Your data is important. Losing it, whether it is a million row database or just your music collection, sucks. Fortunately there are companies that specialize in getting data from corrupted and broken hard drives, thumb drives and other file storage techniques.

There are many different reasons for a storage device failure. On a hard drive, the reading heads(small arms that stick out over the magnetic platter and reads the data stored on it) could contact the platter, shattering the heads and damaging the platter. If you have damaged the circuit board on the inside of your thumb drive, it is still possible the data remains as long as the chips that store the data are still intact. If you are lucky, then the damage may not be physical at all. You may have just lost your partition on the hard drive, or accidentally deleted files. The good news with cases where the damage is not physical is that it is easier to recover the data.

Data recovery experts know how to get the data off of corrupted or damaged devices. While there is no guarantee that the data on your storage device is recoverable, a data recovery expert generally is able to extract some information. For a hard drive, this generally means transplanting the magnetic disk to a specialized device capable of reading the platter just like the heads could. For the thumb drive, the chips that store the data are desoldered from the broken circuit board and attached to a specialized reader. If the problem is purely software, then data recovery experts can use specialized software to check the integrity of the data.

To find a data recovery specialist who can handle your case, you need to know what type of device your data was stored on. There are specialized experts that focus on hard drives, CD and DVDs, tape drives, RAID arrays and more. Of course there are general purpose shops that have a data recovery expert who can handle many different types. Keep in mind that you will probably want to find a data recovery specialist that is nearby. Your hardware is already damaged, it is probably a bad idea to send it through the trauma of the mail. Usually a simple Google search is sufficient to find a nearby shop capable of handling your problem.

Data loss sucks, but it is easier to recover it now than ever before. Data recovery experts know how to recover information off of pretty much any storage medium. All you need to do to find one capable of solving your problem is to perform a search. Fairly large cities usually have a local shop capable of handling your needs. Ask around; see if anyone you know can recommend a good specialist. Who knows, you may get that database back yet.