In recent years, smartphones have shifted away from external storage media, such as SIM cards and SD cards, and now use built-in flash-based media for storing photos, contacts, videos, documents and other mobile multimedia. This poses a few risks and challenges when it comes to data recovery. For one, as smartphones become more functional as standalone devices, users are less likely to connect their devices to their computers for regular backups or offloading of important data. With smartphone storage ranging from 16 GB to 64 GB and higher, there’s hardly a need to transfer your data to a laptop or a computer every night. This is a greater risk because smartphones are particularly prone to damage from drops onto concrete, into toilets, puddles, coffee mugs, etc. Accidentally hopping in the ocean with your smartphone in your pocket may mean ruining your own copy of your vacation photos and videos.
Of course, there are options for smartphone data recovery. But they are expensive. This is because the data recovery specialist will have to take apart the smartphone and mount the sometimes proprietary drive built in to it. In some cases, this may even require some reverse engineering in order to get access to the data.
In the best cases, something about the phone is broken that doesn’t affect the drive itself. Because smartphone drives are solid-state, the chances for this scenario are fairly good. Unlike most desktop and laptop computer hard disk drives, smartphone storage drives have no moving parts and are thus less vulnerable to mechanical failures. If the problem is a broken interface port, dislodged battery, broken screen or some other part of the phone that prevents it from being powered on or connected to a computer, a data recovery professional may be able to remove the drive and mount it in another device or to a data recovery terminal.
The worst cases are ones that involve water damage, such as dropping a phone into a drink or the toilet or subjecting it to steam damage from a shower. This can cause corrosion to build up on the inside of the device itself. This can break down the electronic components, making it difficult or impossible for a connection to be made to the drive, even after disassembly.
According to recent quotes, data recovery from a cell phone can cost anywhere from $250 to $2,000. Depending on how valuable your data is, that cost may be well worth it. But in severe cases where the costs are high, the real risk is that you may not be able to restore some or all of your data.
To protect against physical damage to your smartphone, you should consider installing an app that automatically backs up certain files to the cloud. For example, Dropbox has a Camera Upload feature that automatically syncs your camera roll on your iPhone to your Dropbox account. While this can quickly rack up data usage, it’ll protect you in between photo imports on your computer. iCloud also offers similar backup on iOS devices natively, which can also protect your contacts. A shock proof and water resistant case is also a wise investment.
Data Recovery from Smartphones
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