All computer users should have access to data recovery information. Almost everyone uses some type of computer daily, whether it be a lap top, desk top of another kind of device, like a mobile phone, iPhone, iPad or MP3 player. We use computers to manipulate data, but computers are machines and machines break down. Computers sometimes lose data. Lost data can often be recovered from damaged, corrupted or failed storage media like hard drives (internal or external), CDs, DVDs, RAIDs (a set of hard disks that are used in a cluster or array to store and manage data) or memory sticks. Data is lost through one of two ways. A storage device may be physically damaged, making stored data inaccessible. Physical damage to a disk may result from one of many causes. For example, a CD-ROM may be scratched. A computer’s motors may fail. Storage tapes have been known to break without warning. Some data, at least, is lost when physical damage occurs. The file system as well usually suffers damage when there is physical damage, and in many cases the logical structures of the file system are corrupted as well. Logical damage must be repaired, usually by data recovery experts, before data files can be recovered salvaged from failed media.

The file system on the storage device may be damaged or somehow corrupted. Large companies may have data recovery experts in their employ, but home users and small business often need to hire a data recovery company to resolve their problem. Computer users of all kinds can avoid frustration by acquiring and using the data recovery information they need to keep their system up and running. If an operating system that resides on a hard disk fails, a common solution is to copy all the important files to another disk, perhaps one with an operating system written onto it. This live CD can be used to move data files from the original system disk to some kind of backup media. Disk level failure occurs when a file system, a partition on a disk or a hard disk itself becomes compromised or fails, rendering data difficult to read. A data recovery lab can retrieve data from such a failed disk using data recovery software, but the original disk is usually permanently damaged beyond repair and needs to be replaced. Sometimes data is erased unintentionally from a storage medium. In many cases these files can be recovered by a well equipped data recovery lab. A data recovery company may be able to recover data remotely, online. Such services are very convenient for home and small business computer users.