It’s a nightmare, but one that definitely can become reality. One day you could turn on your computer and find that you cannot access your files anymore. All your music, photos and important documents are now lost forever, right? Not necessarily. It is possible to perform emergency data recovery and it may be possible to salvage those files.
Before you continue, however, you must be certain that your hard drive has not mechanically failed. If the drive is making odd noises inside the case or your system doesn’t recognise the device then the failure is likely mechanical. If this is the case then do not attempt self-recovery or use any programs as it won’t work. Create an image of the hard drive (this should be done whatever the circumstance if possible, just so you have something to fall back on if things worsen) and then contact data recovery professionals who can hopefully sort out the problem.
On the other hand, if the fault is logical then emergency data recovery might be for you. The first thing to remember is that you should use the disk that has failed as little as possible. This is because when Windows deletes a file it isn’t gone from your hard drive completely. Instead, it is marked as available to be overwritten. This means that any actions you perform, even if it’s browsing the internet, could potentially be permanently wiping out the very files you want to recover.
You should also be prepared with somewhere to store any files you recover. Something like a USB stick or an external hard drive will do the job (the latter is more suitable if you have large amounts of data). Never try to store recovered files on the disk that has failed because this is likely to cause further complications.
One method of emergency data recovery is to use a live disc. This is something that runs from the computer’s memory and not the hard drive, meaning nothing will be overwritten accidentally. It essentially lets you load a computer operating system up even if your hard drive isn’t working. Live USB drives also exist and these can be useful because they may offer the ability to automatically copy and store recovered files.
Some of data recovery software companies offer emergency start up programs that can run from a CD or DVD. Once such program is on the disc, your computer will likely automatically boot to it. You will then be guided through a graphical or text interface that will help you recover your data. This is a similar method to a live disc, but one that is more specific to data recovery and as such could be more user friendly. One great feature of the program is that it will show you the likelihood that you will be able to successfully recover your files before you purchase it.
Remember to act as quickly as possible when you notice something out of the ordinary in regards to your hard drive. If you don’t catch the problem in time and the drive completely fails, emergency data recovery is possible and is successful a lot of the time – but don’t rely on it. Always back up files.
Emergency Data Recovery
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