We are living in an unbridled aga of digital expansion. Everything we do in life, from work to play all the way to education, exists in some form on a computer. Many people put years of life into each computer that they own, racking up precious amounts of data. So when the unthinkable happens and the computer, hard drive, stored discs, or USB device crashes — what can you do? Fortunately there are many data recovery services available. Some services focus on hard drive data recovery while others will be usable as forms of software and available for free on the internet. So the next time that you lose your precious data don’t freak out. Take a deep breath and read this list, we’re sure you will find some help.
Restore your Recycling Bin (or Trash).
Whether you are tinkering around on your computer or even pondering bringing your computer to a Dallas data recovery center, you want to exhaust all of the easy options first. If you are merely missing a file or folder then you should make sure that you check out your recycling (or trash) bin before forking over big money for software or repair services. Simply go to your trash bin and check to make sure that your files aren’t in there. If they aren’t you can try restoring them by right clicking and clicking on the ‘restore’ option. Hopefully this ends your search for data recovery techniques.
Repair your hard drive components.
If things are much more dire than anticipated and you have to open up your hard drive, you might need to actually physically repair some components. This isn’t as simple as order Data Recovery Raid, but fixing it on your own is still possible. Make sure to pull up the exact diagram of your hard drive online and then begin testing to see what part of your hard drive failed. If your circuit board or spindle motors failed you can order replacements online. Then, being very careful, you will want to install these. Wear gloves and be aware of the fact that your skin is oily and can mess with components further. Only pursue this option if you don’t mind voiding your warranty.
Check the mechanical components of your HDD.
Let’s say that all of the components looked good inside of the HDD and that you don’t your Raid Server Data Recovery Software came up empty. Maybe it is time to address the mechanical components of your hard drive. Sometimes these small components will get all jammed up and stop working and they won’t show any easy way to be fixed. What you can do sounds bizarre but actually works. Hold your HDD a few inches above a hard surface and then let it fall onto its metal chassis. Try booting up the hard drive again and seeing if it is still jammed. Sometimes you might need to repeat the process a few times before it actually works.
Pursue file recovery software.
Okay, so the hard drive itself seems to be functioning fine and you can’t recover your lost data just by restoring your trash can. Now you will want to consider pursuing some file recovery software. You can go with Recovery Raid as they are reliable and used often for these sorts of issues or you can consider pursuing some freeware applications. Freeware is just software that you don’t have to pay for. FreeUndelete and Recuva are two top tier recovery programs that you can be had at no charge. Simply download one of these programs and run it, following along to each option that presents itself. Eventually you will be able to recover as much data as possible.
Recover your files onto another hard drive.
Alright so you’ve managed to figure out that your HDD is the problem, now you need to recover and move the files over. If you have a failed hard drive you need to install a second hard drive to your computer. Divide your new hard drive into two partitions: one for your OS and one for your recovered files. Mount your recovery partition before proceeding. Now you will want to use a program called PhotoRec or TestDisk in order to get your files recovered. Save them onto the recovery partition of your new hard drive. This is a pretty simple routine but it can look a bit daunting at first. If you find yourself confused there are numerous video tutorials available on the internet that will walk you through each step. This is a last ditch measure and should only be performed by moderate to advanced level computer users.
Perform a system restore.
If you merely can’t find files that were on your computer at one point and want them back, regardless of the hassle, you can always consider going ahead and doing a system restore. When you first booted up your computer you probably allowed it to create ‘restore checkpoints’. These check points are basically
Download an undelete utility.
Alright, so in the best case scenario you haven’t lost your entire hard drive and still have a functioning computer in front of you. This means that you shuold be able to get your data back with a little bit of wrangling. First thing you will want to do is pick up an undelete software. This software basically does what it says in the title, recovers items that you have accidentally or regretfully deleted. After you have picked your undelete software, whether the free or paid version, you will want to pick the hard drive that had previously housed the data as your scanner. Point the undelete software at the location where the file once was and hit scan. At the end of that scan you will see a list of file names, ignore most of them. Just look for the file name or type of the data that you lost. Once you find the matching name of the lost data simply right click the file and choose ‘recover’. This should be a relatively straightforward option for most people who are struggling with average lost data issues. However if your lost data problems are not recovered here, move on to step 3.
Hire a data recovery service.
At the end of the day you might choose to value your time and sanity more than your frugality. If you are having severe issues with lost data it may just be time to call up a data recovery service to aid you. At this point they will let you know what all you need to bring into their store in order to recover what was lost. Typically be prepared to move your entire computer for them to use, ignoring the monitor and sound devices. This is the most expensive way to go about recovering your lost data but it is also the most dependable way. These professionals will have access to tools and software that don’t typically make it to the open market.
Patch your damaged discs.
If you are experiencing lost data in the form of damaged or corrupted discs (CDs, DVDs or Bluerays) then there is still some hope. All you need to do is download a freeware app called CD Recovery Toolbox. This program is made with the goal of reading broken portions of data strings in order to recover as much information as possible. Of course if the software doesn’t work you can look into fixing the scratches yourself with any of the common scratched disc toolkits on the market. We have also seen people use small dabs of toothpaste, smeared in the scratch, as a sort of stop gap to try and get the disc working to various levels of success.
Practice preventative maintenance.
Our final recovery method is one the preventative side of things. While there are many different ways for you to recover your data, the best way is to refuse to let it get lost to begin with. There are several good preventative habits that you should get in the habit of following if you want to avoid ever losing your data again. The first one, and simplest, is to have an extra external hard drive on hand. Schedule ‘back up dates’ every month where you pour all of your important data onto the device. This way you are never going to lose your life’s work of data. You can also set up a cloud hosting account where your data is stored in the digital world. For this you will have to spend money on a monthly subscription but you can set it to automatically back up your important documents. This is a hands free way to keep your data safe and out of reach should your computer ever turn on you. No matter which method you decide to follow, the proactive steps will go a long way toward preventing any major data loss issues in the future.