What Are the Most Common Types of Data Loss?

At Hard Drive Recovery Associates, we receive thousands of cases each year, and while no two are exactly alike, we’ve discovered that many of our clients experience data loss for the same reasons in many cases. Here are a few of the most common types of data loss to be aware of:

Data corruption occurs as a result of the constant reading and writing of information by your hard drive. If a software error or a power failure prevents a computer from completing a data write, a file may become corrupted and unreadable as a result. This is especially common with large files such as email archives, SQL databases, and other large databases. No matter which way you slice it, it’s never a good thing.

In order to avoid data corruption, avoid shutting down programs using the Task Manager, the forced shutdown command, or in any other unusual manner. Never unplug an external hard drive or flash drive without first ensuring that your operating system is finished working with the drive.

Virus Infection – Contrary to popular belief, data loss as a result of a virus infection is a rare occurrence. However, we continue to receive several hundred devices per year with severely virus-damaged files, so it is always preferable to take precautions rather than risk data loss as a result of malicious software or spyware of some kind. Your best bet is always to maintain the most recent version of your antivirus software on your computer, and always use a firewall (even if it’s just Windows built-in firewall). It is never a good idea to open files from unknown sources, even if they are sent to you by a friend, family member, or coworker. Remember that hackers often spoof email addresses and send a terrible payload.

Accidental Deletion and User Error – It is common for a computer user to mistakenly believe that he or she has a backup of a particular file and delete it by mistake. The majority of the time, Hard Drive Recovery Group can recover deleted files very quickly; however, if someone continues to use their computer after accidentally deleting a file, the file may be overwritten, significantly decreasing the likelihood of a complete recovery. Additionally, other types of user error, such as software misuse and hard drive reformatting, can result in overwriting of data.

If you make a mistake that results in data loss, you should shut down your computer and hard drive as soon as possible to prevent data loss. Please contact our engineers and explain what happened, as well as any steps you took to recover your data if applicable. Data recovery cases involving user error are fully recoverable in more than 95 percent of cases.

Hard Drive FailureHard drive failure is by far the most common cause of data loss that results in permanent data loss. Through normal drive operation, it is possible for hard drive read/write heads to become physically unable to function, often resulting in contact with the magnetic material that is used to store your data. In order to recover data from a physically damaged hard drive, you’ll need to find a data recovery company that has a certified Clean room like Hard Drive Recovery Associates in Irvine, CA.

Running your computer in a room-temperature environment below 80 degrees Fahrenheit will help to keep your hard drive safe from damage. Remember that this is a sensitive device: avoid subjecting your computer to vibration or physical shock, and also ensure that there is plenty of space for ventilation at the back of the machine. Always remember that every hard drive will fail at some point, so you should always have a copy of your important data at the ready just in case. Most backup programs have some kind of scheduler, so keeping on top of your backed up data is so much easier than in the past.

RAID Server Failure

Many computer users never have to deal with this type of data loss, but RAID server failures can inflict terrible economic damage on companies that have failed to adopt a strong backup program. In many cases, RAID drive failures occur either as a result of a failed RAID rebuild or as a result of multiple server hard drives failing at the same time. No matter how you look at it, this is by far the most expensive and damaging form of data loss.

To avoid a RAID failure, it is essential that you adhere strictly to all rebuild procedures, as well as regularly back up important data to a separate, offsite storage location (which is quite easy with the wide array of cloud based backup services these days). Many businesses maintain at least three levels of backups, which should ensure that the majority of data loss incidents never have an impact on productivity.

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The following blog article What Are the Most Common Types of Data Loss? was originally published to Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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