Tips on Data Recovery

Data Recovery

We all know the importance of the data and footage we shoot, either for yourself or for that important client. Should the unthinkable happen and you lose your data, whether it be by deleting the wrong file or formatting the wrong card, seeing the dreaded ‘card error’ message, or worse still your card becomes corrupted and unreadable, it can be a stressful time. This article gives some useful tips on what to do if you are unlucky enough to experience it.

Even the best-laid data protection plans can be thwarted by bad luck, corruptions or failures.  If you are confronted with a data loss there are only limited options available to and it is possible that you can do more harm then good from trying to recover data where a loss has occurred.

I myself remember a situation where upon mounting a P2 card that I knew already had data on it into a Mac, was presented with the  asking me to ‘Initialise a Drive’.  That seemed like a good idea at the time…

At this point, if this happens to you, then you should stop what you are doing and contact the manufacturer or a reputable data recovery company for advice. 

If the data recovery company is any good, then they will offer you free support and can guide you to pursue various strategies which may help you to recover your media without cost to you.

Losing data due to human error such as deletion or formatting may sometimes be recoverable  using specific software tools but this is by no means a caveat for cavaliar data management. Whilst there are many free file and data recovery utilities, that is often a “get what you pay for” proposition, as these tools can be riddled with malware and do not offer any level of support, and they are often useless with today’s more complex files and file systems.

Finally, If your issue is more complex or serious than a simple delete, such as a seemingly dead or badly corrupted device, and the data is of importance, then you may require sending the device off for a lab recovery. Sometimes, this is the only option to you.  

Over the years, we have had many clients who have believed their data to have been irretrievable but still managed to recover their data in full.

Our advice is simple:

If your data is important, then seek an expert!

VMI recommend LC Technology who are experts in data recovery of files stored on flash media and hard drives and and they do offer free support.  At the very least, call them to use their free support and see if this helps you to rectify your situation with a DIY solution.

The following guide to remedial data recovery was written by LC Technology and we are grateful for their input into this article and important area.

The LC Technology Guide to Remedial Data Recovery

LC Tech provide both software tools and lab services, to over 100 countries and are recommended by many of the major manufacturers of both memory cards and cameras, including SanDisk, Canon and Sony, as well as suppliers to the BBC and ITV, due to their experience and expertise with reading memory chips.

  • LC Technology has written tools for the likes of SanDisk and Toshiba for over a decade, and will guide you through the process.
  • Their tools can be tested as an evaluation and unlike many freeware solutions they have tools suitable to recover complex HD video recoveries, which typically need to be recovered in their original folder structure.
  • Their FILERECOVERY software can be downloaded here on a try-before-you-buy evaluation basis for PC or MAC.
  • LC Technology can perform chip (NAND) reads, whereby the memory chip is removed from the device to attempt to access the raw data for reassembling.
  • A complex forensic data recovery if the data is of value is a real lifesaver.

Click here for full details of LC Technology services.

Barry Bassett, VMI and Grant Woods, LC Technology, October 2016

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