How Does Data Recovery Work?

We’ve previously written a blog article describing what data loss is and methods for avoiding it (find it here), but considering how important data is to your business, we wanted to go into more depth about it and in the worst-case scenario, how recovery works.

Data loss comes under two key categories: logical and physical. Logical failures are some of the most common causes of data loss and are due to things such as accidental deletion or disk reformatting. Physical failures specifically occur when physical components of a hard drive have failed or been damaged.

Because it’s better being safe than sorry, we highly recommend your data is always backed up. Not only this, but successful data protection and disaster recovery plans should also follow the 3-2-1 rule. You should always have at least three copies of your data, stored on at least two types of media, with at least one being offsite.

Deployus offers a range of backup solutions utilising Veeam’s availability Suite including Veeam Agent for physical servers and workstations and Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 which delivers a cloud optimised deployment option. Veeam Backup & Replication is implemented for virtual server infrastructure. Using this technology, you can easily backup your data both on-premise and on a Cloud offering of your choice, providing protection against total data loss.

Data Recovery

If you do experience a data loss and your backups aren’t in place, you’ll need to perform data recovery to get your files back. Depending on the cause of your loss, recovery comes in different forms with differing levels of success. There have been rapid advances in recovery software and technology meaning more often than not you’ll be able to recover at least a portion of your data. Keep in mind though, that no information is recoverable after being overwritten, no matter what software or tech you use. 

Data recovery is made possible by operating systems which have been designed for speed; to maximise computing power, the system removes basic references to the files instead of erasing them completely. Recovery software scans the storage drive to find these otherwise inaccessible files and moves them to a separate storage space where they can’t be overwritten.

Logical failures

In instances of logical failures, it depends on your operating system as to how much success you’ll have with recovering your lost files. Windows NTFS systems maintain the file description information making it easier to find than with BSD UFS systems which delete almost all file information straight away. 

As mentioned above, once data is overwritten it cannot be retrieved. Even installing file recovery software can cause this, so we encourage you to do your research before it’s needed and has your chosen software already installed.

Physical failures

Physical failures are more complex than logical failures as data recovery software isn’t enough to get your data back. It requires special equipment and a perfectly clean room to handle and fix delicate components like the circuit board. Work like this must be done by a data recovery company and shouldn’t be attempted on your own as you’re likely to cause more and potentially irreparable damage to the drive.

File corruption

Corrupt files present a different problem to those which are simply lost. Instead of just looking for and recovering lost data, if a file is corrupted you’ll need data repair software which can actually fix it. This software uses standard file headers to recreate those which were corrupted, essentially rewriting them. In severe cases, the software may need sample files which perfectly match the damaged files.

While we’ve had significant advances in data recovery and repair services, it doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to recover lost data and we still recommend solid backup processes to reduce the chances of loss.

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