Data Recovery is a process of retrieving deleted or inaccessible data from formatted, deleted, damaged or corrupt secondary storage devices. To salvage the data, there are various techniques available to overcome physical and logical errors in the storage devices.
These techniques require extra software and hardware for accessing, repairing and reconstructing the affected storage media for successful data recovery.
Data recovery techniques are categorized into 2 major categories based on the type of damage and accessibility loss to the storage device.
1. Logical Data Recovery
When an error is not a problem related to the hardware and can be solved with the help of software solutions, it is referred to as ‘Logical Data Recovery’. Logical damage to the hard drive causes corruption and makes the drive & data inaccessible. In such cases, you need to perform logical data recovery.
Some types of logical damage scenarios are:
a. Damaged, Formatted or Deleted Partition
Cases where hard disk becomes unreadable is usually caused by a damage to the partition table and file system due to bad sectors that develop (slowly) during a hard drive usage.
When a hard drive goes bad or data gets deleted, it’s better to take out the hard disk from the system and connect it to another system in read-only mode (if possible). The same goes for other storage devices such as thumb drives, SD cards, etc. Stop using the storage media immediately to avoid permanent data loss.
Use a reliable data recovery tool such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows to salvage your lost data. The tool can help you recover deleted data from an inaccessible, corrupt and formatted storage media. Additionally, it lets you recover data from a partially burnt or scratched optical media (CD, DVD, HD DVD, & Blu-ray).
b. Overwritten Data
When a file is deleted from the Windows operating system, the deleted files are considered as free space by the system. So when you install a program or copy a file to your system, it overwrites the lost files and makes recovery impossible. Therefore, when you face a data loss situation stop using your system or hard drive to prevent further damage to the lost or deleted data.
SSDs work differently and recovery from SSDs is easier if TRIM wasn’t enabled on your system. TRIM command makes data recovery hard and most software-based recovery process fails to recover complete data from SSDs.
2. Physical Data Recovery
Human errors are the second most common cause of data loss after hardware failures that can cause physical damage to a storage media such as hard disk. A hard disk is quite fragile and compact. A little shock can result in a non-functioning hard drive and a permanent data loss situation. Therefore, it’s important that you handle your hard drive with the utmost care.
Some Physical Damage scenarios can be as below:
The distance between an Actuator head and platter of the hard drive is just 5nm which is equal to two human DNA strands (2.5nm each). Hopefully, this fact can help you understand how complex and delicate a hard drive is. Especially those plugged into the laptops.
Most physically damaged hard drives can’t be repaired by the end users as opening a disk to repair physical damage needs controlled environment that should be dust-free and temperature controlled. This also requires specialized tools, equipment, and different types of headers/actuators. For this there are service providers such as Stellar Data Recovery, equipped with Class 100 dust and static-free cleanroom labs to facilitate safe & secure data recovery. Stellar has been working in the field of data recovery since 1993 and is trusted by over 2 million satisfied users globally.
b. Hardware Repair
In some exceptional cases, where the drive has some life left or is suffering from a mechanical failure, the end user i.e. you can take help of a professional data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows to create a full disk image or clone of the hard drive. Later, the recovery process can be implemented on the disk image or the clone and data can be reconstructed.
However, it’s recommended that you should not use such a drive for a long time and reach out to data recovery experts. A physically damaged drive can be repaired by replacing a faulty part in the drive-by experts to make it usable for data recovery purpose.
We discussed data recovery and various techniques that are implemented depending on the cause of data loss and accessibility.
For a physically damaged hard drive’s data recovery, you need to be very careful with the drive and handle it gently. Reach out to a data recovery expert such as Stellar Data Recovery, as soon as possible.
Software-based data recovery techniques are feasible as you don’t need to send it to a data recovery service and lets you recover data from the comfort of your home or office. For logical errors on hard disk, recovery using Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows is highly recommended. It is a DIY easy to use software that help’s you recover deleted data from any inaccessible, corrupt or formatted storage device.