If you’re reading this on your own computer, I would certainly hope that you’re backing up on a regular basis. Enough has been said about the dangers of critical data loss, so today’s article won’t be preaching or lecturing about this. However, even regular backups can go wrong. Human error and mechanical failure are two of the leading causes of data backup corruption. This is understandable since everyone makes mistakes, and every physical device can break or wear out over time.

So below, we’ve included a few tips to help you recover your data in the event that your backups are corrupted or otherwise unrecoverable.

Restore From An Archive Or Off-Site Copy

Many people will create 2 copies of their backups. Usually, there will be one emergency copy kept on-site and updated daily, and another monthly snapshot that’s sent away – just in case. If you aren’t sending backups or archives to a remote location, now would be a good time to start.

Ask Around

Often, you may have sent your documents to someone else, or had a third-party work on them with you. Ask your colleagues to check their email attachments or their local hard drives to see if they have an older copy of your critical document. Hint: The “Downloads” folder is often overlooked.

Check Other Devices

Check your USB drives, or your Gmail account, or even your web site’s FTP to see if you might have left another copy lying around. Important files have a strange way of showing up in the most unusual places. You may also want to dig around your drawers to see if there are printed copies of your documents buried in the clutter.

Rebuild From RAID Parity Information

If you’ve been backing up your files to a NAS device with RAID drives, there’s a good chance that the data can be recovered. RAID is designed so that data is spread across multiple disks. If one disk fails, you can use software to figure out what pieces are missing and re-build the data.

Data Recovery Software

If you’ve accidentally deleted a file, there may still be traces of it left on your hard drive. You can use data recovery software to detect and recover these files. This approach is very hit-or-miss.

Hire a Data Recovery Company

Hard drive recovery services are very expensive, and should only be used in extreme cases. Recovering a single hard drive can easily cost over $2000, and they can’t guarantee any results.

Manually Re-Enter The Data

This is the last resort. If everything else has failed, you’ll have to work from memory to create all of your files again from scratch.
Of course, all of this can be prevented by simply automating your backups using an online backup service. Because it’s online, there are no mechanical parts to break. And because it’s automated, you can’t make any clumsy mistakes or forget to back up.
And most importantly – regardless of how you back up – make sure to test your backups regularly. This will help minimize the chances of any unpleasant surprises.

About The AuthorStoragepipe Solutions offers automated online backup for Canadiansthat is constantly monitored and tested for potential problems. This ensures the safest protection for your data.