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How to stop data loss turning into a disaster

If you do any work on a computer, chances are you've had that horrible thought of what would happen if you lost your data. If you’re particularly unlucky, you might even have experienced it. But, do you have the IT support in place right now to stop such a disaster? Many of us don’t consider how to prevent or mitigate the risk until it’s too late.

Just one misstep or accidental button press and all your files, photos, and important documents could be gone in the blink of an eye. You’ve probably prayed that it will never happen to you. But there's a chance that one day it will if it hasn’t already. And what will you do?

If the worst-case scenario occurs, there are a few things you can try before you start to panic. Just because your data goes missing in action, it doesn’t mean you need to give up hope! You might want to go straight to the IT experts to see if they can retrieve what you’ve lost, or you might want to see if you can recover the files yourself. The good news is there are several things you can try and find your lost files. Here's what to do...

1. Retrieve

If you accidentally deleted a file, or your computer freezes out of the blue while you're working on a critical document, you should try to retrieve the missing data as soon as possible. Make sure to check the recycle bin or trash on your computer just in case it is there, or if you can remember the name do a search under All My Files. If there is nothing to be found, then it is possible your file is still lurking somewhere but is hidden in an unused section of the hard drive.

2. Recover

If your file or files are missing in action, then a data recovery utility could help. This is a software program that can scan hard drives for any deleted files. There are a number of different programs for data recovery that you can buy at relatively reasonable prices. One such example is Piriform Recuva, which is considered to be good for emergencies. The software will scan your computer using the information you give it, and recover files for you to check through.

3. Repair

Some of us might not have the technical know-how or confidence to search for our own lost files and so, in this case, it is worth considering hiring some IT support. Do a search for national or local computer repair services, and check prices and reviews to decide who you want to give your money to. Prices will vary depending on the amount of data you are trying to recover, and how problematic recovery will be. In some of the more severe cases, where data has been completely corrupted or lost, you may need to get help from a specialist service but bear in mind that this will cost a lot more money.

4. Prevent

The absolute best way to mitigate the loss of your precious data is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Creating a data recovery plan, using the steps on our blog here, will help you to minimise the risk and the consequences of losing files. Data backup plans should start with the basics - like hitting Save frequently while working - and have many different layers; working up to backing up programs and files repeatedly at different locations.

If you've lost data and have tried some of the steps above with no luck, now's the time to get an IT specialist on board and working out a plan for regular maintenance. With excellent IT support, you will be able to get help not only in a data loss emergency but also through regular monitoring and backup.

Have a chat with our IT experts at Xenace about how we can help prevent data loss becoming a disaster. 

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