How Does Data Recovery Work?

With everything is digitalized nowadays Data Recovery became one of the essential features.

Imagine the disaster of losing your lifetime pictures or all your mobile phone agenda!

We rely heavily on electronics for all our essential information and loosing this can be paralyzing.

The lifespan of electronics is limited which means backing up your data is crucial.

What is data recovery?

Data recovery means the process of retrieving your digital information from damaged, failed, or corrupted storage device or system.

Data can be recovered from physical devices such as hard drives, CDs, DVDs, or RAID.

Many online storage systems Use timed automatic backups to keep the data safe.

Online Companies use secure recovery processes to get your data back when they have a system failure. 

Data Recovery Options

If the back up is not available and your storage device fails, there are some viable recovery options.

You can, of course, replace your missing data but this is not always an option.

First, you need to analyze what the nature of your hard drive damage is.

In case of logical damage, the files are corrupted or inaccessible, but they are still there.

Recovery Software

There is data recovery software available that can retrieve and repair your files.

However, you need to make sure you use the right software, and you follow all the steps.

Wrong software or missed steps can cause permanent data loss.

The safest way is to contact a specialized data recovery company who has trained people who can retrieve your digital information safe and sound.

Damaged Hard Drives

However, your hard drive may be physically damaged, which is a more complicated issue.

If this is the case, it is mandatory to contact a data recovery company.

Trained specialists need to carefully repair or replace the damaged parts of your hard drive and restore the circuits.

In this way, they can access your digital information and copy it on a working hard drive as soon as possible.

The slightest wrong movement can cause permanent data loss so make sure you choose the right professionals for the job.

Most common data loss cases

The are various cases when your digital information can be lost.

Here are the frequent cases of data loss:

Accidental deletion of files or folders

This is probably the most common cause of data loss, and it happens to everybody.

If you delete the file and the recycle bin is disabled, you may think you’ve lost the data forever.

This may not be the case. When you press to delete the file or folder, your computer understands that you need to free the storage space occupied by that file or folder.

The technical process of freeing the storage space depends on your operating system.

System Differences

In Windows, the FAT file system marks the file directory as unused and deletes the file allocation information.

In the NTFS system, only the file entry and the disk space are marked unused.

If you have a Linux operating system, you file descriptor is deleted.

This means your computer deletes information regarding the file location, file type or size and also mark the disk space as unused.

Regardless of the operating system, for efficiency purposes, your actual data is still on your disk until it is replaced with new data. 

You still have a small recovery window.

File system formatting

If you accidentally start a file formatting procedure, your computer creates an empty file system structure on your storage.

This overwrites any current information present there.

The process may wipe out the user’s data and replace current structures with new ones.

Logical damage of a file system

Various hazards such as energy blackout, hardware failure, software crashes can cause file system corruption, making the files logically inaccessible.

Even if modern devices have high standard protection mechanisms against logical damage, they are still very vulnerable.

Even the smallest piece of information written in the wrong location can cause corruption of the entire file system, making the entire data inaccessible.

Storage failure

Storage devices are prone to physical damage and have a limited life span.  

Many hard drives are placed in a RAID system, allowing the data recovery due to the redundancy of the system. 

Loss of information about a partition

Various users’ mistakes or operation failures can cause the loss of information regarding the location and size of a partition.

Data recovery is still possible with specialized software.

How does Data Recovery work?

The data once deleted remains on the disk until it is overwritten.

Therefore, successful recovery depends significantly on the specific data loss situation.

Nothing can be recovered once it is overwritten.

Therefore, it is essential that not to write anything else on the disk until all the files are rescued.

The methods to recover the data depend on how the data was lost in the first place.

File deletion

As any file remains in the disk until it is overwritten, if you act fast, there are high chances of a successful recovery.

There is specialized data recovery software you can install by yourself or by a specialized data recovery company.

These programs use complicated algorithms which search pieces of information on your hard drive and place them in their original location like a giant digital puzzle.

Once the puzzle is complete, you can get the files back. However, if one piece of this puzzle is missing, the information can’t be recovered.

Improving your Chances

Anything you do on your computer, even internet browsing resulting in cookies or cache files, can overwrite the previous data.

Even installing the recovery software can overwrite some of your data. The chances are that data in Windows NTFS system are easier to be recovered since it retains the file description information.

Other systems like FAT destroy more information about the file making it very difficult for the algorithms to guess the right location in the puzzle.  

File corruption

In case of a file corruption error, the chances are that the data can be recovered if you attach the hard drive to another computer.

If only the operating system has been corrupted, you can recover your data. In case of a corrupted partition, there is specialized software that can rescue your data.

However, the wrong software can cause permanent data loss.

That is why it is essential to contact a specialized company for this very delicate job.

The software attempts to repair the corrupted partition so that full or partial files are recovered.

File system format

The success of data recovery in case of the file system damage depends on the amount of information about the data still available on the disk.

This is similar to deleting a file.

Formatting a file system destroys the information about files and structure on the disc.

When is Data Truely Lost ?

Lost data is recoverable until it is overwritten.

The recovery process depends on the formatting system used. FAT formatting system destroys a large amount of information about the data and replaces it with zero, meaning an empty data system.

Formatting the Device significantly reduces the success rate of data recovery algorithms because the data is written over .

The NTFS system has a higher recovery rate because it keeps more information about the original data.

Physical drive damage

A professional can attempt to recover data from a physically damaged device.

The process takes place in a spotless room with specialized equipment that minimizes static electricity.

The smallest particle of dust can cause multiple problems to the hard drive.

The specialists attempt to repair the damaged parts and the circuits.

There are multiple options to recover your data, and they all depend on how your data was lost or corupted.

The safest method is prevention by placing your hard drive in a redundant RAID system or do many backups.

Cloud data storage providers are a viable and affordable solution.