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Lowering Data Recovery Costs : Options
For the pc user faced with the prospect of paying for the retrieval of data files, it is serious business. There are several options for raising the chances of reducing these costs in the long run that are done both before and after the need for recovery rears its head.
Hard Drive Preventative Measures
- Periodically review your manufacturers websites for notification of any firmware updates. Such as at Western Digital and Seagate (Maxtor has combined with Seagate) and Hitachi. Though not a hard a fast rule, making certain critical updates can prevent loss of data and catastrophic failure in some cases.
- Do not rely upon manufacturer statistics when going by claims of prospective failure
rates. In reality, customers are changing failed drives out having their
valued data on it 15 times more than what is being revealed by the makers.
The changeouts could well infer files not being retrieved during a significant percentage of the time, with the customer perhaps dissuaded by cost of recovery and/or with
the disk surpassing the warranty period.
With ever-increasing pressure on price, HDD manufacurers are in no foreseeable future expected to improve on this figure. Also, failure rates only increase as storage capacity increases, now well into 1TB to 2TB sizes. Many of the lower storage capacity drives actually have greater reliability. Find and stick with drives that have proven track records.
- Adhere to best practices for backup, including (a) maintaining an uninterruptable battery surge, and (b) disconnecting the power to external drives and storing seperately when not in use, and (c) consider data imaging/cloning of the drive, which can save hours and even days when it comes to a total restoration effort (if hired out, this alone can save $250 on up, if a total recovery is achievable and depending on your applications and stored files) and (d) maintain virus and malware protection which can cause not only logical but mechanical failures to the disk and RAM.
Diversifying Data Storage TypeBesides the HDD, flash drives and removable disks such as DVD's and CD's provide added assurance but here as well, beware. Look into reliability not only for the discs, where the big brands rarely make their own anymore, but also for the writing software being used. CDBurnerXp offers a no cost solution with many satisfied customers.
Some of the packet writing packages and UDF format burners offer less reliability in terms of playback while also possibly limiting playback of stored files per specific machine and operating system. Too, it's normally best to avoid repeated writes on the same disk which can affect data recall. Typically your files are safer when recovering from discs made from standard burners.
Flash drives are aren't to be overlooked at only $13.00 for 4GB and $20 for 8GB. Though not the most reliable method of storing, your files could be stored at another location quite easily with these.
ESB's- electromagnetic shielding bags, are yet another option. Costwise, these bring a very economical alternative for protection against the electromagnetic cause. An 8" by 8" bag, large enough for a standard hard drive, is only $5.95 to $7.50. While bigger bags at 20" by 30" are close to $19.00 which would have the volume to seal in an entire laptop, covering not only the drives but the entire pc, or a desktop as well. Measuring the effectiveness of these bags is not an easy matter though with some sellers recommending the application of multiple bag layers or putting the sealed bag inside yet another container.
Secondary Locations - Looking for EconomyCompanies offering offsite date storage charge in the range of $9.95 for JustCloud 1TB of storage to $45.00 for Box. Though you must be comfortable with transmitting your files and feel relatively assured with the security level.
For those considering placing their own media in their local bank vault safe deposit box - consider the fact that most banks are simply unwilling to provide whether any electonic scanning monitors across the inner safe compartment due to their own security concerns.
PCWorld: Study: Hard Drive Failure Rates Much Higher Than Makers Estimate
Wikipedia: Packet writing