Data Recovery in Simple Terms

Data recovery is the process of retrieving data from failed, damaged or corrupted secondary storage devices. This usually involves internal or external hard disk drives, solid-state drives, USB flash drives, CDs, DVDs, and Tape Media.

The most common incidence of data loss happens with operating system failure, accidental damage, viruses or human error. This kind of data loss can probably be easily retrieved. In other cases, files may have been deleted from a storage medium. These may be recoverable because typically, the content of deleted files is not immediately removed from the drive – just references to them in the directory. However, if there is a disk-level failure (like a compromised file system or hard disk failure), recovery is more difficult.

If your drive is still functioning, you can recover the data yourself, but if the damage is mechanical damage, it’s best to send it to our team at HB Computers. One of the important things to remember when there is data loss is to immediately stop working with the compromised drive. Every second that the drive continues to be connected to a running system will jeopardize your data recovery efforts.

If your drive has failed, remove it from your PC and hook up to another computer as a secondary drive. You can do this using a USB universal drive adapter. On a Mac, it’s a little easier. Use a FireWire cable to connect your nonworking Mac to another Mac, then, “target boot” the failed machine by holding down the “T” key as you power it on. If these tactics work, your hard drive might be fine. Be sure to then offload your files and reinstall your operating system. If it doesn’t work HB Computers may still be able to salvage your data.

Drives can crash in two ways – a logical failure or a mechanical failure. In a logical failure, the components of the drive are not physically damaged; the drive just can’t find and navigate its own data – but it still exists unless it’s overwritten.

With a mechanical failure, it means that your drive has broken parts. You will most likely hear a clicking sound or no sound at all. In this case, professional help is needed. Please remember that no data recovery will retrieve your files in the order they once were – instead the retrieval will essentially consist of a data dump that will need to be completely reorganized.

To avoid these headaches right from the start, simply routinely save your files on an external back-up hard drive or let us apply a professionally set data backup. If you have any data recovery concerns at all, don’t hesitate to call HB Computers’ emergency data recovery service at 714-969-3001 so that we can discuss how we can help.