The primary tools used to recover data from crashed hard drive partitions is a data recovery application. In this post I’ll show you how to use regular file retrieval software to reclaim your lost data.
Remo Undelete: FAT/NTFS support, All Windows OS; Free trial scan.
Using data recovery tools is actually quite a straight forward process. Though, the chances of recovery will never be 100% (see the ‘pitfalls’ below).
- Download and install a suitable data recovery application, such as Remo Undelete. Do not install the program onto the crashed partition (whether this is possible or not). Doing so could cause your original data to be over-written.
- Launch the application.
- Most programs let you configure or filter the type of search to do. If you have a large hard drive to analyze then it is worth filtering the results to speed up things.
- Start the scan. The time this takes varies depending on the application used and the size of the drive. The scan will attempt to detect data clusters on the disk that represent full files/documents.
- Review the list of found data and then recover data from crashed hard drive sectors by simply cloning the files onto a secondary HDD.
Some pitfalls you may encounter
None of these tools can guarantee finding your files every time they try to recover data from crashed hard drive partitions. Here are some of the problems you may see:
- Bad sectors on the disk may result in data loss of any files/clusters stored in these sectors. No applications will be able to retrieve these clusters.
- Running a disk defragmentation or disk checking tool before the data recovery software could overwrite data clusters. These programs reuse clusters in order to speed up disk access times and repair sector damage, but can interfere with the recovery tools in the process.
- Leaving an extensive passage of time before using the data recovery application may result in fewer files being found than you’d expect. Running applications and saving files to disk will gradually begin over-writing your lost data.