Advice for avoiding data loss

Whilst we appreciate the business, we understand that losing important data can be anywhere from mildly annoying to a major crisis. Here are our tips to avoid data loss and also what to do when the worst happens.

Back-up and keep safe

While doing regular backups is the best way to avoid loss, we highly recommend keeping your backup devices powered down and locked away when they are not in use. We see a large number of cases where an external backup drive has fallen over or worse off a desk, then the user’s internal drive has failed before a new backup has been taken. Drives especially are very sensitive to shock whilst they are powered on. If you only have small amounts of data make 2-3 copies on DVD and test them each to make sure the data has transferred correctly.

Surge Protection

This is an extremely inexpensive way to prevent power surges from damaging your devices. A total must!

Keep your anti-virus up to date

There are a great number of anti-virus programs, anti-spyware programs and firewall suites available on the internet. Many of these are totally free for home users so there is no reason to not keep your systems free of malicious software.

Expect the worst

Any form of electronic or magnetic storage and equipment has a finite life span. Given enough time ALL devices will fail. Make sure if today happens to be that day you have everything covered.

How to give yourself the Best chance of recovery

DONT open hard drives

This is one of the most frustrating problems for data recovery companies. The inside of the drive should never be exposed unless it is within a special clean room. Quite often what would have been a fairly inexpensive logical recovery becomes either a mechanical failure or a no-fix due to the drive being opened and powered on afterwards. If would like to see what a drive looks like inside please contacts us and we will happily send you pictures!

Power off the media, Ask an expert

While the device is not in use the situation is not going to get worse. We would advise calling a data recovery company and describing the situation. We can’t give a 100% accurate diagnosis over the phone but we can generally advise on what has probably happened and what would need to be done. Remember just calling for an opinion does not mean you’re obligated to send a drive in for recovery. However you will be better able to decide how to proceed.

DIY, if the data is valuable, Don’t risk it

We cannot advise against this enough but we can provide a few key points you need to consider.

If you simply must try to recover the data yourself please keep in mind the following.

  • If there are any mechanical/electrical faults at all, software will not help you
  • No extreme cold: Freezing drives does not work
  • Do not install anything on the failed drive
  • Do not run Check disk/Fdisk/Scandisk
  • If the drive is not recognised in BIOS slaving into another PC will not work.
  • If the device asks to be formatted or reset, don’t.
  • As always, NEVER open the drive
  • Swapping circuit boards does not work. All modern drives contain unique adaptive information. Without this, a new PCB will not work.
  • If software shows your USB Pen as totally blank and it has not been re-initialized, there is a good chance the controller chip has failed. Software will not be able to solve this problem.
  • Any unusual noises could be a sign further damage is occurring

Click here too read our guide on choosing the right data recovery company for you.