Now that we’re well into the Information Age, nearly everyone has a smartphone within arm’s reach. Some of us even have multiple devices – including laptops and desktop computers – that store our personal information. But what happens if something goes awry? What happens if your data is unexpectedly lost or corrupted?
The Do-it-Yourself Approach
For some users, there is no other solution that step by step data recovery. Experienced users can benefit from applying their knowledge and solving a problem on their own. Conversely, novice users have a great learning opportunity and plenty of online guides for assistance.
Before getting started, there are some key considerations to make, including:
- Hardware: If you aren’t familiar with the hardware within your system, do some research ahead of time. It helps to know the brand and model of hard drive, the speed of your CPU, and the amount of RAM in your system.
- Operating system: Some operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, are easier to work with when it comes to recovering lost or corrupted data. Although file restoration is still possible on others, including Mac, there are some complications that can challenge the most experienced of users.
Finally, take some time to decide if your lost data is worth restoring. If you have a backup, either offline or online, it might be easier to simply restore your files from there. In the case of application and gaming files, most of these can typically be re-downloaded or re-installed.
Remember, you really only need to worry about your personal files. This generally includes documents, digital images, and personal videos. In many cases, even your music can be re-downloaded or otherwise restored – especially if you use Apple iTunes.
Automated Data Recovery Software
If you’re a novice computer user, you might have better luck using third-party data recovery software. Not only will this help you avoid any more damage to your system, but it can save you a lot of time and hassle if you’re new to the field of data recovery.
Depending on your system, there are a myriad of third-party options to choose from. However, there are some nuances to consider before moving forward:
- Compatibility: While there are many solutions available for Windows, there are far less available for Mac and Linux users. Always check to make sure your software is compatible with your operating system.
- File type: Some programs specialize in restoring a specific file type, such as digital images, videos, or MP3 files. Make sure the software you’re using supports the data you’re trying to recover.
- Reputation: Make sure you are using a well-known, reputable brand. Try to download it from the developer’s official servers when available.
With that in mind, you should have all the information you need to make an informed decision. While the do-it-yourself approach isn’t nearly as intimidating as it seems, and many experienced users actually prefer the approach, automated third-party software and personalized services are helpful when you’re inexperienced, pressed for time, or dealing with highly sensitive data.