As more and more consumers and businesses are storing critical data on their computer’s hard drives, the field of data recovery is experiencing a surge of its own. The sheer amount of data stored by today’s consumers and businesses is staggering – and some of it is bound to be lost or corrupted at some point or another.
Traditional and external hard drives
Recovering data from traditional and external hard drives is about as straightforward as it gets, but is a multi-step process. First, you have to identify the specific problem – is it a logical or mechanical failure? Or was it the result of a power surge or damaged device? The answer to this question will tell you exactly how to proceed.
In the case of a damaged device, your data might be gone for good. Third-party software won’t be able to access the data if the drive or device itself is damaged. In this case, your only choice is to bring your device to a third-party service or specialist.
However, if your device is still working and accessible, you might be able to recover your data with one of the many software options on the market today. There are plenty of options available, many of which offer a free trial version.
USB thumb drives
Although they are similar to traditional and external hard drives in terms of functionality, USB thumb drives actually use flash memory to store data. In this case, it’s more similar to an SD memory card that you’ll find in your smartphone or digital camera.
If the device has been damaged, the data within might be rendered completely inaccessible and unrecoverable. If the device is in working condition and still functional, however, there’s a chance that your lost data can be recovered.
The actual data recovery process on a USB thumb drive is similar to that of traditional and external hard drives. Again, there are many third-party software and services available to help you, many of which are available with a free trial.
The newest, most efficient, and fastest form of hard drive available on the market today; solid-state drives (SSDs) are taking the computer industry by storm. They’ve been used by industry experts and businesses for many years, but they’re finally affordable enough for consumers to use, too. The only drawback is their somewhat limited storage capacity.
In addition, they can be trickier to work with when it comes to restoring lost data than a traditional, disk-based drive. Although a successful data recovery from an SSD is possible in some cases, there are many scenarios that will render this data completely inaccessible and unrecoverable.
For example, a SSD that uses the next-gen TRIM protocol isn’t likely to support a data recovery effort. This is due to the way the TRIM protocol operates. Since it actively deletes unused and system-deleted files on a regular basis, there’s a good chance your lost data has already been deleted from the drive. If this is the case, it’s gone for good.