Data recovery from hard drive, external hard drive, SSD, flash drive, etc.

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What is data loss?

Imagine the following: you are the owner of a large company and, because of a sudden power outage, the server that stores all your company’s data burns down.

Data loss is a major concern – if not the major concern – for most companies. Situations such as power outages or technical failures in the system can lead to a major headache, since important business information such as plans and budgets have been lost. And, worse, without a recovery plan.

So any event that results in compromised access to valuable or sensitive information on a computer, database, or device is characterized as data loss.

Most of the time, data loss is caused by human failure. According to an analysis on data released by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), 90% of 2019 cyber data breaches were caused by mistakes made by end users.

Although the statistics are related to cyber data breaches, they give a good insight into how important data recovery is, since everyone is subject to human error.


Data Recovery


Main causes of data loss

In most cases of data loss, hard drive failure is the culprit – but it is not the only one. Below are some causes of data loss on devices:

  • Damage caused by viruses in cyber attacks;
  • Insider threats, related to information leaks by employees or people who have access to restricted data;
  • Power outages;
  • System vulnerability, which causes data corruption;
  • Firmware corruption;
  • Physical damage to hard disks;
  • Liquid spills, such as water or coffee, on a computer;
  • Natural disasters;
  • Logical errors;
  • Accidental deletion of files;
  • Software failures;
  • Equipment failures or defects;
  • Unintentional hard disk formatting;
  • Power outages;
  • Theft and robbery of notebooks;
  • Continued use of a computer even after it shows signs of malfunctioning.

These are some of the numerous causes that can make it impossible to access data and therefore lead to the need for safe and efficient data recovery.

What is data recovery?

It is the process of restoring data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted, or is inaccessible for different reasons.

It is a procedure that allows end consumers and businesses to quickly regain access to their files stored on HDDs, SSDs, and smartphones that have crashed or burned, for example, or on servers, RAIDs, and databases that have been corrupted or even attacked by ransomware.

Recovery processes can vary depending on the circumstances of the data loss, the file structure, and the type of media you wish to recover.

For example, recovering files deleted from a computer’s recycle garbage is different from recovering a database, which requires different techniques and equipment to access the lost data again.

When did data recovery come into existence?

It is difficult to determine exactly when the first data recovery took place, as it may not have been documented, especially at a time when the internet was not as widespread as it is today.

In 1833, Charles Babbage began work on the first computer, an invention that used, for the first time, principles equivalent to modern machines. For more than 10 years, he and Ada Lovelace collaborated with each other to finalize the construction of the equipment, in which programs were implemented on perforated boards.

At a certain point it was realized that one of these boards was badly damaged, which led to a process of recovering the data that was stored on it. As a result, one of the first lost data recovery procedures in history was born.

In 1987, a company in the United States sought the services of a software company in order to recover CAD drawings of a garbage truck. The company invested a lot of time and money in that product, but the server’s hard drives stopped working.

The disks were Seagate, and the operating system was Novell. Both products were pioneers in innovation and redefined the capacity and flexibility of file storage.

The company that had its data lost tried to contact the manufacturer of the hard disks and the developer of the operating system, who could do nothing. Both Seagate and Novell have appointed the software company to try to solve the problem.

After weeks of dedication, the files were recovered, and the company was saved, as that truck project represented their entire business model.

Right from the start, it is clear that data recovery is valuable and helps to reverse huge losses, both financial and organizational. Fortunately, today, after more than three decades, there is much more knowledge available to help recover deleted and damaged files safely and efficiently.

How does data recovery work?

It may seem strange to understand how file recovery works, especially for those who do not have much knowledge on the subject. But this is possible because there is specific equipment and software to provide access to the files and the information about them.

For example, to recover data from Windows computers, we first need to find the file allocation table to track which files are on the hard disk and where they are stored. This table is like an index of a book, while the files are like the pages with the content.

There are situations where only the file allocation table is corrupted. In such cases, the file to be recovered may still be stored in perfect condition. Then it can be recovered.

If, however, it is damaged, missing, or encrypted, there are other ways to recover it. If the problem is damage to the file, it can still be reconstructed with forced read equipment.

It is important to note that each case has its own particularities, which is why a data recovery company becomes so important. It has the necessary experience to do everything possible to recover lost data and files.

One point to note before sending your device to a data recovery company is whether they have a privacy policy, because since this data is personal and sometimes confidential, you need to be sure that it is in good hands.

Which devices allow you to recover deleted, corrupted or encrypted data and files?

It is now clear how important recovery is, but you might still be wondering from which devices it is possible to recover data. Basically, data recovery can be done on all devices on which data can be stored, such as the following:

HD Data Recovery

The hard disk is perhaps the most important part of a computer, as it is where all the data and information is saved. When a hard drive suddenly becomes corrupted, fails, or stops working, a data recovery company should be sought.

In a first moment, the situation is assessed by the laboratory to give an overview of the deadlines, the complexity of the problem, and the costs of the operation. Here at Bot, you can have your device analyzed urgently (12h), with priority (24h), or for free (48h).

HD recovery is one of the most common data recovery services and can be done on disks of any brand (Seagate, Western Digital [WD], Toshiba, Samsung and others), model (IDE, microSATA, SATA, SCSI, SAS) or file system (NTFS, FAT, EXT, HFS, APFS).

So if your hard drive has been dropped, is asking to be formatted, has been accidentally formatted, has failed read/write heads, or has any other kind of problem, request a data recovery from us.

Recover files from formatted hard drive

Formatting a hard disk means returning it to its original use, so that all data is erased from the disk.

A hard drive can be formatted intentionally, to clean up the storage unit, to reset the disk’s file system or to repair virus attacks, for example. However, a person can also format a hard drive accidentally or want to reverse the formatting.

In such cases, data recovery is also required, with good chances of recovery. After all, deleted files usually remain there, if you don’t overwrite them with other data. Therefore, a professional service is needed to recover the structure index, which allows to recover the files from the formatted SATA HDD again.

External Hard Drive Data Recovery

Using an external hard drive to ensure the safety of your data is a very assertive and convenient practice. However, this device can also fail and cause data loss.

If this is your situation, and you need to recover data from your accidentally lost external hard drive, don’t worry.

First, make sure that you have made a backup of these files. If not, contact a data recovery company immediately, as this will ensure that your data is recovered in a safe and professional manner.

You can recover external hard drives of any model (USB, FireWire, eSATA and Thunderbolt), brand (WD, Seagate, Toshiba, Hitachi) and capacity. This way you can regain your peace of mind by accessing your data again.

In order for your external hard drive not to fail when you least expect it, it is important to take some essential precautions, such as when handling or transporting the device.

SSD Data Recovery

A more efficient alternative to the HDD, the SSD (solid state drive) is a device manufactured based on flash technology, which means it is much faster. But even so, this does not mean that it is free of flaws.

The data stored in the device are all read electronically. So some problems may be related to the firmware of the controller or to voltage variations caused by power outages – which can lead to loss of information.

SSD data recovery can be done on both internal (microSATA, SATA, M.2 and NVMe) and external (USB and Thunderbolt) SSDs, regardless of file system (NTFS, FAT, EXT, HFS, APFS, etc.), brand (Kingston, SanDisk, WD, ADATA), or capacity.

In cases like these, looking for a data recovery company is essential. Not only are you guaranteed a good service, but you can also recover up to 100% of your data.

USB Flash Drive Data Recovery

The flash drive is a widely used device for transferring files between one device and another, especially since it is a small object that is much easier to carry, in a pocket or backpack, for example.

If it has been dropped, broken, corrupted data, accidentally formatted, attacked by a virus, burned out the board, or has any other problem, you will need to recover the flash drive to regain access to all its contents.

It is possible to recover flash drives of different models (traditional, mini flash drive, micro flash drive, monolithic), USB versions (2.0, 3.1 Ger 1, 3.1 Ger 2), file systems (NTFS, FAT, EXT, HFS, APFS), connectors (USB, Micro USB, USB-C) and brands (SanDisk, Kingston, Multilaser, HP, Samsung).

Recover deleted files from USB flash drive

Unlike a computer (which usually has an internal hard drive), a flash drive is built with flash memory and data is stored on memory chips. So when the user deletes a file from the flash drive, it is important to keep it unused and avoid data recovery programs.

Still, it is possible to recover deleted files from the flash drive. But it is necessary to call a company specialized in the matter, which can adopt the correct procedures, with a great possibility of recovery.

Memory Card Data Recovery

Memory cards can also be used to transfer files from one device to another. The most common users of this type of device are photographers and videographers, who use the memory cards in photography and filming equipment. So they rely on data recovery to not lose their jobs.

You can recover memory cards of different models (SD, microSD, SDHC, Compact Flash), file systems (FAT, EXT, exFAT, FAT32), brands (SanDisk, Kingston, Samsung, Lexar, Multilaser) and capacities. This way you can get all your data and files back and avoid serious problems.

Data recovery from server RAIDs

RAID servers are perhaps the most important pieces of equipment in a company, as they store the data not only of one machine, but of all the machines that operate there. In this scenario, some care is extremely necessary in order not to cause a loss of RAID data.

RAID data recovery can be done with the following devices:

  • RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks): Redundant Arrays of Independent Disks, which are storage systems composed of several individual disks. Recovery can be done on corrupted RAID, inaccessible RAID or reconfigured RAID (or RAID rebuild), with different algorithms (RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10 and 50) and on storages, Drobo BeyondRAID, LaCie RAID, HP Smart Array and others.
  • NAS (Network-Attached Storage): These are network storage devices, also called network hard drives. NAS recovery can be performed in various cases, such as when they are not detected on the network, for example.
  • VM (Virtual Machine): Virtual machine recovery can be performed on VMs that are corrupted or have any other problem accessing data.

Recover data from cell phone (Android, iOS and Windows)

A very present item in the daily life of practically everyone, a smartphone today is like an extension of the human body. Because the device has such a relationship not only physically but also emotionally, being faced with a loss of data can be worrying.

It is also possible to recover data from your cell phone, regardless of whether it operates on the Android, iOS or Windows Phone system. The procedure also applies to tablets that run on the same operating systems.

By recovering cell phone data you can get back your photos, videos, music, files, messages, and contacts, and even recover data that was saved on the SIM card (SIM, microSIM, and nanoSIM).

Data recovery on smartphones and tablets applies to different manufacturers (Apple, Samsung, Motorola, LG, Xiaomi, Asus, HTC, OnePlus), whatever the model of the device.

Recover deleted files from PC

Deleting files from your computer is a very common action. We usually do this on purpose, to open up storage space or to better organize a folder. However, it can also happen that you accidentally delete files or regret deleting them.

In such cases you can take some steps to restore the files if they are in the PC Recycle Bin, or access them again with a data recovery service if they have been permanently deleted.

How to recover deleted files in the Windows Recycle Bin?

If the deleted files are still in the Recycle Bin, i.e. it has not been emptied yet, recovery is usually quite simple. Here’s how to recover deleted files from the Windows Recycle Bin:

  • Go to the Recycle Bin;
  • Select the items you want to restore (you can choose a sequence of items by selecting the first one, pressing and holding down the Shift key, and then clicking on the last file to restore);
  • Right-click on any selected file and choose the “Restore” option.

Once this is done, the files will be returned to the location they were in before the deletion.

However, it is important to note that if the files are damaged or corrupted, or if they have been permanently deleted, the procedure should not work. In this case, you will need the services of a data recovery company to regain your access.

How to recover deleted files from the Mac Recycle Bin?

The operating system is different, but the steps are quite similar. Check it out:

  • Go to the Recycle Bin;
  • Select all the items you want to restore (the same tip as the Windows Shift key works here too);
  • Right-click on any selected file and choose the “Put back” option.

After that, the files will be returned to the location they were in before they were deleted.

If the files are corrupted, damaged or permanently deleted, you will also need the services of a data recovery company to make them accessible again.

How to recover files encrypted by ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software that infects computers and asks for a reward. They display messages that demand payment of some amount of money to get the system working again or to allow the data, which has been encrypted, to be accessed again.

Virtual kidnappings” are quite dangerous, since paying the requested amount is not always the solution, as the criminals may or may not comply. Therefore, one possible solution is to recover encrypted ransomware files.

To recover encrypted files, you must assess the situation and determine which option is the most secure and cost-effective. A specific study is conducted on the family of that ransomware, its operation and possible security flaws.

After this analysis, it is possible to know how to recover files encrypted by ransomware or even if it will be possible to decrypt the files. If not, it is still possible for experts to do a deep analysis of the file structure, looking for traces left during the infection.

In any case, to know if recovery will be possible or not, it is necessary to do this study so that the specialists can decide which is the safest and most effective alternative for each case.

What is the difference between deleting and formatting data?

Deleting data is a simpler procedure, which can be done by pressing the “Delete” key on the keyboard or by other means that allow you to send the files to the Recycle Bin or delete them permanently.

Formatting, on the other hand, erases everything on a partition and creates a new allocation table. If there is no backup, the files will be lost.

In both cases, however, a data recovery company may still be able to recover your data, even if you have unintentionally formatted it, for example.

Is there an effective way of secure data destruction?

Yes. There are certain files that we want to make sure are deleted permanently. And Bot’s secure data destruction is the ideal alternative, performed according to the best techniques and practices in the market.

This is done using data extermination infrastructure and algorithms that have been approved by national and international bodies for individuals, companies, or organizations in the public or private sector.

The entire data destruction process is secure and confidential. After completion a certificate is issued to guarantee the service.

How much does data recovery cost?

Now that you have read this far, you can understand that recovery of deleted, stolen, or corrupted data is not a simple task, let alone a quick one.

When thinking about data recovery, price is one of the main questions that can arise on the subject. However, it is not possible to define a closed value because depends on the complexity of the problem, not on the volume of files to be recovered.

Then you need to make a complete analysis of the mechanical and electronic structure of the device and evaluate the possibilities of data recovery and the details of the service execution.

Although it is not possible to estimate the price of professional data recovery without a detailed analysis of each case, to give you an idea, the values usually start at $700, given all the complexity involved in this procedure.

By the way, here is an important tip: when looking for data recovery services, price should not be the only factor to consider, but also the experience and credibility of the company. After all, your data is too valuable to be put at risk by untrustworthy procedures and practices.

RAW format HD or external HD

A hard disk or other device can turn into RAW format for various reasons, such as viruses, incorrect shutdown, bad sectors, corrupted files, and improper drive ejections.

These are some of the main causes of file system corruption, and these events can instantly convert the hard drive or partition into an unknown RAW drive (RAW format).

What is a RAW hard disk or external hard drive (RAW format)?

You may wonder what a RAW format hard drive is and what the differences are between a RAW drive and an NTFS or FAT32 drive. Well, let’s get this straight.

Windows supports FAT (including FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32), exFAT, NTFS, Live File System and REFS file systems. These file systems control how data is written to or read from the hard disk.

However, errors can occur, and the HD in the correct format can be turned into a RAW format HD.

Usually, the RAW format drive refers to an unknown file system that Windows cannot access. In this case, professional reconstruction of the file system is necessary.

Flashdrive, memory card, or external hard drive asking to be formatted?

At Bot, we specialize in recovering devices asking to be formatted. This is a very common symptom, which usually appears on devices with an external connection (memory card, USB stick or external HDD), but also on any other storage device.

When these devices are connected to the computer, the operating system asks you to format them in order to use them. This happens because the operating system could not read the data on the device correctly and asks you to format it, thus starting a new file system.

When there is important data on the device, it should not be formatted, even if the system asks for it, since all the data will be erased. In cases of devices asking to be formatted, the best thing to do is to look for a specialized data recovery company like Bot.

Homemade procedures or internet software can permanently destroy all data, and only in a lab will it be possible to do the recovery in a safe way without putting the data on the device at risk.

General Data Loss Prevention Tips

As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. There are a few tips you can follow to avoid losing your valuable data. Check it out:

  • Always have backups of your data. By creating a backup strategy, you will always have your most important files safe. See which files deserve more attention and keep a copy saved on another source, such as an external hard drive or a reliable cloud storage service. That way, should something happen, you will not have lost them permanently.
  • Consider the 3-2-1 rule for your main files. The ideal is to have 3 copies of any file that is very important, which should be stored in at least 2 different formats, such as in the cloud and on an external hard drive. In addition, it is also recommended to have at least 1 backup outside your home or business, in case a natural disaster happens or something like that.
  • Use a good antivirus. Such software really helps to protect your data and thus prevent possible future losses.
  • Beware of suspicious links and messages. Whenever you receive a suspicious e-mail or message, contact the sender to confirm that it can be trusted. This way you avoid opening messages and downloading attachments that might bring problems to your device. When in doubt, do not execute!
  • If you notice any problems with your device, seek professional help as soon as possible. If your computer, notebook, external hard drive, or any other device seems to be having problems, such as slowdowns, file corruption, and the like, get a technician as soon as possible. This way, you avoid even greater losses in the future, both financial and private.

File Recovery Program

Data recovery programs are used to re-access lost files from a computer, notebook, external hard drive, and other devices. They can work in cases of damaged, corrupted, deleted or formatted data loss.

However, you should be careful when using this type of software. Incorrect use of these tools can make data unrecoverable, even after intervention by a specialized company. In addition, you should use only reliable programs that are recognized by the market and professionals in the field.

File recovery programs are usually paid. They may offer a free version with limitations or a period of use free of charge, but full plans, to recover a larger volume of data and use all the tools, are usually charged. These are some examples of programs that can be used:

  • FreeUndelete (the only free option, but only for personal use)
  • Recuva (plans starting at R$70/year)
  • DiskDrill (plans starting at R$249/year)
  • Recoverit (plans starting at R$249/year)
  • EaseUS (plans starting at R$392/year)

You can try to recover data with these programs, but be sure of what you are doing. The ideal is to look for a specialized company like Bot, especially for more complex cases or when the data is very sensitive and needs utmost care.

Data Recovery Course

Data recovery is an area that is constantly growing, given the need to store files not only on everyday equipment, but also on appliances outside a company.

Therefore, the activity is seen as something noble and sophisticated. After all, not only are you working on something complex, but you are also helping someone else retrieve valuable information.

If you want to specialize, you should know that it is possible to invest in a data recovery course, either to be able to recover your own data in case something happens, or to work professionally in the field.

However, if you need data recovery, it is usually much faster to find a good company to help you, which can be even cheaper and safer, since the service will be done by specialized professionals and in the shortest possible time.

Also, practicing with your own lost files is not the best idea. If something goes wrong, you can lose them forever.

How to choose a data recovery company?

After learning all this about data recovery, you may have realized that you need professional help to regain access to documents and files.

If this is the case, know that Bot is the ideal data recovery company for what you are looking for. We have already solved more than 100.000 cases, and we proudly boast a 99.8% client satisfaction rate, and a success rate in 95% of the cases received.

Bot works with ISO 5, Class 100 clean room. It is a closed environment with strict particle control, certified to US Federal Standards 209, which brings all the security your devices need for data recovery.

In addition, your privacy is protected with us. We have secure servers, security update systems, and labs in secret, restricted-access locations. Our employees have limited access to the recovered data, which is destroyed within 5 working days according to international standards.

If you need data recovery from hard drives, SSDs, external hard drives, smartphones, tablets, memory cards, servers, RAIDs, VMs, NASs, and in cases of ransomware, as well as secure data destruction, count on Bot, the data recovery company that takes your personal information seriously!


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