Data loss is a significant and costly issue for businesses and individuals alike. According to a study conducted by Pepperdine University in 2003, the last year for which comprehensive statistics on data loss are available, there were over 76 million computers in use, and data loss cost businesses over $18 billion dollars a year. Today, it has been estimated that the number of computers in use has rapidly grown to over 2 billion worldwide, so the cost of data loss to businesses has likely increased to staggering proportions.

Data loss is not only expensive for businesses, data loss is often equally devastating to individual users as well. Whether the data loss is caused by malware and other viruses, or even actual hard drive failure, folks that suffer a data loss can end up losing access to important images such as family photographs, as well as other files that contain links to important documents and other information that support their ability to work and live. 

Leading Causes of Data Loss

According to the Pepperdine report above, there are five main causes of data loss for computer users: hardware failure, hardware destruction, computer viruses, corruption of software code and actual theft. 

Regardless of the reason why a data loss has occurred, if a computer user wishes to recover their lost files, they will need to find a reliable means of hard drive recovery

Recovering Lost Data - What to Look for in Hard Drive Repair

Data recovery can be an expensive and time intensive process. The steps that will need to be taken to recover lost data are often dependent on the initial cause of the data loss. 

For example, the process to recover data from a hard drive damaged by flood waters, fire, or even crushed by falling debris in an earthquake, is quite different than the steps that need to be taken to repair a hard drive that failed due to an internal mechanical issue, or as the result of hacking and virus infection.

Many companies offer hard drive repair, so it can be tough for users to know what to look for when choosing a firm. When searching for hard drive repair, users generally have better results when choosing firms that have proven experience troubleshooting and repairing drives damaged from a wide range of causes and levels of complexity. Whether or not the firm has membership in professional, industry specific associations, endorsement by specific manufacturers and industry certifications can also provide helpful clues as to the firm's abilities and experience. 

Users should also look for firms that offer certified clean rooms for the actual repair work, and that offer security and confidentiality of the data that is recovered. Before the actual repair work begins, users should ask for a detailed estimate that provides the diagnosis of the problem, if it is known along with the estimated cost and time for completion. 

Preventing Data Loss

Ransomware and other computer viruses can lead to users being unable to access the data stored on their hard drive. While it may be possible to recover the data from the hard drive, users can reduce their risk of data loss by taking a few simple steps to keep their devices such as their computers safe. Users should be careful about opening links in their emails, or clicking on links on websites that do not seem to be secure. Installing anti-virus protection and keeping up with security updates are all effective at reducing users risk of data loss due to virus infection.

Sometimes, it is simply impossible for users to take steps to reduce all risks and prevent data loss. A good example of this is when data loss is caused by mechanical failure, or destruction due to natural disasters. 

According to a Google study in 2007 of hard drive failures, one out of two hard drives unexpectedly fails within five years, and all hard drives have a 1 in 10 chance of failure in any given year. According to data from the Insurance Information Institute, insured property losses due to natural disasters such as fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods topped $16 billion dollars in 2015. These are types of losses that are usually caused by factors outside of the user's control.

While it is possible to recover data from hard drives that experience mechanical failures or that have been damaged in fires and other unexpected causes, it is time consuming and expensive. Users can protect their information and increase their chances of preserving all of the information that they might lose in situations like these by frequently backing up their files and other data to another hard drive, or within the cloud.

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