Leave Data Recovery to the Specialists

With the internet at their disposal, many people are following amateur guides rather than consulting a professional data recovery specialist. We’ve spoken about the dangers of DIY data recovery before, but how can users safely diagnose hard drive failures?

How hard can data recovery really be? Incredibly, it turns out – we receive a large volume of hard drives into the lab for data recovery that have been further damaged by botched DIY efforts. There are loads of free data recovery tools out there, some that claim to be able to fix physical hard drive problems. In reality, these data recovery programs are only really effective at logical or software errors. If you don’t use them correctly, however, they can cause more harm. When a hard drive suffers a mechanical fault, like a head crash or a motor failure, the drive should not be powered up unless it’s by a professional data recovery expert. It’s highly likely the drive has already suffered damage to the magnetic platters in these instances, and powering it up and attempting to use data recovery software to fix a physical fault is self-defeating.

Modern hard drives write error logs into the error table, and if there are too many errors written to the table, the hard drive may not start. In this instance, you should get in touch with a professional data recovery service immediately and not attempt DIY data recovery. While there are free data recovery tools that allow you to access the error tables of hard drives, it’s risky to do so without proper knowledge. There are two lists stored on a hard drive’s error table – the growing error table (G-list) and P-error table (P-list). The P-list contains data relating to bad sectors, which are permanent defective sectors, where data can no longer be stored. The G-list, on the other hand, contains data on sectors that have become corrupted while the disk is actually in use. Changing the G-list won’t affect any data, but changing the P-list can make data recovery a headache. Deleting items on the P-list automatically changes the addresses of files stored on the disk, making them potentially difficult to find.