When your computer starts behaving erratically or a failure occurs it is natural to start thinking about how to fix the problem, but such a course of action could lead to the problem becoming worse. Rebooting a computer which has suffered a crash will often resolve the issue, at least temporarily, but if this keeps happening it may indicate a serious issue is developing, which could be a hardware fault, logical data corruption or even a malware attack.
Problems caused by a failing hard disk drive are extremely unlikely to get better if you keep using the computer and each attempt to reboot the computer could make things a lot worse. If the hard disk drive is making any strange noises or clicking sounds, the situation is almost certainly critical. The wisest decision is to turn your computer off and contact a professional data recovery company such as DiskEng, who can help you recover your data.
Most Common Issues After Failure
One of the most common problems we see when a hard disk drive is still working, is when an attempt is made to access the data by connecting it to another computer. When a disk becomes inaccessible, it may be due to corruption of the partition table or file system boot sector, or corruption of key file system meta data. We have seen problem occur due to running software which is supposed to fix the file system issues, which can sometimes cause severe damage. We have also seen cases where a user has thought that reformatting or repartitioning the drive will give them access to their data again.
If your data is very important, you never trust it to a friend or work colleague who says they can help. Never run any do-it-yourself software either, as your problem may one of the few the software is unable to handle, which may lead to losing your valuable data. While a problem caused by malware can often be fixed, the solutions are not always non-destructive. Working on a drive with a physical hardware issue is a huge risk and many examples have been seen where the damage has been extensive due to repeatedly attempting to boot a machine back up or when copying data from it.
Always Tell Us the Truth
It is common to become defensive after making an ill-advised attempt at recovering data from a drive, or a stupid mistake has resulted in the problem, that we don’t want to tell somebody what was done. When sending a drive for a data though, it is important to explain every action or procedure you have made in an attempt to recover the data. It is also important to tell us anything which is relevant to the failure itself, such as an external drive or laptop being dropped. Without this information, our data recovery specialists may be working in the dark, as not all dropped drives exhibit the usual symptoms, misleading our engineers, potentially wasting a lot of time.
If the computer or storage device, such as a RAID array belongs to the company you work for, hiding the truth from your boss may make you reticent to enter all information on our data recovery form in case they read it. In such an event, you should contact our engineers directly to explain the failure and any actions taken so that they can determine the exact procedures which need to be taken.
Don’t Dig the Hole Deeper
One of the most apt phrases which can be used in data recovery is “when in a hole, stop digging” which reflects the real risk of causing data loss through making any attempts to recover the data yourself. We have seen many examples of hard disks arrive, where the data was probably almost completely recoverable, but due to making a poor decision, such as reformatting a partition, all the data has been irrecoverably lost. A few minutes taken to reflect on the situation and talking to one of the DiskEng data recovery specialists can avoid making a mistake which could result in losing some or even all of your data.
One thing a data recovery specialist dreads most when receiving a new storage device for data recovery is seeing that an attempt to recover the data has already been made before it arrived at our laboratory. Such an ill-advised course of action may potentially lead to a total loss of data, which for a company may put your job and their future at risk. Avoid making a mistake which could put your company out of business. Whether the data storage device in question is RAID array, a desktop, laptop or external hard disk or USB device, this holds true and at best such actions are likely to make our job of data recovery much harder than it needs to be.