If you just accidentally deleted a file or have a hard drive that seems to have failed – there’s no need to panic quite yet. It is actually possible to recover data that has been deleted or is on a failed hard drive – but if you intend to do that you should be very carefully.
From right now up till the point that you actually recover your data, it is going to be fairly vulnerable. In other words, doing the wrong thing could very well make the data unrecoverable – which is certainly not what you want. With that in mind, here are 5 things you shouldn’t do if you want to recover lost data:
Do not open up the hard drive
Unless you’re a professional and know precisely what you’re doing, when you open the hard drive and expose its disk you are likely to damage it and corrupt any data that is on it. Only someone with the right know-how should ever do this, and even then only in a clean room.
Do not try home remedies
If you look online you’ll find a lot of home remedies that range from knocking your hard drive with a hammer to putting in a freezer and trying to spin in manually. All these remedies generally don’t work, and some will actually make things worse by damaging the hard drive physically.
Do not leave the hard drive powered on
When your hard drive is powered on there is the risk that it may overwrite lost data. More importantly if your hard drive is damaged and making ‘clicking’ noises then leaving it on may damage it further and cause you to permanently lose any data that is still on it.
Do not download recovery tools to your hard drive
A common mistake that people often make is to download recovery tools onto the same hard drive that they’re trying to recover data from. When that happens the data that you’re trying to recover may be overwritten by the recovery tools themselves – so avoid doing so at all costs and run it on a different hard drive or computer.
Do not use obscure or pirated recovery tools
If you are trying to recover data using recovery tools and utilities – make sure you choose those that are well-known. Using obscure (or worse: pirated) recovery tools runs the risk of exposing your drive to malware or viruses, which will not prevent you from recovering data from it.
Assuming you avoid these 5 things, you should be able to recover most of the data on your hard drive. Of course in some cases where there is physical damage or other issues you may need to look at professional data recovery services for help. Getting help from an expert will allow you to save and restore a lot more data than you could ever hope to do on your own – so if you have any doubts don’t hesitate to turn to them.