The Data Recovery Services of Internet Desk, Inc.
Test and protect your backups. Don't rest easy just because you have a backup system. It is important to test your backups by restoring them to another machine from time to time. Also, as you practice a backup routine, take copies of your data backups away from the location of the machine. That way, a fire or flood disaster would be less likely to destroy both copies of the data.
Establish a data security routine. Nothing is better than a data backup routine, and nothing is worse than a plan without execution. Schedule your backups and make them part of your daily or weekly routine. Keep notes on the backup media containers and in a master paper record so that when disaster strikes, you'll be able to easily find the right backup media.
Your hard drive will fail. Guaranteed! Every single hard drive in service as you read this will fail. It's a 100% chance. We simply don't know when it will fail. The reason for this perfect score in the failure category is the mechanical nature of the beast. While some will last longer than others, sooner or later a mechanical breakdown will occur. But data loss is not confined to mechanical failure or the storage device. Many data loss incidents are due to an electronic failure of the components in the controller of the drive which can be caused by power surges, static electricity, lightning, etc.
Data backup is the first line of defence
to securing your files so that you can survive a hard drive failure. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this goal. If you have a local computer specialist that is working with your systems, please talk to that individual about a sensible backup program for you.
Any backup is better than none.
You can backup your data to tape, diskettes, Zip drives, another hard drive, to a CD, to another machine on your network, and you can even backup your files to a server on the Internet. No matter what choice you make, any backup is better than none at all.
What files should should you backup?
The most important files for you are the data files you create when you operate your e-mail software, word processor, spreadsheet, accounting software, etc. Not all files are automatically saved to your My Documents folder (in the case of Windows users) and you may have to do some investigation with your programs to find out where all your data files are. The programs themselves are not as important because, if you have a full failure of a hard drive, a restored program rarely will operate correctly. In order to restore your programs you should reinstall them from the original disks.
How often should you backup?
That's a question only you can answer. How many days of data can you afford to do without? Some companies have backups running constantly so they can restore data to the minute. Most computer users don't have that level of need. Decide what's important to you, then create a schedule to backup your data on a daily or weekly basis.
Backup software is available
in a variety of forms, both for tape and other methods. If you're not planning to use a tape backup, check out some of the software titles available in computer stores. Any software worth its salt will allow you to schedule automatic backup files at a frequency you select. You can use these software solutions to reduce the data to a single backup file of a size that will fit on some sort of removable media (Zip, Jaz, removable hard drive, Read-Write CD's, etc.) Typically, using the non tape method, you would create a backup file on your hard drive. Once complete, copy the backup file to your removable media.
Rotate your media
so that you always have at least one backup copy from the previous backup. Many will use daily tapes, backing up on Monday to the Monday tape, Tuesday to the Tuesday tape, etc. That way, if you have a failure and your most current backup is bad, you get another shot with the one that's a day older.
Remove your backup copies
to a location other than where the computer is. If you keep all of your backup copies in a media case at the same location as the computer, a fire, flood or theft could destroy both. If you have an office and a home in two different places, rotate your office backups between the office and your sock drawer. If you don't have the two-location luxury, create one with a friend or relative.
Double format recovery: A small business approached us to recover data from a drive that had been accidentally reformatted. Not only were we able to fully recover the lost data, but a bonus as well. When the recovered data was reviewed by our client they discovered files that had been missing since the time the drive was formatted two years prior.
It's expensive, but... Not all jobs require clean room work, but at least with Internet Desk, going to the clean room doesn't mean you'll be taken to the cleaners . Some labs will flat-rate their work and quote an arbitrary, very high price before they even see the drive. That type of pricing is unfair, in our opinion, since it has nothing to do with the actual amount of work involved. If you need clean room work, you'll get a quote from us following an initial free clean room evaluation -- and real information on the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Floppy fire fight: A photographer of the digital persuasion had just finished a trip to three different cities where he recorded the images of a client's possessions for insurance purposes. The very next day -- before he had a chance to make copies of his work -- a fire destroyed his apartment. Not all was consumed, though. While sifting through the debris, he found the box of 1.44 floppies where all of the images of the last trip were stored. We put on our fire hats and went to work. One by one, slowly, they came back -- like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. We managed recovery of about 90% of the images, saving our client's relationship with his customer and preventing the cost of re-shooting the 10-day project.
Virus Arrested, Files Recovered: Frequently, data loss can be due to a virus attack. In one such case, data recovery was accomplished on a drive that had been attacked by a virus that methodically erased files then in its final act of vandalism, it deleted the partition information from the drive. When the machine was rebooted, the drive was recognized, but no drive letter was assigned. The owner ran an "fdisk" to learn that no partition existed on the drive. A friend then suggested the data recovery services of Internet Desk, Inc. Fourty-eight hours later the machine was back in running order with all but 13 of some 65,000 files recovered.
Laptop Computer Data Saved: A sales rep for a large multi-national firm returned from an extended trip, having dutifully entered all of his call details in a database on his notebook computer. His first day back in the home office revealed that his data collected over the past three weeks was not available. His IS department could not find the data, and issued a new notebook computer to the sales rep, but decided to check around for someone who could retrieve the data. Internet Desk was called and the data recovery process began. Since the information was so time critical, the DataICU worked around the clock and into the weekend to finish the recovery and made the files available via ftp in time for the Monday morning sales meeting.
Legally Binding: An Oklahoma law firm found that an exiting employee tried to remove files from a computer prior to their departure. Aware that the trash undelete function existed, the trash was also emptied. The data recovery was accomplished and information about the timing of the deletions so that the firm could proceed with prosecution of the former employee.
Novel Virus: A novelist, fast approaching a publisher's deadline, discovered that her notebook computer -- which contained all of her writing of her latest novel -- would no longer boot. Ignoring the advise of the computer manufacturer that nothing could be done, she called Internet Desk, Inc. to see what could be done. The data recovery was completely successful -- including virus removal, and the notebook computer was returned with the operating system re-installed along with all of the work done on the novel. As an added level of safety, the data files were also placed on a CD. A novel recovery.
Competition Squashed: A drive arrived in our shop for data recovery, complete with a bid sheet from a competitor who actually quoted a recovery price without even looking at the drive -- proof that the competitor "skims" the market for customers who will agree to pay an outrageous price for the service. The NT drive with NTFS file system was recovered within 72 hours at one-third the price quoted by the competition.
Big Foot MAC Attacked: A Houston, Texas area spark plus company found their Quantum Bigfoot with an Apple operating system would no longer give access to the data. The story began when the drive showed up at our shipping/receiving point unannounced. Following a few telephone calls to learn the circumstances surrounding the failure of the drive, the data recovery was accomplished and returned to the client in just four days -- including a two-day wait for parts arrival.
Surveying a Data Recovery: An east Texas surveying and mapping company called with a tale of woe one Thursday afternoon, noting that their IDE drive would no longer work. The hard drive contained years of work, plus CAD files for a job that was due out on the following Monday. FedEx got the drive to us the next morning. The data recovery process began around noon on Friday and went on for many hours -- well into the night. By Saturday morning -- when their anxious call arrived -- it was clear that we would be able to accomplish the recovery of the requested files. A company employee drove to Dallas as we worked feverishly to complete the job. By 5:00 PM the job was done and delivered back to the client, allowing the company to meet their Monday deadline with a municipal client.