Tips for Data Recovery on Your PC

Data encompasses almost every aspect of our lives- we take selfies on our phones, send documents from our computers and store our vacation videos on our hard drives.

So what happens when those files are lost, deleted or formatted? Fortunately, it doesn’t mean that all is lost- you can still try to recover them using a data recovery software. Afterwards, you can learn how to spot warning signs and prevent it from happening again.

Here are tips for data recovery on your PC.

What Should I Do When I Lose Data?

The most important thing to do the moment you realize you’ve lost crucial data is to stop and think. The next action can literally dictate if you’ll be able to get back the data or not.

Perform a Complete Shutdown

Data loss can be due to a number of things, including a damaged hard drive or a corrupted one. If your HDD is making unusual sounds, such as when it’s clicking or whirring, then you should immediately shut down your computer in order to prevent further physical damage.

As always, don’t rush things- close your open applications or games, then shut your PC properly. Simply pulling the plug, long-pressing the power button or cutting off the power supply won’t help in this regard.

A proper shutdown will ease the damage that’s being caused by the scraping or spinning sound. Hopefully you’ll be able to recover the data you need and put it in a new storage medium.

Back Up Your Data ASAP

If possible, do a backup of the essential files in the hard drive for insurance purposes.

You can try to open the PC or transfer the contents of the hard drive to another computer. You can also force Safe Mode on your computer while it’s rebooting so you won’t be hampered with other software.

Refrain From DIY Data Recovery Methods

Lost or deleted data can be a heartbreaking experience especially if the file is important. You’ll feel like doing all the home remedy methods from people who claim to have recovered their precious files this way.

However, you should refrain from doing so as it can lead to further damage. Take every post and advice with a grain of salt, and if you truly want to save your files, then common sense should be your guide.

Data is irreplaceable, but as mentioned, all is not lost. No matter how damaged the hard drive might seem, there are experts that can get back the files you’ve lost.

Physical Damage? Proceed with Caution

Data drives can suffer from a myriad of physical conditions. You may have dropped it at a significant height, had a heavy weight drop on it, got it wet with liquids or something similar.

All these things can cause the hard drive to malfunction. The most common signs include stuttering, a tapping sound or unusually loud humming. For those who fear that their device or computer is about to die, then backing up should take top priority.

However, for drives that have already experienced trauma then it’s best to leave it alone. You could further damage it or even hurt yourself when attempting to recover the files.

Consider a Recovery Technician or Professional

You actually have a higher chance to recover crucial data from your PC if you disconnect the hard drive and have it looked at by a professional.

While it’s true that you can try a recovery software PC first, you could risk damaging the drive further. The more inexperienced you are at computer maintenance, the more you should seek the help of a recovery technician.

There’s quite a few recovery software and technicians that can do the job, but you should still do your research to find the best one. Choose the software or recovery technician that can address your specific concern- is your drive physically damaged? Did you recently complete a reformat? Or maybe you deleted a file without thinking it was important.

How to Prevent Data Loss in the Future

After the event has occurred you’ll want to take notes and be prepared for it in the future.

Data recovery is a fairly simple aspect of PC management. You learn the importance of backing up files and taking care of both your softwares and hardware.

Back Up Your Data Regularly

The revention is better than the cure’ axiom works well in data loss and recovery. To mitigate the blow and consequences of lost files, documents and other data you should do a backup regularly.

This process can be done many different ways, with the simplest being a file transfer to an external storage, such as the cloud or a flash drive. Here, you choose which files are important to you and send them to a cloud storage service or your external drive.

You can also rely on software or apps that can do the job for you. There are many commercial auto-backup apps available, and they take away the tediousness of having to manually back up data yourself.

Get a UPS

Most PCs rely on a wall plug to keep themselves powered; when it goes out for any reason there’s a chance that some files or partitions may get damaged.

A UPS, or uninterruptible power supply will be your lifesaver in the event that a power outage occurs. With it, you get a few minutes to save your work and files and perform a safe shutdown. It also works when you trip over the power cord or when something similar happens.

This equipment is cost-effective and well worth the investment. You can find them in most hardware or computer stores.

Scan for Viruses and Keep Your Software Updated

Data loss can occur even when you take care of your PC. Files you’ve downloaded, as well as emails can be viruses and delete all data in your computer once they gain access.

Install firewalls, antivirus software and make sure to scan incoming files such as emails and downloads. Also, don’t download or open any file that seems strange or suspicious.