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Recovering The Unrecoverable

File Recovery Software

If you manage an office that uses computers, or if you own a computer at home that you use to store personal files, here is something that you probably don’t want to have brought to your attention, but probably should: file loss.

Computers are machines and can break down. Humans use computers and can make mistakes. In both cases this can result in loss of valuable data or important files. And if you have owned or used a computer that is over 2 years old, the chances that you may suffer data loss are pretty high.

Computer data and files can be lost in a number of ways, and though the severity and solutions range, they can be grouped into three classes: not-so-serious, serious, and extremely serious. Here is some information about file loss so that you can get a better idea of where you stand and your best options for data retrieval.

Not so serious: In these cases, the computer on which the file loss has occurred is still functioning properly and all other files on the computer can still be accessed normally. Typically, file loss in these cases result from simple user error, where a file was accidentally deleted and for some reason there was no recycle bin in place, or the file was too large to fit in the recycle bin and was deleted immediately, or the file was moved to the recycle bin, and the recycle bin was emptied before the mistake was noticed. Or perhaps it was intentionally deleted! No matter, the solution remains the same.

Solution: Because there is no actual damage to the computer, and all other files and programs are still intact, particularly your internet browser, the problem can probably be solved by the user.
When a file is deleted beyond the reach of the recycle bin, it is not entirely gone, even though the icon doesn’t appear in any of your folders and it doesn’t appear when you do a search.

All that has happened is that the portion of memory that the file took up on your hard drive has been given a command that allows that ‘space’ to be written over by new data. The problem is that any new data that is added onto your hard drive may be written over that file that you want to recover. This is important to point out for reasons that will become clear a little further on.

Will File Recovery Software Recover Your File?
File recovery software is available on the internet designed to ‘see’ these files that are no longer visible or accessible to the user. The quality of this software ranges from excellent to ‘avoid at all costs’ and sometimes you don’t know which one you are using until it is too late.

Some key tips about using file recovery software
First, DO NOT use file recovery software that has to be installed onto your hard drive. As mentioned earlier any data that is added onto your hard drive runs the risk of making that file completely unrecoverable. Make sure that the file recovery software that you are using can be downloaded to a CD-R, DVD-R or floppy and that it can also be booted from those media devices.

Free File Recovery Software: Not a Good Idea
Second, Hard Disk Recovery Services advises you to avoid freeware file recovery software for two reasons. 1) If you are just a casual computer user, you may not be used to the many interfaces employed by the many different software programs out there. Not every program is as intuitive and user friendly as Windows. So if you don’t know what you’re doing, and the free file recovery software is beyond your keen, using it may result in the permanent loss of your file, and perhaps some others as well.

2) Even if you adapt well to various user interface formats, there is always the chance that the file recovery software that you are using is unreliable. Free software is free for a reason, it hasn’t been tested as extensively as software that is on the market. So there is a chance that some free file recovery software programs still have a lot of bugs to be worked out. If this is the case with the software you try to use, again, your file may be lost forever. All forms of free data recovery may be free in the monetary sense, but all come with risks attached, and may end up costing you far more.

To read on about the other levels of file loss and hard drive data recovery, click here.

If you would like to learn more about file recovery software, or to request a data recovery quote, click here.

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