When we talk to people who have suffered a failure of their storage device we often hear a comment along the lines of “I didn’t know hard disks fail” or “I’d been meaning to make a backup.” Sometimes it is naivety, a belief that modern technology won’t let you down, but in many cases the issue is down to complacency, assuming that everything will be okay. Just because everything is currently working and you intend to back the data up, is no protection at all.
Failure of a storage device which has not been backed up could lead to a critical loss of important data and at the very least cause a loss of time and money, through recovering the data and lack of productivity. Such a failure, especially if attempts at data recovery are unsuccessful could result in the continuity of your business being put at risk.
Storage Devices Fail
All storage devices will fail at some point, unless they are taken out of use before they reach this point, which is the case for a majority hard disk drives. With the financial issues which have developed over the last decade, many home users and businesses stretching the overall lifespan of their computers, leading to a higher chance of any given storage device failing.
For any storage device, a Mean Time Before Failure (MTFB) is usually quoted, which is given as guidance, but should does not mean the device is continue to operate that long before it fails. This can often be a source of misplaced complacency. Even a brand new device has the potential, although rare to fail, usually the result of a handling or manufacturing issue.
Logical Data Issues
Many occurrences of data loss due to logical problems are down to complacency, such as malware corrupting the contents of the drive or reformatting a partition without double checking that it is the corrupt volume. Any machine with access to the internet or has software installed from an external source may in danger if it has been infected by malware.
Historically Windows computers have been most at risk, with many users still being complacent. For Apple Mac users the problems of malware were relatively low, which has caused many to be complacent and even arrogant about the situation, which has caught many out over the last year, as the number of malware attacks on OS X based computers has increased alarmingly.
Avoid Taking a Risk
It is important that you install an anti-virus software suite, which can help to avoid these problems, but again you should not be complacent and think it can’t happen to you, as many incidents where malware is installed manage to bypass many security precautions. It is therefore essential that you have a backup plan in place, to ensure that all important data can be accessed and restored in the event of a failure.
It has become common to use cloud storage space as a means of backing up important data, but if you produce large quantities of data, these may prove inadequate when it comes to restoring the data in a timely manner. We have undertaken a number of recoveries from RAID storage arrays holding tens of terabytes of data, which was also stored in the cloud, but it was found to be faster to send it for recovery, than wait for the files to be downloaded over the internet.