- Computers & Software
Tips for computer data recovery
Today I would like to cover the topic about computer data recovery. I remember one time, when I switched on my computer, suddenly a blue screen appeared stating, that some files are damaged and my hard drive is inaccessible. I thought "no problem" and just restarted my PC. After a while I got the same blue screen. I thought "ok" and on reboot pressed DEL key to enter BIOS system. There I set last known good configuration and pressed enter to save it, but on the reboot I got the same annoying blue screen with horrific note, that my drive is inaccessible. I restarted my computer 2 more times thinking, that maybe it will somehow come to its senses, but no. Nothing worked.
So, now we are talking about computer data recovery. Firstly, I should say that somehow we tend to believe, that our hard drives are immortal or eternal. They never actually wear off. Well, it's better to learn from other mistakes, so let's learn.
What should we do in order to avoid hard drive crashes?
Backup your data
Firstly, we shoul always, ALWAYS, make backups and copy important data to back-up drives or disks. This is our last line of defence. If our hard drive dies, then our backups is the easiest way to restore data. In case of hardware failure, accidental file deletion or some malware application attacks, we have to reinstall our OS (sometimes not), but all our created data and work will be lost. If you made backups, you will save all important files.
No coffee near your PC
That's easier said than done. One of my favourite occupation is to drink coffee reading my e-mails or chatting with friends or watching a movie. Well, at least try not to spill your coffee or tea on the keybord of your laptop. If you do that on a desktop keybord, the keybord can be replaced, but not with a laptop. One of my friends dismantles laptops and sells parts on Ebay. You can not imagine how many computers were damaged and went dead because of spilled coffee, tea, soup, bear, water, coca-cola and what not.
From time to time we should do a Scandisk Utility. This tool checks for errors on your hard drive and searches for damaged and corrupted files, that can no longer be used. The more files it finds, the more chances that your hard drive is aging. Rightclick on your hard drive (let's say it's C drive) and click on Properties. Find a Tools tab and under error checking section select Check now. Then put ticks on Check disk options and start a disk scan. It will find bad sectors of unreadable data and try to fix it. If sectors can not be fixed, then I suggest you backup your data, copy files to another location and replace your hard drive. It doesn't mean, that tomorrow your hard drive will fail to function, but bad sectors indicate, that you should think about replacing it.
Ok, let's say that the doomsday came and your system did not startup. What do you do before trying any methods of computer data recovery? First of all, find out what kind of failure is that - logical or mechanical. If the failure is logical, that means that files are not damaged phisically, but your hard drive can not access the data and it gives you the blue screen. REasons can be various - unintentional formatting or damaged sectors. However, that data is not lost, it's still in your system.
If on starting up Your PC you hear some irritating clicking noise which ends up in the same blue screen, then there is a possibility that failure is mechanical. In that case you should open you PC case and remove your hard drive and take it to experts. I've read some advices about putting your hard drive into the freezer for 24 hours (never tried it) and then trying to boot up the system, but I suggest you take it to professional technicians. It will be safer, though you will have to pay a huge load of money. Prices are various - from 100 bucks, to 2500. It depends on how much you value your information that's inside. One of my close colleagues said that almost any data can be restored, it's only the matter of money. If you have money, then the problem of computer data recovery is not much of a problem.
How to fix it?
Download some software that computer geeks suggest and try restoring the system yourself. It is an easy and cheap method. If you don't have an USB drive or USB capable data recovery software, try accessing your drive from another computer. Hook your damaged hard drive as a slave and then connect it to another computer. By "hooking" I mean that you have to take your damaged drive, change a jumper at the back of your physical drive to the set which indicates that your drive will take "slave" settings. If you don't see your drive on another computer and no software can find it, then take it to PC repair shop. Those guys will do the rest.