Your computer hard drive (internal or external) has stopped working. All of your beloved pictures, music, and personal files are on that drive.
You can try calling the drive manufacturer (your computer manufacturer), and there is a slim chance they can get your drive working, but if it is indeed a failure of your equipment, they can only help you replace that equipment. They can’t get your data back for you. The warranty on your equipment covers the equipment and not the data stored on that equipment.
What can you do? That drive holds lots of valuable data. Music you’ve worked hard to illegally download, pictures that aren’t printed yet, and that great novel you’re in the middle of writing.
So if you’re desperate, there is help — for a price. There are firms out there that specialize in data recovery. For a price that is sure to be much more than the cost of the drive itself, they can get your precious data off the drive and onto a new drive.
One company that provides emergency data recovery services is DriveSavers. DriverSavers has been saving drives for desperate souls like yourself for many years now. They fix drives that are burned, drowned, or just inexplicably broke down like yours every day.
So, your drive isn’t responding, seems to be making a funny noise, and you’re freaking out. What’s the first step? Call someone like Drive Savers. Tell them what is going on they’ll give you instructions.
What should you expect? Most likely they’ll tell you to stop messing with your drive (especially if it’s making odd noises). You’ll need to pack it tightly and securely in a box to be shipped via FedEx. (Apparently FedEx is a bit more gentle than other carriers.)
Once DriveSavers receives your drive they will need to investigate the problem, but don’t worry about whether or not they can recover the data. Driver Savers has seen it all and has a vast warehouse of parts to fix virtually any drive. They’ll repair the drive enough to extract the data, and then put that data on another drive, or on media of your choice. Once data has been extracted and placed on new media, it’ll be shipped back to you.
When you look back, you’ll ask yourself, Why did this happen? Firstly, hard drives are cheap pieces of equipment that are expected to fail eventually. They aren’t expected to last long, and any one drive should not be trusted to be the sole guardian of your data.
The other cause of the problem is you. You’ve learned to save often, but you have not had a backup plan. When your main drive crashed, that was it.
Next time, you’ll remember to back up your important data using another drive, or an Internet backup system.
If you decide to go with two hard drives, it’s probably wise to make sure they are different models, or different manufacturers. Drives are known to fail in batches corresponding to their production batches, and it’s a good chance that two identical drives from the same store are from the same batch.
If you’re looking for an Internet backup system, try something like Carbonite. Carbonite seems to work pretty well with Windows computers.