I recently performed a data recovery for a client. To his amazement, I was able to recover upwards of 90% of the data on his physically crashed iomega external hard drive (it’s actually a Samsung drive). While explaining how I was so successful in recovering the lost files, it dawned on me how simple a basic data recovery solution really is and decided that it would make an excellent topic for today’s blog.
So here we go… No matter how careful one is with your data, you should always back it up. Fire, accidental deletion and other mishaps can contribute to data loss and one should spare no expense to ensure that your files are easily recoverable in the event of a tragedy. Though I use sophisticated data recovery models for those “oops” moments, here are a few simple pointers on what you can do to try to get the data off your crashed hard drive.
First, does the drive even turn on? It may be the controller. In the event that the controller has died you can simply purchase a new enclosure and move the hard disk drive over to it with just the turn of a few screws. Sometimes, when moving to a new enclosure fails, one can purchase a new system board for the drive from a reputable dealer, however you need to be very careful that it is for the same model right down to the sub-revision of the drive.
Let’s say that the drive does power on, then what? There are utilities such as GetDataBack for Windows and Data Rescue 4 for the Mac that will analyze the drive and help with the recovery of lost files, and yes, this even works for deleted files as it rebuilds something called the file allocation table. I even find that simple tricks such as recovering two or three files at a time help in keeping the crashed hard drive moving internally so that it won’t get stuck.
Finally, when all else fails there are professional services such as Absolute Computer Solutions that have the resources to take this a step further and recover your precious data. We’ve heard all the horror stories and we are here to help. I hope that you find this interesting and useful and that you won’t need us for disaster recovery, but you know where to find us if you do!