Essential Software to Recover Lost Data

by Rod Dunne on February 27, 2011

in Data Recovery

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Using software to recover lost data is one of the easier tasks to perform in PC maintenance. Here I’ll show you the process involved in using these tools along with some of the things which can impede a successful data recovery.

Recommended data recovery software

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

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

Data recovery steps

The starting point in the process is to download and install a suitable data recovery tool. Remo Undelete is a well-liked commercial tool with a large customer base. Use the tool as follows:

  1. Install the program onto a secondary partition or external HDD. You should do this so that you do not overwrite the lost/deleted data on your primary partition.
  2. Start the application.
  3. Choose the appropriate drive for scanning (i.e. the one that last contained your lost data). If you have a large hard drive capacity then it is worth filtering the results e.g. by file size, type or the age of the file.
  4. Start the scan. The application will try to identify data clusters on the disk belonging to lost files and piece them back together. A list of found files is compiled and presented back to you.
  5. Review the list of data that has been retrieved and clone whichever files you need onto a secondary partition. Again, do not use the primary partition for saving the documents as this could overwrite original files.

Impediments to full data retrieval

There are some external factors to consider when using software to recover lost data. The following can result in you only being able to retrieve partial results:

  • The closer your disk is to reaching full capacity, the greater the chance that clusters belonging to lost data will be reused for storing data. Keep 10% disk space empty.
  • Files that are only recently lost have a better chance of being found. Clusters belonging to old documents have a greater potential of being overwritten by any new files being stored in the disk.
  • Using a bad sector repair tool or disk defragmentation utility could result in making data recovery impossible. These tools work by altering the locations of clusters on your disk drive partitions and sectors, reusing any available clusters where necessary. As a result, your old lost files may simply be overwritten by these tools.

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