03 May 2009

When Computers Crash a Good Data Recovery Service is Often the Only Option

It happens to the best of us; from time to time we lose data when a computer crashes or freezes, a hard drive becomes lost or corrupted, or a server goes down.

There can be many reasons for this – a power failure or bugs in the software; even criminal activity such as hacking or the propagation of viruses and other malware. Human error, such as accidental deletion of data can also wreak havoc. Studies have shown that around three quarters of all incidences of data loss are due to either human error or hardware failure.

Whatever the reason, when this happens, it is important to try and mount a data recovery operation. Data recovery is a process by which information is salvaged from secondary storage media that cannot be accessed by normal means.

Most forms of data recovery are based on a failure of the computer’s operating system and the solution is relatively simple – gain access to the system and copy the data that is required to another disk. Dealing with a failure of the hard disk itself is more complex and an attempt to recover the data may involve repairing the file system, or using techniques ranging from software-based recovery of corrupted data to replacing a damaged disk.

Most people lack the detailed technical knowledge that is required to perform all but the most basic data recovery, and rely on professional services offered by a number of companies. When doing so they want to know, above all, that those services will be reliable.

A good data recovery company will be well established with a list of testimonials from satisfied clients (particularly well known companies, academic experts and public bodies) and have a solid track record, although one should be wary of any that offer a 100 per cent success rate – no reputable professional can guarantee to recover all data every single time.

They will also offer a variety of services at different costs, again, depending on the form of the data loss. Some losses can be dealt with by the user, with a little advice, and the best companies provide this advice free of charge.

Furthermore, a good company will always be striving to improve its data recovery rates. The best now run research and development programmes, in conjunction with universities and IT companies, to increase their knowledge of how computer hardware and software can go wrong, and to minimise the chances of data loss occurring in the future.

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