Although we are not specialists in data recovery, from time to time we are presented with corrupted hard drives and memory cards.
Using drive repair and data recovery software tools we have managed to successfully restore thousands of photographs, work documents, e-mails and (most recently) 70+ family videos.
Celerity Design does not have a dedicated lab or workshop for data recovery, and if your media is physically corrupted there is little we can do. Having said that, many types of data corruption are recoverable and we are happy to try and help in the event of your data loss. Our rates are very reasonable, and we won't charge you anything for assessing the damage. If we can recover your files, you will only be charged by the hour (not by the number of files) and the cost of the media to return your data on.
Recommended Backup Strategy for Home Users (UPDATED article, March 2010)
Our best advice for home users on a budget is to back up your data to an external harddrive every week or month depending on your needs. We'd advise doing *full* backups of your data (not Windows and all your program applications), and keeping more than one copy on the disc. So, if you have enough space on the external drive for two full backups and do a weekly backup, you will always have two backups available, one from about a week ago, and one from about two weeks ago.
A 1TB external drive currently sells for less than £100, and should be sufficient to store several backups for typical home users.
You should also ensure that you are backing up all your data. For example, if you are only backing up your "My Documents" folder, make sure this includes all your email, photos etc - and if not, make a note of those folders as they will also need to be backed up.
For photographs, we strongly recommend using the free Google Picasa software, which makes backing up photos to an extrenal drive or DVDs extremely simple.
If you have a reasonably quick broadband connection, off-site backups are now also a feasible option for home users. Services we have experience with are Mozy and Jungle Disk. Bear in mind that offsite backups can take considerable time to recover from - for example weeks rather than days, so at the time of writing our advice is that they should be used more for peace of mind, on selective data only, and used in conjunction with a local backup.