If you’ve managed to avoid a hard drive crash or permanently deleting important files from your trash bin without a data recovery strategy, consider yourself lucky. It’s only a matter of time that a corrupt file, damaged drive, or human error will have you franticly searching for data recovery software. Whether work-related files, important tax documents, or a treasure trove of music and memories, digital data is easily lost; and often, at the most inconvenient times.

The good news is that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So take comfort in knowing your chances of retrieving valuable lost data is high if you implement a routine hard drive backup and photo recovery strategy.

Select A Backup Method

There are many options for storing backup data depending on whether it’s a personal or business device. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be addressing a data recovery strategy for the individual.

External Hard Drive or Cloud-based backup

As a general rule, having both an external hard drive and an automatic backup to a cloud server is a good practice. But if you have to choose, we recommend an external hard drive that you leave connected to your computer. A solid-state backup drive is preferable and storage capacity should exceed the amount of your existing hard drive.

Keep in mind, the more organized your data is, the easier it will be to access specific files quickly when a hard drive crash occurs. 

Perform Routine Backups

If you have a PC and are computer savvy, you can write a homemade backup script. For those less adventurous, you will need to download automatic backup software from a reputable company. Be sure the productivity app you select allows you to automate backups of both your data AND your metadata and provide a mechanism by which to restore that data easily.

Planning a backup schedule

Determining the best time to backup up your hard drive will depend on how often you save data to your device. If your computer habits are somewhat regular, backup intervals can be set to daily, weekly, or monthly. If you work around the clock, scheduling a backup session upon shutdown might be a better practice.

Choosing the Right Data Recovery Strategy

No matter how many precautions you take or backups you perform, hard drives crash on their time. Not yours. It is certain some data will not have been stored in your last system backup. Beyond the reminder to “save your work” in open documents, the following steps should be taken when a system crash occurs and you can’t risk losing or overwriting your files or stored media.

  • Immediately stop using your system drive 
  • Disconnect the power source
  • Do NOT format drive
  • Do NOT run disk repair
  • Provide an additional drive to transfer recovered data

A good data recovery strategy isn’t hard to implement, and putting a system in place is an easy safeguard against possible damage to irreplaceable files. Don’t just set your backups and forget to check them. Run an emergency drill once or twice a year to ensure your backup system is working properly. The last thing you want to discover in a time of crisis is that your backup system failed.