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A Successful Data Recovery Begins With Expert Consultation

Loss of access to your data due to hard drive or other media storage device failure can be devastating. If the data is mission critical, it is imperative that the correct solutions be used in order to maximize the chances of success. Experts in the data recovery field will tell you of the many times theyíve seen a hard drive come to their cleanroom that has been damaged beyond recovery by well-intentioned computer service technicians, having only a limited knowledge of data recovery techniques.

If your data is lost and the backup doesnít work you should seek out a data recovery service company that will give you expert counseling on your specific situation.

All data recovery company offer a free initial consultation. This level of communication can be in person, on the phone, or via an Internet email or chat exchange. Some also offer free evaluations of the media on the bench and/or in the cleanroom.

By utilizing these types of services, you remain in control of your hard drive data recovery project, avoiding many costs and fees until you have enough information to make an informed selection of service and price.

To maximize your data recovery possibilities, turn off the affected computer or external data storage device and contact a data recovery specialist.

Data Recovery and Care of Camera Media, Flash Drives, and Other Non-Mechanical Data Storage Devices

DataICU.com offers data recovery services for camera media, flash drives, and other non-mechanical data storage devices. The firm also advises the use of certain preventative measures to minimize the potential for data loss.

The loss of your vacation photos trapped inside a flash memory module can be very frustrating, noted the data recovery experts at DataICU.com in Dallas, Texas. Equally frustrating is the inability to access data carried on a memory stick or other varieties of non-mechanical data storage devices in popular use today. Contrary to some popular opinion, however, data recovery from these devices is possible.

As with any data recovery need, it is important to obtain expert advice on how to proceed with the recovery of files. Improper recovery techniques can render the data useless or further damage the device. Such action can make even expert data recovery work impossible.

When non-mechanical data storage devices fail and the data they hold becomes inaccessible through normal means, it indicates a failure in one of two basic areas. The most common reason for failure is improper handling of the device. The other basic cause is a failure of any type within the camera, PDA or host computer.

Care should always be taken when installing or removing these devices from cameras, PDAs or computers to see that proper procedures are followed. In cameras and PDAs, the safest means of removing the memory device is to turn the camera or PDA off. Some cameras and PDAs put the data storage device in a location that makes disconnecting the battery power a prerequisite to removing the memory module. When disconnecting these data storage devices from a computer, it should always be done using software to stop the device before removing it. When not installed, these memory devices should be carried in the cases provided.

In the event of a data loss, a free consultation and evaluation of the data recovery possibilities can be obtained by visiting the DataICU.com website.

Computer Hard Drives Have a 100-Percent Failure Rate

Computer users trust too much that a new hard drive will give them years of trouble-free service. Lulled into a sense of security and ignoring the good advice to backup their data, they find themselves with a computer that has stopped functioning and in need of professional data recovery services.

The data recovery service technicians at DataICU.com hear the story each and every day from computer users who find themselves unable to access their critical data. The scenarios are all a little different, but the lament is the same: ďThe computer isnít even a year old,Ē they complain, ďI didnít think I had to worry about a hard drive failure.Ē

Hard drives have a 100-percent failure rate. The only thing not known is the timing of the failure. While it is reasonable to expect a few years of reliable service from a hard drive, failure of drives can occur within the first few weeks or months of their use from simple manufacturing faults. These types of failures represent a very small percentage of total hard drive failures, but they are just as devastating to the users as are the failures of older hard drives. Additionally, all drives are at risk due to electrical surges, regardless of age.

The only sure way to prevent data loss is by backing up the data on a schedule that meets the userís data retention needs. For some users this means creating a simple copy of the data to an external data storage device on a weekly or monthly basis. For others it may mean an elaborate system of data redundancy across a network on a daily or hourly basis, synchronizing to a server that performs yet another backup to an external device such as a tape data backup system. Some will find that using an on-line service company to backup their data over the Internet will be the right solution.

Data recovery companies like DataICU.com will be happy to assist you when you have a data emergency, but cannot guarantee that your particular data loss can be recovered. Hard drives that have suffered true head crashes and the resulting media damage may not be recoverable at all. A good backup of your data is the only real data loss prevention method available.

RAID File Systems Need Proper Attention to Prevent Data Loss Disasters

Many users of systems employing RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) file systems have been led to believe that they will never need data recovery services. That is only true if the system is set up, monitored, and maintained correctly.

RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) are wonderful file systems that offer redundancy, speed and size advantages. The basic concept of RAID the use of several hard drives in an array that appears to the computer system to be a single drive letter. Depending on the way a RAID is set up, it can provide an improved writing speed and may also provide an ability to replace a failed drive in the array without data loss. Many RAID systems are set up for users by well-meaning technicians who then fail to instruct the end user about how to maintain the system, say DataICU.com RAID experts.

The primary danger to be aware of is that not all RAID systems are created equal. Users should be painfully aware that RAID systems, while usually sold as fault tolerant, are not a replacement for data backup. While many RAID levels have fault tolerance, a failure of one or more drives in the array may still require professional data recovery procedures in the event of array failure.

Complicated RAID arrays of any level may still require data recovery procedures even when no drive has failed. That situation was apparent when the DataICU.com technicians were called upon recently to reassemble a 14-drive RAID array. The stripe sequence had been lost and only expert data recovery procedures could put the data back together. The total possible combinations of drive order in a 14-drive array are 87,178,291,200. That number made guesswork an impossible solution because even at a rate of one guess per second it would take over 2,700 years to go through them all. DataICU.com technicians succeeded in the recovery in just over two weeks.

The lesson learned is simply stated: If the data is important, a backup is essential.

A more complete discussion of RAID systems is available at http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/perf/raid/ for those who may need more detailed information.

DataICU.com is a long-standing data recovery services company located in Dallas, Texas.

Simple Steps Now Can Avoid the Need for Data Recovery Procedures Later: Learn the D.R.E.S.S. Code.

Taking a few simple steps now to make sure your critical data is safely backed up can help avoid data loss in the future. The D.R.E.S.S code can help you remember the proper steps to take. These same steps help keep your business going. Failure to take action could result in severe harm to a business, even to the point of business failure, in the event of a data loss.

The data recovery experts at DataICU.com counsel clients every day to follow the three rules of data safety: Backup, Backup, and Backup. Many clients take their failed hard drives and other failed media devices back to their offices as paperweights to remind themselves to backup their data regularly. Beyond the simple instruction to backup are the five rules of proper backup procedures. Too often it is learned that backups have not been performed properly at that critical time when they are needed: at the point of a hard drive failure.

The first essential component of backup procedures is the discipline to perform the backup in the first place and on a regular basis. For some users the frequency needed is daily. For others it may be weekly or hourly. Technicians at DataICU.com advise clients to examine their needs for data backup and create a schedule that best serves their individual interests. Once decided, the task must be performed on schedule. In the first rule of data backup, D is for Discipline.

The backup media selected to carry out backup procedures is another issue to consider. A variety of backup devices are available. The choice to use an external hard drive, a tape drive, DVDís, CDs, or any other removable media should be made with consideration for your specific data backup needs. At DataICU.com , we recommend a consultation with your primary computer maintenance technician. Care should be given in this choice to make sure the media chosen allows for a complete backup of data on a single unit. Backups that span multiple media units have a higher risk of failure. Some backup situations will require the spanning of media, but it should be avoided whenever possible. While not a hard-and-fast rule, consider this a rule wherever possible.

Once a backup media is selected, it is time to understand the second rule of backup procedures: Rotation of the media. This is important because of the potential for the backup device itself to fail. Assuming a once-per-week backup schedule, the first backup would be accomplished on the one tape, external drive, etc. The following week the backup would be performed on a different unit. At this point there are three copies of the data: One on the media being backed-up, another on the week-old device, and a third on the most recently used device. If backing up to CDs or DVDs, the data recovery experts at http://DataICU.com highly urge you to use write-once media, not re-writable disks. At the present time re-writable disks have a higher rate of failure themselves. In the second rule of data backup, R is for Rotation.

The third rule of backup practice is to evaluate or test the backup to insure it has integrity. Merely checking the logs of your chosen backup software is not enough. The backup itself needs to be tested in the restore mode to make certain it is good. Depending on your needs, this can be a partial or complete restore operation. It may be done on a different computer or to a different directory structure on the same computer. Never overwrite the original files during the evaluation procedure. Once done, a sampling of the files can be made by opening random files from the restore location to determine that they are not corrupted. In the third rule of data backup, E is for Evaluation.

The fourth rule is following proper storage practices. If your chosen backup device is a CD/DVD, donít hang it from the rearview mirror in your car. If itís a tape, donít leave it in the glove box. Your minimum storage criteria should be that as specified by the manufacturer. In the fourth rule of data backup, S is for Storage.

The fifth rule of backup is the easiest to accomplish: Geographical separation. Once a backup is made and evaluated, separate it from the device being backed-up. Having gone to the trouble to make a backup of your data, you do not want to risk the loss of the original and the backup due to fire, water damage, theft, etc. A fireproof safe in the same location is reasonable only if the media can also withstand the heat it may encounter should a fire occur. Taking one copy to a safety deposit box or simply taking the backup home will provide a safe distance for most usersí needs. In the fifth rule of data backup, S is for Separation.

The D.R.E.S.S. Code (Discipline Rotation Evaluation Storage Separation) can insure your data is properly backed up and safe when you need it.

DataICU.com is a long-standing data recovery services company located in Dallas, Texas, which constantly counsels clients on ways to avoid needing expert data recovery services.

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Data Intensive Care Unit
DataICU.com
10440 N. Central Expressway, Suite 800
Dallas, Texas 75231
Call 214.470.5070
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