Preventing Hard Disk Failure

There are quite a few things you can do to extend the life of your hard drive and prevent hard disk failure. This article will talk about five seriously important ones.

Have you ever pondered the question of how you could extend the life of your hard drive? The idea that the hard drive in your computer will continue to function for as long as the computer itself is something that data recovery customers discover is quite false. This is almost correct for solid-state drives (although they as well have failure points), but it is not accurate for mechanical hard disk drives (HDDs). Depending on how they are used and managed, these typically have a lifespan of between three and five years on average. On the other hand, you have the ability to significantly lengthen the lifespan of your HDD by paying careful attention to how you use it and how you handle it. Preventing hard disk failure is in fact possible.

The lifespan of mechanical hard disk drives is determined by a number of factors, the most important of which are the workload, the conditions of the surrounding environment, and the upkeep of the hardware. The following is a list of suggestions that can help you increase the lifespan of your mechanical hard disk drive and steer clear of typical errors.

Hard drives are mechanical devices, which means that they contain moving parts on the inside. Even with careful use, they are susceptible to wear and tear because they have moving parts, just like any other device with moving parts, like your car, power tools, appliances, etc.

Here are five ways that you can extend the life of your hard drive and prevent hard disk failure.

1. Maintain your hard drives in a clean and safe working environment.

It should come as no surprise that hard drives are really not built for being in any proximity to water, dampness, or humidity. Heat can also be a serious killer. The majority of components in a computer, including hard drives, can produce an excessive amount of heat, so you’ll want to watch for that.

On the other hand, the longevity of your hard drive can be significantly increased by your active efforts to maintain a cool operating temperature within your computer case. You can prevent your hard drive from running too warm by taking the following precautions, among others:

  • Work to ensure the air flow in your computer is strong
  • Reduce the temperature of the room that your hard drive is stored in to bring the ambient temperature down.
  • When the hard drive is not being used, make sure that it is turned off (this works for your computer as well)
  • You should routinely remove any dust that has accumulated on the enclosure of your hard drive, but you should never open it up to clean the inside!

2. You should only ever purchase high-quality hard drives.

The quality of a hard drive is the single most important factor in determining how long it will continue to do what you expect it to. Drives that are less expensive tend to fail more frequently than those that are more expensive because they are constructed to lower standards and because they are frequently made from inferior materials.

When testing the durability of their products, lower end hard drive manufacturers frequently employ methods that are not standardized. As a consequence of this, a one terabyte (TB) drive manufactured by one company might be rated for a certain number of hours before it fails, whereas a one TB drive manufactured by another company might last significantly longer than that. If you want to know how long a specific hard drive will last, the only way to do so is to look at the warranty and return policies offered by the manufacturer. Also try to avoid refurbished drives, which can often be dead on arrival, or poorly repaired.

You can also read various reviews of hard drives. When doing so, be sure to read reviews written by both regular customers and technology writers, as the latter are more likely to investigate the complexities of the hardware in greater detail. This provides you with a useful glimpse into the overall quality of the hard drive that you are planning to purchase.

3. When it comes to data storage, you should always remember the 3-2-1 Rule.

This means that you need three copies of your data, each of which must be stored on a different medium, and at least one of those copies must be kept in a location that is not your primary workplace. If you follow this one easy rule, you can keep your data safe. In the event that one of your hard drives fails, you have at least two other copies of the data backed up elsewhere.

Because HDRA is a data recovery specialist, we have a great deal of knowledge and expertise in this field. We have assisted hundreds of customers, and as a result, we are aware that faulty hard drives, mistakes, or damage are not the most common causes of data loss.

Instead, the single most common reason for loss of data is the failure to create a backup copy of important files and data.

4. Hard drives should be handled with extreme caution.

Hard drives are extremely sensitive to sudden jolts or movements. You must never let go of them, and it is in your best interest to keep them from being moved around an excessive amount. A happy hard drive is a stationary hard drive. Place them on a level, clean surface where they won’t be disturbed by vibrations and where the temperature won’t be allowed to fluctuate.

The majority of hard drives installed in desktop computers are not moved around very frequently, which helps to keep them operating. However, some older laptops may be equipped with mechanical hard drives. Because laptops and portable hard drives are moved around more frequently, you should exercise additional caution when carrying them.

If you must carry a laptop or portable hard drive when it is not in use, you should always use a padded bag, case, or container that is specifically designed for carrying such items. Check that the device can be contained within its carrier without causing too much wiggle room so that it doesn’t get damaged while being moved around.

5. Ensure that you effectively manage the space on your hard drive.

Delete any files that you no longer require and ensure that the primary hard disk drive of your computer only contains the data that you require. You are not required to store everything in the same location; instead, you can keep some files on external drives or in the cloud.

Modern operating systems have built-in tools that can defragment your hard drive. When large files are cut up into multiple smaller files, this process is called fragmentation (fragmented). These smaller pieces are not always stored on the same physical segment. Because of this, load times are prolonged.

You should only defragment your drive if it is absolutely necessary to do so; therefore, make regular use of the tool that comes standard with your operating system to perform scans on the drive and check for fragmented files.

How to Extend the Working Life of your Hard Drive To Avoid Hard Disk Failure

As we’ve seen, the lifespan of a hard drive is determined by a number of different factors. The good news, however, is that these factors aren’t nearly as difficult to manage as you might think. Age and general wear and tear are things that you have little control over, but everything else is entirely within your sphere of influence. You might be able to extend the life of your hard drive by an order of magnitude or more simply by making a few straightforward adjustments to the way you store information.

Preventing Hard Disk Failure is republished from Hard Drive Recovery Associates

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Using Recovery Mode With Your iPhone

When activated, the Recovery Mode on an iPhone from Apple will delete all content from the device, and is certainly not a great thing to do without absolute certainty. In most cases, data that has been deleted is completely irretrievable and cannot be recovered, even by a data recovery company.

There are several reasons why deleted files on an iPhone cannot be recovered through normal means:

Flash Media Design: iOS devices use NAND flash, a type of non-volatile memory consisting of transistors arranged into a grid. This technology was developed by Flash Media Engineering. In order to store data, transistors are used to hold electrical charges. When data is deleted from flash drives, it is typically removed from the device permanently. A garbage collection process is utilized by NAND flash media in order to improve efficiency and maximize storage space. The data is rendered permanently unrecoverable as a result of this process, which involves clearing the charges from the transistors. When the charge isn’t there anymore, neither is the data.

File Based Encryption: The iPhone encrypts the majority of the user’s files using encryption that is based on the individual file. This means that each file has its own special encryption key. When data is deleted from an iOS device, the encryption key is also removed. This renders the data unusable. There are, however, a few notable exceptions: After an ordinary delete command has been executed on a device running iOS 12 or an earlier version, the user’s photos, videos, internet browsing history, and text messages may still be retrievable. Nevertheless, the Recovery Mode delete command is not like other delete commands; rather, it performs a format operation on the device, bringing it back to its original settings. Calling it a Format would frankly make much more sense, but sadly it is what it is.

Data recovery engineers from Hard Drive Recovery Associates may be able to retrieve metadata from iPhones and other iOS devices after performing a complete reset to the factory settings. For the most part, metadata is utilized in computer forensics investigations to provide a record of phone usage – for most folks this data is going to be useless.

In a nutshell, you shouldn’t use iOS Recovery Mode unless you first created a complete backup of your device before doing so. Before beginning the process, which cannot be undone once it has started, we strongly advise looking over your backup, even breaking it down to file types so that you know exactly what you have.

Before entering Recovery Mode, is it possible to retrieve data from an iPhone?

If your iPhone has stopped responding or if you are unable to get it to boot further than the iOS logo, it still may be possible that you can recover your data. If your computer is able to recognize the device, this step will be much simpler: Apple provides a step-by-step guide for transferring photos and videos captured on iOS devices to a computer running Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows.

If, on the other hand, your iPhone is completely unresponsive, your options will be severely restricted. The recovery of the files requires low-level access to the device’s data storage, which isn’t feasible outside of a professional data recovery laboratory like the one HDRA uses. And don’t bother with data recovery software – it almost never works in this case, and can actually make your data loss permanent.

In most cases, iPhone data recovery tools do not actually access the storage on the iPhone itself. Instead, the software recovers files by pulling them directly from the user’s iCloud Drive. You’ll probably want to save some cash and just download your own files from iCloud.

Unfortunately, I do not have a backup of my iPhone because it is broken. What should I do?

If you are not completely certain that you have a backup of your iPhone, do not put the iPhone into Recovery Mode. If you want to increase your chances of making a full recovery, instead take the following steps:

Collect information regarding the unsuccessful attempt. Is the iPhone able to start up? Is there a response time on the touchscreen? What exactly takes place when you connect it to your computer?

Make sure the device is turned off at all times. Do not spend money on data recovery software if your mobile device runs iOS 13 or a later version; this software will not fix the issue.

Make an effort to compile a list of the most vital file types and types of files.
For instance, if all you require is access to your photos and videos, the information you provide to a data recovery engineer could prove to be extremely helpful.

Collaborate with a data recovery company that has prior experience. Because gaining access to the data will require sophisticated logical strategies and specialized hardware, you will need to locate a provider who has a solid track record.

Hard Drive Recovery Associates is the industry standard when it comes to iPhone data recovery, and our “no data, no charge” guarantee provides you with the peace of mind you need as your case moves forward.

The following article Using Recovery Mode With Your iPhone was initially seen on http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

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Take Care To Avoid Hard Disk Failure

Hard drives and solid state drives remain at the core of most computers, really, making them virtually indispensable when it comes to operating almost any system. In spite of the fact that faster processors, retina displays, portability, and battery life have all become the poster features for what’s new in computers, nothing matters unless you have the ability to store and retrieve information.

When a hard drive fails, it’s an experience you rarely forget – but it’s one that needn’t be so stressful, especially considering the sheer amount of backup technologies available today. Back in the 1990s, there were very few avenues for consistent backups, so most folks just rolled the dice.

Since then, hard drives have come a long way in terms of performance. However, if they are not given proper care and maintenance, they will continue to crash, causing both newcomers and seasoned veterans to scream in horror when they realize they have lost access to their critical data. In an effort to permanently avoid the concept of a failed hard drive, here are some suggestions for maintaining the health of your hard drive and data.

Complacency Kills With Data

When it comes to hard drives, complacency or a false sense of security is usually the most formidable adversary. Saving yourself from a dangerous data situation in the future can’t be done by sitting around. If you are serious about protecting your data, you must take good care of your hard drive. If your data isn’t that important to you, the fact that your hard drive crashes won’t make much of a difference. You will have to spend a hundred dollars to replace the drive, but after that you will be back in business. However, if you are like the majority of people, you understand that your hard drive contains a lot more important data than you might think. Losing your data SHOULD be unacceptable.

Follow Hard Drive Rules And Avoid Crashes

The first step in taking good care of your hard drive is to become familiar with the rules. Here are some critical things to remember about hard drives:

Stability Helps: Moving, bumping, or dropping a hard drive is not a good thing for the drive, especially while the drive is working (which is almost always, as hard drives spin continually when turned on). Solid-state drives don’t have the same concerns, as they lack moving parts. However, a general rule of thumb is to keep all hard drives on a level surface and to treat them as if they were fragile at all times. It’s a good way to be if you want to keep your drives.

Keep It Clean: Dust and dirt can actually damage your hard drive and, in fact, your entire computer. It can wreak havoc on your hard drive and cause a buildup of static electricity, which can cause components to short and break. Additionally, you’ll want to keep your hard drive and computer free of any magnetic contamination, while we’re on the subject of electrical safety.

Run From Heat: Heat can kill your electronics, including your computer. Ensure that your computer is kept in a well-ventilated area; don’t try to squeeze it into a small slot in your rolltop desk or hide your tower somewhere beneath your desk. Although this is less of an issue for newer systems, it is important to remember that your computer requires fresh, cool air to function properly.

Disk Checking Should Be Part Of System Maintenance: Disk utility and virus protection software are critical to the long-term health of your data and hard drives. If you can do a virus check and a disk check weekly and a disk defragment monthly, you’re better protected than 80% of folks out there. If you’re a real stickler, you might consider a computer monitoring program that will keep track of the temperature of your computer as well as the overall health of your hard drive, among other things. But, with systems nowadays, this isn’t as critical.

What Causes Hard Drive Failure? Inevitability!

Whatever operating system you are using, hard drives are mechanical, like any machine, and much like most machines, they can wear out and crash over time. Data backup won’t be so painful once you accept this critical fact. Bonus here is that today’s backup software can be programmed to automatically backup data to an external hard drive or to the cloud even without your intervention. And yet, even with these precautions, a hard drive failure at an inconvenient time can result in the loss of some of your most important data. You can always call Hard Drive Recovery Associates if you’re asking “why did my hard drive stop working”, but believe us, you’d probably rather not!

Take Care To Avoid Hard Disk Failure is courtesy of HDRA

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed at https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/avoid-hard-disk-failure/

Mac Data Recovery: A Specialized Sector Of Hard Drive Recovery

As a result of the unmatched intuitiveness and ease-of-use that the Mac OS operating system provides, Apple computers are extremely popular with both personal and business users around the world. Fortunately, Apple has introduced several features that make data backup and storage on Mac computers simple, but even with these features, many users lose critical data each year as a result of hardware failures, accidental file deletions, and other threats, including viruses and malware. It happens a lot more than you would think.

When dealing with hard drives, flash drives, servers, and other devices that run Mac operating systems, data recovery companies like Hard Drive Recovery Associates face a number of difficulties. The following are some of the considerations that we must take into account in order to provide reliable data recovery on Mac systems.

Physical Drive Issues May Be Difficult To Sense

Many of the Mac computer cases that we receive have hard drives that have been physically damaged. Apple users, on the other hand, are not always aware of the signs of a physical hard drive failure, which can make recovery more difficult. Many Mac computers, for example, are designed to minimize noise, so users may not be aware of clicking or whirring sounds, which are among the most common signs of hard drive failure.

With that said, Mac hard drives are no different in terms of physical construction from any other type of hard drive. Most hard drives will work with either Mac or Windows configurations. Often, it is necessary for data recovery companies to use certified clean rooms in order to safely repair a damaged hard disk drive because contaminants that could otherwise get between the read/write heads and the platters that store your data cannot be removed. This is the same no matter the operating system.

If you have reason to believe that your Mac hard drive is experiencing a physical problem, turn it off immediately. It is not recommended to attempt to copy your data to another drive or media format unless you already have a backup. Look for a qualified data recovery company that has a Class 100 clean room and get in touch with them as soon as possible to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

Accidental File Deletion

A common misconception among Mac users is that deleting a file from the trash can completely removes it from the hard drive. While data recovery engineers may have to employ different techniques on Mac systems than they would on Windows or Linux systems, deleted or trashed files are almost always recoverable in the vast majority of instances. The basic fact is that the file is still there until the space on the hard drive it occupies is overwritten.

Which brings up a critical point: computer users, must be careful not to accidentally overwrite their files. If you accidentally delete something on your Mac and then realize that you made a mistake, immediately turn off your computer and contact a professional data recovery company for assistance. It is not recommended that you attempt to run data recovery software because this can often make the situation worse by overwriting your deleted information. Our engineers can frequently recover overwritten files, but this is a much more difficult process than simply recovering data from a deleted Mac hard drive.

Despite the fact that the Hierarchical File System (HFS) used by Mac OS computers has both advantages and disadvantages from an operating system standpoint, it has significant differences from other file systems that necessitate the use of specialized tools for Mac data recovery engineers.

In part due to the popularity of Mac systems, a number of third-party utilities are available for recovering damaged or deleted data from HFS variants such as HFS+ and HFSX. At Hard Drive Recovery Associates, we employ proprietary software tools that have been developed in-house and that allow us to recover data without the risk of causing file damage.

Hardware Architecture of Apple Computers

Unfortunately, some data recovery companies do not understand the hardware architecture of Apple computers and as a result, they cause damage to Mac systems during the initial stages of the recovery process.

The following blog article Mac Data Recovery: A Specialized Sector Of Hard Drive Recovery was originally seen on http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed at https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/mac-data-recovery-a-specialized-sector-of-hard-drive-recovery/

Hard Drive Failure: How Prepared Are You For it?

Let’s talk about hard drive failure. It’s a topic we all want to avoid, right? Well, who really wants to talk about hard drive failure?

We all want to avoid the topic but when it happens to us, we think the world is going to end. Okay, that obviously is an exaggeration but you know what I mean. As much as no one wants to talk about a hard drive failure, no one want to deal with it as well.

The reality is that we all have to talk about it so that we can deal with it when it happens. So, let’s talk about it and see what computer experts, like Bob Levitus, have to say about it as well.

According to him;

You are going to lose everything on your Mac hard (or solid state) drive if you don’t back up your files.

Now that World Backup Day (March 31) has come and gone, I feel it is prudent to reiterate the bad things that will happen to your precious data—your photos, videos, essays, proposals, emails, messages, and everything else—if you don’t backup.

(Via: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Your-hard-drive-will-fail-be-prepared-13732648.php)

We might not want to admit but Bob is right. We can all lose everything on our hard drive if it fails. Bob states the simple reason why that day is bound to come.

Your hard or solid-state drive will absolutely and positively fail someday. It probably won’t be today, but the day will definitely come because all disks fail eventually.

(Via: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Your-hard-drive-will-fail-be-prepared-13732648.php)

While it’s hard to tell when that day will come, it will definitely come.

It’s rare that a hard or solid-state drive fails in its first year or two of service (though that’s not unheard of). It’s also rare that something (anything) you do to or install upon your Mac will render its disks unusable. But, while those things are rare, too, they can happen.

(Via: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Your-hard-drive-will-fail-be-prepared-13732648.php)

There’s really no denying that hard drives fail. With computer experts like Bob, weighing in on it, there’s just no way we should ever avoid the topic. If we do, we’re never going to be fully prepared to deal with it.

Probably the reason why most folks don’t like to talk about hard drive failures is because of its association with data loss. When hard drive failures happen, data is endangered. Chances are, they can’t be accessed.

That’s why Bob has some great tips for us in case our hard drive fails.

The only way to avoid the pain of losing your treasured data is to back up your disk (or disks). Here are my top two tips for doing it right:

1. One backup is never enough. You want at least two full backups, with one stored in an offsite location.

2. Test your backups regularly to ensure that you can restore files. If you can’t, the backup is worthless.

(Via: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/Your-hard-drive-will-fail-be-prepared-13732648.php)

Bob is right. One backup is never enough. We can back up to the cloud or to another external hard drive. Sure, we can do both. However, backing up to another external hard drive means that we are, again, faced with the possibility of failure in the future.

As long as we use external hard drives to back up, we will always be facing the possibility of losing our files in the future. Hard drive failure will happen.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t use hard drives to back up our files. Hard drives are, no doubt, the best data storage. However, we should always consider the fact that they will fail us.

Once we realize the reality of a hard drive failure, we can resort to using a reliable service that can help us deal with it. The point is, we should all be open to the fact that our hard drive can fail us. So that when it finally happens, we’re all be prepared for it.

Take the first step to prepare for a hard drive failure. Learn more about it here on https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/hard-drive-failure/. Remember, you’ll never know when it’s going to happen. So, be prepared.

The following blog article Hard Drive Failure: How Prepared Are You For it? was initially published to The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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Hard Drive Failure: Your Action Plan

When you have a hard drive failure, it’s almost never something you can plan for. Hard drives fail more frequently as they age, and there are not a lot of things you can do except stay calm, maintain your composure, and most importantly refrain from resorting to violence—especially against your computer. So, as an example, if you hit your laptop with a crowbar, data recovery may not be cheap, if even possible. The irony of a failing hard drive is that it is the most frustrating event in human history that necessitates the greatest amount of calm and patience. In order to turn a catastrophic event into an inconvenient one, maintain your composure and follow these four simple steps:

1. Turn Off, Power Down, Unplug!

When your hard drive begins to fail, turn off your system immediately. What is the best way to tell if your hard drive is failing? There are several indicators, including clicking that is louder than usual, a non-responsive or frozen screen, files that become inaccessible or disappear completely, and even the dreaded blue screen of death. A failing hard drive is not going to fix itself, no matter how hard you may pray. A hard reboot will not bring the dead drive back to life and may even do more harm than good. Depending on if you actually have a physical or mechanical failure, even attempting a quick backup can result in data loss. It is best to unplug the system that your failing hard drive is in, or if it’s an external drive, also ensure it is not connected to a system.

2. List Your Important Data Items!

Do you know what’s on your hard drive that’s about to fail? Are there any files or photos that must be saved, as in it’s a matter of life and death? Have you made a recent backup of your hard drive? Is it possible to replace the very important files you are looking for? These are all trick questions, because if you can’t answer them with 100 percent certainty, then you shouldn’t even be asking them; and when it comes to data, there’s almost always something that you don’t think of at the time and miss. It’s possible that 98 percent of your drive’s lost data isn’t a big deal, but we frequently find that people forget about the 2 percent that they literally cannot live without.

Your personal hard drive inventory should be able to tell you how quickly you will need your targeted data back. What time frame do you require it to be delivered? Have you backed it up anywhere that you can think of? Do you need to start the process of retrieving data from the backup immediately? If you haven’t made a backup of your data, you will almost always find that you require the data sooner than you anticipated. It’s important that the majority of the important data inventory questions are time-related, because we rarely come across a hard drive that doesn’t contain at least some irreplaceable information. Even the most technophobic of users has something critical on their hard drive that is huge. Our experience has shown that recovering data is rarely, if ever, a regrettable decision.

3. Have faith in Hard Drive Recovery Associates

Everyone knows someone who is a computer genius. He or she MUST know how to recover your data, and because they are your friend, they will do so at no charge to you. Whatta deal! I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Well. The answer when it comes to do-it-yourself data recovery is A LOT. A LOT can go wrong, and usually does when an amateur attempts to recover data from failed hard drive units. And sadly, that’s the end of your must-have data. If data recovery were that simple, everyone would be doing it! Your friend not only does not have a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, and he or she is also unlikely to be aware of the fact that mechanical hard drive failures usually require one.. Data recovery company Hard Drive Recovery Associates has been in the business for more than 20 years. This is what we do.

Data recovery is similar to heart surgery in that it necessitates the use of specialized training, equipment, and experience. However, even if you are confident in your friend’s ability to perform heart surgery on you, you should not put your trust in them to recover your data. You can rely on us. We are well-versed in the field of data recovery. We don’t scrimp on quality. We have the necessary equipment, including a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, as well as the necessary experience to handle your secure data recovery needs successfully. We also do it as quickly as possible so that you can get back to work.

4. Get back to business and win!

Data is the lifeblood of our economy, and it is also the lifeblood of your business. We understand how important your data is to the success of your business. When you are unable to access your most critical data, your company is forced to close its doors.

With your data restored, you can return to your previous tasks and responsibilities. Please remember to keep us on speed dial. Speak with one of our engineers and keep our website bookmarked to stay up to date on the latest data protection techniques. You’ll be happy you did!

 

The following post Hard Drive Failure: Your Action Plan is courtesy of http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net

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Electronic Device And Phone Water Damage

Have you ever accidentally spilled water or even worse, coffee, on your laptop computer? Have you ever dropped your phone in the tub or the toilet? Or perhaps you were simply caught in a torrential downpour without an umbrella and with your phone exposed? Water and other liquids are one of the most common causes of electronic device failure, primarily because electronics and liquid do not go together. Even if you exercise extreme caution, accidents that result in water damage to your device can occur to anyone at any time.

Electronically damaged devices that have been exposed to water can often, but not always, be repaired depending on the type and degree of damage. However, even if your phone is beyond repair, if you take the necessary precautions to prevent further damage, your data may be recoverable through the use of a professional data recovery service like Hard Drive Recovery Associates.

One of the bonuses of Android phones is that much of the data will be backed up automatically to either Google Drive, or with photos, Google Photos. So if you drop your phone in the ocean, as an example, it’s always great to login to some of those Google properties simply to assess what you have, and what you may be missing.

Can Water Damage Hard Drives? Yes!

One of our recent clients, Terry from Wyoming, dropped his phone while fly fishing in his home state. He had unfortunately disabled all Google backups, and was faced with a choice – lose ten years of messages and important family photos, or talk to a professional. Terry tried putting his phone in rice, as many other users have done with water-damaged phones… only to discover that the rice trick happened in this case to be ineffective. (This technique is ALWAYS worth a try, however)

Once Terry tried and failed to have the phone restored at a local computer shop, he got on the phone with us at Hard Drive Recovery Associates. Although Terry was handy when it came to some mechanical devices, he resisted the urge to open his phone, and the data recovery process ended up being smooth, quick, and quite affordable.

This is the outcome we hope for with every client, but a lot depends on what you do with your device after it has been water logged or otherwise damaged. Following these four steps is the most effective way to get a positive outcome for your water-damaged device.

1. Always make a copy of your data.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of regularly backing up your data. What is also critical to mention is that it rarely is difficult to set up. Android phones alone take less than five minutes to ensure a complete backup is done, and done consistently. If Terry had just enabled the automatic backup features, he would have easily avoided the stress and anxiety that would have resulted from the possibility of losing his precious photos and videos.

Once you set up your computer or phone so that your data is backed up on a regular and automatic basis, you’ll want to keep a total of three copies of your data, two of which will be stored locally and one of which will be stored offsite. Keep one of the local copies on the originating device and the other on an external hard drive for each of the two local copies. For offsite, use something like Carbonite, or even cheaper, Google Drive.

The frequency with which you back up your data is determined by the amount and type of data you generate. Construct a routine, regardless of whether you need your backups to run automatically every day or whether you need to perform manual backups once per week. Backups can be restored quickly and seamlessly whenever you like.

2. Power Down Your Device Immediately!

If your device does become water damaged, shut it down as soon as possible to avoid further problems, including electrical shorting. You don’t want to take the chance that electricity will be flowing through the device when there is water in the mix. Remove any attached hardware, as well as any device batteries if at all possible. At this point, the only thing you can do for your device is try to minimize the damage and keep it from damaging itself.

A word of caution: if your device continues to function after being subjected to water damage, TURN IT OFF ANYWAY. Once again, leaving your device turned on can make things much worse.

3. Attempt To Remove Surface Moisture

Make every effort to remove all of the surface moisture, but avoid attempting to dry the inside of your device. Use a lint-free towel to wipe away any liquid that has accumulated on the outside of the device container. Place a clean, dry towel on a table or desk in a warm, well-ventilated room and wait for it to dry. For laptops, open the lid as far as possible and place the computer on top of the towel to protect it from damage. Consider standing the laptop upside down with both the top and bottom edges touching the ground, forming a triangle. Allow for any excess moisture to drain from the device over the course of the night.

The temptation to use a hairdryer or other heating device to accelerate the drying process should be avoided at all costs. High temperatures can cause irreversible damage to your device and prevent your data from being recovered. When it comes to drying out a water-damaged device, time is your best friend.

4. Professionals Know Data Recovery

If you have a backup of your data, consulting with a professional to determine whether or not the device can be repaired is acceptable. Repair shops, on the other hand, are not equipped to deal with the time-consuming and delicate work of data recovery. If you attempt to repair your device, you run the risk of causing further damage and losing some or all of your data.

This is why Hard Drive Recovery Associates exists. Our recoveries are carried out in an ISO Class 5 Cleanroom that is certified to be free of dust and static electricity. The fact that we have a data recovery operating room increases the likelihood of a successful data recovery.

Do you require assistance in recovering data from a water-damaged device? Contact us on the number above!

Electronic Device And Phone Water Damage Find more on: HDRA Blog

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How The Cloud Can Help You With Hard Drive Failure

If you’re unfamiliar with what the ubiquitous “Cloud” is, it’s really important to know. All data available on the Internet, regardless of its nature, is stored on large computers known as servers, which are located all over the world. In terms of security, these servers are among the safest in the world, and they make up a large enough infrastructure when pieced together that they call this network “the Cloud”. You might think that the military or the government would have the most secure servers, but that isn’t the case at all — not even close.

router connected to the cloudDuring the recent period in which nearly every aspect of computing was being stored on off-site servers and made available to authorized users on virtually any device anywhere in the world, the term “cloud” was coined. Desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones are all capable of accessing the same data and applications in the cloud because of the Internet. Each device that is connected to the cloud acts as a terminal that connects to a variety of servers that are housed within the cloud. It’s the kind of thing that can help anyone feel safer if they have experienced corrupted hard drive symptoms before.

The Unhackable Cloud

Hacking the cloud is a quite a bit more difficult than hacking a PC or even a mainframe, for obvious reasons. It is not only possible that all of the data is encrypted in certain parts of the cloud, but it is also possible that it is spread across multiple servers in multiple cities on RAID arrays. However, just as with any data stream, there is a front door through which you can enter. You can gain access to all of your data in the app or storage part of the cloud if you have the correct user name and password. The majority of the time, anyone looking to hack a cloud is looking for the key to your front door. They may not attempt to compromise the cloud itself, but rather the device you use to access your portion of it. And, of course, you should never underestimate a hacker’s ability to discover all of the back doors in your system.

Security Protocols Rule The Day

Typically, social engineering, or attempts to “con” technical support people into revealing information such as passwords and account numbers has been caught on to, and some time ago, actually. A hacker simply cannot do this anymore without access to a wide array of personal information already, and organizations that run cloud applications are always very cognizant of schemes and scams that take place on a daily basis. So what does this mean? Well, despite the few random anecdotal stories to the contrary, the cloud is pretty safe. We have been using this thing for ten years plus at this point, and a lot of the kinks have been worked out.

The Cloud Kills Data Loss, Dead

So, feel free to use the cloud to back up your hard drives. It’s an excellent idea, and some applications, particularly things like Google Drive, or other miscellaneous backup services, have apps that make backing critical data extremely easy. Like, “push a button and walk away”-easy. What’s more, many have schedulers as well that ensure that even when you forget to back up your drive, it does it for you.

In 2022, your company should have a protocol in place for using cloud computing resources for things like critical data backups. External hard drives and local servers are fine, but as with anything data, redundancy is the grail. The more redundant you are with backups, the less chance you will have to rely on a backup that has failed.

Without a doubt, the cloud is a fantastic tool. And, as it’s been in action for a while and isn’t going away anytime soon, you should use it to avoid hard drive failure. Just do it!

How The Cloud Can Help You With Hard Drive Failure is republished from HDRA

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Keeping Your Hard Drive Safe

Faster processors, retina displays, portability, and battery life have all become popular buzz words for what’s new in computers. However, nothing matters unless you have the ability to store and retrieve information, which in most cases is via an HDD or an SSD.

Computer hard drives in the 1980s and 1990s were stunningly rough pieces of machinery. They failed early, and sometimes often, which ensured that it was a real heyday for data recovery companies like Hard Drive Recovery Associates.

Since then, hard drives have come a long way in terms of performance and construction. However, if your HDD is not given proper care and maintenance, it will continue to crash, causing both newcomers to the computer age and seasoned veterans to scream in horror when they realize they have lost access to their critical data. In an effort to permanently eliminate that panic that comes with a physically failed hard drive, here are some suggestions for maintaining the health of your hard drive and data.

Be Careful With Your Hard Drives

When it comes to hard drives, complacency or a false sense of security is usually a most formidable adversary for most folks. If you are serious about protecting your data, you must take good care of your hard drive. If your data isn’t that important to you, the fact that you experience a hard drive failure won’t make much of a difference. Most hard drives these days cost less than a hundred dollars to replace, and after that you will be back in business. However, if you are like the majority of people, your computer’s hard drives serve as digital archives of your life, your business, and everything else that is important to you in your digital world. So back the thing up now and again, and you’ll save yourself big problems.

Be Smart With Your Hard Drive

The first step in taking good care of your hard drive is to become familiar with the rules. There are some fundamental concepts you should probably understand about any hard drive. They are as follows:

Maintain the temperature of your hard drive: Heat is the nemesis of anything electronic.

  • Keep safe by doing the following: These programs, along with disk utility and virus protection software, are critical to the long-term health of your data and hard drives. Consult with your computer professional to determine the most effective programs and protection regimens for your computer and hard disks.
  • Ensure that your computer is kept in a well-ventilated area; don’t try to squeeze it into a slot in your rolltop desk or hide your tower somewhere beneath your desk. Your computer requires fresh, cool air to function properly, and heat can destroy drives
  • Maintain a clean environment: Dust and dirt are extremely detrimental to your hard drive and, in fact, your entire computer system, whether it’s portable or a desktop. Dirt and dust can wreak havoc on your hard drive and cause a buildup of static electricity to accumulate on your computer. Additionally, keeep your hard drive and computer free of any magnetic contamination, while we’re on the subject of electrical safety.
  • Maintain the stability of the system: Moving, bumping, or dropping a hard drive is not a good thing for the drive, especially while it is in operation. Solid-state drives are advantageous in this situation. However, a general rule of thumb is to keep all hard drives on a level surface and to treat them as if they were a carton of eggs – don’t get aggressive!
  • Maintain A Library of Key Software: Important software you should have access to at all times include virus and malware protection programs, disk utility programs, and monitoring programs that keep a constant eye on your hard drive and computer systems. A computer monitoring program will keep track of the temperature of your computer as well as the overall health of your hard drive, among other things.

Accept That Hard Disk Drives Are Mechanical, And Do Fail

Whatever operating system you are using, hard drives are similar to automobiles in that they wear out and and break down over time. Backing up your data will become less of a chore once you accept this fact of life. The software on some computers can be programmed to automatically backup data to an external hard drive or to the cloud. Even with these precautions, a hard drive failure at an inconvenient time can result in the loss of some of your most important data. If this happens, you should probably contact Hard Drive Recovery Associates.

Keeping Your Hard Drive Safe was originally published on HDRA

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Frequently Ignored Hard Drive Failure Signs

While regularly backing up data is the most effective method of preventing permanent data loss of almost any kind, computer users should be aware of the basic signs of data loss. By shutting down a hard drive or other storage device as soon as possible when real hard disk problems are detected, you can significantly improve your chances of a successful data recovery while also shortening the turnaround time for your case. Hard drive failure can be a nightmare if not detected immediately.

Most data loss symptoms are extremely subtle, and computer users frequently overlook potentially dangerous signs of data loss because they lack the kind of obviousness that would normally alert someone to a mechanical drive issue. Listed below are some of the most common early signs of hardware failure:

Noises that are out of the ordinary – When a hard drive makes loud clicking or whirring sound, the majority of computer users realize that there are some hard drive issues at hand. Some disk noises, on the other hand, are surprisingly subtle.

When your computer first boots, pay close attention to what it is saying. If the drive sounds like it is “resetting,” it is possible that the read/write heads are malfunctioning or are misaligned. Because the frequency of the clicking and the overall performance of the computer are both important factors, almost any clicking sounds can be dangerous for your drive. Make sure to pay attention to your computer’s sounds, paying particular attention to any noises that the machine makes when performing time-consuming tasks.

Dramatically Longer File Access Times – File access speeds can be significantly slowed for a variety of reasons, but any significant slowdown could indicate corruption or read/write issues with the hard drive.

As soon as you notice that your computer is taking a long time to open certain files, make a backup of any critical data that you may have missed in a previous backup. In fact, try to backup anything that is critical and has been worked on recently – that data has the tendency (often by Murphy’s law) to disappear first in a hard drive crash. Prior to making a backup of your files, do not run any disk utilities such as ScanDisk or ChkDsk, despite the fact that you might assume it is a good idea. If there is a non-logical (hardware-based) hard disk problem, the use of these utilities may make the situation worse.

Startup or Boot Errors – You may be experiencing problems with your master boot record (MBR) or other logical issues if your computer does not start consistently, or frequently shows errors during the boot cycle. These issues may eventually prevent you from being able to access your data in the normal manner. Your computer may even be experiencing electrical problems, which can cause your hard drive and other components of your PC to become inoperable, especially in the case of shorting.

Any errors that occur during the startup process should almost always be taken seriously. Make a note of any error messages and write down any error codes that appear. Again, do not use the affected computer to research the errors. Instead, use your phone or a different system. If you are in need of data recovery, this specific error information can be extremely beneficial.

If your computer is unable to boot properly, you may be able to connect the hard drive to another computer and copy your data from that machine. There are a wide variety of hard drive docking systems that will enable this. However, you should not attempt this if you are not familiar with removing computer components or if you notice unusual noises, smells, or other signs of physical or electronic failure while removing computer components. Basically, if you’re a really non-technical person, this is not a good time for a crash course in data recovery!

Blue Screen, Program Hanging And Freezes –  Desktop and laptop computers can fail without warning, and while some overall system crashes are caused by hardware configuration issues and software conflicts, others are caused by problems with the hard drive.

All hangs and crashes are dangerous because they have the potential to corrupt data. A specific file will be attempted to be accessed, read, and written to by your computer, and then your computer will shut down unexpectedly; this can result in unresolved changes that render your images, documents, databases, and other files unreadable. It is especially common to encounter data corruption when working with large files, such as email archives, and it is important to be aware of the risks.

If your computer hangs or crashes on a regular basis, make a backup of your data once more. Examine your backups and think about implementing automatic backup software. Find out what is causing your computer to crash and fix the problem as soon as possible to keep the system running smoothly.

If your hard drive, flash drive, server, or other device begins to show signs of data loss, shut it down immediately and disconnect all connected devices. If you have a backup device, you should use it instead of the original. If you do not have a backup, contact a qualified data recovery company as soon as possible to discuss your options and to schedule a media evaluation of your hard drive or other media.

Frequently Ignored Hard Drive Failure Signs was first seen on Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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