Hard Disk: Maintenance and Data Recovery


Introduction

Needless to say the drive is a key element of the PC. May contain an operating system even more diverse applications, personal documents and much more, it is best not to fail, especially if you're not rigorous in your backups, at least if you make it ... When you look at the current capacity of our hard drives to store a large number of files, it is not difficult to imagine the time needed to reinstall an entire system not including the lost files forever. However, while manufacturers continually improve the reliability of records, no one can claim to be safe from a hardware failure means loss of data. As such, SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology) is used to detect any abnormal risk of failure in order to prevent the user who can then respond accordingly to safeguard its data.

Obviously, it is possible to make a backup of your data by several methods: optical engraving (CD-RW/DVD-RW), backup to external media (hard disk, USB, tape, ZIP, etc ... ) or create a disk image ... very active on most recent motherboards, RAID 1 or RAID 0 +1 is a very good solution to control fault tolerance, provided, however, have two disks identical to a minimum.

Although the hardware failure is a major cause for loss of data, it is a more frequent human error. Whatever the cause, in both cases, you lose your data. But perhaps not entirely. Indeed there are solutions to recover data and although we do not offer "the" miracle solution 100% reliable, it is possible to minimize a risk of loss and also to maximize the chances of retrieving data. We shall therefore in this article give you practical advice on basic maintenance on your hard drive. We will also review two software to recover data. As you can see, our goal is not to be comprehensive and test every software available (they are many) but simply to clarify you on how to manage your disks and show you that it is always possible to recover data that was thought lost ...


The test protocol

Height of bad luck for us but perfect condition to illustrate this article, we have been able to "enjoy" a serious failure relegating one of our PC to the state of wreckage or almost. Indeed, for completely unknown reasons it has definitely ceased to function by taking the same time all the data stored on both disks MAXTOR S-ATA I Diamond Plus 9 with a capacity of 80 GB each and only 14 old months. Our disappointment subsided, we used one of these two discs (the second drive had a mechanical failure too serious to the point of not being detected properly by the bios on the motherboard) to test the software to recover data as GetDataBack, Undelete 5.0 R-studio ...

We went even further by adding in our protocol, the human factor, ie by carrying out various operations on other discs test: formatting, repartitioning, suppression of voluntary programs and / or files, fragmentation of files and finally deleting RAID cluster, all with the sole aim to be as close as possible the actual conditions of use of most of us.

For this reason we have used hard drives Western Digital Raptor 74Go as MAXTOR Diamond Plus 10 250GB P-ATA on which we installed Windows XP Pro SP2 and a variety of programs (games, utilities, miscellaneous, office, multimedia, etc ...). For RAID 0, two disks of 160GB Barracuda 7200.07 S-ATA Seagate and mounted in the following machine:
* Athlon 64 S939 3500 +,
* 2x512 MB DDR 400 2.2.2.5 of Corsair TwinX
* Motherboard MSI K8N Diamond SLI nForce 4
* Map 3D RADEON X800XT PCI Express Asus
* DVD-ROM and DVD-ROM NEC ND-2500A
* Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 7200.07 S-ATA 200GB NCQ and for the operating system disk and P-ATA Barracuda 7200.07 200 GB in a housing mounted 5 ¼ inch external FireWire 400/USB 2.0 for storage of data recovered.

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