Simple measures to avoid expensive hard drive data recovery

Simple measures to avoid expensive hard drive data recovery

Your hard drive will eventually fail and that’s a fact. Hard drives contain mechanical moving parts and electronics. With platters spinning at thousands of revolutions each minute and heads working in millionths of seconds, a failure and subsequent data loss is almost certain. What’s more, malware and user error also contribute to data loss. More often than not, this data is worth more than the hardware itself – so it’s well worth protecting it!


There are lots of well documented methods for safeguarding your critical information and it goes without saying that a backup is the most important. Whether this is an external hard drive, cloud solution or network attached storage, you should always have a clone of your data. However there are also lesser known protocols that will help you to avoid data loss.

Firstly it is worth remembering that portable hard drives run at lower revolution speeds and are designed to take more shock. Hence they are often the preferred method of backup. However, if your system is stolen, anything else of value is also likely to go missing! So use a long USB cable and hide that external hard drive. A thief is simply going to unplug any peripherals and leave them behind. Remember also that if you get infected by ransomware or malware, this will also affect mapped drives. Make sure you identify and deal with any problems quickly!

Malicious attacks on computers normally arrive as an email with an attachments named as a PDF or EXE. By enabling the ability to see full file extensions in emails or even denying anything with an EXE extension, a user can easily identify suspicious activity. Browsing all emails in preview mode or better still, using a filter such as SmartScreen will keep you safe. These EXE files are normally run from the App Data, or Temporary folders and unzipping utilities. Disable these within Windows or use intrusion prevention software such as the Cryptolocker Prevention Kit.

Dust, heat and shock are responsible for most mechanical hard drive failures. Keep your hardware healthy by cleaning fan intakes. Similarly, do not put your CPU on the floor where there is plenty of dust to penetrate the hard drive breather hole and do not place the CPU near to a radiator.

Don’t just rely on your anti-virus to keep you safe. Malware authors often distribute new variants to avoid detection. Use anti-malware such as Malwarebytes and keep it regularly updated. Finally, do not use removable media such as memory sticks unless you are confident they will not be carrying an infection.

Technical Director of Data Recovery Specialists Tony Pitter says “Most of the hard drives failures we deal with could have been avoided. Simple measures will protect your valuable data and cost nothing. Anti-malware and intrusion prevention software is often free to download and can save the user hours attempting to identify and clean an infection. Data recovery can be expensive, so make sure your hard drive is well protected”

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