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Data Recovery Methods Exploring the Pros and Cons of Different Approaches

Looking back at the hard-to-forget events that computer users flash back to most, data loss has to be at the top. It’s the most jarring, disruptive experience, even though hard drive recovery tools are available to the masses.

Fortunately, even when those lost data recovery tools fail, there are specialized data recovery services available. They’re not meant to be utilized by just anyone, though, not unless you have the technical expertise required to handle delicate hardware and software issues.

What is Data Recovery?

Digital information is grouped into blocks of information, and then addresses are assigned to the information so that the operating system can quickly locate it and pull it up to be processed.

Deleted files lose this address. However, even with the address wiped away by some drive corrupting event, the blocks of information are still physically in the same place. It’s just that the operating system can no longer find the data.

What’s needed is a series of mathematical algorithms that will recursively hunt down the data chunks and rebuild them. That’s the job software engineers have assigned to deleted file recovery software, also known collectively as hard drive recovery tools.

Whether you or someone else has accidentally deleted an entire hard drive, whether the drive is mechanically or electronically damaged or corrupt, a properly run lost data recovery process is designed to retrieve and restore inaccessible files. And this includes SSDs and RAID recovery, too.

Events leading to data loss include:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Antiquated equipment
  • Power surges
  • File system corruptions
  • Drops (Mobile Data Recovery)
  • Virus and malware attacks
  • Manufacturer defects

NOTE: Don’t use a corrupted drive, even if it’s still functioning. This is because, due to the OS no longer “seeing” the lost data, it could place new data in the locations where the now invisible files are still stored. If this happens, the lost data is destroyed forever. Do not use the drive until it has been seen by a data recovery professional.

Data Recovery Methods: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Different ApproachesStarting with hard drive recovery tools, users can sometimes recover data themselves. However, the chances of rescuing thousands of lost files on a corrupted hard drive are not good.

The next approach is to make a backup. Data backup solutions are a fine tactic, and a proactive one as well, but the best backup software can go wrong or, as a worst case scenario, overwrite existing data.

The third solution is to entrust your corrupted disk to a repair shop. Do this if you don’t want to buy some unreliable or difficult to master data recovery package.

In order of preference:

  • Have up-to-date data backups.
  • Purchase a software file recovery tool (Risky and unreliable).
  • Investigate a repair service shop who works within the lost data recovery industry.

The third option has the most pros. As for the backup solution, it’s only viable if you’ve thought well ahead of the event. Cons are dotted around the middle option, for commercially available software can be unreliable.

Backup and Prevention

As the old adage goes, hindsight is 20/20. If a data backup solutions package had been installed and utilized before the drive crashed, then the files would be safe and sound on a secondary hard drive or in the cloud.

Backup software prevents data loss heartaches. Remember, some information can be replaced, but there’ll be files, perhaps batches of digitized family photographs and unique documents, that can never be replaced. By taking this approach, peace of mind is assured.

Of course, while local backups are a great first step, they are’t foolproof. Disasters such as fires, floods, or theft can still occur, putting your data at risk. To safeguard your important files, it's essential to have an off-site backup as well.

System redundancies are also essential. Create a backup and keep it locally. Go online and store a second copy in the cloud. Finally, send a copy to a secure server. Next, use a special setting in the software to carry out timed updates. Data backup solutions are incredibly flexible; they need  to be to accommodate a a number of scenarios. Scheduled full backups are of primary importance, of course, but then so are incremental updates and/or differential backups.

From different versions of a data mirror image, versions that have been created on different dates, to backups that are incrementally updated at the end of the business week, there’s no lack of available options.

Backup solutions include:

  • Full  or incremental backups
  • Cloud-based and offsite images
  • Versioned backup files
  • RAID images
  • Tape drives
  • Off-site data centers

Local backups can even be mounted on physical media or on RAID drives. This latter system was once the prevalent data backup solution. For example RAID 0 (Mirroring) uses special logical protocols to arrange hard drives into a single logical unit. In the above configuration, data is simultaneously stored and mirrored.

Like any other fallible system, though, RAID is vulnerable to local events, including fire and earthquakes. It’s better to have an off-site backup, perhaps a cloud-based system, plus the RAID or physical media systems discussed earlier.

Furthermore, software-based recovery recovery systems are vulnerable to accidental overwrites, with new data being written over the files that were supposed to be retrieved. There’s no rewind button for such terrible oversights.

Software-Based Data Recovery Services

Essentially, there’s an entire science driving this service. Without going into too much of the guiding principles, logical errors prevent OS communication. Hard drive recovery is complicated by multiplying filesystem errors, and only the use of a special set of algorithms can salvage the data.

Professional file recovery is therfore often a digital salvaging job, with file signatures and reconstructed data blocks featuring alongside partition table recovery and drive specific salvaging tools. Also, further complicating matters, magnetic disk data loss is quite different from the memory cell data recovery techniques used for SSD devices.

Of course, the issues encountered go deeper. For every corrupted file system and corresponding logical data block recovery tool, there’s going to be a drive or SSD that’s also physically damaged.

Professional Data Recovery Services

There’s actual physical damage to the surface of the disc. The SSD circuitry is damaged or PCB has been fried. Normal hard disc recovery tools won’t work in this situation, so clean rooms and circuit replacement procedures come to the rescue.

Perhaps the data chips in the SSD need to be lifted out of a fried PCB and interfaced with a special cable. In doing so, lost files are salvaged from the chips and restored. The damage can be just as bad on a densely packed magnetic platter, with the platters requiring disassembly in a clean room so that the physical sector wear can be inspected.

Clearly, this is a whole suite of services, as carried out in the cleanest, most technologically equipped labs. Actual data scientists are at work, retrieving lost information in its most essential blocks of ones and zeros. If the file signatures and advanced softwares suites don’t succeed, then the careful breakdown of platters and memory cell chips will succeed.

Risks and Challenges

Regular computer users can barely conceive of the challenges and risks professionals face. Encryption is one possibility, with many operating systems now choosing to encrypt drives. Even portable hard drives are often protected in this manner.

Elsewhere, although a hard drive recovery software package might report a full recovery, data integrity is lost. The files report their full size, but they won’t open, they’re a mess of undecipherable digital information that lacks an accompany information signature. This often occurs when physical damage strikes at a critical juncture on a drive platter.

However, where commonly available software suites fail, the professionals are just beginning their efforts. They reconstruct file systems, use sophisticated information block reconstruction algorithms, and failing all of that, actually strip down the platters and chips until they locate data patterns that will respond to recursive reconstruction instructions.

All-in-all, don’t take a chance with your data recovery needs. This is your system safety net. If your mechanical or solid state storage device(s) fails, only trust your hard disk recovery to a professional, experienced data salvaging service. Attempting to recover the data yourself or using unverified software can further damage the device and potentially result in permanent data loss.

Ready to reclaim and restore your precious lost data? Lost confidence in poorly coded hard drive recovery tools and mobile file recovery solutions? Call the professionals now at a reputable data recovery service. Click now to empower your data comeback and start the ball rolling on retrieving your irreplaceable files!


How much does data recovery cost?

It varies depending on several factors, including the size of the system, whether it’s an intranet or a home business, plus the extent of the deleted files, the type of damage, and the urgency of the issue. Fast turnarounds and expedited RAID recovery solutions on corporate networks cost more than salvaging data off a laptop SSD.

What is the benefit and drawback of different type data backup?

Comprehensive but time-consuming, full database and content backups are impractical in larger systems, which is why system administrators tend to select incremental backups. In a nutshell, less resource-intensive than a full backup, incremental and differential backups only update the latest changes.

What are the methods of database backup and recovery?

For enterprise applications and commercial content management systems in digital storefronts, complete system snapshots, incremental backups, and  date-based transaction logs create a complete and ongoing backup narrative.


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