Data Recovery Tips after a Blackout

Monday, December 8, 2014 by Jennifer Duits

Since I started working in Data recovery, I tend to view the stories in the news a little differently. When hearing of a disaster like the recent blackout in Detroit, my first reaction is the same as it has always been, “I hope everyone is ok.” It’s my secondary reaction that has changed to: “I hope their data is ok.” We always preach “Backup! Backup! Backup!” when it comes to data, but in a blackout situation, the back-ups could be affected as well.

In the event you have been affected by the Detroit Blackout, or another power outage situation, there are a few tips to increase your odds of a successful recovery.

Tips for a Successful Data Recovery after a Blackout

  1. Stop using the media immediately. Shut the system down to avoid overwriting the data.
  2. Restore any backups to a different volume; this ensures that all important files are good on the backup before possibly overwriting data on the active volume.
  3. If there is a RAID problem, test the backup by restoring it to a different location or image each drive from the RAID before attempting a rebuild.
  4. Do not use file recovery software unless you have a validated backup and know your drives are not physically damaged. Using file recovery software on a faulty hard drive may destroy what was otherwise recoverable data.
  5. Do not create any new files on the disk needing recovery or continue to run virtual machines until the important data is recovered.
  6. Call a professional data recovery service for further assistance.