Tips to Increase Your Chances of Recovering Lost Data

How to Handle a Broken Hard Drive

Anyone can experience data loss at any time, which can cause panic, turmoil, poor decisions, and financial loss. Most of the time, deleted data can be restored, but you essentially only have one chance.

By following the advice provided below, you can increase your odds of making a full recovery and avoid unintentionally doing anything that could end up doing more harm or lessening your chances of making a full recovery.

Tips to Increase Your Chances of Recovering Lost Data

Physical damage: If the disk makes strange noises (such as clicking or grinding), or if you suffer missing files, garbled file names, or noticeably sluggish system performance, turn off the power right once. By doing this, serious damage to the hard drive's platters, spindle, read/write heads, and other parts will be avoided.

Logical damage: If you lose data as a result of file deletion, unintentional formatting, or another logical mistake, unplug the computer immediately from its power supply (or wall). Following the right procedures for shutdown will probably overwrite some of the data, escalating the harm. (When a computer deletes a file, it just eliminates pertinent entries from the file tables; the data is not really overwritten until the computer requires the space. Any use of the computer will lower your chances of successfully recovering the data.)

Installation of new software or hardware: Reverse the most recent installs one by one if your data becomes inaccessible after you installed software or computer peripherals (such as a PCI card, sound card, or USB-powered accessories). Shut down the computer if that doesn't work.

electronic malfunctions If the drive is silent and does not appear in the computer's BIOS, remove it and slave it into a working computer (or equivalent). If it is still not found, send it in for expert repair.

Shut down your computer right away if it displays inaccurate drive information, such as the improper size or model number, unreadable files, or incorrect file names. Firmware damage. The read/write heads may be positioned incorrectly due to firmware issues, which will destroy your data.

In order to prevent static damage to the circuit boards of the computer, turn off the system, unhook it from the power source, and ground yourself properly before handling any components if you decide to remove the hard drive.

DIY recovery endeavor: The only DIY recovery endeavor we advise if there is no physical damage to the hard drive is to slave it into a functioning system to test for readiness and file system integrity. You might be able to duplicate your data with ease if you determine that only the operating system is damaged or the original host computer has a hardware problem.

If the data on your array is important to you, turn off the server and quickly contact an expert for assistance.

Before trying any repairs, submitting the database to a data recovery service provider, or initiating a support ticket with Microsoft, SQL server users should make a copy of the database and log files on a different physical disk. Provide the database structure and a list of the most important tables to your data recovery service provider.

Before trying any repairs, submitting the database to a data recovery service provider, or initiating a support case with Microsoft, make a copy of the.EDB,.STM, and.LOG files for MS Exchange.

Data backup strategy: To safeguard against fires and natural catastrophes, back up your data early and frequently, with at least one off-site backup.

If you are not absolutely certain that you will be able to recover the data on your own, of how to accomplish any of the above, or of what to do next, call for expert assistance.

When a hard drive fails, never...

Anyone can experience data loss at any time, which can cause panic, turmoil, poor decisions, and financial loss. Most of the time, deleted data can be restored, but you essentially only have one chance.


By following the advice provided below, you can increase your odds of making a full recovery and avoid unintentionally doing anything that could end up doing more harm or lessening your chances of making a full recovery.

Never presume that lost information cannot be recovered.

Never use a hard disk that produces odd noises because doing so could seriously harm the drive.

Never upgrade a computer's hardware or software without a current data backup.

Never use a hard disk again after unintentionally erasing files. (When a computer deletes a file, it just eliminates pertinent entries from the file tables; the data is not really overwritten until the computer requires the space. Any use of the computer will lower your chances of successfully recovering the data.)

Never install data recovery software on the same disc or partition that contains your lost data; doing so will probably overwrite it.

Never open your hard drive; doing so could harm or contaminate delicate parts. Hard drive parts are also very precise and cannot be repaired by regular IT specialists or technicians.

Never replace the electronics in your hard disk or swap out circuit boards. Conflicts between the firmware and the system may come from this and cause serious issues.

If your drive has liquid damage, never use it. The drive will be destroyed by head contact brought on by the moisture.

Never use the PC's built-in recovery program. It can overwrite your data and only serves to restore the system, not your personal information.

OEM support professionals should never offer assistance on restoring data from a RAID array unless they are certain of the present configuration.

If you are unsure of which disk failed, why it failed, or when it occurred, never try to rebuild a RAID array.

Make a copy of the current database files before restoring a database.

Never employ SQL recovery or utility software from a third party on the original database files.

Never try to defragment a data storage that houses a database or a mail server. This frequently leads to data corruption since the data store becomes inconsistent.

If you are unsure of the cause of your hard disk failing or the loss of your data, never try to recover it.

Never use a refrigerator to cool a drive that has been damaged by fire. Allow the computer to cool normally before sending it in for repair.

Never try to heat-dry a drive that has been damaged by water. Instead, before shipping, put the drive in a closed plastic or anti-static bag that will keep it moist.

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