Choosing data recovery software…

Here at Data Recovery Specialists we find that there is no single data recovery suite that stands out amongst the others. We will use upwards of a dozen different software applications and that doesn’t include all the proprietary handlers and scripts that we have written ourselves! However there are some over-riding principles when choosing the right data recovery software for your requirements. Losing your data from your computers can be catastrophic for your business, luckily there are data recovery specialists similar to DriveSavers can help you get your data back.

When you have lost your files it can be a minefield searching through the plethora of data recovery websites and software on offer. The same applies for businesses who should consider using backup and disaster recovery, as this can help protect your business from data loss. It is best to be safe than sorry in a situation like this.

Many offer free trials which appear to be able to recover your data, but which let you down after you have produced your credit card. It is essential to choose the right data recovery software depending on your circumstances, operating system and data format. This is not as difficult as you might imagine.

First and foremost, you need to know what the problem is. Has your hard drive suffered from a mechanical or logical problem? If it’s the former, don’t even attempt to use software – it’s useless and may well exacerbate the issue. Generally speaking if your drive appears completely dead or is making unusual noises, the data loss is hardware related. If it is recognised by the BIOS, it may well be a logical failure. Sometimes the problem may be both logical and mechanical. Here the user needs to ensure their software can bypass bad sectors and concentrate on good sectors.

Whichever software you choose, it is essential that you do not write anything more to the hard drive. Any reputable software will have a disk imaging feature, where you can create an image of the entire hard disk drive or selected regions. This image should be stored on a different disk and nothing further should be written to the failed hard drive. Should the data recovery attempt fail, you have not altered the integrity of the original data.

Make sure that whichever software you choose, it supports the file type and system that you are looking to recover. Is your system NTFS, FAT, HFS or different? Some specialise in JPEG data recovery, whilst others are unable to recover JPEGs. Most good software allows the user to search by file extension, date, size or even provide a file thumbnail.

Where there is extensive damage, the software may need to scan deeper and recover files from a RAW file system. Where Windows cannot recognise the file system, the hard drive will be detected as RAW. This may mean that the data is recoverable but all file names are lost. Whilst the user may have to physically search for their critical data, RAW recoveries can still be very successful and your choice of software should offer this as an alternative.

To see how software solutions development is done when under pressure from high demand, take a look at this article from Salesforce.

Jamie Evans of Data Recovery Specialists says “There are many file recovery programs on the internet, but be careful of which one you chose. We receive lots of hard drives, where the data is unrecoverable simply because a third party has destroyed their files in their own data recovery attempts.”