Data recovery is a necessary part of any comprehensive IT team’s data security solution – but what are the dangers of data recovery? It may be strange to say, but using the wrong data recovery solution – especially free data recovery software – can put your data at risk, and preclude you from ever fully recovering lost data.
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the hidden dangers of data recovery, and some steps you can take to ensure that you have the best chance of recovering data from a damaged hard drive, or after a user error.
Certain Types of Data is Easier to Recover
Not all data losses are the same. Data losses caused by user error or accidental reformatting are much easier to deal with, for example, than a total hard drive failure. Let’s take a quick look at the 3 most common causes of data loss, and discuss the methods by which data can be recovered for each one.
- Accidental Deletion – Accidental deletion is perhaps the most common form of data loss – a user deletes a file or folder unintentionally, and doesn’t realize it until it’s too late.
Accidental deletion is easier to deal with because most hard drives don’t actually delete files and folders right away – that would take too much processing power. Instead, the operating system marks the disk space as “unused”. While the disk space can then be written over, the data on the disk is not destroyed until the disk is rewritten.
This means that if you catch an accidental deletion early, it’s often easy to recover all of your important data.
- Accidental Formatting – Accidental formatting is much more dangerous than accidental file deletion. Formatting is a method by which an entire hard disk is fully erased, and empty file systems structures are written over any existing file structures.
Accidental formatting can be caused by partitioning disks incorrectly or mishandling RAID devices, and is usually a result of user error. While some data can often be recovered, it’s much more difficult to recover data from a partially-formatted disk, as the logical structure of the data may be totally ruined.
- Hardware Failure – Hardware failure is the worst case scenario for data recovery. If you’re using a physical hard disk, recovery after a read/write head fails, or the hard drive breaks is impossible unless you’re using a RAID system.
If you suffer a hardware failure on a single hard drive, it’s nearly impossible to recover the data yourself – you’ll need to partner with a data recovery specialist using a clean room and other advanced techniques to recover your data, and that can run you hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars.
So, what are the dangers of data recovery? The primary danger when it comes to these three types of failures is that users don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late – catching a file before it’s deleted, a partition before it’s wiped, or a hard drive that’s on the verge of failure is the only way to ensure you don’t lose your data.
The Danger Of Viruses
Viruses can be a huge problem when it comes to data recovery. Scammy applications and websites often capitalize on people who are in desperate need to recover their data, and offer “free data recovery” applications that do nothing except infect your computer with dangerous viruses, trojans, and backdoors that can be used to steal your information or destroy your computer.
If you’re looking to recover data effectively and safely, don’t trust a “free” data recovery solution. Great products aren’t free, and chances are that a free data recovery program will destroy your data – and infect your working computer.
Human error is always the most dangerous aspect of data recovery. The problem with human error is that it’s never preventable. Even advanced data recovery techniques can’t account for lost laptops, hard drives destroyed in falls, or users who accidentally delete or overwrite important files.
Preventative Data Recovery Measures
The best data recovery measures aren’t reactive – they’re proactive. It’s been estimated that up to half of all critical corporate data is on laptops, and locally stored without a cloud backup, or even an on-site backup system in place.
The only way to totally avoid the dangers of data recovery is to never have to recover data. Even the most basic recovery procedures from a damaged or overwritten hard drive can take a very long time to find important files – and there’s no guarantee of success.
Because of this, your company should include a comprehensive data backup and management solution on every computer. The only way to make sure you don’t lose important data is by backing it up.
What Are The Dangers Of Data Recovery? Not Using Backups!
Avoid the dangers of data recovery. Whether you’re trying to avoid viruses, human error, or a failing hard drive, the only true method of preventing data loss is by using a comprehensive backup solution.
If you do so, you won’t have to waste any time trying to recover your data, and can quickly and easily recover from even the most catastrophic data loss.