Computer owners lose files in one of four ways: logical drive failure, physical drive failure, human error and machine failure. The chances for data recovery depends on how it was lost. Recovering lost data is different in each of these scenarios. Two of them – human error and logical failure – are often remedied by similar methods.
Data recovery from logical drive failures and human error
In both of these situations, failure is not the result of physical damage. Instead, accidental deletion of the data or corruption of the operating system or user data results in loss. Both of these can usually be repaired and data recovered with a software solution, such as Prosoft’s Data Rescue 3 for Mac computers or Data Rescue PC3 for Windows-based machines.
If operating system corruption occurs, data recovery software needs to be operated from an emergency boot disk, a feature found in both DR3 and DR PC3. A boot disk operates the computer without the resident OS. This is necessary when the computer won’t boot into the OS or the main drive won’t mount. File recovery is made to a separate drive, often a secondary, external drive.
Recovering from physical failures
Transferring the hard drive to a different machine or to an external drive case allows the user to access data on the drive. The process is rather simple; however, if the owner is not familiar with the process, he or she may want to use the services of a computer repair shop.
Physical drive failure, on the other hand, requires a complex and technical process for recovery. Because the repair must be done in a cleanroom environment, using advance techniques and equipment, the user should not attempt recovery. Instead, the computer owner should consult a qualified data recovery lab for assistance. The recovery engineers have been specially trained in physical drive failure recovery. They also have access to state-of-the-art, advanced recovery equipment.