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5 Easy Steps to Recover Data From a Hard Drive


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So the worst possible scenario has occurred and you cannot access the valuable information on your hard drive or other media storage device. Whether it is due to an electrical shortage, mechanical malfunction, or accidental deletion, the files are gone and days, months, or even years of work are gone. Sometimes, the cost to replace or duplicate these files may cost thousands of hours in time and labor. In the case of photos and pictures, often the files are irreplaceable whether they are family photos, or a special vacation trip. With the advent of the digital age, businesses can also experience data losses that will end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars if not recovered properly.

There are several steps to take in order to make sure that the drive or storage medium has the highest chance of data recovery:

  • Turn off computer or media device, and make sure power is not flowing into the hard drive. Further damage can result if power is applied to the drive, and it is best to reduce any further risk of data loss.
  • Do not run the drive or use any diagnostics tools on the hard drive. Data recovery has the best possible chance of success when the drive is completely untouched. Running software on the drive can be helpful, but only in specific situations. Data recovery software on an un-diagnosed hard drive is excessively risky when you do not know the nature of the problem.
  • Avoid abusing the hard-drive especially if there are unnatural mechanical noises emanating from the drive. For many the first instinct to fix a drive is to give it a good tap and help it back into operation. While this might seem like a harmless quick fix the ramifications can often be disastrous. The internal components of a hard drive have very close tolerances and while the exterior may appear durable the inside is actually very delicate. A small jolt can cause severe alignment problems resulting in damage to almost every disk.
  • Do not open or dismantle your hard drive. Opening your hard drive will only increase the chance of further damage and will also void the original manufacturer's warranty. Manufacturers recommend opening and dismantling hard drives with specialized equipment and in a ‘clean room’ environment by trained technicians only.
  • Ship the drive to a qualified data recovery service inside an anti-static bag. Make sure to cushion the shipping box with at least 3 inches of padding on each side of the drive. This will avoid any unnecessary jolts and damage during shipping. Using an expedited form of shipping will also increase the chances of recovery success, because priority packages typically receive slightly better handling.

If the above steps are followed closely you are well on your way to having the best possible chance at data recovery. Expert recovery technicians are very pleased to see a drive that has been cared for using the instructions illustrated above. Typically the only data that is unrecoverable is data from drives that have been damaged in attempted recoveries by unqualified individuals or software. Use the utmost care with your drive and the data will have the highest possible chance of recovery.

Data Recovery Experts :: InterData Recovery Services
Recovery of data from hard drives, raid, tapes, dlt, dat, and all other types of optical media.


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