Understanding the Risks of Trying to Recover Data Using Software

As you probably know there are many different types of hard drive recovery software out there nowadays – and they all are designed to help you recover data that is lost on your hard drive. For the most part recovery software work the same way, and try to find data that is still in various sectors of your hard drive and then piece it back together.

At first glance that may seem like a great option, particularly since you can do it yourself and recover any data that has been lost. However as much as that is at least partially true, you should be aware that there are risks involved in trying to recover data using software as well.

Overwriting Data Prevents Recovery

The fact of the matter is that all the data you want to recover will stay on your hard drive – until it is overwritten. Unfortunately by running software and trying to recover data, you could increase the risk that the data you want to recover is going to be overwritten.

That may seem counter to your intentions, but it is actually due to the fact that people make some common mistakes when using recovery software. Often they will download, install and run the software on their computer hard drive – i.e. the one they want to recover data from. Because of that data is likely to be overwritten, as the software itself be written into those sectors.

Similarly by leaving the hard drive running, Windows or other programs may write data into the sectors unbeknownst to you. That is why if you do intend to use recovery software, you should unplug your hard drive and download then run the software on a different hard drive before plugging it back in and trying to recover data from it.

Increased Risk of Damage

In the event that your hard drive has lost data due to actual physical damage, continuing to keep it running will increase the risk of further damage. As such even if you unplug it and run the recovery software on a separate computer – when you do eventually plug the hard drive in and it starts to spin it could become more damaged.

If your hard drive has suffered physical damage, there is always going to be this risk if you try to recover data by yourself. That is why for important data that is valuable you should use professional hard drive recovery services that can take steps to minimize the risk of further damage, and backup and protect your data so that it isn’t at risk.

It is worth noting that despite these risks, hard drive recovery software can be a great option – assuming the data that you’re trying to recover isn’t too important or valuable that you absolutely can’t afford to use it. If you just want a shot at recovering data and you feel it isn’t worth paying hundreds of dollars (or more) for professional recovery – then trying it yourself using the software options available nowadays is definitely a good idea.