Top 10 Causes of Data Loss

Unfortunately, data loss is a relatively common occurrence. In fact, for most computer users it’s almost inevitable that you will eventually experience some form of data loss incident that results in lost or corrupted computer files.

The key to preventing or minimizing data loss incidents is to know what causes them and to protect your computer as much as possible. Even though lost data can be recovered with the help of a data recovery specialist in many cases, the process can be expensive and time consuming.

Here are the 10 most common causes of data loss:

1. Accidental deletion of data.
Most of us never want to admit it, but one of the most common causes of data loss is user error. We all make mistakes and it’s relatively easy to accidentally delete important files. Worse still is the accidental deletion of important system files, which can seriously affect the operation of your entire computer.

2. Accidentally formatting your hard drive.
Formatting your hard drive will cause it to erase all data previously found on the drive. You may be able to recover the files with the help of a data recovery specialist, but it’s very important not to use your computer after you have reformatted a drive if you hope to have the files recovered. The more you use your computer in this situation, the more likely it is that you will over-write important data and render it unrecoverable.

3. Computer virus or malware attack.
This is another common cause of lost data. Computer viruses become more numerous and sophisticated by the day. It’s critically important that you have an up to date virus protection program installed on your computer to protect you from these attacks.

4. Physical damage.
Hard drives are very sensitive pieces of equipment and are vulnerable to damage from being dropped, bumped or mishandled. You should always keep your computer in a cool, dry place that is out of the sun and in a relatively low-traffic area of your home.

5. Firmware corruption.
Firmware is the software code that governs the hard drive. It sets configurations and manages the interaction of your hard drive with other components of your computer. Damaged firmware usually causes the operating system to be unable to recognize or access the hard drive.

6. Head crashes.
The read/write heads on your hard drive sit just micro meters above the platter of your hard drive. If, for any reason, the heads come into contact with the platter, it’s called a head crash. A head crash can seriously damage the platter and cause the data stored on the affected section of the platter to be lost.

An object as small as a dust particle can get between the read/write heads and the platter to cause a head crash. This is the main reason you should never attempt to take apart a hard drive on your own.

7. Natural disasters.
Events such as lightning strikes, power surges, fires, flood or earthquakes can all cause physical damage to your drive. Data recovery companies generally have good luck in recovering data in these instances, however, you can protect your data by using surge protection and shutting down the computer properly when it’s not in use.

8. Logical errors.
Logical errors are problems caused by file corruption, invalid entries in file location, or software problems. Logical errors can often be either very easy or extremely difficult to fix, depending on the exact nature of the problem.

9. Power failure.
Power failures are another common cause of lost data. The best defence is to use an un-interrupt power supply (UPS) which gives you time to properly save your data and shut down your computer in case of a power disruption. It’s also important to save your files frequently as you work to avoid losing your data in the event of a sudden power failure.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *