Hard drive failures are spontaneous events. Although features such as SMART can sometimes warn you of an impending disk failure, it is impossible to accurately predict exactly when a hard disk will fail. Furthermore, SMART is not completely reliable. It is possible for even a SMART enabled hard disk to fail without warning. It has happened to me on more than one occasion.
When a hard disk failure does occur, the best course of action is to replace the failed drive and then restore a backup. When a current backup does not exist however, then there is little choice but to attempt a data recovery operation. At that point, the pressure is on to recover anything that you can. This is true whether the drive contains high-value business data or irreplaceable family photos.
Data Recovery Tools
Data recovery probably sounds simple enough. After all, there are countless data recovery tools available, so all you have to do is to purchase a tool and then tell the tool to get your data back, right? Well, not quite. Your chances of recovering the lost data vary widely based on the type of failure that has occurred and on the technique that you are using to try to recover the data. Some relatively common data recovery techniques can actually cause further damage and increase the potential for permanent data loss.
Although all data recovery utilities share a common goal of helping you to get your data back, data recovery utilities are not created equally. Some of the tools on the market do a really good job of recovering data. Other tools might do a mediocre job of getting your data back. Still other tools could be classified as ransom ware. These tools will make you think that they are recovering your data, only to eventually display a message telling you to enter your credit card number to gain access to the data that was recovered.
Because there are such big differences between the data recovery tools that are available, it is important to do some research prior to selecting a tool. After all, you want to use the tool that is going to have the best chance of recovering your data.
If a hard disk failure has already occurred, then you will probably need to recover the data as quickly as possible. The stress caused by the disk failure, and the pressure to get the data back quickly tend to cause people to make rash decisions. You might for instance, purchase the first data recovery product listed by your favorite search engine rather than taking the time to research the various data recovery products that are available.
Even if you happen to choose a really good data recovery product, you will still have to take the time to purchase, download, and install the product. Only then can you begin the recovery process, which may take many hours to complete. Keep in mind that this is a best case situation.
Disaster Recovery Plan
If you truly value your data then you need to back it up. One of the problems with backups however, is that backups can fail when you need them the most. As such, you need a second line of defense against data loss and this second line of defense needs to be a part of your disaster recovery plan.
Backing up a hard drive is a proactive step to guard your data against a hard drive failure. Why not take this preparation one step further and proactively protect against a backup failure? Take the time to research data recovery products and acquire best in class product before a failure occurs. That way, if or when a failure does happen, you can begin the recovery process immediately and your recovery efforts will be based on the recovery product that you have determined to be the best. You won’t hamper your recovery efforts by making a quick purchasing decision and consequently choosing a sub-par recovery product. Instead, you will already have a good quality data recovery tool on hand and ready for use. That way, you can be assured that you have the best possible chance of being able to recover your data.