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5 ‘DIY engineer’ data recovery methods and why they don’t work

Hard Drive

In our many years of experience in the data recovery sector, we have heard many stories about customers attempting to recover their lost data by themselves.

Note: some software-based data losses are very easily recoverable using a reputable data recovery software package, like Ontrack EasyRecovery. The data loss issues that we are referring to here are related to physical failures.

We collected the most common ones, and here you can read what you shouldn’t do in order to recover your data.

1. Leave your hard drive in the freezer

There is an urban legend that says that leaving your hard drive in the freezer or refrigerator will fix it. This is not true at all. By doing this the only thing that you will achieve is a frozen and broken hard drive.

2. Restart the computer many times

When the computer is not working properly, and makes unusual noises many people restart several times. By doing this they believe the problem will repair itself. The best thing to do in this situation if you are unsure what happened to your hard drive, we recommend you to switch it off and call a reputable computer repair or data recovery company.

3. Use data recovery software when the hard drive has a physical problem

This is a common mistake, if you use data recovery software in these situations you are risking losing data for good. If your hard drive is making clicking noises or if it was recently dropped the data loss cause would almost definitely be a physical problem which would require the services of a reputable data recovery company. If you are in doubt speak with such a provider, as they should be able to advise over the phone what type of fault(s) your drive has likely suffered.

Remember that data recovery software, like Ontrack EasyRecovery, is useful when the type of failure is logical or software-based.

4. Replacing parts of the hard drive

If your hard drive has suffered a failure it may just need a spare part or two. However, it is not as easy as it seems – there are so many intricacies that come into play when changing parts on a hard drive, for example are you sure that your new circuit board’s firmware is compatible with all of the other parts in the drive? In addition, it is important to consider the environment that this is done in – all reputable data recovery providers will have a cleanroom with minimum standards. In these cases it is best to leave it to reputable data recovery professionals.

5. Writing your data off for good.

Another common mistake is that when the computer has suffered some serious accident (like be broken in a half, or is burned) many people think that they can’t recover their data. In these cases, again it is best to speak to a reputable data recovery provider, especially one like Kroll Ontrack, who has the largest R+D resources globally.

The moral of the story

Unless you are positive that your data has suffered from a logical or software-based failure then it is best to speak to a reputable data recovery provider.

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2 Responses to "5 ‘DIY engineer’ data recovery methods and why they don’t work"

  • John Gate
    26 November 2015 - 8:10 am

    In cafe of data lost – use data recovery tool. I used Recuva for Windows, and Disk Drill for Mac. All files were recovered (including videos).

    • Mikey Anderson
      26 November 2015 - 4:07 pm

      Hey John,

      Thanks for your comment. It does depend on the situation; if the data loss is logical or software-based then using a DIY software tool can sometimes be a good route to go down. However, if the problem is physical or hardware-based we’d advise to avoid software altogether to prevent further damage to the device/data.

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