Everyone should adopt strategies to ensure critical information is protected from corruption and loss.
- Never upgrade any system without a verified backup.
- Use up-to-date hardware and software utilities for data security, such as firewalls and virus protection.
- Scan all incoming data for viruses, including packaged software.
- Use ventilation, fans and/or air conditioning to keep servers at the proper operating temperature.
- Connect systems to an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) to protect against power surges.
- Power down and take extreme caution when moving computers.
- Avoid static discharge when touching or handling the media, especially in excessively dry environments.
- Invest in redundant backup systems (Cloud services, External drives, DVDs, CDs, etc.)
- Establish a structured backup procedure to make copies of all critical data files, using software compatible with the operating system and applications.
- Periodically test the backups to verify that data, especially databases and other critical files, are being backed up properly.
- Keep at least one verified copy of critical data offsite.
Symptoms of Data Loss
- File cannot be opened or is damaged
- Computer will not start up (sometimes can be followed by the screen message "Missing operating system," etc.)
- The system freezes while trying to open files
- Directory´s content is corrupt, documents are corrupted
- Computer makes unusual sounds (Clicking, whizzing, scratching)
- Computer cannot "find" the hard disk
- Files cannot be accessed and/or copied
- CDs (DVDs) cannot be read or copied
In principle, you can consider your data as lost any time you cannot access it.
If any one of these symptoms happens to you, do not panic. Shut the computer down, do not try to restart it, and do not try to recover the data yourself. You could lose your data completely. Even restarting your computer can cause permanent damage.
Geeks on Site can attempt to recover your data by performing a system restore (returning your computer to its last saved restore point). That way you can back up your data to an external device. If your data is critical and extremely sensitive to your business, it's best you call a company that specializes in data recovery.