer and will alert you if spyware already on your computer is sending information out. Purchase an anti-spyware program from a vendor you know and trust. Set it to read on a regular basis, at least weekly and if possible each time you run your computer. Delete any programs the anti-spyware program detects on your computer.

Computer Maintenance

The best way to avoid having to use file recovery software is to be sure that no corrupt data is stored on your computer. Companies like Norton sell disk optimization programs keep your network running at top speed, correct problem files and maximize the available space on your hard disk. Run disk optimization and anti-virus programs at least once a week.

Hard Disk Recovery

There are disk recovery applications specifically geared to recovering files of a certain format, like graphics files as opposed to word document files, and there are general-purpose programs to hunt for any type of misplaced file regardless of the format. There is no program on the market that can guarantee recovery of every lost file, but you are able to increase your chances for recovery by selecting the appropriate program for the file you are trying to save.

Do-it-yourself programs are a lot less expensive than hiring a data retrieval company that specializes in information recovery, and to save money you should at least attempt to utilize of this type of program before calling a professional.

In addition to recovering deleted files, there exists information recovery programs that can restore files after you have formatted the drive, after a power failure, natural disaster, or even files damaged by a computer virus.

RAID

RAID is short for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks, a category of disk drives that employ 2 or even several drives in combination to improve data storage fault tolerance and performance. RAID disk drives are frequently installed on servers but can also run on individual computers. Because of the duplication of data, it is possible to recover files from one or another disk when the need arises.

As you might expect, RAID disk repair is quite a complicated process. However it is one of the most foolproof methods of data storage because the RAID architecture strategically distributes information randomly across the array. However, this sort of architecture demands the services of a recovery professional.

J Shipper needs Data Protection and Accounting Software

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 9:46 PM  
Data Recovery Help

If you are looking for help with data recovery, you are likely not in the mood for the sales hype and the marketing schemes. Individuals looking for it are usually in need of it because their system has crashed or they can not locate the data and information that they desperately need. Many individuals find themselves lost without the precious memory that they have to have in order to make a sale or to contact a company or even worse the data to keep their computer in functioning order. Data recovery options are available though.

There are two main ways in which you can find help here. First, you can call on data recovery specialists that can come in and help you. These individuals can help by accessing your computer and finding what has happened. They are skilled and able to read more into the problem than most computer users can. A good individual to call on for this type of service is someone that has the ability to be around anytime that you need them, experience dealing with your type of system and honesty. You do not want to go with just anyone and it's important to establish a working relationship with a company before you have problems.

The second type of data recovery option that you have is through software. Many software programs are available to help you. These will store and keep your very precious information on file so that if something were to happen, they would have it available for you. Of course, this type of data recovery really only works if you have it in place before a problem.

Do you need data recovery help? Do you need to call on someone to help you through one of the worst computer situations of your life? When all else fails, the best thing for you to do is to call on a specialist. Sure, your brother's wife's aunt's husband says that he can help you, but unless you really know that they can and you have the time to wait around for him to fix it, it is best to call on a professional to handle your situation in data recovery.

Written by T.Parker.Visit No1 in Data Recovery for further information.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 9:44 PM  
London Data Recovery Network Disaster Recovery Planning Data Disaster Recovery Plan

Data Recovery Services Considering the importance that information assumes these days it is important to have software in place that ensures that nothing unforeseen happens. For this Netstar provides IT support to its customer in UK. Whenever you start a business your main worry is the data created or stored by you. It has been seen that people are more worried about their data so they take numerous measures in order to safeguard it. Despite taking various precautionary steps still you can lose your data and you may require London data recovery services. Data disaster recovery services can be used in the following cases: when your computer does not boot, you have formatted your disk recently, there is a sudden virus attack, or when the data gets deleted by mistake. As more and more people and businesses are getting dependent on the computers many London data recovery companies are cropping up. All these companies have attractive and powerful data disaster recovery plan. One of the major and top companies providing this data recovery service is NetstarUK. It has got the most powerful and flawless process which ensures the total data recovery. Most of the companies that suffer data loss especially in UK always head towards Netstar UK. The work is done in complete confidentiality. Most of the London data recovery companies are able to recover data from an array of damaged media across a wide range of operating system. Majority of London data recovery companies follow a set path of data disaster recovery plan in which they evaluate your device and diagnose the actual fault. Evaluation usually involves mechanical diagnostics, creating a sector copy and assessing data integrity. Once the evaluation is over, the next step is to repair the damage accordingly. If there is a mechanical damage then the damaged part is usually repaired or replaced. This type of recovery generally uses high-tech software to extract all possible data from the device. In case the original data has been damaged by the virus then your system is completely disinfected before restoring the original data. As soon as the lost data is recovered, it is then systematically compiled on the device. Netstar UK and all the major London data recovery companies generally follow the transparent way and take 3 to 6 days for data recovery. Netstaruk is also in Computer maintenance throughout out UK especially in London and Essex. Summary: To safeguard your business and important data loss many companies approach data recovery companies. Netstar UK is the major and the topmost company providing completive and cost-effective data recovery services.

I like writing articles related to Netstaruk.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 9:42 PM  
Disc And Data Recovery
Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Data Recovery is probably the last thing on anyone's mind when they buy a computer. Most of us never think something will go wrong until it's too late. Data recovery or Disc Recovery services is something we hope we will never have the need for.

Whether your computer simply crashes or you accidentally delete software that is important or imperative to you, it may seem that your information is lost for good. Although, if you have quality data recovery software already in your system or on your computer, you should feel good in the fact that it has backup, even though things like this can and will happen at times. This can be extremely important for you state of mind and well being when it comes to safeguarding your personal or business information and software.

What many don't understand is that there are numerous reasons things can go wrong on their computer. Whether it is your own personal computer you are responsible for, or a large business computer system, having a method of restoring the information when things go wrong can be of the utmost importance. Your computer could run slow or be packed full of non efficacious adware and spyware that can ultimately destroy your important files, siphon and transfer personal data, this could cause a computer crash. In a blink of an eye, everything that is important to you could be gone. Storms can cause Power surges quickly and without much or any advance warning, that could be all it takes to lose everything.

These are not the only ways you can lose the data that is stored on your computer. Most people think this will never happen to them, it's human nature. So what do we do? Nothing, which means you could lose everything. Disc recovery is an absolute must to avoid these things from happening. Disc and Data Recovery is very easy to install and use and can be virtually self maintaining. So why doesn't everybody take advantage of data recovery? It could be the expense, but it doesn't cost much, more likely they just don't understand the importance or simply don't think about it at all until it's too late. Data recovery is quite possibly the most important thing for computer users. Don't get caught without it!

http://www.sddatanet.com/

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 4:27 AM  
Do It Yourself Data Recovery: Freezer Method
Tuesday, November 13, 2007

There has been a long running myth about putting your hard drive in the freezer when it crashes in order to revive it just long enough to pull your data off of it. We've run this test for fun on many occasions in different scenarios with junk test drives that we have in our lab. So far we have yet to see this actually produce any positive results. Infact, in one instance we actually began to see the formation of tiny microscopic ice crystals on the platter themselves, which is a definite crash waiting to happen.

See the problem with this theory is, contrary to popular belief, hard drives are not completely sealed. Regardless of what you've heard or read, all hard drives have a tiny breather hole (usually marked with a label that says DO NOT COVER). This hole not only aids in cooling but it also helps to equalize air pressure in the drive when the platters are spinning. On the other side of this hole is a filter which keeps dirt and debris from getting inside the drive. However, this filter does not stop heavy amounts of moisture (epecially in flood situations) or moisture vapor (such as found naturally in the air).

Placing a hard drive in the freezer, even if it is wrapped in ziplock bags, esd bags, taped up, and completely waterproofed, there is still moisture vapor within the air surrounding the drive. When a drive is placed in a freezer, this vapor can settle on the platter and form microscopic ice crystals. When the hard drive is powered up after being removed from the freezer, the read/write head would come in contact with these crystals, which would pretty much resemble an airplane flying into a mountain.

At that point your data for that area of the platter, not to mention the heads themselves are destroyed. While there are stories where this has worked, we get calls from customers every so often where their hard drives failed, and then after a few hours they worked again on reboot. In the case of freezer drives, it's hard to tell if it's a quirk with the drive or if actually freezing the components helped to get the drive functional again. Regardless, if your data is valuable at all, then the freezer method may be one trick you want to steer clear of.

Greg Duffield is the founder of ACS Data Recovery, a premier provider of hard drive data recovery services. You can reach them toll free at 1-877-646-0546 or on the web at http://www.acsdata.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:34 AM  
Hard Drive Crash? The Essential Data Recovery Report

Your worst nightmare just became a horrifying reality. You keep hearing that little voice in your head mockingly shout you should have backed that stuff up The voice keeps echoing throughout your head as you perform a quick inventory all of the important information that you just lost..your client database, a years worth of e-mail, your entire inventory database, even your family photos. Even worse, youve got a deposition in two-weeks and key information needed to help win the case were also lost. You quickly call a service technician and have them come over to check the computer out, only to hear the worst news of all.your data has been lost. When a hard drive crashes, its too late to worry about what you should have done.

Today data recovery is a multi-million dollar industry. The number of data recovery firms out there seems to exceed the number of fast food restaurants for the entire planet. These companies specialize in helping their clients retrieve data on anything from hard drives to flash-roms. In the following report, we will discuss what data recovery really is; the different types, the costs, and what you can realistically expect when it comes to getting your data recovered.

What To Do In The Event Of Data Loss?

Around 44% of all data loss is caused by hardware failure. Its important to make sure that you immediately shut your system down if you suspect that hard drive has crashed. Dont even try to go through the shutdown procedure, just pull the plug from the wall. Do not try to run off the shelf data recovery software or drive utilities. Many times these applications will assume the drive is functioning properly and will increase the risk of permanent data loss.

Types Of Hard Drive Failure

When we discuss data recovery in this report, we will primarily focus on issues surrounding hard drive failures; since these types of failures are most common. There are really two primary forms of failure in a hard drive, logical and physical. Logical failures are usually a result of file-system corruption. This can occur due to a virus, accidental deletion of key files or registry components, and in some cases even electro-static discharge. In most cases where a logical failure has occurred, the drive is still recognized by the system BIOS, but it will not boot. In most cases, your data should still be intact on the drive, even though it may appear to be inaccessible.

If the system BIOS does not detect the presence of the hard drive, then chances are a physical failure has occurred. Physical failures can result from a wide variety of causes. There are really two sub-categories for physical hard drive failures; mechanical and electronic. Mechanical failures usually result from a failure of the spindle motor. Spindle motor failure can result from excessive heat due to a bearing failure. The increased heat resulting from the bearing failure will expand the drive shaft and therefore seize the spindle motor. Suddenly, your drive will become inoperative. Occasionally, you will get a warning that something bad is about to happen. You may hear a loud whining, a grinding noise, even high-pitched screeches. If anything like this starts to occur, BACK UP YOUR DATA IMMEDIATELY.

Another physical issue that sometimes rears its ugly head is an electronic failure. If you look at a hard drive you will notice a circuit board on the bottom. This board is basically the brains of the drive, and it is where the computer interfaces to the hard drive. An electrical failure can occur unexpectedly at any time. Even brand new hard drives are not totally immune to having electrical failures. Sometimes its just a faulty component, sometimes its improper installation (i.e. electro-static discharge, grounding out the board, damaging circuitry during installation). Its important to also keep your system clean and well ventilated, since excessive heat can damage the electrical components on the drive. If you have a system that is in a somewhat contained area, you may look at adding an additional 80mm fan to cool the internal components of the system, especially the hard drive. No other component of a computer works as much as the hard drive, and therefore it is vitally important not to overlook it when cooling issues arise.

How Is My Data Recovered?

One of the most often asked questions that customers ask is, how do you get my data back? Well, its really not black magic or rocket science. Its just a matter of having the right tools and the knowledge necessary to know what to do, much like a surgeon performing heart by-pass surgery. Many prominent data recovery facilities have a large array of hardware, software and tools for recovering data.

Generally speaking when a hard drive is received by a data recovery firm, the first thing they do is evaluate it, and determine what recovery solution will be necessary. If the drive failure is a logical issue as mentioned earlier, then a scan of the drive will be performed to try and repair the file system corruption. Sometimes a partition can be repaired and the drive restored to the status that it was before the failure. If this is not possible, then a very low-level scan will be performed that essentially searches every sector of the hard drive for files. Once the files are located, they can then be copied to the media of choice, i.e. a CD-ROM, DVD-ROM or another hard drive. Logical recoveries can take up an enormous amount of time, especially if the drive is on the verge of physical failure. Its not uncommon to allow for one day of scanning and a day for recovering the found files.

If the drive has suffered a physical failure, then the recovery procedure is quite a bit more challenging. As mentioned above, there are really two sub-categories of physical failure; mechanical and electronic. An important element in recovering data from a physical failure is having the necessary parts to get the drive functioning again. Unfortunately with hard drives if you have a 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for example, then you will need another identical 20GB Maxtor Hard Drive for salvaging parts. In cases where the electronic circuit board has failed on the hard drive, then you have to have the exact same circuit board on hand in order to retrieve the necessary circuit components for replacement. Many times you cannot even exchange circuit board for circuit board. These repairs generally require soldering skills and a thorough knowledge of electronics to be successfully completed. You will most likely hear Class100 Clean Room thrown around a lot when talking to data recovery professionals. Simply stated, a Class100 Clean Room maintains exceptional air purity, and contains less than 100 airborne particles larger than 0.5 microns in each cubic foot of air. This is vital in protecting sensitive internal components of hard drives. Anytime a hard drive is having an invasive procedure performed on it, a Class100 clean room or better is needed.

The time frame for recovery is generally 5-10 business days for physical issues and 2-4 days for logical issues. Sometimes if components are not readily available, then it may take weeks to complete the recovery. Some firms offer expedite service and you definitely pay for this added attention.

What About Data Recovery Software

This is one area where you really do get what you pay for. Try to stay away from software in the $20-$60 range, since these utilities are generally very limited in what they can do. Also make sure that you NEVER and just to emphasize, NEVER EVER get data recovery software that writes anything at all to the damaged disk. You run the risk of overwriting data that may otherwise have been recoverable, but will be lost forever. If you are fairly computer savvy, then there are a few good data recovery software solutions available.

What To Look For When Shopping For Data Recovery

Theres an old saying, you get what you pay for. In most cases this is true. However, just because a company with a fancy website quotes you $3,500 for data recovery, does not mean that they are any better than a company that quotes you $1,500. Also, try to stay away from companies that want to charge $50-$300 for evaluating your drive. There has been a movement in the data recovery industry over the last couple of years to offer a number of free services. Most reputable data recovery companies will evaluate standard IDE drives free of charge; so dont let the word free this or free that stop you. The data recovery market is quickly becoming saturated, and a company does not necessarily cheapen itself or lack expertise by offering free evaluations.

You will find as you shop around for data recovery that prices vary greatly. You will get quotes that range from $300 to $5,000 for standard hard drive recoveries. Its not uncommon to literally get quotes that have at least a $1,500 high/low spread. We shopped one prominent data recovery company where we gave them specific indicators of a physical hard drive failure. We were eventually quoted a price range of $600 to $2,900 for the recovery. Many times this is a bait and switch type tactic. They get you to send in the drive with the low-end $600 price, then they let you know its going to cost $2,100 for the recovery. You end up being well under the $2,900 high-end price, but well over what other reputable companies would charge. Since most customers wont go through the pain of having the drive sent back, only to have to send it out to another company, these bait and switch companies end up making huge profits off of unsuspecting customers.

Try to find a company that will give you an up front cost for either a logical or physical recovery. Most companies will be able to tell you within a couple hundred dollars the cost of a recovery. However, dont misunderstand a company that gives you a price for two different procedures. For example, some companies will give you a price if the failure is logical and a price if the problem ends up being physical. We called one firm and were told that if the drive had a logical failure the price would be $400 and if it ended up being a physical issue the price would be $1,600. This is not a high/low spread as mentioned in the earlier example, this is simply quoting a price for two different types of recoveries.

On average you can expect to pay anywhere from $400 to $600 for logical recoveries, and $1,200 to $2,000 for physical recoveries on standard IDE hard drives. If you have RAID drives, SCSI, etc. depending on the configuration prices can be as high as $15,000. Remember, backup backup backup backup backup!!

Can My Data Be Recovered?

In most cases the answer to this question is yes. On average, the success rate for data recovery professionals is about 75-85%. However, there are times when the data is just lost, either due to extensive damage to the platter or unavailability of replacement parts.

How Do I Get Started?

If you have a hard drive that has crashed, the most important thing you can do is contact a data recovery professional immediately. Make sure you arent being charged an evaluation fee if you have a standard IDE hard drive. Most companies only charge evaluation fees for complex RAID and network server drives.

It is important to do your homework, call and talk with the companies. When you find one that you feel comfortable with, give them a chance. Your hardest job, may be finding data recovery firms that actually have someone available to answer the phones. Ask questions and be sure to have the following information available:

  • Size of the drive
  • Operating system (i.e. Windows 98, Windows XP, etc.)
  • Situation of failure (what happened just before the drive stopped working)

  • Is the drive recognized by the computer or not

Good luck in getting your data recovered, and make sure you always backup your important information on a daily basis.

Greg Duffield is the found of ACS Data Recovery, a premier provider of data recovery services. You can visit them on the web at www.acsdata.com or call toll-free 1-877-646-0546

gduffield@acsdata.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 12:28 AM  
Options for Computer Data Recovery
Monday, November 5, 2007
Losing files on your computer can be a frightening experience if the files are of importance to you personally or professionally. Computer data recovery techniques include the most simple of operations, like simply retrieving an accidentally deleted file, to very complex file retrieval procedures that only professionals should attempt to do.

If you are trying to proceed with your hard disk recovery solution on your own, first start with the most obvious answer. Look in your recycle bin to see if the file has been placed there. If it is, you can choose the "restore" option, and your system will automatically put the file back on your computer where it was stored originally. Of course, if every retrieval was this simple, there would be no need for computer professionals who specialize in data recovery, so chances are you'll need to try a different technique to find your lost data.

If you've deleted a file on your computer, and you've emptied your recycle bin, don't despair. When a file is deleted on a computer, it's not erased immediately from the system. What actually happens is the computer marks the deleted file as "deleted", and it is no longer in view to users within your computer's files. The file remains on the hard drive until new data is saved over it, similar to recording songs on cassette tapes. So, in order for computer data recovery to happen on files that have been deleted, you'll need to attempt to recover them before new data has been written over the file.

The best thing you can do to increase your chances of success is to immediately stop using the computer until you've retrieved the deleted file. The more you use your computer, the more information will be saved and the more likely the information could be saved over the file you are hoping to get back!

If you are trying to proceed with your hard disk recovery solution on your own, first start with the most obvious answer. Look in your recycle bin to see if the file has been placed there. If it is, you can choose the "restore" option, and your system will automatically put the file back on your computer where it was stored originally. Of course, if every retrieval was this simple, there would be no need for computer professionals who specialize in data recovery, so chances are you'll need to try a different technique to find your lost data.

If you've deleted a file on your computer, and you've emptied your recycle bin, don't despair. When a file is deleted on a computer, it's not erased immediately from the system. What actually happens is the computer marks the deleted file as "deleted", and it is no longer in view to users within your computer's files. The file remains on the hard drive until new data is saved over it, similar to recording songs on cassette tapes. So, in order for computer data recovery to happen on files that have been deleted, you'll need to attempt to recover them before new data has been written over the file.

The best thing you can do to increase your chances of success is to immediately stop using the computer until you've retrieved the deleted file. The more you use your computer, the more information will be saved and the more likely the information could be saved over the file you are hoping to get back!

Brad Triggs provides more information on
Data Recovery at his website:
http://www.data-recovery-central.com

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 9:09 PM  
Data Recovery Made Easy
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Today millions of people all around the world depend on their computers for their daily work, and while modern computers are fairly reliable millions of dollars are lost every year due to technical problems and loss of data. If you spend more than a few hours per month in front of your computer you probably have some important documents and emails somewhere on your harddrive. In fact, many computers users have the result of hundreds of hours of hard work stored on their harddrives. What most people do not realize though, is that computers and harddrives is not a very secure place to store important information. A virus attack, disk crash or even a human error can easily wipe out irreplaceable files or your entire harddrive. While it is possible, although very expensive, to recover information from a crashed or erased harddrive, there is only one simple way to protect your files, emails and other data from crashes and technical disasters. Save backups on CDs, DVDs or some other secure media and update your backups daily! If you have an up to date backup, expensive and complicated data recovery procedures are no longer necessary.

Creating Backups the Easy Way
When creating backups, it is important that you update you backups often or they will not be very useful. To accomplish this I strongly recommend that you use a backup software with built-in scheduling. If your backup software can write your backups directly to a CD or DVD, that's even better. WinBackup is a new backup solution from LIUtilities that makes it very easy to schedule backups of files, documents and emails. WinBackup can update your backups automatically on a daily basis. Since WinBackup also includes fully automatic CD/DVD burning you can even leave your backup DVD disc in the DVD writer all the time and it will automatically be updated every day (or night). WinBackup can also encrypt and compress your backups on-the-fly. By compressing your backups you can often store over 1 GB on a single CD or 10GB on a DVD. Encryption ensures that no one else will be able to access your backups, which may contain sensitive information or documents. WinBackup also lets you backup file from other computers on the network and you can store your backups on server any where on the network. If you are using 256-bit encryption you can even store your backups online without compromising security. Creating backups of important files, emails and documents on a regular basis is simply the cheapest and most efficient way to recover your data after a crash.

Software developer for LIUtilities ( www.liutilities.com )

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 1:51 AM  
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