How to recover deleted data?

deleted-data-data-solutions-labsThere is a general misconception that, after a file of any kind was manually deleted from a hard drive, there is no way to retrieve that particular file. The truth is that, when pressing “delete” after selecting a certain file, and removing it from the “recycle bin” afterwards, you have just removed the indicators of that file from the table of the hard disk content. To put it simply, the parts of the deleted file are scattered around on your hard disk, but are no more visible to you via your operative system. The space where they were stored now becomes unallocated, and it can be used to store other files but, due to the constant development of technology and the growth of the hard disk capacity supplied to the general consumer, it may take time for these spaces to be occupied again. It is important to note that different operative systems have different ways of performing the process of deletion, and that process is done differently depending on the type of hard drive. Never the less, there certainly is a possibility to recover these deleted files, but the process can be hard and long, because all of the scattered data has to be found and reconstructed thoroughly.

As far as the general public is concerned, the most common situation connected to file recovery is the accidental deletion of important files. As stated before, these files are still on your hard drive and if you act fast you can “bring them back to life”. The most important thing to do is minimize your computer usage until you recover your files. If you do not do so, the unallocated units, mentioned above, will be filled with new files thus overwriting the files you want to recover. There are several free programs that can “undelete” your files. You can search the internet and download various programs to do so. But, the safest way is to call in the professionals.

The saddest thing is that sometimes, some files cannot be recovered. That is why the best thing to do is create backup files for everything that you find valuable on your computer. It is highly advisable to create a backup of the entire operative system, and do this on regular basis. Above that, you should backup individual files also, for example, a document containing your entire doctrine. That way you definitely avoid the possible heart attack you may get at the moment you realize that your life’s work had just disappeared mystically.

Data Security in the Cloud

Cloud computing security or cloud security refers to a set of policies, technologies, and controls deployed to protect data, applications, and the infrastructure in a cloud. There are several security issues related to cloud computing but mainly there are concerns with cloud service providers and ones related to their customers. In general, the provider must ensure that their infrastructure is secure while the customer must ensure that the provider has taken the proper security measures to protect their data. So, is it just a matter of trust and is the data really protected when stored in a cloud?

Nowdays we all use smartphones, tablets, upload our data to Gmail and Facebook, have our profiles on company’s ERP/CRM and it is no wonder that most of us use cloud to store data and access them easily. Let’s start from the beginning. From the day you decided to get yourself a cloud service provider. I did a little research in the past couple of weeks among my friends who uses clouds for their personal and business data respectively. On the question how did you find your cloud service provider, the vast majority, 70% simply googled it, some said a friend recommended one and just one created his own on-line repository. So is the one with his own creation the smartest one? Well, not necessarily! On one side he had to have a knowledge in order to do so and question related to security still stands but on the other what happens to the data when cloud service provider is being hacked or compromised in any other way? So it is a matter of trust after all? In time when everything has been brought to us by mass media, clever marketing and catchy slogans it is hard not to follow up with what they offer for for a buck ninety nine a month or so.

Remember Douglas Quaid from Total Recall starring Schwarzenegger when he watch a commercial on a train considering to put his life in danger and go Mars virtually, his work pal told him not to do so but he did it his own way? Most of us are not action heroes and life is not a motion picture but we do follow up with media and some of us gets in trouble just like Douglas did. Two prong attack illustrates my point, on the one hand hackers stealing personal and financial information and on the other last year authorities told MegaUpload users to forget about their data when they shut that service down. In these cases our stand alone guy with his home based cloud did great but, in the case when his server crashes or become unavailable due to issues related to connection, power or hardware failure his paranoid point is lost, as well.

There must be a way? There is! It is very simple and as long as you stick to it your data will be safe and protected. It starts with making your own policy, plan or strategy if you wish. If you take some time to look at the data you store on your computers including tablets and smartphones you’ll realize that 90% of all files are not sensitive at all and can be shared or in some cases compromised to a certain level. The rest should be treated with care and never shared. Look around for a cloud service provider, compare them and test their service first! Before you start uploading your files to the cloud read their privacy policy carefully, don’t just click, I agree button! Never leave login information open or saved on devices that can be misplaced or lost! Do not assume that just because you are in cloud backup becomes obsolete. The rule still stands, you should have at least three copies. Ones you have all this accomplished you can start enjoying cloud as there hasn’t been a better way to store your data invented yet!

How To Create Cheap High-Capacity Storage

For those who have more than a few old hard drives lying around or simply need bigger storage here’s how to combine multiple hard drives into one volume that’ll hold: movies, TV shows, music, photos, games or other files. In general, there are three ways for combining multiple hard drives, we’ll try to explain how to do each, and their pros and cons to one another.

symbolic-link-icon1. Symbolic Links

The easiest way to combine multiple drives is to use symbolic links (similar to shortcuts). This option allows you to store a folder on your second drive, create a symbolic link to it on your first drive, and it’ll feel like all the files are on that first drive. You can perform this on just about any operating system, including Linux. Windows users can also mount an entire drive to a folder using built-in features. Google for instructions on your specific operating system for more information.

This method’s biggest advantage is that it’s easy, and allows you to control the location of each specific file or folder. It also works with any number of drives, speed and capacity. If one of your drives fails, you only lose the data on that drive, and the other drives stay intact. 

The biggest disadvantage to this option is it can get to be very annoying and tedious if you need to do this with a lot of files or folders.
spanned-volume

2. Spanned Volumes
Spanned volumes refers to an option in which volume starts at the beginning of your first disk, and ends at the end of your last disk, creating one giant volume. This is often also referred to a JBOD or Just a Bunch of Disks. In most operating systems you usually open disk management utility, mark the drives and select an option to create one. Spanned volumes are a little different in every operating system, but the process of creating them is similar. Linux users can use a feature called LVM or Logical Volume Management.

The biggest advantage over symbolic links is that spanned volumes are much easier to manage. It just shows up on your computer as one big drive. This option works with any number of drives, capacity and speed.

The biggest issue with spanned volumes is that they introduce a greater probability of drive failure. If you have a volume spanned over three drives, that’s three drives that could fail instead of just one, and if one of your drives fails, you lose all of the data in that spanned volume. We don’t recommend this option for most scenarios. However, in case you have a lot of data that isn’t very important or is already backed up you can use it with no worries.

raid3. RAID arrays

As we wrote in one of our previous articles, redundant array of independent disks, or RAID is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drives into a logical unit. RAID offers a lot of benefits that disk spanning doesn’t, like reliability, speed and protection against drive failure. There are a several types of RAID, but here are the most common ones:

  • RAID 0 combines multiple drives into one big volume. This method works in very different way than spanned volume and instead of filling up one drive and moving onto the next, it writes data across all of your drives simultaneously. Its read speeds are faster than with a spanned volume, but if one drive fails, then you lose all your data just like with spanned volume.
  • RAID 1 doesn’t combine multiple disks into one big volume, it implements a concept called mirroring. Your second drive is a mirror of your first one so that if one fails, you have data on the second drive.
  • RAID 10 combines the best of RAID 0 and RAID 1. Long story short you create a mirrored array and then combine that with other RAID 1 arrays for one big, mirrored volume. This type of RAID requires quite a few disks, and can be quite costly so it is out of scope to this article.
  • RAID 5 introduces a feature called parity. Unlike RAID 10, RAID 5 can store recovery data in much smaller parity bits, spread across your drives. That means you can use more of your drives for data and hopefully save money.

There are several ways to create an array. In most cases it will involve a software implemented in your motherboard and in which the process of creating it is no different than creating a spanned volume. In case you use a specific hardware to create an array it may involve more research or a hand from skillful friend.

In general, the advantage of RAID is that it offers the ability to turn multiple drives into one, big, often fast volume without worrying about losing your data. In case of RAID 0, it does not provide this redundancy, but is still faster than a spanned volume.

Downsides to an array are: drives have to be the same size and speed or you’ll have to make some sacrifices. It may be pricey since it isn’t ideal if you have a bunch of various disks and you’re trying to save some money. But, if your data is important, it can help keep data safe, except in case of RAID 0.

Recovering of data in almost any case can be tricky business and not having a proper backup is also another subject. But, in case you have bunch of disks just lying around hope this article can help you put them in good use.

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