Data loss can be caused by a variety of different circumstances, but in most cases it is possible to recover the data that was lost to some degree at least. That being said data recovery is does not provide guaranteed results, and there are certain common problems that most people tend to run into that could cause permanent data loss.
Assuming you want to improve your chances of recovering lost data, it would be worth your while to know how to avoid the most common data recovery problems:
Turn off the computer and power down the hard drive
Really this is the very first thing you should do irrespective of the cause of the lost data as it will ensure that no data is inadvertently overwritten and lost permanently. Additionally if there is physical damage to the hard drive making sure it is powered down could avoid any further damage.
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Identify the cause of the data loss
As mentioned data loss can be triggered by a number of causes, and it is important you identify the cause before you proceed with any sort of recovery. In most cases you should be able to guess the cause based on the symptoms that lead up to the data loss. If not it is better to not take any steps to recover the data until you do or you run the risk of exacerbating the problem and maybe losing more data on a permanent basis.
Verify backups before using them to restore data
If you have backups of your data, your first instinct may be to restore the data you have lost from them. While that is all well and good, you should verify the backups beforehand and ensure that they contain the right data, otherwise you could end up overwriting a good portion of your hard drive with the wrong data – which will significantly impact the chances of data recovery afterwards.
Get help from professionals
Often your best chances of recovering data is on the first attempt – and if you waste it or make things worse that is far from ideal. While professional data recovery can cost quite a bit, if the data is truly important then that should be your first recourse as it will give you the best possible chances of ensuring that as much data as possible is recovered.
Now that you’re aware of what needs to be done to avoid the most common data recovery problems, be sure to keep it in mind. The only part that may be tricky is identifying the cause of the data loss if you aren’t that well versed in its symptoms – but if you’re getting help from professionals you shouldn’t worry about it too much.