How to Deal With Potential Data Loss

Three Methods:Using a data recovery companyFinding the data yourselfData retrieval from a hard drive crash

Is your hard drive clicking? Do you think you might have potentially lost data? If so, you might be in need of data recovery. Follow these quick and easy steps to ensure your hard drive can be recovered.

Method 1
Using a data recovery company

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    Turn off the power to your computer. Whether you have deleted files or your drive is making strange noises, you will have a much better chance of a successful recovery if you turn off your computer and get help immediately.
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    Do not run any software utilities on your computer. Many of these tools will change the structure of the data on your disk and possibly cause more damage.
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    If it is an emergency situation, call your local data recovery company immediately so they can find the best solution for your problem as fast as possible.
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    When you ship your hard drive, wrap your hard drive in an anti-static bag, pack it in a box twice the size of the media and fill it with packing material such Styrofoam peanuts or bubble wrap.

Method 2
Finding the data yourself

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    Look in the Recycle Bin. In the best-case scenario, you or someone else could have deleted the file accidentally. If this happened, it’s likely to be in the recycle bin, unless that was emptied too. If you find the item, you can bring it back by clicking “Restore Item” in the right-click item menu.
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    Restore from a backup file. Majority of the operating systems will have a backup program that regularly create backups of your files. Use a tutorial to show you how to restore data from those backup files if you are using Windows. Mac also has options for creating backups e.g. on Time Machine and iCloud. You can find instructions for Time Machine retrieval on Apple support.
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    Change backup file locations. If you try to retrieve lost data from a previous version, but the option for restoration is not available, try to open the file and save it to a different location from the one saved in. This may actually do the trick.
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    Use third-party file recovery software. If you did not have a backup on your system or you do not have System Restore, you can purchase and install file recovery software. These programs can help you to retrieve data lost to different situations e.g. malware and viruses, power failure, bad sectors on the drive or logical drive damage.
    • However, you should not attempt to use recovery software on mechanically damaged drives, e.g. a drive ruined by dropping or soaking in water. Only use recovery software where the drive is functional. With such extremes, you may have only one shot at recovery, and any careless action you take may cause you to lose it forever. Package it carefully and transport it to specialist data recovery agents as soon as you can.
    • Instead of purchasing the recovery software, you can take it to a company that specializes in data recovery or get the software from companies that specialize in selling file recovery software.
    • Steer clear of free data recovery software, as they may contain hidden spyware that may infect your computer causing you further damage in other areas.

Method 3
Data retrieval from a hard drive crash

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    If your hard drive crashed for any reason, do not panic, as all is not lost. Try to connect the drive to another computer. If it works, you know the issue is not in the drive. There are two kinds of drive failure: mechanical failure and logical failure.
    • Logical failure means that the physical components have not had any damage, and data recovery is cheaper and easier. Mechanical failure may include some broken parts, making it malfunction or fail completely. If you here click sounds coming from your drive, backup all data as soon as you can, and take the drive to a technician. Professionals handle drive issues best.
    • If you are successful, you may find that the data has mixed up, and you will have some work to do in reorganizing it to its original format.


  • Backup, backup, backup. Regular backup of your data will minimize the debilitating effects of data loss. Always actively maintain your data in an external backup drive so that you do not lose data in any remaining case.

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Categories: Hard Drives | Maintenance and Repair