When your computer won’t boot up, your hard drive has just hit the floor, or your RAID array goes offline showing failed drives, who should you contact first?
The rule of thumb with data recovery: If you don’t know why: don’t have the experience and technology to accurately diagnose and fix the problem… don’t try to recover the data.
When it comes to data recovery advice…
IT, computer repair, OEM tech support, and data recovery can’t be any more different than orthopedic specialists, brain surgeons, and estheticians. Sure, they are all doctors, but they all specialize in different providing solutions for unique problems.
If you can’t access your data… there is a problem with the storage device that must be overcome in order to gain access to the data (recover the data).
Below we will address where the different sectors of tech support fall short in the process, and jeopardize the success of professional data recovery companies getting your data back for you.
- OEM tech support
- IT departments/companies
- Computer repair companies
Usually the first stop in the process of a recovering from a data loss disaster is: an IT department, computer repair company, or the manufacturer of the failed storage device (WD, Buffalo, Drobo, Dell, Seagate).
The problem with that is: 98% of these sectors of tech support don’t have the experience or technology to really KNOW the true cause of the data loss, or failure of the device. They are unable to accurately diagnose why the data is not accessible.
We want to give you the facts about data recovery!
On a daily basis we hear inaccurate diagnosis of symptoms, and inaccurate solutions from IT and PC repair professionals, when it comes to solving data loss situations.
The most common symptoms, diagnosis, and solutions:
- Hard drive crash
- Clicking drives need a clean room
- Use software to recover the data
- Pull the platters out and move them to another drive
- Run check disk, disk repair
- Drive not mounting but running software
- Call OEM tech support
- Plugging in dropped hard drives for recover
Below is the proper procedure, in order, to recover data when your device has failed:
- Learn the symptoms
- Identify the cause
- Intentionally apply a solution
- Recover the data
If your source of advice does not specialize in, and cannot effectively accomplish any of these steps, they should direct you to a professional data recovery company with the credentials to get the job done. It’s your data, your memories, your business, your …….
Learn the symptoms:
This is the due diligence part of the process. Most sectors don’t ask the right questions, or simply discount the symptoms that really matter. They don’t ask the right questions that will help them understand the true nature of the problem.
Ultimately, this prevents them from effectively moving to the next step of the process. Additionally many misinterpret the symptoms, or simply don’t understand how the drive ended up in the condition it is in.
Identify the Cause:
Identifying the cause requires experience and advanced technology to diagnose the reason behind the data loss. Diagnosis of the situation is the MOST important step of the process. You can’t solve every data loss problem with software, yet it is the first and only remedy that these sectors have lean on.
Data recovery diagnostic hardware is extremely expensive, and requires years of experience to be able to operate effectively and successfully. Every single storage device is different in every way. Each manufacture has it’s own proprietary applications of reading and writing data to the platters.
It is imperative to accurately determine why access to the data has been lost. Many people say I don’t need my hard drive repaired, I just want the data off it. Most don;t understand the reason why you can’t access the data is because the drive has malfunctioned and is not operating properly. The drive must function in the same capacity that it did when you had access to the data in order to recover the data.
Guessing only puts the data, and condition of the drive at further risk. The only guess these sectors have is software, a freezer, or applying other often fatal solutions in attempt to get the data from the drive. All effort are not based on the facts of the cause of the data loss. They are simply hopes that these procedures will work.
Intentionally Apply a Solution:
Once the cause of the data loss had been determined, there are specific procedures and equipment that are sometimes the ONLY way to gain access to your data. Yes it is true that in few cases software can provide access to your data, however in most cases software will only make the matter worse, or simply not work.
Specialized data recovery technology, professional data recovery companies have, is many times, the ONLY way to effectively apply a solution to the situation.
This is true in:
- Firmware issues
- Bad sectors
- Failed/Failing read/write heads
- Platter damage
- Motor or spindle seizure
- Dropped drives
- Failed NAS devices/controller cards
The ONLY time software will help you gain access to the data is in deleted files, and corrupt partition scenarios. (If I have left any out please contact me 1-800-553-5738 so I can update this section)
Recover the Data:
Up until now there really haven’t been any data recovery procedures achieved. This is true because all of the previous steps are in repairing or overcoming the reason for the device failure/data loss.
It’s only once the device has been repaired, or brought to good working condition, and access to the data has been accomplished, can the actual “data recovery” step proceed.
This includes removing the data from the now repaired device, and safely moving it to a known good, working, and reliable data storage device. This is when the actual data recovery has been accomplished.
The TAKE AWAY
Data recovery is a very intentional and calculated process. There is NO guessing in actual data recovery.
Jumping from step 1 to step 4, which is all software (what is readily available to the aforementioned sectors of tech support) can do, will usually make your situation worse, potentially resulting in PERMANENT data loss.
YES, there is a fine line in the course of your situation where the data will not recoverable, no matter what company you send it to, and how much you are willing to pay.
Some data loss scenarios are unrecoverable from the initial point you experience the inability to access your device. This is most common in head crashes, where the heads have scratched (crashed into) the surface of the storage device. Once the platters have been damaged to a certain extent, it’s a lost cause.
While I believe most ultimately have good intentions, a good IT or computer repair company will encourage you to take your case to a professional data recovery company. On the other hand, OEM tech support is only concerned with getting the device working again, avoiding the RMA of a device, and we have seen many destroy the data, and ultimately the chances of ever recovering your data.