Our data is our lives.  Everything we do on our computers, our social media, online and off, is stored on a computer with a hard drive.  From our pictures, to documents, to tax forms, and just about everything else you could think of, is stored somewhere on your computer or online. Whether you’re a home user with a single computer, or a business owner who manages multiple computers, understanding data recovery and how to restore your data is key.

Where Does Your Data Live

When dealing with data recovery, it’s important to understand the various methods that are available for the type of data recovery situation you need.  Different circumstances require various forms of data recovery.

If your computer’s hard drive has failed, or you suspect hard drive failure on your computer, there are a number of options you can take to attempt to recover the data within.  First, it’s always important to have a backup either on another device, like an external hard drive, or offsite with an offsite backup solution.

What if you don’t have a data backup, or your backup doesn’t contain the files you’ve lost for some reason?  There are still ways to recover data that has either been deleted or are stored on a failing hard drive.  There are two main types of hard drives where your data could be stored: external hard drives and internal hard drives.

What Options Do You Have in Data Recovery

If your data is stored on an external hard drive then it’s possible to remove the internal drive from the external casing surrounding the drive.  Often times, an external drive failure is a result of the external casing actually having an issue, and the internal drive may still be readable.

An internal hard drive that is housed inside of your computer or laptop may pose other issues.  Managed IT services companies, like Natural Networks, have experts who understand the signs of a failing hard drive and can employ various methods to attempt to recover the data.  When standard data recovery methods fail to recover data, there are other options that remain as well.

There are companies that specialize in recovering data from failing or destroyed drives.  These companies offer varying levels of data recovery that reflect how damaged the drive may be.  They employ clean rooms where a drive can be completely disassembled and the platters of the drive, where the data is contained, can be removed and placed into a new drive where the data can then be recovered and sent back. Typically, these methods can range from hundreds of dollars to potentially thousands.

What if your data lives in the cloud?  Cloud computing is normally a very safe way of keeping and storing your data. Keep in mind, however, that even data that is saved in your cloud provider of choice is still your responsibility; it is imperative to also have a local backup of that data.  Many cloud providers have clauses in their terms and conditions that explain that they are not responsible for any data loss and that they do not backup their systems.  For example, many people have their email hosted with Microsoft Office 365 and take it for granted that it is backed up and will always be accessible and secure. Well, it isn’t.  Anything that gets deleted from your mailbox (i.e. by you, a virus, a hacker, etc.) is permanently deleted by Microsoft after 30 days.

If you work within a hosted network or store your data in a service like Azure or iCloud, you are storing that data on hard drives that are maintained by companies hosting that cloud service.  These companies monitor and maintain their cloud storage hardware and ensure it is regularly maintained.  If your data is somehow inaccessible or lost within your cloud space, you can often work directly with the provider to try to recover that data, but it is still your responsibility to have your own backup. Better safe than sorry.

Working with a managed IT services company, like Natural Networks, can help you navigate your way through various data recovery options and backup solutions.   If you want to learn more about data recovery or backup solutions, contact us today!