Do’s and Don’ts When Your Hard Drive Starts Crashing

A nine-iron won’t recover your data. We completely understand your feelings; just don’t use a golf club on your computer. Maybe you could take a swing at some other inanimate object or even on your assistant who didn’t follow backup protocol or didn’t use Norton 360 all in one security (see article). Lessons learnedBut before you completely blow a gasket or have a heart attack, there are certain steps you should take once you start to notice data loss or other hard drive problems.

Signs of Impending Doom

hard drive failurePerhaps you are running a simple spreadsheet and everything freezes, or you may be listening to the latest inspirational audio book that stops just before it reveals the secret to unlimited success. This isn’t necessarily a minor blip or inconvenience. It could be more. Or maybe you open your laptop in the morning and find an entire folder missing. Where did you put that? It’s always on the desktop. You use that folder everyday and now it’s gone. Easy now.

Skip the Violence and Step Back

At this point, you may be trying to figure out where you put your golf clubs. Don’t do that. Step back and take a deep breath. Now is the time to think things through, not react. It is at this stage when you have the most control over data recovery versus total data loss. The first thing you should do is turn your computer off and disconnect it from its power source, whether it is a battery or power cord.
Now, when you stop hyperventilating and thoughts of violence have passed, you should step back and make a calm assessment.

What Is At Risk?

First, determine what is at risk. What is on that laptop or hard drive? Is there any information that will ruin your life if you lost it? Are we talking life and death or are we talking about irritatingly inconvenient? Your next steps depend on your meticulous assessment of your problem. The primal scream that follows the realization that you just lost the one file that defines you or your company, is not a pleasant sound. How could something so important not have a backup? We won’t judge. No matter what you have lost, now is actually a good time to review your backup protocols.

When to Do It Yourself

After you have determined what you are in danger of losing, it is time to make a decision. If the data would be nice to have back, but not a big deal if you lost it, then take your laptop to your IT guy and have him try to repair the drive with any number of programs that will check for the problem and warn if drive failure is imminent. He will most likely try to back the drive up first. Regardless, if he fails, heck, buy a new hard drive and move forward.

When It’s Time to Call a Pro

If, however, you have lost something critical, maybe it wasn’t your laptop but a drive on your RAID or a backup that has failed, be more careful in who you trust with your computer. No disrespect to your IT guy, but unless he has a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, don’t let him even try to help. Now is the time when you need a professional. You’ll benefit from a company that specializes in data recovery that has the right equipment, programs, protocols, and training to recover your data.
If you or your company has data you can’t afford to lose, having a secure data recovery company on speed dial will save your data, and hopefully your nine-iron.
Another safety option is to choose among the many online backup services, buy some space in their secure servers and backup your precious files in the cloud. Your files will be kept safe, updated up to the last “save” and you will be able to access them and restore them from any computer you want.
Apparently you should avoid any reaction that is featured on the video bellow