Archive for December, 2013

What’s The Most Common Cause Of Data Loss ?

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Homer Simpson "Doh!"Ask anyone what they believe the most common cause of data loss is and they’ll most likely say something like a crashed hard drive or a broken computer. But, they’d both be wrong. The most common cause of data loss is human error.

Think about it, humans are fallible a make mistakes everyday (except me of course, I’m just perfect). This morning for example it’s taken me three attempts to create an image in Photoshop and upload it to my blog’s media gallery… 3 attempts! – How? Firstly I saved my image to the wrong directory so couldn’t find it to upload, next I saved it as a PST instead of a JPG – also to the wrong directory, so not only could I not find it, a *.JPG search didn’t show it up either. Finally I got it right, but it had been a frustrating 5 minutes.

What does all this matter in the great scheme of things? Nothing of course, it’s just part of day to day life – just like data loss. So, how easy is it to loose data? Very easy – far easier than you think. The most common type of data loss is accidental file and folder deletion – this is easily done – and one of the best inventions ever is the recycle bin – I’ll wager anyone who uses a computer regularly that they have been into the Recycle Bin at least once in the last six months!

Sometimes the Recycle Bin is not there as a safety net and then we can be in real trouble, there’s a whole web site about data loss here. I didn’t know it but it’s not just hard disks people lose data from, it’s easily deleted from tape too and (according to the web site) tape is far more difficult to recover data from as it’s now going out of date and not may people support it anymore. I guess it’s the way of things. Personally I’m very nervous about the cloud – it’s pretty unsafe if you ask me and easily hackable, so I prefer to keep my data on my hard drive. Anyway, back to work, now where did that file go??

Data Clinic Help Businesses Recover From Weather Damage

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

dataclinic ltd logoHigh tides and strong winds combined to defeat flood defences and damage many shops and businesses in Hull this week. Companies, shops and houses were evacuated as flood water disrupted computer systems causing them to crash and their data to be lost. Subsequently IT support companies have been called into many businesses to restore failed computer systems such as RAID servers, stand alone PC and Mac computers. Recovery work is also underway across the region as companies try to restore their computer data and get their businesses back up and running again.

Flooding causes widespread disruption to computer systems and large scale data loss. Hard drives that have been involved in floods are often water damaged and have to be cleaned and carefully dried before attempts to access the data on them can be made. The drying process has to be very carefully managed as once a hard drive begins to dry out its components begin to oxidise. Oxidation of the hard drive must be prevented as it will prevent any type of successful data recovery result. One of the worst things that can be done is for a water damaged and oxidised hard drive to be powered up. Doing so will damage the platters of the drive and destroy the data.

Water damage will frequently break the hard drive controller board by causing a short circuit. Swapping the controller board will no work because controller boards are now unique to the hard drives they are shipped with and contain data unique to that hard drive.

A recommended data recovery company like Data Clinic are specialists in recovering the data from flood and water damaged hard drives. With many years experience in hard drive faults and data recovery they are often the company of choice for many UK businesses and individuals. With regional offices throughout the UK, customers can call in and have their hard disk assessed or take advantage of a countrywide free collection service. Drive faults and damage is assessed and then a price given for the recovery of the data. It’s then the customer’s choice whether they wish to proceed with the recovery or not.

With all the bad weather around the UK at the moment it’s not only Hull that is suffering, many businesses on the East coast of England are also taking the brunt of the poor conditions with shops staying shut and business data going offline. Computers and hard drives are resilient to many things but bad weather is not one of them, and those businesses without data backups are in for an agonising wait while the data recovery firms work at repairing their hard drives and recovering their data.

Whether it’s for your business or personal use, you can’t go wrong backing up your data.  You should always create a backup of your data at least once a month, even more than that if you have a lot of important information that you add to your laptop on a frequent basis. To put it in simple terms, nothing in the computer industry is fool proof.  Hard drives can crash, computer hard disks can get stolen, or be dropped and rendered useless. To ensure that we are never left without our valuable data, we should always create a backup of our information. There are several methods available that ensure data is backed up. Online services that back up data remotely can be used, alternatively so can external hard drives. Another cheap way to back up data and files is to burn them to a data CD or DVD. If you don’t have that much data to back up you could also use a USB memory stick. Preserving data is something you should really look into, especially if you have business material on your hard drive.

As mentioned above, the easiest and quickest way to backup important data is to use an online backup service.  Depending on your internet connection this can take from several minutes to several hours. It is time well spent though because at least you’ll know your data is safely stored to somewhere other than your hard disk should the drive crash. It would be an interesting study to discover how many businesses and households have lost data because of the recent flooding, what percentage of them had made backups and what percentage had to use data recovery services to rescue their data from their flooded hard disk drives.

SSD’s NOT Replacing HDD’s Anytime Soon…

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Infographic of SSD and HDD storage

The prohibitive cost and lack of huge storage amounts per unit make SSD a non viable option in many storage applications.

Contrary to popular belief, a large study regarding the take up of SSD and their impact on technology has been completed by HGST and found that SSD technology will not be replacing HDD technology any time soon. The major contributing factor to this is price.

Whilst SSD hard drives have significant benefits such as lower power usage, no moving parts and quicker data access, one of their drawbacks is their cost. SSD prices fluctuate depending upon the cost of the rare earth material that they are made from: on any given data they can cost between 3 and 30 times more expensive than a regular HDD. When you consider the amounts of data being stored across the world it makes using SSD’s prohibitively expensive.

The infogram illustrates how SSD and HDD hard disks will be used over the coming 5 years: as you can see the only place SSDs will make a significant impact in corporate markets is in high end, high profit, high data throughput applications and servers.

Also the significant breakthroughs in storage capacities of HDD devices (as of Dec 2013 the largest commercially available hard drive is 6TB) is another huge reason making SSD hard drive non competitive – SSD’s just can not provide this amount of storage at anywhere close to HDD prices.