Data Recovery 101


Recently, I had a relative whose laptop died and she was upset about losing all of her data.

After a few questions, it was clear there were no backups or copies of her important docs and photos anywhere else but on this non-functioning, 5-year-old, laptop.

Due to its age and condition, it really wasn’t worth the time and money trying to revive it – She was distraught – Priceless memories appeared to be lost forever.  Or were they?

I took out the drive, and using a simple $30 piece of equipment, I was able to recover and copy her precious files to a new laptop.

I used an Apricorn Drivewire, but there are many other options and tools available that can achieve the same desired effect.

As long as the hard drive is still functioning, and often times it is, anyone can gain access to files believed to be lost or destroyed. Remember this when throwing out (or giving away) your old laptops and computers!

If you think you are safe because you were able to delete your files first, think again.  There are several ways to recover deleted and purged files from your PC’s too – That’s a topic for another article…

Lessons Learned:

#1. Backup your data!

There are several cheap and easy solutions out there – (,, native backup solutions to external drives, etc.)

#2. The data might still be there

Just because your PC\Laptop stops working, doesn’t mean the data is actually gone.

If you have any sensitive data on your laptop or PC, ensure you permanently destroy the data before giving it away to someone else. (There are many encryption technologies and\or wipe tools available to keep prying eyes from seeing your data.)

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