The Top 7 "No-Nos" of Data Recovery

The Computing Center has been partnering with DriveSavers for many years.  When disk drives fail and there's not an adequate backup and the data is absolutely critical, we work closely with the client.  In some cases, our technical staff can recover the data.  For the "tough ones", we turn to DriveSavers.  In most cases, they have been able to recover all or most of the data from the failed drive.  

To increase the chances of successful data recovery regardless of who is doing the work, DriveSavers pubilshes a list of what NOT to do.  

We spend a lot of time at DriveSavers reminding our customers what they can do to prevent data loss, but today we’re looking at what not to do. 

Here are the Top 7 “No-Nos“:

  1. Don’t turn on any drive that is clicking, whining, grinding, wheezing or making any unusual noise. Bad sounds are typically made by a drive that has failed mechanically or has sustained physical damage. Putting power to the drive could make matters worse, sometimes destroying the data you want to save in the process.
  2. Don’t run any data recovery software until you are dead certain of the type of problem you’re facing. There are myriad software tools on the market, and they may be useful in some cases, but none of those tools will help with a physically damaged or mechanically failed drive. Even if you suspect the drive isn’t damaged or mechanically ailing, software can make changes to the drive that are irreversible. Call the experts at DriveSavers first for guidance and information.
  3. Don’t handle a hard drive without proper precautions. Static electric discharge can fry the printed circuit board, so protect yourself and your data from harm by grounding yourself while handling any drive. Once removed from a computer or enclosure, drives should be stored in an anti-static bag. You can use a zip-lock plastic bag as a substitute. 
  4. Don’t remove drives from a computer before shutting off the power. This goes for any drive, even a flash drive. These devices are extremely vulnerable to power fluctuations. If you pull a drive while the power is on, it can create corruption that blocks access to your data. 
  5. Don’t turn a failing drive on and off repeatedly in hopes of it coming back to life. In most cases, you may be making a bad situation even worse. 
  6. Don’t open any hard drive outside of an ISO Class 5 Certified cleanroom, like the one we have at DriveSavers. Exposing the drive to the atmosphere outside a cleanroom will subject the inner workings of the drive to airborne contamination. Even a microscopic speck of dust can ruin an otherwise recoverable hard drive. 
  7. Don’t put a failed hard drive in the freezer. Despite what some online pundits suggest, this outdated approach isn't recommended. Doing so could reduce the chances of a successful data recovery when performed by DriveSavers.


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