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The Current and Future State of the Hard Drive and Data Recovery Industries

Aug 17, 2007
There's an inherent problem with placing digital data on magnetic media. What's the issue? Its not always fail safe. At some point in time everyone will suffer a data loss. Computers are complex machines, new technologies and updated processes are always being developed but that does not ensure your data is safe. A recent study by Seagate concluded that only 14% of us backup up our data on a regular basis. This fact makes business very good for the Data Recovery Industry.

The fact of the matter is that the storage of data can be a sensitive endeavor for any computer user. Information does get lost - computers and people are imperfect. Half of the reported data loss situations are a result of human error.

In the early 1990's the average size hard disk drive was 120mb. And if a person needed data recovery service the choices of where to send their drive was limited. Much of the expertise at the time was based on proprietary software tools. It also should be noted that most hard drive shops at the time were busy repairing disk drives not recovering data from them.

As time went on, it wasn't economically feasible to repair hard drives any longer and many hard drive experts turned to the task of data recovery. As drive capacities increased, so did our dependence on them to store our documents, databases and financial information. This increased the demand for data recovery services even more. Today there are many companies out there that claim to have the expertise to do data recovery. Most do not and some are simply running scams to steal from people. The rest are busy perfecting their trade and saving people's data.

A hard disk drive is a very complex hardware and software device. Many of the fixes that professional data recovery companies have come up with over the past fifteen years have happened through trial and error and lots of hard work. As hard drives continue to increase in capacity, data recovery companies will find themselves challenged. New tools and processes have to be continually added to handle today's hard disk drives.

The mere fact that every piece of data is now managed, communicated, saved, and created on a computer keeps data recovery specialists very busy. The other key fact to be aware of is this: It is impossible to anticipate potential data and hardware problems because the software and hardware industries release new products so frequently. There's also no way you can test them with every conceivable combination of computer components.

The Future

It is true that we live in a digital world. Computers control every facet of our lives. Just think about it: 200 million disk drives will ship to consumers and businesses this year. Nearly 97% of those drives are sold to computer and consumer electronics makers for use inside PC's, TiVo's and other gadgets. This year we will see hard disk drives going into automobiles.

Currently, some companies in the computer industry are specializing in software-only data recovery for their customers. They have made the decision to let others work hands-on with disk drives and magnetic media to recover data.

The disk drive industry is very dynamic and changing every day. The boundaries of hard drive capacities will continue to be pushed. Faster, better, bigger and more robust. New hybrid drives will soon be coming out that have solid state memory on board. Technological advances will continue to challenge data recovery engineers. Only the most dedicated companies will overcome the technological challenges.

The future of the data recovery industry is going to be a busy one based on the current rate of activity. As mentioned earlier, Seagate Technology estimates that only 14% of us back up our data on a weekly basis. The problem is that the disk drive is the ultimate tech commodity. It is not the sexy device with whiz-bang features that consumer's love, so little attention is paid to it. Data loss will continue as long as consumers have this attitude. Computer crashes will still happen. Seagate hopes to change all of this with a new line of products called the FreeAgent line of "datamovers". In the mean time you can count on data recovery companies being very busy.
About the Author
ITS - Data Recovery has been providing professional data recovery, data repair, computer forensics and evidence recovery services and software since 1980. Located in Los Angeles and serving clients around the world. For inquiries, contact http://www.datarecoveryspecialist.com/ or (818) 727-1500
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