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Post data loss – When to use software or expert services?

data-loss-in-data-centreLosing data can be an emotional experience. There’s an initial moment of panic, followed by deep irritation, frustration or even despair.

Step 1 – Does the data lost warrant any form of recovery action?

When the initial emotions pass, most people start to consider whether it’s worth the effort or the money to recover the lost files.  Personal data such as family photos are valued highly and many want them back at any cost.  The same goes for small-business owners who lose data that directly impacts their operations – such as invoices and accounting files.

Step 2 – Check backups

Checking back-ups will determine whether any of the data can be retrieved from this source.  It is now that users realise the value of a regular and effective backup protocol.

Step 3 – Assess whether data recovery software can be utilised

When the desired data is not accessible from back-up and the hardware storing the target data is operational – such as when deleted files need to be recovered from a recycle bin, for overwritten data or damaged devices etc – then installing Ontrack Easy Recovery software is likely to recover the target files.

Step 4 – Contact a professional

Complicated problems that can’t be addressed without technical expertise – for the reason that individuals do not have the tools or knowledge to make an informed decision about the chances of recovery. The engineers at Kroll Ontrack advise that users contact a recovery professional immediately in the case of a storage media failure.  The reason is that inadvertent additional damage is often caused to media that results in data being permanently irretrievable.

Complicating things further is the rise in popularity of SSDs – and full disk encryption:

  • SSD is a complex technology that few understand well enough to navigate through its RAID and the memory layers to recover data when there’s a failure.
  • Encryption significantly limits the recoverability of files using software.  If the damage prevents the encrypted volume from being opened then the recovery software cannot retrieve or repair the missing files.

A transparent data recovery process

Kroll Ontrack performs an affordable initial analysis of a data disaster and offer a comprehensive assessment of what can be recovered before you make the decision of whether to proceed with (or pay for) the recovery.

Kroll Ontrack uniquely provides a Verifile report that highlights crucial information such the integrity of lost files and images. In fact, most of the recovery process is performed beforehand for the customer so they know what data can be recovered. This helps them make an informed decision about investing in a data recovery.

There are many companies promising amazing recovery results – but most lack the tools and capabilities to live up to their promises.  If in doubt, ask for proof of claims before engaging data recovery services.

One Response to "Post data loss – When to use software or expert services?"

  • Recht Zauberer
    23 May 2013 - 2:05 pm

    Great article and good advice for anyone that has lost data.

    It is important to add that if you are checking backups that you do not restore them to the original soruce volume unless you are sure they have the missing data. If you are unsure, restore of the data could make further data recovery efforts impossible.

    The same goes for the Ontrack Easy Recovery software, make sure not to install it on the same volume you are trying to recover from as the install could overwrite the files you are trying to recover.