March 14, 2017

Take note of these DIY data recovery tips

Losing data on your computer is often a stressful ordeal. You may have permanently deleted your files by accident, broken your hard drives, or was a victim of a viral attack. The average person won’t be able to get the lost data back on their own, so you’d often require the assistance of hard drive data recover experts.

Now, we’re no experts ourselves but we can at least lead you to the right direction in data recovery. So remain calm and don’t do anything to make a bad situation even worse.

Do-It-Yourself Data Recovery

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We have to warn you though that in most severe cases of platter damage (from extreme heat, explosions, flooding, or blunt force), magnetic degradation, or a file over-write, the lost data is unrecoverable.

Data is only recoverable if the data (whether it’s a file/folder or email) was accidentally deleted through human error or a virus, wiped from a hard drive because of a virus, or reformatting. Here are some steps you can take to recover your data on your own.

Deletion isn’t like burning a bunch of papers into oblivion but more like putting a brick wall over the doorway of the room where the papers are kept, then painting it over to make it look it wasn’t there in the first place.

1. Don’t add more data. Please make sure to remember this, because even putting a new file in the drive after data have been lost will ensure that you won’t get them back whole or at all. You see, how data deletion works is this: deleting a file simply removes its locating tag, it’s actually still there in your drive.

Deletion isn’t like burning a bunch of papers into oblivion but more like putting a brick wall over the doorway of the room where the papers are kept, then painting it over to make it look it wasn’t there in the first place. Now, if you add new data into the drive, you’re just overwriting data that has lost its locating tag and that’s when data recovery becomes next to impossible.

2. Boot the computer from a DOS boot disc and use a DOS-compatible file recovery program. It’s a shortcut access to files on a hard drive with a corrupted OS.

3. If step 2 failed, transfer the drive to another computer using the same file system as your damaged partition. This allows information retrieval by using Windows Explorer to look through file structures.

4. Download and use commercial or freeware data recovery tools on the internet. This is the most common answer to data loss after a quick search on Google.

Know when to ask the experts

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There are many ways to go about a Do-It-Yourself approach to data recovery if a data recovery expert isn’t immediately on hand but when that fails, it’s better to just call data recovery experts instead. Just please, and this is so important that we have to repeat it, don’t put anything in your computer or device yet if you still want to recover your files.

Even DIY data recovery strategies can be tricky, because it also depends on the data recovery software that you use. Physical electronic failures and software-based data corruption can affect your data recovery efforts.

Due to the risk involved with doing it yourself, the first course of action that’s often advised is to shut down the system before calling the experts. This is due to some cases where switching it on and off dealt damage to an already compromised system, and nothing says compromised system like a series of clunking and rattling sounds in your computer.

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So don’t remove the hard drive cover and don’t attempt to use data recovery software if you are not familiar with how the computer works. You might only end up messing your hardware even further. And in the event of water damage, don’t try to dry it out with extreme heat, don’t turn it back on, and don’t open it up. We assure you, you’re doing more harm than good.

Shock and vibration can also make the situation worse so don’t move your computer without consulting an expert. If you have and you’re about to transport your computer to a repair center, make sure you package it properly by putting it in its original box. Putting them in an anti-static bag is a good choice before putting it in Styrofoam/foam rubber. The reason why Styrofoam/foam rubber is included in their packaging is because it prevents the contents from moving around too much during transport.

You have to remember though that costs may vary per service and there’s usually a diagnosis fee apart from the repair fee.

Know any data recovery tips or software you wanna share with us? Tell us in the comments section!