Imagine walking into your office on a Monday morning, grabbing a cup of coffee, and firing up your computer. Suddenly, disaster strikes; all of your files are corrupted or missing. What caused it? Was it the storm that passed through one Saturday night? Or was it when you accidentally unplugged your computer from the wall on Friday afternoon? No matter what caused this loss of data, it’s an unmitigated disaster. Unfortunately, such scenarios are all too common and can be extraordinarily costly for businesses.
Although in-person data recovery services for businesses do exist, these can be exorbitantly expensive, without any guarantee that the data will be restored.
Fortunately, modern data recovery technology means that not all hope is lost. Very rarely do we see 100% data loss, and using top-quality data recovery software can result in significant amounts of data being repaired or restored. In 2020, the best data recovery software is affordable for businesses of all sizes.
This article explains how data recovery software works and why it is an essential investment for your organization.
What causes data loss?
The corruption or deletion of data can occur in several ways, and both human error or uncontrollable factors may be to blame.
One of the most common reasons for data loss is that a user accidentally deletes crucial data or overwrites essential files. Users may also reformat a disk or hard drive, unknowingly overwriting or reformatting the data that was previously stored there. And who hasn’t accidentally removed a USB or portable hard drive without properly ejecting the device? Unfortunately, this can also lead to a partial or complete corruption of stored data.
But it is not only human error that leads to data loss. Power outages (or power surges) can damage hardware and lead to sudden power loss of in-use devices. Hardware failures often occur randomly and may lead to organizations lamenting an act of God. And finally, the risk of viruses or malicious software corrupting your data is an ever-present risk for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Luckily, in the majority of data loss scenarios, a good portion of your data may be salvageable. This is where the best data recovery software comes into play.
How data recovery software works
Before launching data recovery software, businesses should immediately stop using the affected device, and disconnect it from the network. This will ensure new data doesn’t overwrite the corrupted or missing data, making it impossible to restore. Disconnecting the device from the network will ensure corrupted data isn’t uploaded to cloud storage or shared with other devices using the network.
File recovery programs work by harnessing the power of deterministic and heuristic algorithms. The software first conducts a scan of the drive or folder in question in order to gain a clearer picture of the file system in use and the extent of damage to the data. The program then searches for crucial identifying information (allocation information/directory records/file names) that help it repair or reformat the data.
However, the exact process for recovering deleted or corrupted data depends on the type of data loss that has occurred. The type of file system the device in question is using also influences the chances of success.
As a general rule of thumb, corrupted or deleted data can be recovered with moderate success from NTFS or ApFS file systems (most Windows 10 and macOS devices). Devices using FAT or BSD UFS file systems are, however, notoriously difficult to recover data from.
In most cases, a significant proportion of data can be recovered from reformatted drives or drives that have suffered logical damage (improper removal or power loss). The exact amount of data that is recovered, however, is dependent on the extent and nature of the file damage or corruption. Significantly corrupted file systems may be unrecoverable.
One area where data recovery software can’t help is with physically damaged hard drives or devices. Whether it’s because of human error or mechanical failure, users should immediately stop using a physically damaged hard drive and take it to a data recovery specialist. These businesses have specialized equipment that increases your business’ chances of recovering data from the damaged drive.
For a more in-depth look at how data can be recovered in different scenarios, check out our article on How data recovery works.
Preparing for data loss in your business
Given how highly exposed most businesses are to the possibility of data loss, particularly due to risks associated with online activity, it is essential for them to have a data recovery plan.
Because almost all file systems maintain some or all of a file’s information until a new file overwrites it, swift action ensures your organization can immediately work to recover and repair lost or damaged data and minimize disruption to your business’ operations.
A core component of any data recovery plan is file recovery software. Fortunately, such software solutions are increasingly efficient and come at only a fraction of the cost of in-person services. However, you must invest in data recovery software before data loss occurs, as this is the best way to insure your business against the potentially debilitating costs of data loss.
Data loss can impact businesses at the worst of times, and the consequences can be devastating. The loss or corruption of sensitive or valuable information can threaten important client relationships, undermine your business’ operations, or even create legal liabilities. In short, it pays to be prepared.
A data recovery plan ensures your business can act decisively when a data loss occurs and maximizes the chances of successfully recovering data.
To help you find the perfect file recovery solution for your business, read our article on the best data recovery software.