How To Recover Lost Files

by Rod Dunne on November 18, 2010

in Data Recovery

Recover Lost Files Using Software - Simple Steps And The Factors Affecting A Successful Data Retrieval
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Using data recovery tools to recover lost files is one of the simpler computer maintenance and repair tasks that you can do. However, that is not to say that the process will always be successful, in fact, many tools cannot guarantee there will always be able to recover lost data. In this article, we’ll go through the simple steps to recover deleted files, lost documents and formatted data, along with explaining the dependent factors which can affect your chances of a successful recovery.

Suggested software

We suggest using the following data recovery software application which can work on FAT/NTFS file systems can recover lost data on several different types of memory (including internal hard disks, Flash drives and external storage devices).

Remo Undelete: FAT/NTFS support, All Windows OS; Free trial scan.

Remo Undelete | PC Maintenance Software | Click Here For A Free Scan

How to recover lost files

The following is the recommended process:

  1. Download and install your data recovery application. Do not use the same partition on which your lost data is located as this could overwrite the files with the application documents. This is especially true if trying to recover formatted files.
  2. Start up the program and select a hard drive for analysis. You can configure the scan in order to speed up the analysis (e.g. filter by file types file size).
  3. Run the scan. The application will look in the hard drive for data clusters belong to your files and compile a list of found files.
  4. Inspect the list of found documents for the files you need and then recover lost files by cloning them to a separate partition. Do not clone them to the same directory/partition as this could also overwrite them in the middle of the copying process.

Dependent factors

Even though it is quite easy to recover deleted files and lost documents using the software tools, you may find that they will not always be able to find the files you need. This is due to various reasons:

  • Disk defragmentation tools: If you run a disk defragmenter then this will instantly begin moving clusters around the disk and will reuse any available free spaces for storing files on a sequential fashion. This is good for disk access times but may overwrite some of the clusters you’re looking for.
  • Disk capacity: Windows will generally save any new documents to completely blank spaces on the hard drive. However, if your hard drive is reaching full capacity then it will rapidly begin using any available free spaces (including that of your lost files) in order to allocate more space to the page file and virtual memory.
  • Recency of file deletion: The best time to recover lost data is straight after they go missing. If you delay, then even browsing the Internet can result in temporary files and other documents being stored on the hard disk which could overwrite your documents.
  • Formatting approach used: If you have lost a file as a result of formatting the disk then there is the extra problem that your formatting tool may have used a data cleansing sweep on the disk, which completely overwrites clusters with random data and making them unreadable even by data recovery tools.

Remo Undelete: FAT/NTFS support, All Windows OS; Free trial scan.

Remo Undelete | PC Maintenance Software | Click Here For A Free Scan

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