Atomik.biz always recommends having good backups, but on occasions, we are contacted by someone who has lost data and has no backups. Sometimes they think they have backups but find they have not been 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 who had a power cut, and their server would not boot afterwards. Unfortunately, before Atomik.biz was involved the hard disks were entrusted to an “expert” who on realising he could not read the drives decided to install Windows on top of the data.
The most important thing to remember is if you have data loss the more it 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 by the users of that data.
This is typically just one file or folder and the loss is not always discovered quickly. Payroll data, for example, might only be accessed monthly.
If there is only one week’s worth of backups it is very likely that the backup of a single file or folder will have been lost before the user tries to access the original data.
For this reason is it is desirable to keep a 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. Most new installations us online backups to a cloud-based service.
It is possible to change how long online backups are retained, 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 do happen and often in the first few months of use. Disk controllers, RAID controllers, motherboards and cables can all fail. When these parts fail, recovering data can usually be done by fitting the disk into another machine and copying the data. A severely corrupted drive will require specialist recovery software, 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 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
Data loss can be caused by a power failure, malware, a hardware or software problem. Atomik.biz recommends having a good quality Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to minimize 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, but risks can’t be eliminated entirely. If data loss occurs, the best solution is to restore from backups. If that is not possible data recovery from the failed equipment is the next best option. The key to success is getting it to someone with the tools and the skills before the problem is made worse.
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.Joel Langford
For help recovering lost data
Please use the Contact us page or call us on 01525540041 or 02033271747