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Friday, June 15, 2012

Data Recovery Options: Is All Your Work Gone?

Imagine the frustration that you would feel if you were, say…an aspiring author, who has just completed what is sure to be the next best seller, only to discover that all of your book files are either completely gone or damaged beyond retrieval.

Or put yourself in the shoes of a successful business owner whose computer just got struck by lightning and all of his client information fried… extra crispy. Oh wait…Maybe you don’t have to imagine anything. Maybe that’s why you’re here, looking for help.
There are a few different ways of retrieving lost or damaged information. If your computer’s operating system has failed, you can simply recover data by copying files to another disk. This will need to be done with a Live CD or Live USB flash drive, which is a storage device that contains its own little operating system.

This process involves bringing up the system drive and the backup disk or drive. Then the files can be moved from the system to the backup using a file manager. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? If the data has been lost due to a compromised file system or hard disk failure, this process gets a little more complicated. 
First of all, the file system can be repaired. A data recovery procedure can be run using special software that recovers corrupted files to replacement hardware. Usually this will need to be done if the disk is suffering from permanent failure. Drives or disks may be damaged due to physical damage or logical damage.

Physical damage is pretty self-explanatory. The hard drive may have been damaged in a flood, from lightning, fire or may have been dropped. Or maybe you helped a friend move last week and his computer fell off the back of your truck…Oops! Even in this scenario, data can still be retrieved.  
In logical damage, the file system may be corrupted from a power outage or system crash and so the operating system is unable to read and then mount the information on to the monitor for a user to see. Power outages are usually responsible for logical damage. But sometimes, logical damage is due to a system crash.

Files sometimes do not get completely written to memory and so it will be incomplete or inconsistent. This is confusing to your computer, so it will report to you that this file is saved when it is actually not there at all. We’re sorry to break it to you, but your computer is lying to you. Two methods exist to correct this problem, consistency checking and data carving.
So…don’t get mad and throw your computer out your sixth story window. A Data Recovery expert can help you. Even if you’ve already thrown it out the window, they usually can still help you recover precious data.

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