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When to try Do-It-Yourself Data Recovery

When to try DIY data recovery


This week, we released an audio guide to diagnose the sound of hard drive failure. We know that our clients represent a wide range of experience with technology and we recognize the increasing demand for DIY solutions. It may seem odd for a professional data recovery company to offer suggestions for when you might try to recover your own data but we recognize that do-it-yourself solutions are a viable option in some circumstances. Since it is possible to do further damage, it is important to know when and when NOT to try to recover your own data.

If you know the potential cause of your data loss, it’s helpful to determine whether attempting a DIY recovery is a good idea. Did your PC or MAC shut down prematurely and then restart with an error message? Is your PC or MAC exhibiting signs or a virus that your protection software may have missed? Did you accidentally reformat a drive or delete a batch of files in error? These causes of data loss are relatively known. With careful consideration and research, it’s possible to research and acquire DIY recovery software from a reputable source. Secure Data Software is an option that our engineers and technicians have built and certified. Do your homework. Work with a source you trust and be careful to avoid gimmicky ad software disguised as a recovery solution.

If you’ve decided to attempt your own DIY data recovery, there is one critical mistake to avoid at all costs: Do NOT recover data to the same drive from which it was lost. Doing so will overwrite the file, which limits both your DIY recovery and any future professional attempts to get back what you’ve lost. DIY recovery to a different drive may be a safe alternative to seeking outside help while still allowing the option for more advanced recovery services.

When should you seek professional data recovery services?

  • If the drive incurred physical damage, DIY software will not address the root cause of data loss. Advanced techniques will be necessary to recover the remaining data safely.
  • If you’ve received error messages warning your hard drive is failing.
  • If the hard drive is making unusual sounds (as detailed in our audio guide)
  • If the hard drive no longer appears to be spinning or has stopped working due to a power surge or outage.

The intensity of the technological intervention needed to recover data in these circumstances typically requires a hands-on recovery led by experts. Getting back the time, money, and skill in your potentially lost data is our top priority. While we know that DIY solutions are often the first line of recovery for many of our clients, we urge you to know when to seek a professional so that the possibility of a successful recovery by a professional is still an option.

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