Getting your data back is our only business!
DATA RECOVERY FACTS
Sometimes it is hard to separate fact and fiction when looking into data recovery services. At Great Basin Data Recovery we attempt to solve customer problems and demystify the process and the technology. This way the customer understands what is occurring with their media and what the actual chances are of recovering their data.
1. What data recovery is and is not? Data recovery is the term used to describe the general procedures used to recover data from a variety of media and operating systems that has been lost due to hardware failure, human error, software failure, a virus or a natural disaster. It isn't magic and it isn't a secret. Many people around the world understand hard drives and the tools required to access failing media and recover data. Your choice of a data recovery company should be able to explain the processes used and what is the failure of the customers media.
2. Data Recovery is not as simple as downloading software on the Internet and running it against your media. This is contrary to what the software vendors would have you believe, but not every case can be solved with software. In fact most real media problems require some advanced understanding of the media, how it works and where the data resides on the media. Running software against failing media can cause more damage and hinder real data recovery efforts.
3. The data you see on your hard disk drive is not the only data there is on the hard drive. What most users do not know is that the hard drive you have needs to boot up just like Windows or an Apple computer. Before your operating system starts the hard drive has to start up and find where it stores all the data on the hard drive. This boot process occurs in an area unobservable to the operating system and the user. ONLY trained data recovery specialists with the proper tools can review this area and fix any problems that occur there.
4. Not every company advertising they provide data recovery services is actually a data recovery company. Unfortunately for the consumer, data recovery is a product steeped in big words and hidden by an industry that does little to educate their market. Additionally, many small companies advertise data recovery services but only resell the service from a larger company. There are a variety of companies from big to small that sell data recovery. If you are looking for a data recovery company that can actually assist you with your data recovery needs consider a few things:
1) What is the company's primary function? Is data recovery an additional funding source or their primary revenue? If the company's primary focus is not getting your data back what are they going to be able to do for you?
2) Does the company have their laboratory on-site or do they send it somewhere else? This can be a large determining factor for clients due to the sensitivity of their personal data. Where is my data, how is it controlled and who can see it. Ask the question and you might be surprised that your data is not handled with any security in mind and is mailed to some place else.
3) How are the companies data recovery specialists trained? This is another telling question. Unfortunately for the customer this is probably the hardest to decipher. The data recovery field has only a few companies teaching actual data recovery. Ascertaining if the company's technicians have been to any out of the office training specializing in data recovery can help determine their ability to assist you. Be aware though certifications in digital or computer forensics are not the same as training in data recovery. Don’t assume the digital forensic training means they understand data recovery techniques. They are two different fields and require two different skill sets. That being said a data recovery specialist can have training in both areas and be very effective in both. Just ask the question and be sure to whom your are allowing access to your data.
4) Call the data recovery company of your choice and ask for advice. Ask to speak to a technician that actually does recoveries. If you are only connected to an office person or a salesperson can they actually answer your questions? A data recovery technician should be able to explain their process and provide you with their individual capabilities.
Some Data Recovery Myths
1. Myth: All data is recoverable
Fact: In many cases data is recoverable, but unfortunately not in all cases. There are times when the damage is catastrophic to the point that no one including the NSA is getting your data back. Fortunately these cases are often rare and not the norm for a legitimate data recovery company. A legitimate data recovery company can assess the media and determine the problem and provide a solution to the customer. Cost varies from company to company and should generally be based on the companies effort in the recovery. If they charge a flat fee they are spreading the cost across multiple clients and if your recovery was easy you are paying the same amount as a harder case. Ask the company what their policy is on charging clients for their recovery's.
2. Myth: I can recovery the data myself
Fact: Do it yourself (DIY) projects can work especially if the hard drive has a logical failure of the file system. Some data recovery company's include as a service their own down loadable software for this purpose. However, DIY projects often result in a dissatisfied customer. Some of the reasons include the media has physical problems and running the software against the media made things worse; or, the software was run against the media and the recovered data was written back to the same media effectively destroying the data. Before you consider a DIY data recovery project call your data recovery company for advice.
3. Myth: I can take my hard drive to my computer friend, they can recover my data.
Fact: Taking your hard drive to a friend or some “computer nerd” you know may sound logical, and might be the most cost effective, but it could potentially cause more damage. Knowledge of computers does not mean that they understand the inner workings of a hard disk drive. You need to evaluate if your data is important enough to warrant someone trained in data recovery techniques recovering your data or risk the neighborhood kid’s self taught computer knowledge.
4. Myth: I read on the Internet all I have to do to recover my data is.....
Fact: The Internet is a wonderful thing. It does however provide some false hope and misinformation when it comes to data recovery. Some of the information is correct, but, some of it is not. The question is how as a consumer do you know? There are so many Do It Yourself (DIY) data recovery videos on YouTube that one could get the impression that data recovery is a fairly simple field and anyone can do it on their kitchen table. The question is “What is your data worth to you?” If it is worth something, consider getting advice and assistance from a qualified data recovery service before doing it yourself.
5. Myth: My drive is making a really weird noise, therefore it is unrecoverable.
Fact: If your hard drive is making unusual noises TURN IT OFF IMMEDIATELY. This symptom can indicate a catastrophic failure or a head crash and could destroy your data. The noise your are hearing is generally the head stack (the read/write heads) in the hard disk drive trying to find data in a location on one of the platters it needs to start the drive. Any attempt at recovering these drives yourself may cause further damage or permanent data loss. But, this symptom is not always caused by the heads failing. There is other code called “firmware” in the drive that may be corrupt and causing the same action by the heads. This can only be diagnosed by a trained professional. Be aware Do It Yourselfers, because this firmware is unique to that hard drive, swapping the hard drives PCB could make the drive unrecoverable.
The professionals at Great Basin Data Recovery can recover data from almost all media types including Floppy Disks, Thumb drives, CDROM, Flash Memory, Note Book Hard Drives, and ATA/SATA Hard Drives. For businesses, Great Basin Data Recovery can also assist you by recovering data from your business servers, including RAID's.
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