There are few scenarios worse for a small business than having a computer crash and burn. Months, maybe years of work are all trapped in a small metal box. But, there are programs and DIY steps that can help you get back to work. We’ve listed several below.
Do it the old-fashioned way
How many times have you been warned to back up your important files? We’ll get into programs that can help if you ignore this missive, but one more time: Back up your important files! You can so this easily with a couple of DVDs and your burner. Select all your documents you want to save and burn them to DVDs. You can also do a full system backup. That way, if your system crashes or it’s damaged, you haven’t lost anything. There are also a multitude of other ways to back up data.
Pros: It costs nothing but the price of some DVDs and a Sharpie.
Cons: It needs to be done regularly, and the DVDs should be stored in a safe location, preferably in a water and fireproof box.
Data Recovery Tools
If files go missing, you accidentally delete something you shouldn’t have or you mysteriously drop a .dll file and your computer gets all wonky, these two programs can help you recover those files:
This data recovery tool works on Windows operating systems (sorry Mac users). The program can help you…
- Resurrect missing files
- You can set it to search for certain types of files, such as Word documents, photos or mp3/mp4 files
- Has two search modes: Manual or Wizard
- Uses a light system to let you know the probability of recovering the files (Green means yes, Yellow is maybe and Red means valiant effort, but it’s not going to happen)
Pros: It’s free and easy to use
Cons: Only works on accessible drives.
Test Disk is an open source program that works on Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It offers functions including:
- File recovery from FAT, NTFS, and ext2 file systems
- Recover and rebuild your boot sector
- Find lost partitions and recover the data in those areas
Pros: It’s free
Cons: It’s a command line tool, so you’ll have to conjure up those old command line terms. But the program’s tutorial is very useful.
Advanced Outlook Repair
If you’ve ever been locked out of Outlook or had it freeze and crash for no apparent reason, then you really need this program. It will allow you to get back into Outlook as well as help you recover lost emails, appointments, calendars, distribution lists, address books, files and folders.
But what if you have a serious system crash or your computer is damaged by water, fire or the tree that fell on it? How do you recover your lost data then?
Your answer is in the clouds.
Dropbox allows you to store up to 50GB of data. For most people, that’s the bulk of their hard drive. You can also share documents with other, access the documents from anywhere, whether through another computer or your smartphone. It also senses when you’ve updated a folder and automatically updates its cloud clone. So, if your hard drive crashes or your computer is damaged or destroyed, you’ll still have access to your files and folders, and reinstalling these files to your system is just a few mouse clicks away.
Keep in mind folks, that even the best recovery tool is not a substitution for regularly backing up your data. These tools should be the last resort, not the first step in your data recovery plan.