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The Facts About Data Recovery: Dispelling The Myths

Aug 17, 2007
A lot of myths surround the concept of data recovery. You hear people having it out with their computers when they accidentally deleted important files from their hard drives. Or you see someone post in data recovery forums asking how they should go about reloading data that was lost when their computer crashed. So-called experts would reply, You made back-ups, didnt you And of course, you didnt, so there goes your final history project down the drain.

The theory is: Whats gone is gone.

But in most cases, that is not entirely true. As long the data was not overwritten physically, data once saved into the system is never completely gone. Whether it was accidentally deleted, corrupted by a virus, or the disk was formatted, data will stick to the system like gum to a shoe. This is the small fact that the whole concept of data recovery is based on.

What really happens with data loss is that the files are simply inaccessible by usual measures. For instance, your file about, say The Annals of American History, was deleted accidentally. This doesnt mean youre going to have to do the research all over just to pass that final exam your psycho professor will give you on Monday. The file is still in the drive only a signature byte has been added to the beginning of its file name.

Now, heres the tricky part. The file will remain in the drive but once you save some new input, the new data will take the space occupied by the signatured file. So if you loose any files, make sure that you dont put in any more data so you can keep that deleted file intact, and therefore, available for data recovery.

So with data retrieval, you just have to remember one thing: Never input new data right after you accidentally delete a file.

Lesson learned? Now, we move on to the next important myth to dispel.

Installing this one data recovery software wont hurt, will it?

The answer is simple: NO. Although data retrieval software is the in-thing right now and self-running it on your drive might seem like a plausible solution, DONT install it into your drive. You can still use your downloaded version of data recovery software but run it on a separate, healthy drive.

Remember Lesson #1: Never input new data into your drive. A simple 1 MB of data recovery software can reduce the chances of data recovery success in reloading data into an uncorrupted drive.

Data recovery experts are experts in recovering and reloading data.

Yes, they are, but even experts scratch their heads in the face of a really physically damaged drive where not even the remotest possibility of data retrieval is possible. And they cant completely restore data 100 %. Theyre experts, not gods.

So what is the best way to overcome data loss? Answer: Always have back-up files.
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