One thing guaranteed to give any data recovery engineer a horrible sinking feeling about a job is hearing that a previous attempt at data recovery has been made. There are reasons why this may result in additional damage or in the worst case a total loss of data.
In the event of a failure the wisest choice of action is to call expert help from data recovery specialists, who will be able to advise you on the correct procedures to follow, so they can recover your files. In the case of a physical hard disk failure the drive should always be sent to a professional data recovery company, who have the required knowledge and expertise to ensure the correct procedures are adhered to.
Drive Health May Deteriorate
When a hard drive suffers a hardware failure, it should be powered down, before it is then packaged correctly and sent to a data recovery company. Hard disk drives are constructed from a number of important components, all of which must in perfect working order, other it is likely to operate incorrectly.
If a failing hard disk is connected to a computer which is then powered up, it may make the situation worse, due to a resulting cascade of failures which can happen over a period of time. It is important that all hard disks are handled correctly, including a fully operational drive, ensuring that the proper anti-static precautions are taken and sufficient cooling is provided. These procedures are designed to help to avoid any additional hardware failure from developing.
Operating System Automatic Volume Recovery
Many modern operating systems such as Windows analyse any hard disk drive which is attached to the computer system, in order to determine if it has been partitioned, before making an attempt to automatically mount any volume which is located on the drive. If the partition table has been damaged the operating may prompt the user to take action which could result in the partition table being overwritten or the entire drive being reformatted, which would result in data loss.
During the act of mounting a partition the operating system will make a number of checks to determine if the file system data structures are consistent for the volume. When any damage is simple, the operating system will usually recover the file system correctly. However, when the damage is more severe, the repair process can lead to serious corruption of the internal file system structures and metadata, which may lead to a severe loss of data.
Experience of Data Recovery is Key
The knowledge and experience which a professional data recovery company have developed through years of providing this key service cannot be substituted through any shortcuts. Professional data recovery companies usually define a set of procedures in particular for the handling of all storage media. These procedures are designed to ensure that no additional damage occurs which could cause additional data loss, which could occur through any incorrect actions.
Part of these procedures involves determining which faults if any must be fixed before a sector-by-sector image copy of the drive is secured. The file system is only processed once the data from the drive has been secured, to ensure the integrity of any data recovery quotation. Working directly from an operating the drive without first securing the data, could lead to a data recovery quote being issued, while a failure of the drive is still possible. This would be negligent behaviour, as data declared recoverable, may be lost through the subsequent failure of the drive.