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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/09/2009 10:35 PM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 09/09/2009 10:44 PM
Expires: 01/01/2014 12:00 AM

Where's My Data? Those files are irreplaceable!~by Mark Kirkendall of Calaveras IT

So, your hard drive just crashed. What now? If your thinking you'll just take it to the local PC Repair person and everything will be alright, you may be mistaken. The hard drive is the part of the computer that stores all your important files like that three hundred page manuscript that took the last year to write, family pictures from that once in a lifetime vacation, tax returns and who knows what else. The hard drive is also one of the most likely....

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components in a computer to fail. After it crashes, you are stuck wondering how to get those important files back. If you're lucky, the person you have look at the computer may be able to easily recover the files by viewing the hard drive and recovering content through another device. If that doesn't work, you may still be lucky if the data can be extracted from the hard drive using special software that can often read data on damaged hard drives. Often when this happens, some data can be recovered while other data is permanently corrupted.

So let's say the steps above didn't work. There still may be a chance to get the manuscript, photos, tax returns, and whatever else back. There are companies that specialize in data recovery. Often they have to take the hard drive apart in a "Clean Room" laboratory environment and recover the data using specialized equipment. This can cost up to a couple thousand dollars. I sure hope those files are worth it. Unfortunately, even the experts are sometimes unable to recover the data.

The best thing to do is avoid the problem all together and keep your data backed up. Many people choose to backup their data to an external hard drive or device to prevent these kinds of problems. That may be fine depending on what you're backing up, but will not protect you in the event of a fire or other natural disaster. I recommend using one of the many online backup services such as Carbonite or Mozy to keep your data backed up. You can do a web search and find many more services like them. These companies will allow your computer to continuously backup files without you having to give it a thought. Whether your hard drive crashes, you bought a new computer and want to transfer files, or accidently deleted an important file, they will help you restore the files and get you back up and running quickly. These services are usually very reasonably priced, especially if you consider the cost of data recovery efforts.

Compute safe and keep that data protected!

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