What is Data Recovery?

Data recovery is a practice by which corrupted or damaged data can be salvaged from compromised computer storage drives. It is often something that people seek out when they have a hard drive that becomes damaged by water, sunlight, impact or other similar events. In these events, the drives can have varying levels of damage, which in turn leads to varying levels of data loss or corruption. Depending on the level of damage that the drive has sustained, the user may be able to get back most, some or none of the original data sets stored on the drive.

How Common is It?

In the commercial world, data is stored on vast amounts of digital storage space that businesses use to help save physical space. Often, businesses maintain backup drives for their most important information, but this is not always possible with smaller businesses. Due to the cost of some larger, faster drives, some small businesses are forced to either deal with the single drive or utilize a small amount of cloud drive space for the most important information. This puts these people in a very difficult and compromising position if their information were to ever become corrupted.

Since digital data storage is so common, data corruption on these storage devices is also common. As more and more people turn to these devices for storage, there are greater opportunities than ever to lose copious amounts of data in a single event. Whereas physical copies are often a great way to have a "backup of the backup," the truth is that having physical copies often completely negates the cost-saving effectiveness of getting the drives in the first place. As such, many business owners completely eliminate their physical file storage in favor of digital storage. If they have the money, they place a redundant drive into their data storage equation.

The issue is that anything from improper storage to an accidentally-uploaded corrupt file can make an entire drive unstable or unusable. If anything goes wrong with that drive, the rest of the data on it can be either impossible to view or corrupted itself. The data recovery process is all about recovering the information that becomes lost as a result of one of these problematic occurrences. This is a long process that requires a skilled technician to do delicate work to help bring your drives back to working order as much as possible.

Data Recovery as an Expense

Many business owners place the cost of data recovery into the general cost of maintaining their information storage systems. The extent to which the business owner relies upon digital data storage will often indicate the level of data recovery funds allotted to potential recovery issues. Since the process of data recovery is so specialized and so technical, data recovery professionals are not often retained on-staff as permanent employees. Rather, they are outsourced in the event that corrupted data needs to be recovered from a compromised digital storage medium.

The expense of data recovery will also depend greatly upon whether the data loss was logical data loss or physical data loss. When physical damage is the cause of the data loss, a data recovery technician will need to have physical access to the data storage unit. This inserts the costs of travel and whatever additional service fees may be charged by the data recovery technician. On the other hand, logical damage to storage drives can be significantly cheaper to recover. This is because the technician will often be able to repair the data remotely from another computer. Of course, this is only possible when an internet connection of sufficient bandwidth is tethered to the drive.

Data Recovery Outside of Business Circles

Data recovery is a service that is put to use in many situations by law enforcement, business professionals and the civilian population on a regular basis. Law enforcement officials use "forensic data recovery" to help recover deleted or "wiped" data from hard drives to catch criminals. Forensic data recovery experts often have access to tools that can help them recover data from extremely damaged hard drives.

Civilians also use data recovery services. Most often, regular citizens will use these services when their home computer hard drive has been corrupted. Data recovery services can often help to get back severely damaged home video, photo and tax information from home computers.

An Important form of Protection

When it comes to storing data, people are shifting more and more to digital mediums. As a result, the probability of data loss is much greater than it once was. Finding ways of identifying, fixing and restoring that data when it becomes corrupted is an extremely important service. When done properly, data recovery can bring back usable data that can be used to finish reports, backup data, or be used in criminal courts.