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Hard Drive Recovery: What Are Your Options?

Jun 25, 2008
Hard drive recovery is a real possibility for anyone who uses a computer. Even when you take every precaution to avoid it, the day usually comes when you have to face it head on. Maybe that's now? Now for the solutions.

Hard drive recovery utilities

Your first line of defense for hard drive recovery is software. The software options available start with recovery utilities that address the basic problem of retrieving a deleted file. Higher-level hard drive recovery tools perform more difficult tasks of RAID recovery and rebuilding the file system without automated software. Your recovery issues probably fall in between these two issues.

Free hard drive recovery can be useful in recovering your deleted file. Still many of these programs are too limited to guarantee very much success. If you try one for yourself, you will understand what I mean.

Inexpensive hard drive recovery solutions are useful tools for file deletion. And with other problems present where the file components haven't been changed. Any situation that occurs when the components have been altered requires a more powerful file recovery software.

It can be challenging to distinguish one level of hard drive recovery product from another when you can't understand which tool to use. This is because lower end products often claim to produce the same recovery results as the more powerful utilities can - file undelete and other file recovery circumstances. What they forget to write on the package is that if the file system has been altered they are unable to produce any results.

Figuring out which one you need

How do you know which hard drive recovery solution you need? The answer is: you can't unless you're a technician and understand what it takes to recover a situations like: damaged files, damaged partitions, emptying the recycle bin, etc. So if you really want your data back, start by using the most reliable recovery tools.

And what defines that?

Serious hard drive recovery tools can recover most problems that don't require clean room work. Unfortunately, higher quality products come with a higher price tag. Let's say about a hundred dollars.

For the technically minded

Technically, hard drive recovery utilities that offer multiple recovery modules which allow you to approach recovery from different angles are the best. An example might be, recovering or rebuilding a partition table using the partition repair function. If the results are not what you want, you can switch modes, and recover your data using the file recovery function. If that doesn't work and you understand how to manipulate the file system, the Hex Editor operation can work. I think you get the picture.

Using a technician in the neighborhood

You may not succeed at solving your recovery issues, or you may no be comfortable dealing with it alone. In either case, you need to consult a local technician or hard disk recovery expert. There is a difference.

A local technician may be your first choice because you can easily find them, and their services may be more moderately priced. The technician handling your media should be skilled at sector cloning which will give you a backup of your primary hard drive. And make sure they give you your main drive - not after - but before doing any data retrieval methods. If the technician you are considering cannot do this, you should think twice before allowing them to access your data.

You may only have one chance for data recovery, which is why it is recommended that you get the second sector drive of your hard drive. This allows the technician to attempt recovery on the second sector-copy as often as is needed without damaging your primary disk drive.

Using a data recovery expert

An expert recovery provider specializes in hard drive recovery situations. Since they only handle recovery cases - and do no other IT work - you know they have the greatest expertise to successfully recover data. Otherwise, they wouldn't be in business for very long. By the way, you most likely will not find these professionals in town. There are very few expert hard drive companies available, so it may be necessary to deliver your drive to them. This is common in the hard drive recovery business since the cost-structure of building multi-million dollar labs in each state is unlikely.

Make the best recovery decision for your data

Take all of the necessary precautions during data recovery to avoid using your files. Make sure to never take apart your media - yes this happens more than you think. Give data recovery software a try, as long as your drive is not clicking and is running properly. Last but not least, hard drive data recovery service may be your only option. If so, make sure the person on the other end of the phone knows what a sector back up is before letting them touch it.
About the Author
Ken Roberts is back again teaching users what to expect in hard drive recovery . Most people are ill-informed, often mislead, and need help. Hopefully, this information will help. Anybody would like to know more about data recovery is invited to visit www.atl-datarecovery.com; and when question arise, please call Ken at 1800-444-3225.
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