November 2, 2012 at 7:53 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
It’s been a hard week for a lot of people in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. If, in cleaning up after the storm you – or someone you know – discovers that a computer, hard drive, digital camera, smart phone, or other technology that holds irreplaceable data – photographs, financial records, work, business files, or that novel you’ve been working on for years – is wet or otherwise damaged, don’t throw it out in despair.
Even when a machine is destroyed beyond repair, a professional can often salvage the data on it. This is usually a very expensive proposition, which is why prevention – as in backing up that data – is one of those hateful chores you should do immediately if you haven’t already and your gear is still working.
If your machine is a wreck and you didn’t back up, you are not alone. Most of us – myself included – who back up carefully do so because a devastating data loss taught us a hard lesson. This photo of Bruce Willis is taken from a Hall of Fame of superstars who would have lost everything from NASA photos of the moon to unpublished records and unfinished TV shows — if not for a data recovery pro.
Even if you don’t have Bruce Willis’s budget for recovering your data, don’t give up on your data or your money if the drive was damaged by water or a power surge caused by Sandy. DriveSavers – a professional data recovery company that has saved data for the very famous as well as from machines that have been destroyed by fire, crushed under cars, and sunk for days at the bottom of the Amazon river – is rallying its data recovery geeks to help anyone who’s data is a victim of Hurricane Sandy. The company is offering “$500 off their data recovery services for single hard drives damaged by water, mud or power surges from Hurricane Sandy (one recovery per person and one recovery per business). DriveSavers is also calling on its network of over 3,000 computer service providers throughout the impacted region to help coordinate efforts.” To get the process started, call 800-440-1904.
Until you can get the machine to a pro, handle it carefully to preserve the data on it. Here are some tips on how to do that from those DriveSavers data recovery geeks.
If your computer has suffered water damage:
- Do not attempt to power up visibly wet devices.
- Do not dry a wet hard drive or other computer media; place them in an airtight bag and call DriveSavers for proper shipping and handling instructions.
To avoid data loss caused by power surges:
- Unplug all electronic devices from outlets, surge protectors and battery backup systems before power is restored.
- If a hard drive won’t spin up or makes any unusual noises, shut down the computer immediately and call DriveSavers.
Christina Tynan-Wood writes the Family Tech column for Family Circle, and is the author of “How to Be a Geek Goddess.” You can find her at GeekGirlfriends.com, as well as here on Momster.com.
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