The simplest Data Recovery process involves the retrieval of files that have been “deleted” from a storage media. The files are usually not erased only removed from the directory listings.
At some point in time, everyone who owns a computer will experience data loss, whether it’s due to human error, to “Acts of God” (flood, fire, asteroid strike, a two year old’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich), to viruses or a blown transformer in front of your house. Data recovery tools and the knowledge to use them are valuable assets and inevitable necessities.
As soon as you recognize a data loss problem relax, count to 100, do some deep breathing exercises, or have a brew (or two). You need to analyze the situation first before trying to fix it. From a lost password for an Office application to undeleting files from an emptied recycle bin, simple data recovery software will usually do the trick.
Preventing the loss of your valuable data should become a major priority and a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is a simple, smart and crucial piece of hardware that protects those delicate, electronic circuits from lightning and power surges.
Regular Backups should be part of every computer owners routine. It is the easiest and surest way to protect yourself from data loss. There are services online that provide storage. Or, you can back it up yourself with an external hard drive. The importance of backups cannot be overstated!
Operating systems consider deleted files as just free space on the drive, so with any write operations to that partition or disk there is the probability of losing these files forever by overwriting them. Therefore it’s not recommended to restore files or an image into the same partition.
There are plenty of reasons why your hard drive should be partitioned into more than one volume; and recovering
Any write operation can overwrite files for good and ruin your chances of successful data recovery. So, in case of suspected problems: don’t write anything to data drive, don’t run any disk utilities such as chkdsk and defragmenters and don’t reboot your computer – Windows may automatically run chkdsk during start-up.
The key to data recovery is to act before the files are overwritten with new data. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. Files that are deleted will eventually be overwritten by the operating system. The more you use your computer, the more you reduce your chances of recovery.
In most situations, simple Undelete File Software is probably all you need to solve the problem.
Most “Free” data recovery software downloads are trial or demo versions of commercial products. Usually of limited duration (15 days for instance), they will locate and display your deleted files but do not have a “save” function.
Some favorite free full featured recovery software:
- Recuva is simple to use.
- PC Inspector is simple to use.
- TestDisk is an advanced recovery tool with a learning curve.
However, if you can’t
All hard drives will fail eventually due to normal use. Although it can happen at anytime (malfunction, faulty parts, etc.), hard drive failure normally takes several years to occur. Tests show an average of 600,000 hours in a controlled environment. If you happen to drop your computer out of the box, failure could be immediate.
Usually you have some warning. If you start hearing strange noises coming from your computer, such as clicks and grinding that you had not heard before; it’s time to do an immediate Backup.