Working Around Having Insufficient Disk Space to Recover Lost Data

by Rod Dunne on February 26, 2011

in Data Recovery

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Having insufficient disk space to recover lost data can severely hamper your efforts at finding deleted or corrupted documents. In this article, I’ll show you how to work around this problem in order to use your data recovery software effectively.

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Your first task to consider is how you can possibly free up some extra disk space. There is a variety of ways of doing this. Here are some examples:

  • Empty the recycle bin.
  • Uninstall any old applications you no longer require.
  • Copy larger files (e.g. video files or music) onto an external hard disk device.
  • Run the Disk Cleanup utility to clear down cached documents, temporary files, cookies, etc. [start/all programs/accessories/system tools/disk cleanup]

If you receive an error message that there is insufficient disk space to recover lost data while trying to install the data recovery tool then the above tasks will also help free up some space for doing this.

Alternatively, you could also consider installing the application onto a secondary partition or perhaps even external hard drive. This is highly recommended even during normal circumstances as installing applications onto the partition where data is lost may in fact result in your original data being overwritten.

If on the other hand, the error message stating you have insufficient disk space to recover lost data is seen when running an analysis and scan of the disk memory then this is not the fault of the application. You must clear out some extra space on the hard drive. This will be essential not only for the data recovery tool but also for virtual memory.

Windows uses virtual memory to process commands and operations from OS programs and third-party applications (including your data recovery tool). If the amount of free space on the hard drive drops below 10% then performance will gradually degrade.

Finally, you should also note that a disk that is reaching full capacity would already have started reusing data clusters belonging to lost/deleted data for storing any new documents or temporary files. Consequently, the quantity of documents that your data recovery tool will ultimately find will be greatly reduced in comparison to if you had kept 10% of the drive left empty.

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