Despite the proliferation of online backup services and robust traditional backup tools, unanticipated problems with backup copies or accidental file deletion do happen in the course of running a business.
Data storage experts do offer a very good chance of recovering most data, though not every organization can afford their sometimes hefty fees. Indeed, given that data recovery is hardly ever planned or budgeted for, self-recovery of data may be one option that small businesses have to consider for data that is not mission crucial.
I recently had my attention drawn to a file recovery tool from ReclaiMe, which is a commercial data recovery software designed to run on Microsoft Windows.
What caught my interest about is its simplicity and ability to work on a wide variety of file systems, including RAID arrays and multi-disk NAS devices.
A quick overview of its capabilities:
• Supported file systems include: FAT, exFAT, NTFS, RsFS, EXT2, EXT3, EXT4, XFS, HFS, HFS+, UFS (Used by Apple iPod players).
• Able to "unformat" a non-system storage device such as a hard disk drive (HDD), flash drive or memory card
• Works with RAID arrays with the ReclaiMe Free RAID Recovery tool.
• Supports data recovery from popular NAS such as those from Synology, QNAP, Thecus, Drobo, LaCie, WD MyBook etc.
To be clear, the ReclaiMe software is a Windows application, and card readers or Linux and Mac hard disk drives will have to be connected to the PC for data recovery to take place. The support for non-Windows file system is not a common feature for off-the-shelf data recovery software though, and should be useful for businesses looking to set up a rig for the occasional in-house data recovery.
It does come at a premium though, as the full features are only found in ReclaiMe File Recovery Ultimate (US$199.95); the basic ReclaiMe File Recovery Standard (US$79.95) only support Windows file systems. An important point to note about ReclaiMe File Recovery Standard is its ability to work with the new ReFS (Resilient File System) found in Windows Server 2012.
Word of caution on data recovery
Of course, while ReclaiMe says that no technical skill is "required at all", I would strongly advise that data recovery be attempted only by a trained IT professional or someone who has an inkling of what they are doing.
This includes an awareness that data should never write onto a volume where data recovery is ongoing, as well as being able to identify hardware problems.
The latter is important because performing software data recovery on a hard disk drive that is failing may actually cause more damage.
Have you ever restored to data recovery software before? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below.