Recover Deleted Files In 4 Steps

by Rod Dunne on October 19, 2010

in Articles, Data Recovery

Recover Deleted Files In 4 Steps Using Data Recovery Applications
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Using software to recover deleted files is one of the simpler PC repair tasks that you can encounter. In this article, we look at the generic steps involved when using software to recover deleted files.

The reason why deleted files can be recovered is due to the fact that file deletion does not remove the documents contents from the hard drive; it only alters an index reference for the document in the file allocation table so that the file no longer appears in Windows Explorer. The data clusters on the hard drive that represent this document are still intact so data recovery applications can still read them in order to recover deleted data fragments, but the clusters are however labeled available to reuse saving any new files.

Recover deleted files from recycle bin

Before purchasing any data recovery applications you should check if you can recover deleted files from recycle bin. This may seem obvious to state, but there are recycle bins for each partition on your hard drive and external storage device (e.g. USB Flash drives). So, make sure to check the correct recycle bin for your files. If the bin has not been emptied then you are can restore deleted files simply by right clicking on them and choosing the restore option.

Restore deleted files in 4 steps

  1. Install a data recovery software utility. Some suggested tools are listed below.
  2. Launch the application. You will be prompted to select a drive for scanning/analysis. Pick the hard drive or partition from which you deleted your file. Start the scan.
  3. The application will check the data clusters on this hard drive for signs of lost/deleted files that are no longer in the recycle bin. It will compile a full list and present these back to you.
  4. Review the list of found files and pick the documents you need to copy/clone to a new location.

Some factors will affect how many documents can be found:

  • Continuing to use the hard drive will result in any newly saved documents are gradually begin to overwrite the old deleted documents. In fact, they are reusing the data clusters belonging to the deleted files.
  • The choice of data recovery application can play a factor in how many files are found. Each program is developed independently and needs to use its own logic to reassemble data clusters into documents. Some programs are more successful at this than others.

Suggested software to recover deleted files

There is a huge array of software to recover deleted files, so it can be difficult to pick out which application go for. The important thing is to choose a tool which merely clones the data from the hard drive, rather than doing a cut and paste. This is important as you don’t want the applications attempting to remove or reorder data clusters on your disk, making documents irretrievable.

Recover deleted files freeware

You could also try recover deleted files freeware tools in an effort to find and retrieve your deleted documents. Some suggestions will include Smart Recover, Undelete Plus and Recuva. These programs will not harm your computer as they are merely scanning the drive and never actively attempt to remove documents.

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