Even the best backup plan can be undone by unexpected hardware failures, resulting in lost data or a sizable drive-recovery bill.
Here are lessons learned when an important file went missing — and the backup drive suddenly failed.
It’s every PC user’s mantra — or should be: Back up the data, back it up often, and make sure the backups work.
But too many of us pay no attention to this sage advice — at least not until important (or trivial) files are suddenly lost or, worse yet, still visible on the hard drive but rendered inaccessible. And as I learned the hard way, even backups need backups.
When an important insurance document went inexplicably missing on my laptop’s hard drive, my search for it evolved from a relatively simple scavenger hunt of my data files to a wide Internet search for a more sophisticated data-recovery solution.
Whether it’s a document, photo, or media track, a file can disappear from your computer for various reasons. Probably the top three are: inadvertent/accidental deletion, physical malfunction of hard drive (aka hard-drive crash), and malware infection.
Timing is crucial for a successful file recovery
With Windows 7 and 8, accidentally deleting a file is rarely a disaster. Both operating systems have solid tools for file recovery. Even emptying the Windows recycle bin doesn’t really remove the data from the hard drive. As most experienced Windows users know, the file system simply marks the file’s location as free space, ready for new bits. If a file is no longer accessible via Windows’ file-restoration system, there’s a chance its bits are still on the drive.