There is quite arguably nothing more important for both your personal and professional data than having a data recovery checklist. A data recovery checklist is a way to protect your important information from being lost forever. Save often, save early, may not help you if you have a virus or if something ominous happens to your computer. That is why preventing data loss is critical. The good news is that, in most instances, data recovery is possible, but only if you take the right measures to keep your data safe and follow the right steps after you have a data loss issue.

Do Not Work With The Drive In Question

When you encounter a data loss issue, no matter what the problem is, the key to data recovery is not to panic. Too often people make the situation worse by trying to fix their data loss problem. Taking the wrong steps early on in desperation can almost guarantee that your data will be gone forever. When you experience a computer or data loss issue, it is imperative that you take the following steps:

If it’s a software malfunction, don’t use the drive at all
Shut down the machine
Clone the drive
Then attempt to recover the files

Trying to recover the data before you know what the problem is can be your biggest downfall. Before you take any steps to recover your data, it is imperative that you identify what happened. The key to fixing your data loss is understanding what caused it so you can take the correct steps to recover your data successfully.

Which part of your drive malfunctioned?

If it’s a hardware malfunction, it’s important to isolate the problem. There are many different factors that can lead to having a data loss, which is why you should have a data recovery checklist.

The two most common are typically software related and should be the first things on your data recovery checklist. One way that you can experience data loss is by accidentally putting files into the trash bin and emptying it, or by formatting the drive wrongly. The other most common way you can experience data loss is that your hard drive is at fault. There are times when a hard drive can be at fault for your data loss. With all the steps data has to go through, sometimes along the line, something goes wrong. If it is a problem of the hard drive itself, recovery will be more complex. And, if at all possible, you will probably need the assistance of a data recovery specialist.

Head Assembly

data recovery checklist

If the malfunction is due to the head assembly, then you can experience something called a “head crash”. A head crash should be on your data recovery checklist and is a situation where the read-write head physically fails when coming in contact with its rotating platter. It is usually a result of the drive being knocked over or dropped. Due to being damaged, the heads don’t fly over the platters. Instead, they connect to the surface and can destroy any data that you may have. The damage can be extensive with thousands of revolutions per minute. Normally, the data on a drive is read and written in a series of platters. Since they don’t make contact with the surface, they “fly” above the reading area of the disk. If you experience damage due to the head assembly, consulting a professional before attempting to do anything, is an excellent idea. Because it is a complex problem, it might be in your best interest to leverage the expertise of a professional.


Another data recovery checklist that you should turn to if you experience data loss is PCB. The PCB is typically the green circuit board that is connected to your drive’s bottom. It is the area that houses the main controller, which is comparable to a computer’s CPU and electronic controllers of various types. It is the heart of your computer where data is converted into information that your computer can analyze and understand.

If you experience data loss, raid data recovery might be imperative to save your information. Having a data recovery checklist on hand will ensure that you don’t end up losing data trying to save it. Before you do anything to attempt to recover your data loss, take the time to figure out what happened. If it is above your computer knowledge, it is an excellent idea to consult a professional to make sure that you don’t make things worse and, instead of recovering your data, ensure that your data is gone forever. Before you attempt to recover your data make sure to have a viable data recovery checklist to go off of.

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