How Effective is Data Recovery?
By Matt Brennan
When data is lost, it’s common to turn to new measures to get it back. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, how effective is data recovery, when we’re trying to get that information back?
The more data that companies work with, the more common that data loss is. It is unfortunately a necessary evil of depending on critical information to run your business. No matter how it strikes, it can be crippling when you notice crucial information gone missing.
The good news is that data recovery is a field that is quickly advancing. With new techniques being formed all the time, the recovery process is significantly more effective than it used to be.
The Common Causes of Data Loss
Data loss can occur in many numbers of ways. Here are a common few:
- Software or hardware failure
- Accidental deletion
- Hacking, viruses, or malware
- Power outages
- Physical damage to hardware
Data can be lost on any device it’s stored, whether that be a computer hard drive, RAID drive, USB stick, the cloud, or any other common storage location. Because of this, data recovery specialists must be well versed in working on different mediums.
How Data Recovery Works
Data recovery is simply the process that salvages and restores data that was previously lost. Sometimes a full recovery is possible, other times a recovery may be partial.
The effectiveness of the recovery may depend on several variables, including:
- The type and format of the file storage system.
- The condition of the drive or storage system in question.
- How much the system has been used since data was lost. (Use of the storage system should stop immediately once the data loss is observed.)
- How the loss occurred.
The fact of the matter is that performing any function with your computer following the loss of data will jeopardize the recovery process. The best thing that you can do when you notice data missing is to contact a professional data recovery company immediately for assistance in retrieving the information in question.
As stated above, how the loss occurred will have a significant impact on whether that information is recoverable. Let’s look at a few different scenarios and talk about how professional data recovery might come into play.
How Effective is Data Recovery? It Depends on How the File Was Lost
Deleted files typically remain on a drive until they’ve been overwritten. With fast action, they can typically be recovered. If you try to use recovery software, you do run the risk of overwriting them.
If the trash or recycling has already been emptied on your computer after deletion, it’s important to act fast. It’s also worth noting that the simple act of browsing the internet can potentially result in cookies overwriting lost information.
The format of your file system may also determine how easy recovery could be.
The ability to recover corrupted files often depends on the source of the corruption. If it is an operating system that is corrupt, the data might work fine once the hard drive is attached to a different computer.
If it is corrupted software, once the software is repaired, you might be able to get the files back. You may also be able to recover enough from the partition table to be able to retrieve some files, but it will depend on the level of corruption.
If the File System is Damaged or Reformatted
When this happens, information about the previous file structure may be destroyed. When a file system is reformatted, you are replacing everything with a blank memory slate. If there is information left over, a data recovery specialist may still be able to help.
Develop a Recovery Plan
So, how effective is data recovery? It can be pretty effective when there’s a plan in place.
It can help to know exactly what you are going to do in the event of data loss. There is no guarantee that you will see lost data again, but there are steps you can take to increase the chances of recovery. One important step is to increase the chance of recovery is to stop what you are doing when you notice that a file is missing.
Data recovery specialists may be able to help you recover the missing file easier when the drive is not in use after the loss. Contact us today for more information or to help you recover a file!