data loss

Hard Drive Data Loss – How to Fix it

Most of the things we do, most of the memories we have are on our laptops and smart devices. We keep our photos there, work files, even random documents with passwords and to-do lists.

We use our personal devices pretty much every day and we can’t really imagine our lives without them. But sometimes the worst happens! Our files get deleted, and we feel like we’ve lost a huge part of us.

Has that ever happened to you? It happened to me more than once and the heartache was worse than the worst breakup! Because of that, I decided to do research, find out why is that happening and how can I prevent it in the future.

Here are the few things I found on Data Loss and how to salvage my files if that’s possible. Hopefully you and I both will remember it and keep our files safe!

What is Data Loss?

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Our precious files are all stored in the computer’s hard disk drive (HDD). When there is a system failure or an error condition the files stored in the hard drive can become corrupted or deleted. The hard drive does not have to fail for you to lose your files. Data loss can happen because of a number of things.

Why do Hard Drives fail?

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Did you know that human error is the main cause of failure for over 50.000 hard disk drives in a week, in the US alone? I didn’t either and that’s a scary number! But, the point is, you’re not alone and it does not mean it’s your fault only. Here are the most common causes of a hard drive failure.

  • Water Damage – water causes surges in the electrical current and it could severely damage your HDD;
  • Power Issues – power surges occur when there is an increase of the electrical charge in the power lines;
  • Hardware Failure – issues with the hardware components of the drive itself is one of the top causes for HDD failure;
  • Firmware Corruption – viruses and other malware can cause firmware corruption and that could lead to the disk becoming unreadable;
  • Human Error – as I mentioned before, humans are more often than not responsible for HDD failure;
  • Heat – excessive heat could lead to severe damage to the HDD’s components;
  • Mishaps – this is different than human error. Accidents happen every day and mishaps are not as simple as human error.

Greatest Reasons for Data Loss

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Data loss, as well as HDD failure, can happen for a number of reasons. I’ve learned, in a hard way, that if there’s a random pop-up and it says “click here to install” you should not click. Unless you really, really trust the source and know what you want to download and install.

For people like me, who are not really tech-savvy, and for those who are smart enough to know when it’s time to ask for help, there are people who know what they are doing and how to save your HDD and restore your data. Check for more information.

Here are the greatest reasons why data loss happens.

  • Deleting files accidentally – this is the most common reason for data loss. We’ve all been there. Too many times I thought that I was moving something or deleting another file and managed to lose important data. Make sure to check your recycle bin, chances are, your files are still there. Updating software can also lead to deleting files accidentally.
  • Viruses and malware – there are new viruses that attack the system and delete data every day. You need to be safe and smart. Don’t download things from untrusted sources, don’t click on random links that just pop-up. Don’t open messages from people you don’t know and if it seems too good to be true, it’s probably a virus.
  • HDD failure – as I mentioned before, the hard disk can fail for a number of reasons. Power failures and water damage most commonly happen because you didn’t do all the necessary precautions. Use a good adapter and don’t drink coffee, water or anything like that while you’re working on your laptop.
  • Computer theft – unfortunately, this is one situation where data recovery tools won’t help you bring your files back. It’s a huge tragedy when you lose your computer and your data at the same time.

How to Fix Data Loss?

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  • Run Antivirus Scan – viruses and malware can cause HDD issues and the data may seem lost. Connect the HDD to another computer and scan for viruses. It may repair the corrupted HDD and make the drive accessible.
  • Run a CHKDSK Scan – this type of scan is good for the storage drive. Because of that, you should do it once in a while. The CHKDSK marks the bad sectors and prevents data corruption by fixing file system errors.
  • Run an SFC Scan – this scan helps fix the missing or damaged system files that could lead to driving corruption. The SFC checks system file integrity and replaces a corrupt or damaged system file with a cached copy stored within the system.
  • Use a Data Recovery Tool – if all else fails and you cannot repair the corrupt hard drive, you should try using a Data Recovery Tool. Most software can quickly restore files from failed HDDs. Even if the drive is severely corrupted, formatted and there are missing partitions, you can still safely get your files back.

It’s always better to prevent the damage before it happens. Always back up your files and do it in multiple places. Buying a second (or a third) hard drive and backing file up is the best thing you can do. If you don’t want to buy a new HDD, then just buy a hard drive case and use the HDD from your old computer or laptop.

Don’t forget about cloud storage. Backing up files on cloud storage is probably the safest place you can keep them. And you will be able to access them from anywhere.

If you do experience Data Loss, don’t dwell on it. There are so many ways and tools to get them back, so you will be able to do that. Don’t wait too long to ask for help if you cannot do that on your own. There are a lot of companies that work with that and that will recover your data in no-time.

How To Avoid Losing Important Data From Your Computer?

In recent years, we have witnessed that with the increasing use of computers, whether for private or business purposes, the possibility of data loss seems more than daunting.

Data Loss And How To Avoid It

This problem can occur in a variety of ways. Most often, a computer becomes infected with a virus, but there is also a real possibility that someone intentionally “invades” your computer system by compromising your messages, correspondence, contacts or financial documents. Large companies usually use the services of specialized agencies to prepare plans and rigorous procedures for their employees to act in the event of data loss. Small businesses and home users usually don’t have such plans or come down to the old, well-known saying: “Well, that won’t happen to me, and even if it does, I’ll call a friend who knows a lot about computers.” Do you find this familiar?

To prevent this from happening, we’ll give you some tips on how to save your data, or how to never lose anything on your computer.

Make A List Of Your Most Important Files

Make a list of the most important files, both on your computer and on portable devices such as your tablet, smartphone, and then create a backup system. First, identify the frequently changing data and the “permanent data” such as images, music, or video. Highlight those that need to be backed up frequently into special folders, or frequent backup groups. Then specify the frequency at which you will backup the files. It can be once a week, that will be quite enough.

Select Your Backup Media

The possibilities for this vary – from another disk to which you can simply copy files, through removable disks, optical disks and flash media, to some more serious solutions like NAS or Cloud. Companies that have multi-networked computers can create specific sets of policies for each user individually, thus preventing data loss by abolishing privileges for those who do not need those privileges for daily work. Also, large companies should occasionally organize meetings to discuss security and data protection with their employees. All employees using a computer must be educated about the importance of backup and must learn how to use it.

Prevent Data Loss Due To Human Error

It’s a famous saying – computers don’t make mistakes, it’s people who make mistakes. Although this is difficult for us to admit, most often we are the reason for our problems. So is the data. Take advantage of the protections you already have integrated. For example, if you are writing text, set up to automatically record content that you write in special versions of text every ten minutes.

Beware Of Viruses

Install one of the antivirus software packages. There are many of them, even the free ones. Keep in mind that if you need to visit some potentially malicious websites, you should avoid doing it from a computer containing the most important information or from a computer from which you make online payments, etc. Do not open files that came to you from unknown email addresses. Do not install new programs from unreliable sources.

Who Can Help You?

Data loss affects anyone who uses a computer. There is nothing more frustrating than losing important documents that you spend so much time creating. However, if important ones is lost, there are specialized laboratories such as Data Sector that deal with such problems. Situations like this can be especially problematic for those whose computer is their primary means of operation. Many professional companies receive a large number of customer calls almost daily. Many of them have lost their data and do not have a backup. Unfortunately, at that point, the process of saving it  is very expensive or sometimes impossible.

The data recovery process itself can sometimes be quite difficult to handle. To avoid such problems, back up your essential ones regularly and use the tips listed.

Keeping Data On Your Home Computer

In a home environment, keeping a backup in a remote location means only one thing – using cloud-based services such as Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. We are aware that there are various potential reasons for avoiding such backups. The reasons are mostly related to privacy, subscription, uncertainty as to when the selected company will handle the business, etc. Luckily, there is an alternative, starting with storing and sharing your backup with relatives and friends you trust, to building your cloud storage. We will explain what you need to do if this kind of problem occurs and how to recover the data stored in your backups.

Choosing A Backup Device

It would be ideal if the backup was done on two different media at the same time.

The Extra Drive

The extra drive – external or internal – comes to mind first. We recommend it to be used for the complete system image. For this purpose, it is possible to use a tool that comes with the operating system or any of the independent or freeware programs.

A Network Hard Drive

This is a secondary solution. It can be stored in a remote location or on a local home network. Data storage in the cloud is also a common variant, with the most popular services of this type like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Drive. You can also improve security by using a data encryption service before sending it to such systems.

Cloud Storage Systems

If other options are not safe enough for you, then the right solution for you is a personal cloud storage system. Other computers are also a good choice for backing up your data. If you own multiple computers, you can synchronize data on them. The bonus with this backup method is that all of them  you use is always available on all computers.

Sharing Free Space

Another good solution you probably haven’t thought about is sharing free space on hard drives with relatives or friends you trust – you can store their backups on your computer, and they have yours on their computers. A little bit of “paranoia” is out of the question, so before you exchange your data, make sure they are encrypted, if nothing else with Winzip.