We would all like to think that we are immune to a system failure and that our trusty computers will just keep on going without a hint of a problem. Sadly regardless of whether you’re are a home or business user, systems are prone to boot up failures and these often result in unexpected data loss of varying degrees.

Knowing how to deal with the potential for data loss is what separates those who have been there from those who are yet to experience it. So what kind of scenarios are we talking about here and what are we looking for?

Computer starts up but never reaches the login window: When this happens there are a number of potential problems that can be to blame, these range from hardware issues relating to the hard disk drive, down to driver incompatibility or the loss of important system files. Sometimes the problem can be resolved by booting up in Safe Mode, however, not always.

Your computer loses its zing and starts to feel very jaded and slow: This could be the result of hard drive fragmentation which can be rectified, or could be a more serious operating system problem. The potential for data loss is possible in both scenarios and the most serious operating system problems are best dealt with by doing a totally clean OS install.

Viruses, trojans and malware: Unless you are sat behind the strongest firewalls known to man, or are not connected to the internet or share any files then your computer will always be at the risk of data loss due to these rogue programs. In extreme cases the only rectifiable solution is a totally fresh install.

OK so you have been unlucky and have suffered from the worst potential problem, your system is dead and the only option left is to reinstall your operating system. So how could you have avoided data loss?

The Key, wherever possible, and where there is no hard disk drive fault requiring professional data recovery services is simple: Backup! Sounds simple enough if the drive is working fine, but not enough people do it.

External hard drives can be purchased in most computer shops now days and a quick search online for online backup will also give you a number of remote back up options.

So what’s the answer when the data loss monster has knocked at your door? Well if you truly cannot afford to lose data, take out the hard drive from the machine and replace it with a new device for the reinstall. This leaves you the option of professional help if all else fails.

You can find more great advice on data recovery and in particular for businesses raid data recovery here.

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