First Aid for Data Recovery
The unthinkable has happened and your hard drive has just crashed, taking your valuable data with it. What do you do now? First of all, relax! In 80-90% of cases, you can retrieve your files with the help of a reputable data recovery company, provided you take the right steps to minimize the damage. Here's what to do once you've lost your data.
1. Do not Panic.
As mentioned earlier, in the majority of cases, your data can be recovered. The best option right now is to safely shut down your system or use it as little as possible until you can get your hard d rive to a data recovery specialist. Using your computer after you've lost data greatly increases the chances that your lost data will be over-written. Once data is over-written there is no way to get it back. Do not try typing in commands, downloading programs, browsing the web, launching programs or restarting your computer. All of these actions can lead to your data being over-written. The safest option is to shut down your system and leave it off until you can get professional help for your drive.
2. Free up some space.
If you must use your computer, you can free up some space on the damaged disk by deleting unnecessary files, moving some files off the disk to a flash drive or other external drive and empty your recycle bin and browser cache. These steps free up space on your drive and reduce the likelihood of having your lost files over-written.
3. Make a list of the files you 've lost that you need to recover.
Let's face it, many of your files may not, in fact be worth saving. It's important to decide which files you need to retrieve and which ones you can let go. Also, if you know what you're looking for, you can communicate your needs to the data recovery specialist and make sure you only recover what's necessary.
4. Find a reputable data retrieval company.
There are many companies who specialize in data recovery, and you should spend some time researching the different options in your area and finding a company that has experience, will respect your privacy, has a solid track record, reasonable fees and whom you feel comfortable with . Price is one part of the equation, but remember that extremely low-priced companies may not offer the kind of service you're looking for. Ask around and find out about the experience other clients have had with a particular company and take some time to decide if that service provider is right for you.
5. Ship your drive carefully.
When you send your drive out for service, make sure it is packaged properly. Here are some rules to keep in mind:
– Use the manufacturer's original packaging whenever possible.
– If the original packaging is not available, make sure you send the drive in a cardboard box at least twice the size of the drive to allow room for sufficient packing materials.
– Place the drive in an anti-static bag or plastic freezer bag to protect it from static.
– Use bubble wrap to protect the drive. Never use Styrofoam peanuts as these can convey static and further damage the drive.
– Buy insurance for your package so that you can be financially compensated if the drive is lost or damaged. Make sure the box is marked "FRAGILE".
– Use a trackable shipping method to give you an idea of where your package is at all times.
– The Let your data recovery company know approximately when your drive will arrive That they 're so know it's coming and you can an advise the if it does not show up color : as expected.
6. Take steps to protect yourself in the future.
Once your data has been (hopefully) recovered, resolve never to let this happen again. You can protect yourself by:
1. Backing up your files on a regular basis.
2. Keeping your computer in a cool, dry place in your home, out of direct sunlight and away from heavy traffic.
3. Store your data files at an external location, such as on an external hard drive or USB flash drive.
4. Learn to recognize the warning signs that your drive is about to fail and prepare for the worst. Some common signs of impending hard drive failure are unusual sounds, mysteriously missing files, frequent hang-ups during booting and extremely long wait periods when accessing files.