It is advice that I have heard over and over being given and yet there are still many people that do not back up the data they have on their memory devices, regardless of how important that data may be. Sometimes on laptops, people have data concerning work projects and the losing of that data could set the project back days or even weeks. Sometimes people with cameras leave their wedding shots or other shots of onetime events, on their cameras without backing them up on another memory device somewhere and when either of these things happens they suffer huge stress.
The stress can be avoided though, even if the data has not been backed up as the stress can be avoided by contacting a data retrieval professional. These are people that are specially trained in professional data recovery and they can usually retrieve data from any form of memory device be it hard drive, memory chip, card or stick and present that retrieved data to you on a memory device of your choosing.
There may be a data retrieval professional in your area but if not there are companies like SERT that provide a nationwide service and even if they do not have a facility in your area, will advise you on how to package the memory device which is giving trouble, in order for it to reach them safely. Once you advise them of what the problem is, if known and what type of memory device it is that is giving trouble, they should be able to provide you with a quote and possibly the chances of retrieval of the data. In most cases, with most devices, they can attain full recovery but of course there are always exceptions and some of those exceptions are caused by people trying to retrieve the data themselves and although failing, have often made the problem worse making the data completely un-retrievable and so unless you are sure you know what you are doing, leave it to the professionals.
Even retail outlets which claim to be able to retrieve data may mess things up as they are not retrieval professionals either; they just use software to hope it can successfully retrieve the data. There is some software which can help to retrieve data but is often only effective with certain devices and in certain instances and although the retail outlet may seem professional, perhaps Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, dell or apple, software will be all that they have unless they specifically state that they have a retrieval professional on the premises.
The times when you should consider consulting a professional data retrieval specialist is if the hard drive has crashed or refuses to boot up, if it is smoking or makes a scratching or scrapping sound, if certain programs will not respond or any number of other problems. Getting the data retrieved and backed up as quickly as possible may save you a lot of stress later, stress that could have been avoided.