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Deleted Data and Backup

delete key

Photo credit Matt McGee, https://flic.kr/p/9cnADG

Gillware Data Solutions is a unique backup solution, and I’m not just saying that because I work here (okay, maybe a little). Aside from the features and management tools, our backup software is unique because it is the only solution developed by a data recovery lab. Gillware Data Recovery has been recovering lost files from failed storage devices since 2004. Years of experience with various causes of data loss give us a unique perspective on how a backup solution should be designed.

One of the best examples of this is accidental deletion of data. Deletion is a very common data loss event. It’s happened to everyone; you’re going just a little too fast and click just a little too soon and suddenly that document or picture you meant to save just got deleted. Oops. We see cases like this in our data recovery lab frequently, and our success rates are high on cases such as these, especially if the data hasn’t been overwritten. (That’s why if you lose data, you should immediately stop using the drive, more on that here.) Unfortunately, many times people don’t realize their data is gone until it’s too late. It can be days, weeks or months until they go back and realize the file they need is no longer there.

With the majority of other backup services, when a file is deleted from a computer, it stays in the backup archive for a set period of time (usually 30 days or so), after which time it is deleted from the archive as well. But usually when you delete a file by mistake, you don’t realize it’s gone until you need it. What if you don’t need that file for more than 30 days? What if it’s a document you only edit monthly, a spreadsheet you only update quarterly, an old family photo or video that you look at once a year? In this case, the data is gone from your computer, erased from your backup archive and essentially lost forever.

The situation I’ve described is exactly why we designed our backup solution differently. With Gillware Data Solutions, if you delete a file, it stays in the backup archive indefinitely, unless you actively choose to have it removed. It’s basically a two-step verification process. If you delete a file (step one), you have to remove it from the backup archive (step two) in order for it to be gone for good. This protects you from the unfortunate possibility of deleting a file you didn’t mean to, and not realizing before it’s too late.