Self-service data recovery tools are both a benefit and a hazard. Many power users and IT pros alike have used them to successfully retrieved data from failed hard drives. Yet there is always a chance that a self-service tool will further damage a failed drive, making data retrieval impossible.
In a recent IT Dojo video and blog post, I demonstrate how the Zero Assumption Recovery (ZAR) tool can be used to find and retrieve data from a failed drive. During the video, I warn everyone about the potential dangers of using self-service data recovery tools and recommend that viewers contact a qualified data recovery company if the data is critical or the drive has physical damage.
Despite my admonitions, I'll no doubt receive a few complaints once this piece is published, and some will argue that tools like ZAR do more harm than good. But I'd like to move the discussion beyond an anecdotal debate and gather a few numbers—albeit through a nonrandom sample. Answer the following questions, and let us know if you've used a self-service hard drive recovery tool and if the experience was positive.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.