• Posted on: 7/22/2014

    Data Breach



    Data breaches can cost companies up to $7per incident in the U.S., according to recent statistics. With the new Heartbleed Bug roaming the Internet (so to speak), individuals and businesses could be at greater risk than ever before. A flaw exists in a popular encryption service that is designed to protect users’ sensitive data as it is sent to the necessary computer servers. This flaw can result in the Heartbleed Bug decrypting and stealing passwords, logins and other data. Then, by setting up a “spoof” site, hackers could exploit that information.

    In most cases, we think of data breaches affecting finances. Hackers uncover credit card or bank account numbers and steal money from people who have visited a specific website. But data breaches can also result in viruses, malaware and file corruption that can result in lost data.

    The costs of a data breach can come in three forms: 

    Actual financial loss (for your firm or your customers)
    Lost sales due to lost consumer confidence
    Lost data

    Let’s explore each of these.

    Financial Loss
    In most cases, users are protected and their bank or credit card will cover the financial loss resulting from credit card fraud. Nonetheless, if a data breach hacks your financial data, you could suffer direct losses which may or may not be fully covered by your company’s insurance or by your financial institutions.

    Lost Consumer Confidence
    This loss is much harder to quantify and, unfortunately, even harder to recover from. Whether you are a service provider, e-commerce site or brick-and-mortar store, customers may hesitate to do business with you if you’ve been the victim of a data breach. It can take a long time, and the proper security measures, to instill a sense of confidence in your consumer base again.

    Data Loss
    Finally, some breaches may result in corruption or deletion of files. Depending on the extent of the data loss, it may be difficult to recover financially from this type of loss, as well.

    However, if you call a professional data recovery service like 24 Hour Data immediately upon discovering data loss, we can minimize your financial losses with a fast recovery, sometimes in as little as 24 hours. We’ll get your business back running quickly, so you can recover financially, faster. 

  • Posted on: 7/11/2014

    External Hard Drive


    Using an inexpensive, easy to use external hard disk drive is one of the best ways to back up your data. Although it’s best to have three forms of data back-up, the best back-up system is the one you use consistently. Of course, an external hard drive stored in the same place as your computer won’t protect your data from localized physical damage such as a fire or flood. But if the main hard disk drive fails, your data back-ups will be easy to access on your external drive. With all this in mind, what should you look for when choosing a back-up external hard drive?

    1. Capacity
    The capacity of the drive is probably the number one factor people consider. With drives up to 8TB available today, you can store vast quantities of data for a reasonable price. Still, there’s no point paying for data storage you don’t need, so our recommendation is to select a drive as large as you think you’ll need – and then go just a little bit larger, just in case. 


    2. Type of Drive
    External hard drives come in two forms: desktop class and notebook class. Desktop drives are typically larger (both in physical size and capacity) and require an external power adaptor. Some may also have their own fan for cooling. Notebook drives are portable, but their capacity is smaller. 

    3. Speed – Drives operate at speeds ranging from 5,400rpm to 7,200rpm and up, with the fastest drives being solid state drives because they lack moving parts. However, you’re not using an external back-up drive for gaming, so speed is probably not your top consideration. Additionally, the speed of data transfer is also affected by our next factor, the means by which you connect your external drive to your computer. 


    4. Connectivity options -
    USB 2.0 or 3.0 are the most common inputs available for external hard drives. A 7,200rpm or faster drive won’t perform at optimum speeds through a USB 2.0 port, though, since a system is only as fast as its slowest component. FireWire and eSATA inputs can provide some performance boosts.

    Finally, the newest connection format, Thunderbolt, provides lightning fast speeds. The type of inputs you’ll look for on a new external hard drive depend on the ports available on your computer. 

    5. Security

    If you travel frequently with your drive or store sensitive personal or company information on your drive, you may want to invest in a drive that provides hard disk encryption for added protection. Keep in mind, data recovery can be more difficult on an encrypted drive should data loss occur.

    6. Style
    Finally, today’s external drives come in different shapes, from rounded to square, and different colors. If aesthetics are important to you, you’ll want to shop even more carefully to find a drive that meets your technical specifications and also looks good on your desk or shelf. 

  • Posted on: 6/18/2014

    Data Recovery Emergency


    Every day, 24 Hour Data helps customers facing a data recovery emergency. In fact, our recovery success rate for extracting mission critical files in less than 48 hours is the best in the business.

    But it’s important to understand that a percentage of businesses invest in this service because long-term data loss would cost exponentially more than the costs of the data recovery.

    The other percentage, the vast majority of 24 Hour Data’s customers, make up small businesses and individuals who have lost data and would like it back, but time isn’t of the essence. While we pride ourselves on “emergency data recovery service,” we also have superior success rates for data recovery in non-emergency situations.

    Which leaves many of our customers wondering: “What’s the difference? Am I facing a data recovery emergency?”

    Defining a Data Recovery Emergency
    The term data recovery emergency has nothing to do with the type of hard disk failure you’re experiencing (physical or logical), or what happened when your hard drive or other storage media failed. To determine whether you are facing a real data recovery emergency, ask yourself these three questions:

    “What is the most important data I’ve lost?”
    “What is the value of that data?”
    “How much money will I lose if that data is not recovered as quickly as possible?”

    Additional Charges Related to Emergency Data Recovery Service
    24 Hour Data offers a number of additional services for true emergency data recovery circumstances. We can provide expedited, same-day shipping of your drive, and even delivery by courier service if you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. We can expedite your price quote and provide data recovery within 24 to 48 hours, essentially giving your data recovery case priority service from start to finish. 

    Many companies who have lost mission critical data from their RAID arrays or servers take advantage of these added services. But many customers don’t need, or want to pay, for expedited service of any kind.

    Traditional Data Recovery with Surprisingly Fast, Regular Service
    As many customers consider the real value of their data, they put a price on it – whether that price is real or sentimental. But they realize that whether they get their data back tomorrow, or later this week, it won’t make a difference. The value of the data won’t diminish or grow. 

    When they choose standard data recovery service, they find our rates extremely affordable, especially compared to the value of their data. They are also pleasantly surprised when they realize we can recover their data much faster than many other data recovery services.

    Need Emergency, Or Not-So-Emergency, Data Recovery?
    Whether you are a Fortune 500 with millions of dollars’ worth of data at stake, a small business owner whose livelihood depends on immediate recovery of lost data, or an individual who would like those digital family photos that were damaged in a fire back some day, 24 Hour Data offers fair pricing and fast service. 


  • Posted on: 4/17/2014

    Hard Drive Recovery


    Hard drives fail. At 24 Hour Data, we know this better than anyone. On the pages of this blog, we frequently talk about physical and logical hard drive failure. Logical failure typically involves corruption of files or accidentally deleted data. Physical failure means damage to the hard disk drive itself.

    Drives may fail to varying extents. The damage might be complete, with no hope for recovery, or the drive may be easily recoverable. Data loss from logical disk drive failure can usually be fixed by a professional data recovery service. 

    It’s important to remember that attempting do-it-yourself data recovery can turn what would be a relatively “easy” logical recovery for a professional service into a data recovery disaster, where it is either impossible or very time-consuming and expensive to recover lost and damaged data. Whenever you lose data, whether it’s one file or an entire drive, call data recovery professionals to help.

    Let’s look at three different ways a hard drive can fail and the steps you should take when this happens.

    Head Crash
    When the magnetic disk head continues to contact the rotating platter, this can lead to progressive damage. If the head continues scraping the platter, the data may become unrecoverable.

    You can often detect a head crash if a hard disk drive is making grinding or clicking noises. If the drive is still use-able and you did not lose any data, back up your files immediately and replace the drive. If you’ve already lost data, which is often the case, contact a professional data recovery service to extract the data.

    Bad Sectors
    Bad sectors can occur from logical or physical damage. A bad sector is a space on the hard drive platter that won’t read or write data. Bad sectors can occur on traditional hard disk drives or solid state drives after time. A sector of the drive may become worn down or damaged from too many read/write cycles. 

    If only one bad sector occurs, this could be an isolated incident. But when repeated bad sectors are created, it could be a sign of hard disk failure, which could lead to complete data loss. If you continue experiencing bad sectors but your hard disk drive is still booting, copy all data from the drive and replace it. Do not continue to use the drive or you risk complete hard disk failure and data loss.

    Mechanical Failure
    A hard drive is a complex piece of equipment with multiple moving parts. Even non-moving parts, like the sensitive circuit board, can become damaged and fail, leading to complete data loss.

    Hard drive failure caused by mechanical damage is always considered physical damage and requires the help of data recovery professionals to extract your data.

    Using a drive after it shows signs of partial failure can lead to complete data loss.


  • Posted on: 3/13/2014


    At 24 Hour Data, we know that small businesses and large organizations, alike, use databases for nearly every aspect of operations, from customer relationship management to sales and marketing and more. So when your database fails, you risk losing mission critical data that can cost your company important business… or even cost your entire business.

    If you are facing missing or corrupt data in your database or you can’t access your database at all, there are typically three common causes. Let’s look at each one and then determine the best steps to take to recover your lost data.

    Database Hardware Failure
    A database is just a combination of software and data. Frequently, when a database fails to boot, it’s due to hardware failure. The RAID array, server or hard drive has failed, resulting in the inability to access the database. If your database is stored on a RAID array and only one drive in the array has failed, it may be possible for IT professionals to perform a hot swap and replace the failed drive in a RAID 1 configuration or higher.

    If your database is stored on a virtual server, you may be able to restore the server to the time of the last snapshot. If only a small amount of time has passed and your database is not updated frequently, you may be able to recover your lost data.

    In many cases, however, hard drive or RAID failure requires a professional data recovery service to restore lost data without the risk of losing that data forever. If you’re in doubt, call data recovery pros to provide a free price quote with no obligation.

    File Corruption
    Databases may fail at the file level, which means one or more files in the database have become damaged, causing corruption. Corrupted files represent logical damage to the database and hard drive. However, do-it-yourself data recovery may overwrite the data and result in permanent data loss. If you don’t have experience in dealing with data recovery, it’s best to call an expert. Prices for logical data recovery may be lower than you expect, and you could get your data back in less than 24 hours.

    File System Damage
    Sometimes, operating system files will become damaged or corrupted if a server or computer is powered down incorrectly, experiences a power surge, or something happens to interrupt the process while data is being written to the files.

    Since databases are complex systems that are updated frequently, if a damaged OS file corrupts a database directory, it can be difficult to delete and reinstall the OS without permanently losing data from the database.

    Call the Experts for Database Recovery
    If you’re not an expert in logical data recovery, it’s best to call experts for help.
    24 Hour Data has years of experience recovering databases running on a variety of systems, including Microsoft Exchange, SQL, MySQL, Oracle, SharePoint, Filemaker and more. 


  • Posted on: 3/06/2014

    Cloud Backups


    Do you know the number one reason for data loss in cloud storage environments? You might be surprised.

    It’s not a data breach or attack directed at the service provider. It’s not a  natural disaster.

    It’s simple human error.

    According to the Aberdeen Group’s report, “SaaS Data Loss: The Problem You Didn’t Know You Had,” ( more than one-third of the companies polled have lost data stored in the cloud. Nearly 65 percent of these losses were caused by user error. In 47% of the cases, users deleted the information, and 17% of the time, the information was accidentally overwritten.

    Only 13% of instances of data loss were caused by hackers deleting information.

    Cloud-based storage is handy for file-sharing without taxing the resources of your server, and makes it easy for today’s mobile workforce to work any time, from anywhere. And, user error aside, it’s largely a safe and secure method of data storage. 

    Keeping in mind that well over half of all instances of data loss are caused by end users – your employees, and your colleagues who may have access to your data in the cloud, and possibly even yourself – how can you protect your cloud-based data? Here are some tips.

    1. Train employees on new applications. – We can’t overemphasize the importance of training. Most cloud-based storage programs are user-friendly and intuitive. Spending a few minutes training employees now can save hours of headaches, lost revenue, and even data recovery costs, later.

    Encourage employees to ask questions if they’re not sure how to save, retrieve, upload or download files.

    2. Adhere to file naming conventions. – Setting company standards and protocols for file names and folders can save lots of time when it comes to looking for files and can prevent accidental overwriting of mission critical files. Include this information during training, and provide a handy reference sheet as a reminder.

    3. Limit access. – Limit access to cloud storage on an “as-needed” basis and change passwords frequently. Additionally, since most cloud storage is affordable, you can use different programs for different needs and limit access to each program.

    4. Adhere to password best practices. – Passwords should be a combination of numbers, letters and special characters and should not be an identifiable word in the English language. Change passwords frequently, including whenever an employee leaves the company.

    With a few precautions, you can avoid many of the causes of data loss in the cloud. 

  • Posted on: 2/27/2014


    As the amount of mission critical data required by small businesses grows, data loss becomes inevitable. Let’s take a look at some significant 2013 statistics on data loss, researched by a number of reputable organizations and reported by data backup service provider Essentialink.

    Data Loss Statistics
    A Gartner survey said that 25% of PCs will fail this year. In many cases, when a hard drive fails, backups are not in place and data will be lost.

    A Forrester survey revealed that 24% of companies polled said they experienced a full data disaster, meaning the loss of mission critical business data.

    Finally, 95% of companies experienced a data outage in 2013, according to the Ponemon Institute.

    If we are to take away anything from these numbers, it’s that failure of your IT systems is nearly inevitable – it’s not a question of “if,” it’s a question of “when.” 

    Reducing Data Loss with a Business Continuity Plan
    However, you can reduce the consequences of data loss, including the loss of revenue, with a business continuity plan that includes the proper resources for data recovery.

    Employees should be instructed to contact IT staff immediately if their local hard drive fails to boot or begins whirring or grinding. Under no circumstances should an employee attempt do it yourself back-up or try to read data from a hard drive that is not operating properly.

    If an employee receives an error message upon trying to access the server or virtual server, they should contact IT staff immediately. In most cases when a hard disk drive fails, professional data recovery is required. You may be dealing with physical failure of the hard drive, and repeated attempts to restore data or reboot the drive can result in complete data loss.

    Similarly, IT staff should be attuned to notice any signs of impending RAID failure in the servers or virtual servers and know the steps to take if this occurs.

    Restoring a Virtual Server
    If the IT staff has taken regular snapshots of the virtual server, it’s an easy process for IT staff to restore the virtual server to the time of the last snapshot. However, there is often a few hours between the time of data loss and the last server snapshot. This is where a professional data recovery firm comes in.

    If, for some reason, you can’t access the snapshot, you need professional data recovery.

    Reduce Downtime by Calling 24 Hour Data
    The sooner you call a professional data recovery service, the sooner we can restore your lost data, rebuild your virtual server, and get your business running again.

    We know how a virtual server crash can cripple a business. That’s why 24 Hour Data offers 24-hour service and the fastest data recovery in the industry. 

  • Posted on: 2/18/2014

    RAID Recovery

    Restoring a failed RAID array often requires expert help from a professional data recovery service. It’s important to remember that one when hard drive in a RAID array fails, it puts added strain on the other drives in the array and can lead to cascading RAID failure and catastrophic data loss.

    However, many levels of RAID use built-in redundancy, which makes RAID storage one of the preferred forms of data storage for enterprise-level data storage within small-to-mid-size businesses. RAID 1 and RAID 5 configurations can withstand the failure of one drive before professional data recovery is required.

    RAID 6, which is rapidly becoming the RAID configuration of choice for enterprise-level data storage, can tolerate the failure of two drives before data loss. We talk about other common benefits of RAID 6 arrays in this post:

    Steps to Take When a RAID Drive Fails
    When a drive fails but the RAID is still functioning, the first step is to back-up all data to another storage device immediately. When one drive fails, it puts strains on the other drives in the array and can often lead to cascading RAID failure.

    Performing a Hot Swap in a RAID Array
    An experienced IT professional can replace a failed drive by doing a “hot swap.” The missing data can then be re-written on the newly replaced drive. Keep in mind, all drives in a RAID array are typically the same age, and when one fails, the others may soon follow. After completing a hot swap, and with backups in place, it’s a good idea to replace your entire RAID array. 

    A hot swap is not an easy operation and should only be performed by an IT professional with the proper training. To avoid cascading failure, you can call 24 Hour Data and we can replace the drives in your RAID array and rebuild the array if a hard drive has failed.

    When More Than One Disk Fails
    When a drive in a RAID array fails, other drives often follow, sometimes before you can back up all the data. When this occurs, you’re facing data loss. Do not attempt do it yourself data recovery, as this can render data unrecoverable.

    Call 24 Hour Data with the make and model of your RAID controller and the failed drives. We will provide you with a fair and honest price quote and begin the data recovery process immediately, so you can get back to business faster. 

  • Posted on: 2/13/2014

    Hard Drive Recovery


    If hard disk drives never died, there’d be very little reason for emergency data recovery.  Of course, there will always be user error, accidental deletion, natural disasters and file corruption caused by viruses and malware. But the second leading cause of data loss, failed hard disk drives, wouldn’t matter. However, even with new SSL and hybrid hard disks, there is one other “constant” in life besides death and taxes: hard drive failure.

    But how soon will most hard disk drives fail?

    Many manufacturers offer a one-year warranty against defects on their hard disk drives, which may lead you to believe that most drives will last approximately 13 months or a little longer. Enterprise class hard drives, usually warranted five years, should outlast consumer hard drives by quite a bit.

    According to extensive research completed by online data storage firm, Backblaze, ( most hard disk drives will last a bit longer than that.

    After four years of testing, Backblaze discovered that 90% of consumer drives last more than three years. 80% of the drives tested lasted as long as four years. After three years, the moving parts begin to wear down and catastrophic failure and data loss can occur at any time.

    The moral? Data backups are important at any time, but after three-to-four years of use, you should expect your hard disk drive to fail at any time. Backups become critical, and it’s also important to know what to do in a data recovery emergency, which includes powering down your computer immediately and calling a data recovery service right away for the best odds that you’ll be able to get your data back.

    “Infant Mortality” in Hard Disk Drives
    Backblaze’s research discovered something else that should serve as a warning to hard drive users. In testing, 5.1% of the drives didn’t make it to their 18-month anniversary. This was due to a defect in the drive, usually covered by the warranty.

    If your drive makes it to this 18-month mark, the odds that it will survive the next year-and-a-half rise to more than 98%. At three years, the drive parts start wearing down and we reach the phase when hard disk failure can occur at any time.

    Old drive or new, the lesson is clear. Back up your data and know who to call in a data recovery emergency. 

  • Posted on: 2/05/2014

    Hard Disk Failure


    Backblaze, an unlimited online backup company, recently published the results of an extensive, four-year study of hard disk drive lifespans. In additional to revealing some useful and interesting statistics on hard drive lifespans, the study also uncovered three common reasons for hard disk drive failure.

    Since 24 Hour Data specializes in recovering lost data after hard disk failure, let’s look at some of the most common reasons people call us.

    Hard disk failure reason #1: Manufacturer’s defects – Some hard drives just weren’t built to last. According to the Backblaze study, 5.1% of all drives die within 18 months of use. These failures are usually covered by warranty and are typically due to manufacturer’s defects. A small percentage, 2.5%, of all drives die before their first birthday.

    Hard disk failure reason #2: Random failure – Sometimes, a drive fails for no apparent reason after 18 months. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, occurring only 1.8% of the time in the Backblaze study. This number doesn’t account for hard disk failure from outside factors, such as file corruption, viruses, shock damage, heat damage or natural disasters.

    Hard disk failure reason #3: End-of-life – As the mechanical parts in a hard disk drive wear down due to normal use, mechanical failure becomes nearly inevitable. This occurs when the drive is anywhere from three to six years old, although some fortunate users may get even more time out of their hard disk drives.

    If your drive is nearing its end of life, daily back-ups are important. If your older drive begins making clicking or whirring sounds, back up your files and power down your computer. It may not be too late to save your data and replace your drive. Be aware that your drive may fail during the back-up process, and you’ll need emergency data recovery to extract your lost data before further damage occurs.

    Understanding  the life spans of hard disk drives can help you be more prepared for hard disk failure and potentially avoid a data recovery emergency. 


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