Atomik.biz always recommends good data backups, but on occasion, someone calls us who has lost data and has no backups. Sometimes they think they have backups but find the backups are not working. These disasters can have numerous causes.
In the last year, we have had a user who tipped coffee over their laptop, another who had a virus and several who had hardware failures.
The most serious was a company with a server that had a power cut, and their server would not boot afterwards. Unfortunately, before they called Atomik.biz, they entrusted the hard disk to an “expert” who, on realising he could not read the drive decided to install Windows on top of the data.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have data loss, the more the device is messed around with, the less data will be recoverable. Atomik.biz has the equipment, the software and the experience to give the best chance of recovering as much data as possible.
Data recovery can be time-consuming, so we usually take the system to our lab for data recovery.
The most common cause of data loss is accidental deletion which is typically just one file or folder.
Data loss is not always discovered quickly. For example, payroll data is accessed monthly.
If there is only one week’s worth of backups, data will likely have been lost before the user tries to access the original data. For this reason, it is desirable to keep monthly, quarterly and even yearly backups. This is equally true of online backups or traditional tape backups. Generally, tape backups only remain on legacy systems, and most new installations use online backups to a cloud-based service.
The business can change backup-data retention periods, but it costs more to keep online backups for longer.
Manufacturers quote hardware reliability, and disk drives are usually more than 100,000 hours, mean time between failures (MTBF). That is more than 11 years but is an average. Hardware failures happen, often in the first few months of use.
If the machine has a failure, but the disk is working, recovering data can usually be achieved by fitting the drive into another computer to copy the data.
A severely corrupted but working drive will require specialist recovery software. Recovery is very time-consuming, and 100% recovery of data is unlikely.
If the disk drive hardware has failed, recovery of data needs very specialised tools and skills, which are very costly.
If drives are, encrypted, data recovery becomes much more difficult and impossible without the encryption keys. Good backups will save much time and expense.
Atomik.biz has the hardware and recovery software to undertake data recovery.
Lost or Corrupted data
Power failures, malware, hardware and software problems result in data loss. Atomik.biz recommends having a good quality Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to minimise power problems. Antivirus software will reduce the risk of virus infection but is not infallible. Good quality hardware with redundant power supplies and fault-tolerant disk systems will minimise hardware problems, but failures can still happen.
Investing in the best systems to avoid these problems is money well spent and will reduce the risk of data loss. If data loss occurs, the best solution is to restore from backups, but if that is not possible, data recovery is the next best option. The key to success is getting it to someone with the tools and the skills before the problem worsens.
When my laptop failed to boot after a failed Windows 10 update, I took it to a local computer shop. They had it for some weeks and were unable to make the machine boot or recover the data. I was very worried as I had lots of pictures I did not want to lose. I then contacted Mark from Atomik.biz who collected the laptop and recovered the data and rebuilt the machine. It was returned with all my valuable data where I left it. Thank you.