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Data Recovery Issues and Approaches

Data recovery allows salvaging data from wrecked, damaged, failed, or inaccessible storage media when it cannot be accessed using the normal approach. Often the data is being recovered from storage media formats such as hard disk drive, storage tape, smartmedia, flash, zip drive, CD, DVD, RAID, and other electronics. This can be due to physical damage to the device or logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being usable.

Multiple techniques are used to retrieve the data from damaged computers. Sometimes the platters need to be removed by specialists and placed into a working drive, sometimes only disk heads need to replaced. Often times there is nothing wrong with the hardware, as there are cases where for some reason important bits of information about the partitioning are lost and while the drive is in a perfect condition, special tools need to be used to recreate the partitioning without loosing data and have it working again. You may have used a RAID and several disks are now corrupted, but you may be able to still recover most of the data. Finally you may have a perfectly working drive and fine partitions, but your application data, file or database went corrupted. So you need to be able to recover those too. Often times you can download some program to easily repair the problem by yourself (which is usually quite cheaper than paying a human to do so for you). Though the availability of such programs may depend on which Operating systems you use, e.g. there are probably lots of data recovery programs out there for Windows, but probably not that many for linux and macintosh. If however it is a hardware problem, most likely you've have to contact a specialist at the nearest data recovery center.

So many things could go wrong with your PC and other electronics. Depending on the damage the recovery may be cheap to accomplish, but sometimes it can be very expensive. One thing is for sure, whenever it happens you'd always slap yourself on the forehead, saying why didn't I make those backups. So if you read this now, before you've lost your data go and back up your data now! However chances are that you have found this page, because your data has already been damaged or corrupted.

The following resources should help you recover your data and hopefully you will get it all back:


Choosing a Data Recovery Company (http://biz-intel-center.blogspot.com/2006/05/choosing-data-recovery-company.html)
If this is your first time choosing a data recovery company, you will want to learn as much information as possible regarding them

Data Recovery First Aid (http://www.softwaretalks.com/first-aid/)
3 tips to increase your chances of success

A Barbecued Hard Drive Sent to Ontrack for Recovery (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1911131,00.asp)
Ever thrown a Western Digital hard drive into a campfire? Well, PCMag's executive editor Jeremy Kaplan did while on his vacation. Why? He wanted to see if Ontrack could save his barbecued data

Ever wonder how data recovery companies recover data from dead hard drives? (http://www6.tomshardware.com/storage/20050530/index.html)
Here's a great article at Tom's Hardware about the process Data Recovery Services go through in order to getdata back off of hard drive even if it won't power on. Very interesting.

Data Protection and Recovery in Windows XP (http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/winxppro/support/dataprot.mspx)
Provides a technical walkthrough that illustrates how to use important data recovery and protection features in Windows XP. Also included are best practices and the steps you need to take to build an effective data recovery and protection strategy.

Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory (http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/%7Epgut001/pubs/secure_del.html)
Covers some of the methods available to recover erased data and presents schemes to make this recovery significantly more difficult.


Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery (http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1139)
Killed a hard drive without backing up? This guide helps you recover the data

Stellar Information Systems Ltd (http://www.stellarinfo.com/)
Engineers at Stellar recover damaged data (filesystem and file recovery)

Drive Slagging (http://driveslag.eecue.com/)
A fool-proof method to prevent data recovery

The Lost Art of CD Data Recovery (http://datarecovery.techniscape.com/The-Lost-Art-Of-CD-Data-Recovery.php)
Losing your information or pictures or music files or other important pieces of data no longer has to be the "end of the world". With CD data recovery, the lost bits of information can be completely recovered in most cases.

Recovering Scratched CDs (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/77)
Every user has had trouble with a scratched CD. In the case of data CDs (CD-ROM), the drive cannot properly read the CD, giving rise to reading errors. In the case of audio CDs, the CD skips when we play it.

Recovering Dead Motherboards Killed by the CIH Virus (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/39)
Learn how to reprogram BIOS chips erased by the CIH (a.k.a. Chernobyl or Spacefiller) virus. The describe procedure can also be used to recover your BIOS in the case of a bad BIOS upgrade.


Data Recovery Myths (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/245)
Talks about data recovery myths found on the Internet

Recovering Hard Disks Erased by the CIH Virus (http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/40)
How to recover hard disks erased by the CIH (a.k.a. Chernobyl or Spacefiller) virus.

Paranoid? Overwrite Data 35 Times With This Open Source Program (http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/)
If you've ever downloaded something on purpose or by accident you don't want anyone to ever get a hold of, this program is for you. Eraser is an open source data destruction program that uses the Gutmann Method of throwing on 8 passes of random data and another 27 predefined patterns to foil recovery experts.

Hard drive recovery utilities: when you can't afford to lose that data (http://geeksaresexy.blogspot.com/2005/12/hard-drive-recovery-utilities-when-you.html)
How to recover data if your PC has crashed.



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