Data Recovery Questions

Data recovery is one of our most valued services, below we have a few frequently asked questions about data recovery.

Q: What are the typical causes of Data Loss?
A: Data loss may result from one or more of the following: electrical disturbance, physical damage, human error, improper coding, deleting files, viruses, or old age. Many of these forms are recoverable with the proper tools.

Q: My drive is making a strange noise. Is it alright for me to open it up to see what is going on?
A: A definite no! Hard drives are delicate and sensitive pieces of equipment, no one but the manufacturer or a trained specialist should open a sealed drive. Noises usually mean an imminent failure and should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Q: My computer is reporting “Sector Not Found. Error Reading Drive”. Should I run a chkdsk.exe or scandisk.exe?
A: First, attempt to boot the computer from a bootable CD-Rom or USB drive. If the computer does boot, attempt to access the hard drive you are encountering issues with. If the computer boots, attempt to access the hard drive in question. If, once you have booted up, you discover the drive or media is accessible, attempt to back it up to another device immediately. If the computer does not boot, or the drive remains inaccessible, you should seek professional help. Do NOT RUN utility programs on the drives in question. Also, do not use backup programs to attempt to save the data. These programs may add or write files to your damaged drive, which may make data unrecoverable.

Q: Are disk utilities good for recovering lost files?
A: Not usually. In fact, more data is lost in North America each year to disk repair utilities than to actual computer failure or natural disaster. This is because trying to retrieve data using improper procedures or techniques can make a bad situation even worse, resulting in a more labor intensive recovery process.

Q: The partition has been deleted from my hard drive. What should I do?
A: In this case, resist using utility programs, as they may not always provide satisfactory results. If the condition is an “As-Failed” condition, you can usually recover your data with the entire directory structure intact. It is critical, however, that you do not run utility programs, install new programs or attempt to save data onto the affected drive. This could make recovery very difficult.

Q:  How can I prevent future data loss?
A: In a word, Backup. Backing up your data is the best way to prevent critical data loss, and can be performed in a number of different ways. Currently, there are a number of reliable back-up systems, including CD-RW, USB Flash driver, USB External Hard Drives, Network Attached Storage Drives for networks, RAID Configurations and offsite backup to the cloud like Mozy or Carbonite.

Each system should have a backup of some kind, with the choice being a balance between budget and value of data. Also remember that backing up is more than just making the backup.

We also recommend that if you are using a backup solution you should test the backup to make sure you are backing up the data you really need.