When you want to recover data that has been lost there are two options in particular that you’ll come across: Data recovery software or professional services. At first it may seem as though both options are similar, but there is actually a world of difference between them.
Data Recovery Software:-
Essentially data recovery software (for the most part) focuses on recovering files that are lost due to logical damage – such as accidental deletion, formatting, or damaged partitions. The way in which they work is by attempting to locate the data from hard drive sectors and restore it into files.
To be more accurate, data recovery software is more appropriately known as ‘data retrieval’ because it works by retrieving data. If that data has been overwritten or the sector is damaged, it won’t be possible to retrieve it.
Professional Data Recovery Services:-
In contrast to data recovery (i.e. retrieval) software, professional data recovery services is an umbrella term that is used to describe a large cross-section of services involving the recovery of data. That includes certain data retrieval methods with more refined tools, but extends far beyond as well.
To be more specific, professional data recovery services are also equipped to deal with physically damaged hard drives that have suffered from a head crash or some other type of damage. Often they reconstruct data from drives that are physically damaged in clean rooms, and attempt to restore as much data as possible.
Which Do You Need – Data Recovery Software Or Professional Services?
To put it simply, professional data recovery services can more accurately recover data stemming from a wider range of issues. But the more important question that you need to ask yourself is which one you really need?
If you are trying to restore files lost due to logical damage and that are only moderately important, there is no harm in trying to use software to restore it. Worst case the files will be permanently lost, so you should gauge that risk based on the importance of the files and the impact that losing them could involve. When it comes to more critical files however, professional services can provide the best possible chance of a successful recovery – but they do come at a cost.
Generally most data recovery services such as KrollOntrack will start with a consultation session. Based on that you should be able to find out what they can do, and what your chances are of recovering the data that was lost. From that point you should be able to make a much more informed decision, which is why it is a good place to start if you want to have the best chance of recovering your data.