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Author Topic: Data Loss - Recovery & Prevention  (Read 29284 times)

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Data Loss - Recovery & Prevention
« on: September 17, 2008, 06:05:43 PM »
Most recovery programs work in much the same way. You need to select the disk where the lost files are located and let the program analyze the content of the disk. Then select the file you want to recover and provide a location where you want to save that file.
Install a data recovery program just in case!
Be prepared beforehand
Installing any software after data loss will increase the risk of the lost data being overwritten. A recovery program installed now is good insurance for your data.
Free recovery software

Free Undelete
PC INSPECTOR File Recovery
PC INSPECTOR Smart Recovery - Specializes in flash card/drive recovery.
Recuva - From the makers of CCleaner
Undelete Plus
Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier - Great for recovering files from scratched CD's or defective floppy/hard disks.

Commercial recovery software Commercial recovery software will increase the chances of recovering important data. It's not free but can be well worth the price.

[email protected] UNDELETE - Has great reviews with demo results before you buy
DiskInternals Mail Recovery - Recover and repair Windows email! (Demo)
OfficeRecovery.com - Data recovery software for email, databases and office productivity
PC Tools File Recover
Recover My Files - Has great reviews with demo results before you buy
Stellar Phoenix Digital Media Recovery

What to do

Use your system as little as possible until you recover all of your lost files.
The more activity taking place on your hard disk, the greater chance that some of your lost data will be over written.
If you are trying to recover files from a media card, stop using that card immediately.

* Turn off any applications you don't need.
* Because they will write to your disk donít launch any unnecessary programs.
* Avoid browsing the web.
* Donít restart your computer.
* Don't do a disk defrag or run a disk cleaner.

After the recovery

* Check that everything correct.
* If youíve recovered applications, check that they still run.
* If youíve recovered documents, check that your words are still there.

Even the best recovery software canít guarantee 100% results. Some parts of your files may have been overwritten, meaning that other data was saved to that location on your disk.
After recovery they might contain invalid information. Depending on the type of file involved, partially recovered files like this can be usually recovered by commercial software.
Prevention tips

Make backups
The first and most reliable way to avoid accidental deletion or other forms of data loss is to make regular backups of your important files. User error isn't the only way you can loose important data, photos, schoolwork or projects. You can experience a sudden power outage or power surge or even a dead hard drive.
Note: In case of hard drive failure, don't keep your backups on the same drive you are backing up. Use another drive or burn them to a CD.
There are also free and paid online storage sites. A few offer up to 5GB of free space and include sharing.
Note: With any free storage site read the fine print. Some allow larger amounts of space but they limit uploads per month (1GB or less). In other words you can't get large files uploaded all at once. The free sites listed below have had no upload limits that I have noticed.
Also note that with free storage you need to sign in once and a while. If not then they may purge your account to due to inactivity. Below are just a few.
Free online storage

Mp3Tunes.com -  Unlimited free storage of your music collection
MyOtherDrive.com - Store up to 5GB of files
Windows Live SkyDrive - Microsoft 5GB free
Xdrive - AOL 5GB free

Commercial storage

Carbonite.com - Backup your entire hard drive automatically
GoDaddy.com - Paid plans, as low as $5.99 a year for 50MB, sync between multiple computers
IBackup -  Anywhere from 5GB to 300GB of storage

Free backup software

Cobian Backup
Karen's Replicator

Use a Power Strip/Surge Protector

Be sure you have a reliable Surge Protector. These can be found at most retail stores and come in many varieties. Do some comparison shopping and pick the one that suits your needs. These are invaluable, not only to your data but to all of your computer components.