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The Commonality of Partition Corruption By Jan Azurek


The hard disk of a computer system stores all information and data, but it may be required to divide the disk into separate parts (logically not physically) so that for all practical purposes, they seem to be different disks to the user. This is known as disk partitioning and is helpful for various reasons such as better space management, separation of operating system from the data, etc. If one of the partitions is corrupted, it normally does not affect the other partitions and data recovery needs to be done from that partition only.

Corrupted/Deleted Partition

A partition might get corrupted or it could be accidentally erased, hence the need for data recovery using appropriate software or professional data recovery services. If the partition has been accidentally deleted, chances are that only the partition table gets deleted whilst the actual data stays intact-unless it has actually been overwritten by new data or the disk has been formatted. There are several methods to reconstruct the partition table and hence retrieve the seemingly lost data. In case you are not very confident about such procedures, it is best to utilize the services of professional data recovery services so that your valuable data is in safe hands.

In case you want to know more about the partition table, it is the information present in the first sector of the disk and could be either the primary partition table or the logical partition table depending on the number of partitions. By default, only 4 partitions are allowed on a disk but more can be created if required in the form of extended partitions.

Power surges are a common cause for corruption of data and this happens due to a power disturbance during the sector write operation. This may not be evident instantly but later on when the read operation is being performed on the same sector, it gives an error.

Often, a corrupted partition or drive does not show up in your system. Many times the drive is detected by the motherboard but it displays one or the other error including the read error mentioned in the previous paragraph. Other possible errors include invalid drive specification or invalid media type.

Partition Software

In case you think that you can carry out the data recovery by yourself without the aid of a professional data recovery service, there are several software applications available for this purpose. Many of these software help to change the partition configuration by deleting/creating partitions when the computer is up and running as opposed to the partitions which are created or deleted during the initial installation of the operating system. They also help to recover accidentally deleted partitions but they have their limitations and I would suggest utilization of professional hard drive recovery services offered by a genuine data recovery company, in case the data is valuable for you.

A common mistake made by most users is that when they suspect partition corruption or even hard drive failure, they continue to use the computer for carrying out whatever work they are doing. They assume that they can postpone the data recovery to a later stage while they can finish their work in the meantime. They assume that the data which is lost will be recovered by hard drive recovery mechanism or use of professional data recovery services. This is true to a certain extent but suppose a partition has been deleted and it still has its data intact; if you continue to save or create new files in such a situation there is a chance that some of the data could be overwritten.

It may not be possible to fully recover all the data even using the best data recovery services. Hence I suggest that the moment you are aware of such a problem, just stop everything else. You can use some other PC if your work is important but do not work on the effected PC until your data recovery problem has been solved.

Another common misconception amongst many users is that the recovery CD which comes originally bundled with your computer is only to restore the compute to its original factory condition. Under no circumstances should you think that it will help you to recovery lost data, and this confusion is probably due to its nomenclature of being a "Recovery Disk".

Viruses can be the cause of partition corruption as well, but again there is a misconception that once a virus infects a partition, nothing remains intact. This is only partly true since many viruses do not attack or infect data but only the partition tables or boot record. Hence do not assume that since your disk has undergone a virus attack, that it is useless or dangerous to recover the data. Take the help of professional data recovery services to retrieve the data from a corrupted or infected partition.

SalvageData Recovery Lab, Inc. is one such data recovery service which deals with sophisticated recovery situations including RAID data recovery and hard drive recovery.

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