Data recovery is the lifeline which many businesses and individuals need to retrieve vital files in the event that a hard drive or other storage device becomes damaged or the information contained is corrupted. There are a number of techniques within the data recovery spectrum because there are of course different situations which require particular approaches if success is to be achieved. Here we will look at the main techniques for data recovery used by the experts.
The first type of recovery to consider is of the logical kind, which essentially means you are attempting to rebuild corrupted files when the storage device itself is still in working order. Sometimes accidental deletion or the encroachment of viruses can leave data inaccessible by normal means, but with logical data recovery techniques it is possible to reverse any virtual maladies and revive your information to make it accessible once more.
Data loss can also result from hard drive fragmentation, which is a particular issue with older FAT formats. If you delete something and the FAT entry is also erased it can be difficult to retrieve the file, but with data recovery software and the techniques employed by professionals in the field it is easy enough to retrieve the data, provided the file you are looking for is smaller than the clusters on the storage device. It is a less efficient option if you are having to deal with a storage device which has very large individual files stored on it, but in some cases it may be the only choice you have.
The most advanced data recovery technique around for use on traditional spinning hard disk drives is called MFM, or Magnetic Force Microscopy. It is as technically complex as it sounds, but it is often the best way to recover data if the hard drive itself has been damaged physically rather than corrupted digitally. A machine is used to monitor the magnetic field of the drive and relay this information to the recovery team so that it can be analysed and ultimately converted into usable data. This is a very exhaustive process and one which will definitely get results when hardware becomes damaged, but it is not exactly something which can be carried out by a data recovery amateur. The good news is that no matter what the problem or the size of the task there are usually professional solutions to help get you back on your feet and restore your data as swiftly as possible.
This guest article written by James Smith
James Smith writes regularly for a range of technical blogs and electronics retailers with a focus on hardware, data storage and networking technology