In recent times with the “Credit Crunch” beginning to bite a lot of people may well be tempted to try to repair or recover their data from a failed hard disk drive or memory stick. Alternatively they try to use recovery software, which is easily available on the net, can be paid for and downloaded online.

In most cases this software will be a hard drive recovery programme for a hard disk drive that has suffered from some form of logical table corruption and will not assist with

  1. Mechanically failed devices
  2. Degraded hard Disk Drives
  3. Devices with electronic failures

This software will of course not be able to help and if the drive is degraded or suffering from a mechanical failure attempting to run this software will in most cases cause further damage to hard disk drives, potentially making the disk unrecoverable.

The software itself is very often very reasonable priced – usually under $100 but is only good for one purpose to recover either deleted or logically failed drives, so if you are not sure what you are doing trying to do a self recovery can in the long run cost a lot more.

There are of course a lot of IT experts around of course and you may even have some in your own business, but do they really know what they are doing when it comes to the serious issue of data recovery? You would think that your onsite IT support would be data aware bit this is quite often simply not the case.

In a typical case a drive was initially presented for diagnosis and duly diagnosed with a blown PCB – the drive seemed completely dead and would not spin at all. As an additional test a new PCB was placed on the board so that the response of the heads could be tested. The result of the diagnosis was that the hard drive read heads had been damaged following a power spike.

Upon further discussion, with the client, it transpired that the IT dept had decided to remove the HDD from the laptop and as it was an IDE device mount it as an external storage device by using an IDE connector. Unfortunately they plugged the HDD to the connector “upside down” meaning that crucially the drive received a huge power spike through it when the connector was hooked up to a PC.

It appears that the lack of care taken by the IT dept has caused the drive far more problems that what was probably a simple case of “bad sectors” on a hard disk drive. The cost of a simple bad sectors recovery has now become a full HDD rebuild with the search now on for suitable parts – causing delay and additional costs to the School concerned.

Naturally the client is somewhat annoyed that his data, whilst probably still recoverable, is likely to cost much more and take longer in the recovery process.

Sadly this is not an isolated case and data recovery companies the world over will have a whol;e collection of stories where simple recoveries were turned into data disasters by the DIY and have a go brigade

So the moral of this is that whilst many people will look for a quick and cheap fix for their hard drive recovery problems, they really are best leaving it to the experts.

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