A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Data Recovery


There’s nothing quite as painful as losing critical data from our devices. Unfortunately, no one can predict who’ll be a victim of data loss, which is why this is a major concern for organizations and individuals alike. Luckily, lost data doesn’t necessarily stay lost, as this beginner’s guide to data recovery will prove.  


Data Recovery Defined

Data recovery is the method of retrieving or restoring data from a storage media source or disk drive when it cannot be accessed using conventional methods. The data recovery technique used depends on where the data was stored and what kind of data loss occurred.

There are several reasons why retrieving data is needed, such as when hard disks crash due to a virus, when the device being physically damaged, storage failures, and accidentally deleting files.

Types of Data Damage

It’s crucial to determine first what kind of damage the data incurred before carrying making any attempt to retrieve data. There are basically two kinds of data damage – physical and logical.

The former includes damage caused by natural disasters and human errors. While this can be easily resolved by replacing old and worn parts, it’s a job best handled by a professional.

Meanwhile, logical damage pertains to the storage media or system becoming corrupted due to accidental or unintentional deletion or formatting, virus infestation, memory overflow, or power failure. Damages of this nature can be recovered using a special software.

Steps to Recovering Data

There are several ways to recover your data.You can use a software or tap the services of a data recovery company. If you’re feeling confident about  your skills and have an understanding of your computer’s partitioning and file system, you can even try retrieving the data on your own via these easy steps.

  • Step #1: Make sure no extra data has been written on the drive after your files have been lost. This is a critical step since when a file is deleted, what happens is that the locating tag is just removed but the file itself remains on the drive. However, adding new data might cause lost data to be overwritten and make a total recovery even more challenging.
  • Step #2: Boot the computer via a DOS boot disc and utilize a compatible file recovery program. This is by far the easiest and quickest way to access the data on your hard drive with a corrupted OS.
  • Step #3: If the previous step was unsuccessful, you can attempt transferring the drive to another working computer. Make sure this computer has the same file system as the damaged partition in your device. This will let you recover information by simply using Windows Explorer to see through the file structures.
  • Step #4: You should also use any of the available free or commercial software tools when trying to recover data.

It should be emphasized though that there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to recover all your data, even with the use of a software. If the data to be recovered is of a sensitive or personal issue, or if you’re unsure of the tools at your disposable, get in touch with a known data recovery company.

How Data Recovery Services Restore Data

One of the best ways to ensure that you’ll be able to get back your data is to bring your device to a company specializing in data recovery. These companies have a distinct and effective way of saving your data –

  • Evaluate the Situation: The first step to hard drive recovery is to correctly diagnose the problem. After all, you can’t properly start the recovery process without knowing why the data was lost in the first place. This also helps determine whether the damage was physical or logical.
  • Have the Proper Room and Tools: The “clean room” is the workshop of professional data recovery businesses. This department has specialized software equipment and hardware, along with the necessary tools, stereoscopic microscope, special containers soldering station, clean and sturdy tables and chairs, shelves, and special coverings for surfaces.
  • Recover Data: The type of damage done to the data  requires different data recovery methods. Logical damage requires special software that reads the drive’s content and fixes the structural errors that resulted in data loss. But if the damage is physical, the retrieval process becomes more challenging. Any repairs have to be done in a sterile environment using the right tools.

Everyone should take steps to secure and backup their data. While losing key data is a big blow to any person or organization, it is not the end of the world. Your data can still be recovered using sophisticated software or by tapping data recovery services like Datlabs Data Recovery.