More than 20 years have been passed in personal computing. But still, some issues have not been resolved completely. One of them is data backup and recovery. There are many ways one can lose his or her critical files and data either accidentally deletion of file or media corruption. This can happen with a single user as well as with an organization. In any case, important data files always remain important.
In most of the cases, we usually store our data on hard disk drives. There are some common errors by which data can be lost. Some of them are:
- User Errors
- Software error
- Hard drive electronic failures
- Hard drive arm failures
- Hard drive platter failures
Whatever the failure case is, a question arises how we can prevent our data files from failure? There are two solutions to this problem.
1. Prevent data before data corruption/loss
2. Recover data after data corruption/loss
Prevention before the data loss
The above specified user errors and software errors fall into this category. In this scenario, we can save our critical files on more than one media. In other words, we must take backups of data on regular basis.
The other solution to this is to use a third-party data prevention tool. These tools keep a record of every deleted file by the operating system and can recover it if it is not overwritten by any newly created file. One example of this is UnErase in the Norton Utilities software package. There are others too available which provide this type of solution.
Recover data after loss
No doubt, taking backups on a regular basis and using third-party tools to prevent accidental deletion of file is a good practice. But what if, you have used all these techniques and you face media failure? In other words, the media on which data is being stored has been corrupted. This can be due to hard drive arm failure, hard drive platter failure or electronic failures. By happening this type of failure, your hard drive can make noises or even not detectable by the computer system.
So how we can recover and use our hard drive? If the case is only data file loss and hard drive condition is fine, we can try recovery softwares. These softwares actually read the file system table and then try to recover files. When a file is deleted, the operating system marks the file name with a character that informs the computer that it has been deleted. The deleted data actually remain on the drive until the file system overwrites it, but the operating system can no longer access it. The process of hard disk recovery finds the data that the operating system is unaware of but still exists in individual clusters on the hard drive. So we can say, a file can never be lost but can be overwritten. We can try to recover these files by any recovery software. But the risk remains as the softwares can make mishaps.
On the other hand, if the case is media failure then what? As there are organizations that provide better storage solutions, there are also those who provide better recovery services. The purpose of this is to provide the recovery solution on a large scale basis as well as individual users. In critical situations, they take responsibility of your data. This is some how an expensive solution but usually 80-90 % of the lost data can be recovered on an emergency and regular basis. However for free data recovery evaluation service visit Optimum Data Recovery Labs.
In above discussion, I have provided the example of hard disk. But remember, whatever the storage media is e.g. tape drives, RAID, Flash, Floppy, etc., all these things can happen with them too. So make sure you have proper recovery solutions and backup plans for your organization's data.