Using poor software, or not planning ahead, can lead to problems down the road.
If you are storing critical data on your hard drive, and we all are these days, then you need to have a backup plan in place before you start using it.
This can begin by having some good quality disk imaging software to hand.
Making an image of your hard drive is both good advice and easier than you may think it is.
There are many different software solutions designed for this task and you can find them easily by searching the internet.
lots of disk imaging software out there than can automatically create these copies, just do a small search on internet and you will see what I am talking about.
In addition to using disk imaging software, you should also contemplate making more traditional backups.
Tape drives and blank CDs/DVDs are inexpensive these days and really can save your bacon as long as you set up a backup schedule and stick to it.
Data Recovery Software
If you are using disk imaging software and/or backups then your need for data recovery software should be minimal or non-existent.
If you do not have either of those in place then you will need to find out how damaged the target disk is before proceeding – if the drive is badly damaged then there may be no way of retrieving your data and so buying software will be a pointless exercise.
Also, if the damaged drive contains critical information then you may be better off taking it to a professional recovery service where the chances of success are likely to be much higher than if you attempted the job yourself.
There have certainly been instances where users have tried to use data recovery software only to make the situation worse because they have run a drive that should have been left well alone and dealt with by an expert.
That said, if the data is not too important, then data recovery software may be worth trying.
If the data you need recovered is critical then there really is no alternative but to take it to a professional.
You’ll pay for the service alright but the chances of getting your data back will be much, much higher.
If your data is less important, or your funds are very limited, then cheap data recovery software is an option.
Better yet, you should plan ahead and have backups/disk images so that neither of the two options above prove to the last resort.