There is an expression that, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to data recovery, this is no different. There are a number of things that you can do to protect your data, such that, should you ever have an unfortunate accident in which you find one or more of your files missing, damaged, or inaccessible, then it will be a simple process to recover your data.
By following these five simple steps, you can reduce the chance that you ever have to go through the pain and agony associated with losing important data, and worrying whether or not it will ever have a chance to be recovered.
Step 1: back up your files regularly, and often
Although some people like to make several copies of their files in different locations on the same hard drive, that is simply not enough. For example, if your hard drive crashed, then all the files most likely would be inaccessible. So make sure that you backup your files on different media, such is saving a copy on CD, on a diskette, or external hard drive. That way, should you ever experience data loss on your primary media, you have several alternative and easily accessible backups available to you.
Step two: beware of e-mail attachments
If you receive an e-mail from someone that you do not know, and be very wary of opening any e-mail attachments associated with the e-mail. Many times, e-mail attachments are a very popular way of transmitting viruses. Many viruses tend to lock up the system, and also destroy data in the process. Also, make sure you use an e-mail application that does not automatically open e-mail attachments. Unfortunately, some do — when they are trying to give you a quick preview. If your e-mail software has a quick preview function, turn it off.
Step 3: Don’t store your documents on the same drive as your operating system
If you store your documents on the same drive as your operating system, then should anything ever happened to her operating system, then it may become very difficult to recover your files. At a bare minimum, partition the hard drive and put your very important files on the secondary partition so when the OS gets corrupted you should be able to easily recover the important files.
Nowadays, especially with inexpensive hardware, it is a wise idea to get a second hard drive. So you have one hard drive for your actual operating system, and a second hard drive for your files. Alternatively, you can use an external hard drive, which usually simply plugs into your computer via a USB port. Not only do you reduce the risk of losing any data, but you can also use this external hard drive on other computers making your documents easily accessible wherever you go.
Step 4: Keep hard copies of your documents
While obviously not the fastest method of data recovery, if for whatever reason something happened to every backup you made, you would at least have a hard copy of the document. While I obviously don’t recommend this method for every single file, you should have a hard copy of essential documents, such as legal documents, proprietary code, or other important information.
Step 5: Reduce the risk of your storage media being damaged
There are a number of different methods you can use to reduce the risk of your actual media being damaged. Make sure you have proper flooring, to reduce the risk of static electricity. For example, if your computer system is in a very dry room on carpet, there is a chance static electricity may destroy some of the information. Furthermore, use a surge protector to prevent your computer from being damaged by surges in the power supply. You can also use a UPS, which is a universal power supply, to help prevent data loss in the event of a lightning storm that knocks out the power grid.