Human error is the top reason for data loss in businesses, followed by hardware or software failure. While you can take extra precautions to avoid the mistakes that lead to data loss, they can still happen.

If you’re faced with a damaged hard drive or another cause of lost data, there’s a good chance you can recover those files. Let’s look at some of the causes of lost data and what to do about them.

How Data Loss Can Happen

Data loss can result from human error like deleting an important file or reformatting the wrong drive. And hardware and software failures that are out of your control can sometimes occur.

Files Deleted by Mistake

The most common cause of data loss is someone deleting the files by mistake. This can happen if you’re not paying close enough attention to the files you’re working with or if there are several versions of a document and you delete the wrong one.

Corrupted Data

Sometimes applications can cause data corruption when they’re saving the information you’re working with. Bugs in the software or compatibility issues between different apps can cause this to happen.

Hardware Failures

The most severe cause of data loss is hardware failure, particularly a crashed hard drive. When this happens, the drive stops working so you can’t access any of your files and other data stored on it.

How to Recover Lost Data

There are ways to recover data lost to any of the causes we just outlined. They’re not 100 percent effective but if you catch the loss early, there’s a good chance you can recover the files.

Deleted Files or Reformatted Drives

When you delete a file or reformat your hard drive, the information doesn’t actually get erased. The computer just updates the drive’s “table of contents” to remove the file’s record.

If the data hasn’t been overwritten in the meantime, you can use a data recovery app to restore the pointer to the file, making it available again. This is why it’s important to catch the error early — the more you save to the drive afterward, the less likely you are to recover the files.

Corrupted Data

Corrupted data is more difficult to recover because the original files are usually overwritten with the bad data.

In this case, the ideal solution is to restore the files from a recent backup. If that’s not possible, you may be able to reconstruct the files with a data recovery app like Disk Drill Data Recovery.

Damaged Hard Drive

If the hard drive in your PC stops working, data recovery apps won’t help. The computer likely won’t even recognize that the drive is connected, so the apps won’t see anything to recover.

In this case, you can turn to a hard drive recovery service like Lifeguard Data Recovery to restore your files. They will disassemble the nonfunctional drive and move the disk platters into a new working drive. They can recover your data from there.

Avoid Lost Data by Being Prepared

Data loss can cost your company a lot of time and money. It’s important to be prepared before you’re faced with a damaged hard drive so you aren’t caught off-guard. Make sure you have a reliable backup strategy in place before it’s too late.

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