Data loss is a condition of computer systems whereby information is destroyed by failures in storage, transmission and processing. Data loss is characterized by the inability to access data from a computer or backup system that was previously running smoothly, the overwriting of data control structures or the abnormality of the operation of devices.
Causes of data loss
Data loss can happen in many ways and at times when you least expect it. Knowing the various types of data loss can help you figure out what might have caused your system to stall.
• Operating system failure
Sometimes the operating system of your computer can crash by itself either when you are using it or when you have left it unused for a long time. The reasons for operating system failure may be hard for the normal eye to deduce and only a professional can be able to help you get your data back, especially if there is nothing wrong with the hard drive.
If you do not have a well performing antivirus program, you stand the risk of your computer being affected by malicious viruses. Such viruses can make your files irretrievable hence necessitating the need for professional help.
CD-ROMs are very sensitive such that if they are exposed to dust or fingerprints, that can cause some of your data to be lost. Apart from damage to storage media, there are other types of damages such as when a computer is exposed to liquids or extreme heat.
• Accidental deletion
Cases of data getting lost due to accidental deletion or being manually overwritten are very common. Data that has been overwritten, can be very hard to recover, but there are professionals who can do their best to get it back. It is therefore essential that you back up your files on an external hard drive to avoid complete data loss.
Data Recovery is the process of restoring data that has been lost in any of the ways mentioned above. It is often done from storage media such as USB flash drives, RAID subsystems, external hard disk drives, magnetic tapes among other electronic devices.
Data recovery involves multiple techniques which can be carried out depending on the cause of the damage. Data recovery experts need not necessarily have physical access to the damaged hardware as they can perform it using remote access software over the internet.
There are four phases of data recovery, which begin with repair of the hard disk drive, imaging the drive to a new drive or disk image file, logical recovery of files, partition, MFT and MFR and finally repair of the damaged files that have been retrieved.
Data loss and data recovery are scenarios that we all have to deal with at one point or the other. If you are able to avoid those situations that can cause data loss, then you should do so because data recovery is costly depending on the kind of data.