When is DIY software a good choice for data recovery? I’m a natural DIY’er. I cook, I craft, I sew, know how to use a variety of power tools and of course am a little tech-savvy. So, if something breaks I oftentimes try to fix it on my own before consulting a professional. A lot of the times it works out for me, but there are the occasional DIY fails. When it comes to data recovery, you may only have one chance at recovery, so do you send it into a professional right away, or will a DIY software do the trick?
What happened to the data?
The first question to ask is “What happened to the data?” If the answer is accidental deletion, or it just disappeared, then a DIY software would be a good place to start for recovery. If the answer is I am getting this strange error and I cannot access my files, chances are you need a professional. Also, any media (laptop, hard drive, SSD, cell phone, etc.) that has had physical damage (water, dropped, overheated, etc.) will need professional data recovery as well.
Let’s talk about physical damage for a minute. If a belt slips off the engine of your car, can you fix it without physically touching the engine? Chances are, no. The same is true for storage media. If you drop your laptop and it is making funny noises, most-likely the hard drive is damaged. Those noises, by the way, are permanent damage being done to you data. At this point, you should immediately power down. In order to access the data on that drive our team of engineers would need to access the platters on the hard drive and the only way to do that is to open it up. This should always be done in a cleanroom environment.
Now back to when to DIY. You might be asking yourself the question of “What if it doesn’t work?” “Did I waste money on software and still need to send it in for recovery?” Our DIY solution, Ontrack® EasyRecovery™, allows you to try before you buy. It will let you attempt to recover your data and show a list of recoverable files. You can then make the purchase decision based on if the files you are looking for are there or not. If they are not there, then it is time to call a professional data recovery service.
Kroll Ontrack offers another DIY software option, Ontrack® PowerControls™, used for file recovery from Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, SharePoint and SQL. It’s pretty straightforward when to DIY with this software. It is whenever you need to recover and restore files from any of the programs listed above. It also has a free trial available. Here are a few more specific examples too:
- Granular restore without having to restore entire databases
- Legacy support – for migration and consolidation so older software/ servers can be retired
- Ediscovery – search and read-only copy and export with full metadata preservation
- Support for legacy (Exchange 5.5) to present (Office 365 & Exchange 2016)
Are there instances when you should consult a professional instead of using Ontrack PowerControls? Well, there are a few instances where data recovery would be needed instead of file recovery software.
The first is where there is any level of corruption or damage to the files trying to be retrieved. If there are corrupted files or damaged files you will not be able to open or view the entire file and you will need some professional assistance to correct the issues.
The second is if you are unable to access the file type you are searching for. If you are unable to access them, then there is something more needed than file recovery. You will need professional data recovery to get to the root of the problem and to be able to recover your data.
Lastly, when considering using Ontrack PowerControls, if you have experienced an unexpected server shutdown, always consult a professional data recovery service first. This is most-likely a rare occurrence, but still needs to be called out as files could be damaged. If you have the most recent backup, you should be able to restore your files, if not, you will need data recovery service.
Hopefully, this helps clear up when to DIY and when not to. I like to lessen the chances of failure in my personal DIY projects by researching and reading up before diving in. I hope this research on when to use DIY software helps lessen the chance of failure in your recoveries.