Data recovery

Group of technicians repair hard drive

In computing, data recovery is a process of salvaging inaccessible data from corrupted or damaged secondary storage, removable media or files, when the data they store cannot be accessed in a normal way.

In enterprise information technology (IT), data recovery typically refers to the restoration of data to a desktop, laptop, server, or external storage system from a backup.

The data recovery process may vary, depending on the circumstances of the data loss, the data recovery software used to create the backup, and the backup target media. For example, many desktop and laptop backup software platforms allow end users to restore lost files themselves, while restoration of a corrupted database from a tape backup is a more complicated process that requires IT intervention. Data recovery can also be provided as service. Such services are typically used to retrieve important files that were not backed up and accidentally deleted from a computer’s file system but still remain on disk in fragments.

An organization’s disaster recovery plan should make known who in the organization is responsible for recovering data, provide a strategy for how data will be recovered and document acceptable recovery point and recovery time objectives.

Files can be deleted or lost as the result of many different actions. Human error can sometimes be to blame; you may accidentally delete files that you want or need.

Furthermore, errors in a computer’s systems can also cause the loss of files. Errors while formatting your computer, a hard disk crash, or an update gone awry can all cause your important files to go missing. Files can also become corrupted, making them as useless as if they were deleted.

Lastly, the havoc caused by malware like a virus or a Trojan horse can also include the loss or corruption of files that you need or want. Even with an antivirus program, malware can still get onto your computer to cause problems.

Recovery software is an option that you can use after you have tried everything else. If you have checked your computer’s recycle bin for the lost files, have looked through emails to find a copy you sent to someone else, and have tried to repair corrupted files all without success, then you can try a recovery software program to try to restore your lost files.

The obvious benefit to data recovery software is that you might be able to recover lost data that would otherwise be gone for good. While all experts, like Microsoft, advise that you back up important files; to err is human and to recover lost files is divine.

In short, the benefit of any recovery software is that you can right a wrong when just about all other options have failed. Whether the lost files are photos of your kids, something you need for work, or tax information, recovery software just might be able to get it back when all hope fails.