Why does data recovery work on some files and not others?

Here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey, we have an excellent success rate for our data recovery service. We recover the vast majority of files from the majority or drives and causes of data loss. But we can never guarantee recovery until we get a good look at the storage in question. Why not?

There are a couple of answers to that question.

Cause of data loss

If you accidentally deleted files and folders and then emptied the trash to save disk space, recovery is fairly straightforward. As long as you haven’t overwritten the data, we can use our specialist tools to rebuild the data and make it accessible again.

If your data has been lost to a virus or malware, or even ransomware, we may not be able to recover it at all. Or we may be able to recover everything. Again, it depends on what happened, what the malware did, whether it just deleted data like a fast format or overwrote the data to make it irretrievable. There is malware out there that does both of these so we can never tell.

Hardware condition

If you lost data due to hardware failure, some parts of the hard drive may be permanently damaged. If the drive failed altogether, we may be able to reanimate it long enough to take copies of your data but we won’t know until we try.

Hard disk drives, HDD, use spinning plates called platters to physically write data. These platters are logically divided into sectors that can store a specific amount of data. If the surface of those platters become damaged, the data is physical inaccessible. No matter how good out data recovery team is, they cannot recover data from damage like that!

Failed attempts at home

If you read this blog regularly, you will already know that we encourage all our New Jersey neighbors to be proactive with their computers and tackle any issue they are confident handling. Data loss is not one of those issues.

Data can very easily be overwritten during your attempts to retrieve it. You could damage it further and put it beyond reach. You could further damage any sensitive drive platters or read/write heads and render the drive inoperable.

Data recovery is one area of computing we really do ask you to leave to the experts. We have the knowledge and experience to deal with it and the facilities to copy your hard drive before making our attempts.

If we tell you we cannot guarantee we will recover all your data, this is why. It isn’t us hedging our bets, it is because we genuinely don’t know what we’ll find until we take a look!