Many long-time computer users have lost personal files one way or another. The data could have been unimportant and easily replaced or it could have been quite valuable that caused some anxiety. The data loss might have been caused by file corruption due to software error or hardware malfunction.
To prevent such data loss, it is always advisable to save your files often while doing your work. If you are using an uninterruptible power supply, quickly save your work once a blackout occurs. If the software you are using has an option to always make backup copies, it is better to enable the feature before you start working. It is also highly recommended to periodically make backup copies of all your important files so that any lost data can be recovered even partially instead of repeating all your work from the very beginning.
But what do you do if your file becomes corrupted and that file contains valuable information? Is there a way to recover the file and its data? There is software to do just that and they are called data recovery software. When a file becomes corrupt, many times its header or table of content is the one section that is damaged. The data might still be there and it can be recovered. Data recovery software scans the file and attempts to recover the header and if successful, the file can be accessible again. If on the other hand, part of the data has been destroyed and the header is still intact, the data in the file can still be saved, albeit partially only. Even if not all of the data was restored, the resulting file is good enough to continue working with it instead of starting from scratch.
One of the dreaded scenarios is where our hard drive gets corrupted and becomes inaccessible. The drive might still be functional, but for some reason, Windows cannot access the data. This symptom points to a corrupted file system table. All data may still be intact, but the table used to access the files to become corrupted. In order to recover the data, another drive of the same size or bigger must be connected to the computer. The data recovery software is run and all recoverable data is copied to the new hard drive. This kind of recovery takes a long time especially if the hard drive size is large.
The most difficult to recover is data from a failing or completely dead drive. Most failing hard drives give a loud clicking or scratching noise. A dead drive, on the other hand, cannot be detected by the computer hardware and therefore inaccessible from Windows. Any diagnostic software is useless because it will not be able to find it. Data recovery in this kind of situation requires special equipment and technical skills. The process will be too expensive and out of reach for ordinary computer users. For companies that can afford the service, data recovery is still possible, but not guaranteed.
These days in the computing environment data is king. All other parts of the computer such as hardware and software can be replaced. However, data cannot be replaced in many cases. Data corruption or hard drive failures are cases where we see the importance of data recovery software.