Top Ways to Lose Your Data: Human Factor

In this article, we’ll focus on the most widespread causes of losing data due to lack of user’s attention or knowledge. This article continues the list of the most common data storage mistakes made by our customers. We keep receiving queries from our clients that describe these very situations, so we were able to assemble a pretty comprehensive statistics about major causes of data loss.

Top Ways to Lose Your Data: Human Factor

Fault Tolerant Systems (continued)

Building a single fault-tolerant system is not enough to ensure data integrity.

Fault Tolerant Storage Is Not Enough

Small companies and startups with large amounts of information to process and to store often invest in a fault-tolerant system as a substitute to backups. One thing they have to keep in mind is that no single system is going to be 100% reliable. So-called fault-tolerant systems will continue working if any one component fails, but many are just not implemented properly. For example, we had customers coming to us with a bunch perfectly usable hard drives but no working RAID controller. If a RAID controller fails, it may be difficult or even impossible to quickly restore access to information stored on the affected disks.

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Software RAID in Windows 10, Storage Spaces and Data Recovery from RAID drives 💻⚕️🤔

Software RAID in Windows 10, Storage Spaces and Data Recovery from RAID drives 💻⚕️🤔

The Human Factor

The human factor is the biggest cause of all errors. Distressed users will often do things they would never to otherwise.

DIY Repair without Proper Tools

Attempting to ‘fix’ the disk without using the right tools is plain dangerous, and may cause disastrous results to your data. Using disk recovery tools such as Windows checkdisk (a tool that comes pre-installed with every version of Windows) can mess up your hard drive and ruin your chances of getting your data back. Moreover, using checkdisk on a solid-state (SSD) drive may easily wipe it clear due to the way SSD drives operate (look up for “TRIM data recovery” to see why).

Fixing Things That Ain’t Broken

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Many users will forget this wisdom, trying to clean up, optimize or ‘fix’ their tablet or notebook storage system. This often results in deleted files (“freeing up some disk space”), wiped Recycle Bin, and messed up RAID settings and broken system recovery options. It is these types of activities that make us friends with a good half of clients.

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How to Restore Data from a Windows Computer or Laptop That Can’t Boot 💻🛠️👨‍🏫

How to Restore Data from a Windows Computer or Laptop That Can’t Boot 💻🛠️👨‍🏫

Pushing the Wrong Button

“Pushed the wrong button” is a frequent cause of accidentally deleted files, accidentally formatted memory cards in photo camera and accidentally repartitioned hard drives or USB flash drive. These accidents lead to an increasingly high rate of data loss. Fortunately, these problems are usually easy to fix with the right tools.

By the way, feel free to push all the buttons in tools made by our company. We guarantee they won’t cause any damage to your information no matter which button you push.


“Computer viruses”, as well as anti-virus tools, can cause important files to be deleted. Users’ carelessness often becomes the main reason for this.

Using Old Hardware

You’d never know how many old, obsolete systems are out there if we didn’t tell. Many organizations and some home users will use their hardware to death. Literally. A heavily worn out hard drive will be very difficult to fix; often impossible without bringing the disk to a data recovery lab. Incompatible interfaces (e.g. IDE vs. today’s SATA) will make older drives difficult or impossible to connect to a modern system, while bad sectors covering the entire platter may well render the data unreadable even in the lab.


Top Ways to Lose Your Data
Oleg Afonin

Author: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies. Read more

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