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Computer Data Recovery - Drive Recovery Information

Computer Data Recovery

Hardware & System Problems
Human Errors
Software Corruption or Application Error
Computer Viruses
Natural Disasters

    Lost Data Today

Data is undoubtedly vital to both companies and individuals throughout the world. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds throughout the years and storage media has grown with it. With the ever growing storage demands, manufacturers now offer hard disk drives which are now faster and larger than ever before. What many consumers do not realize is that storage media has always been a fragile science with precision being a key element in it’s functionality. Precision and fragility brings susceptibility to many elements of danger. We believe there are 3 main trends in Data Loss and computer data recovery today – manufacturers pushing the limits of hard drive capacities & speeds, more critical company data placed within disk drives, and faulty implementation of back-up procedures.

As touched on earlier, there is now more data being stored in smaller spaces. A decade ago, hard drive storage capacity was approximately 40 megabytes. In today’s market, many hard drives store up to 120 gigabytes (GB) within an even smaller media device – i.e. a 2.5” laptop drive. With this amount of data stored within such dense areas, mechanical precision is crucial to it reliability.

The sensitivity of hard drives, also known as drive tolerance, has always been incredibly small. The distance between the read/write heads and the media platter is so miniscule, any trauma such as an accidental drop or a sudden shake may cause the head to make contact with the platter resulting in physical damage to the media. Currently most drives are designed with the read/write heads 1-2 micro-inches from the platter. To put this in perspective, a speck of dust is 4-8 micro-inches and a piece of human hair is 10 micro-inches.

In today’s fast pace world, users find themselves placing irreplaceable data ( i.e., company records, accounting records, bank files, payroll records, sales transactions, master’s thesis, etc) onto their desktops, laptops and networks. When these crucial documents become lost, companies may lose thousands if not millions of dollars and some may even go bankrupt. Drive recovery has never been more important in this instance.

Most companies utilize backups and redundant storage technologies as their safety net to protect themselves from data loss. Backing up has always been and will continue to be a company’s best defense against data loss. Although this is the best option, backup technology and procedures are not always full proof. Failure may come when procedures are not implemented properly by the administrator, system hardware is not functioning correctly, software may become corrupted, and tape/cartridge media may not be in working order. Backup systems rely on perfect harmony between human, mechanical hardware, and software to work as intended. All too often, it is those crucial moments when data loss strikes, that backups find themselves useless.

With increasing storage capacities coupled with decreasing physical sizes of hard drives, manufacturers are storing more information in smaller spaces than ever before. Because of this, the question must be raised – are we pushing the envelope faster than we should? Are manufacturers risking reliability/MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) in place of performance and more sales?

With such an amount of mission critical data stored within these delicate mechanical storage devices, most people never truly consider what a huge impact a drive crash can make on their lives until this traumatic experience actually happens. Personal computers and laptops are storing more data than ever before and this trend is not slowing down any time soon. Data loss for most companies are not a mere inconvenience, but instead a huge financial liability and risk.

Below, you can see some percentage breakdowns for data loss. We have found that in most cases, there are two main reasons for computer data loss, data recovery services and hard disk data recovery – hardware/system failure & human error.

Hardware & System Problems
Disk drive crashes, electrical outages or power surges, manufacturer defects.
Human Errors
Accidental deletions, overwriting files, causing trauma to desktop or laptop.
Software Corruption or Application Error
Application displays an error message when a document is opened. Installing or removing a program corrupts another.
Computer Viruses


Natural Disasters
Fires, floods, lightning, earthquakes.

What’s going wrong?...
Through our research and experience, we have compiled a list of computer data recovery issues we’ve come across most often. We hope that this information will assist people in their awareness of data recovery services and to educate themselves in the prevention of a data loss crisis.

Head Crash
Extensive physical damage is caused when the read/write heads of a hard drive come into physical contact with the media surface.

Unusual noise omitting from the hard drive – clicking, grinding or scraping.

What to do:
At any time, if any unusual sounds are heard, SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY! Permanent data loss may occur if left running.

Power Surge
We consider this to be the most common natural occurrence/disaster. Power surges may occur with common power outages or lightning storms. Extreme power fluctuations may severely damage media electronics and directly effect a drive’s read/write heads resulting in physical media damage and/or data corruption.

Smoke omitting from computer, sparks, inaccessible data, drive will not power up

What to do:
In most cases, damage will occur once power is returned to the media devices.
- Unplug devices following all power outages.
- Utilize a UPS(uninterrupted power supply) or a power surge protector to protect from future surges.

Water Damage
Water and electronics have never been known to work well together and there is no exception when it comes to our computer’s electronic components. A single spill from a cup of coffee or water can bring your computer to a screeching halt.

Electronics/hard drive water damage, moist, mold

What to do:
When moisture enters your components:
- Immediately power down computer and keep off.
- Do not attempt to dry your hard drive or electronics; place in an airtight bag.

Fire Damage
Even if a hard drive has dropped into a swimming pool or has been left in a fiery inferno, IntelliRecovery Drive Recovery can recover it!


What to do:
- Place charred hard drive within an airtight bag and give it to the specialists.

Virus Attacks
There are literally thousands of viruses constantly attacking computers in this internet age. Always protect yourself with anti-virus software and never open emails from unfamiliar users.

Unusual messages from unfamiliar users, computer acting up

What to do:
- Utilize anti-virus software to attempt to remove viruses
- Update anti-virus software daily
- Following a virus, data may still remain inaccessible. Contact IntelliRecovery California Data Recovery Specialists in such cases.
- Be careful to not use any utilities. They may cause further damage.

Accidents happen, especially now that so many people utilize portable laptops for home and business use. Physical trauma may occur when we drop these devices or accidentally run them over with our cars, or…

Unusual noises omitting from hard drive (clicking, grinding, scraping), physical damage to media, drive will not spin, not recognized by computer

What to do:
- If any of these indications are present, power down computer and do not reboot.

Human Error
Making up a whopping 32% of the computer data recovery incidences, humans are the second leading cause of lost data. Our fast paced day to day lives sets us up for inevitable mistakes.

Accidentally deleting files, accidentally reformatting drive, partition errors….

What to do:
- Do not run utilities to remedy problem yourself.
- Stop using the hard drive and send it to IntelliRecovery engineers to correctly remedy the problem.

Data Recovery Do's and Don't Do's

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