One of the worst things we hear is that you or your friend, have made an attempt at data recovery. There are a number of reasons why this could result in further damage and in serious cases a total loss of data.
The best course of action when a failure occurs is to call expert data recovery specialists, who can advise you on the correct procedures to follow. In most instances the drive should be sent to a professional data recovery company, who will ensure the correct procedures are adhered to.
Hardware Failure Could be Made Worse
If the hard drive had suffered a hardware failure, the drive should be powered down, packaged up and sent to a data recovery company. A hard disk drive is constructed from several important components, which must all be working perfectly for it to operate correctly.
Plugging a failing drive into a computer and powering it up, could result in making the situation worse, as failures tend to cascade over time. Even if the drive is functioning correctly, it must be handled taking anti-static precautions and have sufficient cooling, to avoid a hardware failure from developing.
Operating System May Damage Volume
When a hard disk drive is plugged into a computer system, many operating systems such as Windows analyse the drive to determine if it has been partitioned, and attempt to automatically mount any volume located on the drive. In some cases a damaged partition table may be overwritten, and ask the user to reformat the drive, providing one possible point of data destruction.
When a volume is mounted, a check is made to determine if the file system data structures should be checked. For simple issues, this may recover the file system correctly, but when the damage is more severe, this process could lead to serious corruption of the internal system structures and lead to data loss.
Data Recovery Experience is Key
There is no substitute for the knowledge and experience that a professional data recovery company have developed from years of providing this key service. A professional data recovery company will follow a set of procedures, which ensure that no additional damage occurs which could cause additional data loss.
This procedure involves determining if there is a fault which must be fixed, before securing a sector-by-sector image copy of the drive. The processing of the file system is only ever undertaken once the data from the drive has been secured. Working directly from the drive, could result in a data recovery being declared possible, only for the drive to fail causing access to that data being lost.