Recovering From a Virus Attack

Recovering From a Virus Attack

Have you ever stopped to consider just how much important data is stored on your computer? From digital photos and music to word processing documents and financial information, computers often contain vital, even critical data. The possibility of losing that data is very real. Some files can be re-created with time and effort. Others, especially photos, could be lost forever if recovery is not possible.

Data loss occurs for a number of reasons. Hard drive failures can be either physical or logical. Physical failure happens when mechanical components of the drive wear out and fail. Additionally, electrical and electronic components fail because of voltage spikes, overheating and manufacturing defects. Professional recovery companies are best equipped to handle physical failures and drive recovery. The technical skills and specialized equipment necessary are beyond the means of most computer users.

Damage to the operating system and file structure causes logical failure. The drive is still functional, but the files are inaccessible. While there are several causes, one of the most common is computer virus infection. It is amazing how many computers do not have adequate or up-to-date virus software. However, even with a good anti-virus program, it is still possible for malware to attack and infect a computer.

Additionally, accidental system file deletion also renders the computer data inaccessible. Hoax e-mails taken seriously are often the culprit here. The hoax advises the reader to delete an allegedly dangerous file and they find out that the file was actually vital to computer operation after deleting it. Whether by virus attack or accidental user error, important files and data are no longer available.

See also  Info 101 - H1N1 Holiday Update

The computer user can accomplish many types of emergency data recovery due to logical failure. Research will yield several recovery programs that a user can implement. However, it is important to understand how the recovery software works before using it. Even in the event of system corruption, it is vital to understand that data recovery takes precedence over system repair. Many system repair and recovery programs require formatting the drive or replacing corrupted files with valid copies. In many cases, this will overwrite the very files that need recovery. Overwriting can render the files permanently inaccessible.

A good recovery program will have the capability of starting the computer from an emergency boot disk. The disk will have a modified operating system that allows access to data without the need of a normal boot. The program transfers the recovered files to a secondary hard drive or other media. Drive repair proceeds without damage to those files.

Sometimes a computer owner asks, “Will recovery software speed up my Mac or PC?” The answer is probably not. However, if the system repair requires formatting, it may run better since that will remove excessive, unnecessary files.