Saving Deleted Computer Files

data recovery

There is nothing worse than losing a file. What can you do if the worse happens? Can you ever retrieve that file yourself and without cost or hassle?

If you delete a file, data recovery is possible, because it is only the file's entry in the index that has been deleted and not the file itself.

However, any further work you do on your PC may overwrite the file's location, so data recovery should be attempted as soon as possible.

Can I Completely Erase My Hard Disk?

You cannot entirely erase a hard disk (unless you really really know what you are doing!). Formatting does not place information beyond the reach of data recovery, which can even work on a disk that has been shredded. When every byte of information on a drive has been erased, it can sometimes be restored by using an ultra sensitive retrieval system.

How Can I Prevent This Happening?

  • Make frequent backups
  • Store backups away from your PC
  • Ensure that backups works properly and will restore your system completely
  • Have a plan for retrieving lost information

What Do I Do If I Lose Information?

  • As soon as you encounter a problem stop what you are doing. Make a list of the last thing you did, the last application you used, recently installed software, the last upgrade etc. This will be useful if you have to seek assistance
  • Do not be tempted to make adjustments to your files or your drives
  • If you must work on something else on the drive, it may be possible to create a mirror (if suitable). Do not operate the original drive
  • Do not open the drive and attempt to repair it. A drive must only be worked on in a sterile atmosphere because even a tiny particle of dust can damage it
  • Handle the drive with the utmost care, ensuring that it is securely packed. A hard disk, particularly a defective one, can be further damaged by shocks and vibrations
  • Find a reliable system repair company. As with any industry, some firms are inferior

In Summary

So in short, there are a number of steps you can take if you lose data, but if you don't know what you are doing then get help!

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Useful Websites

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  • DiskEng Data Recovery Services
    Hard Disk recovery and RAID data recovery service. Specialist data recovery company providing 24x7 EMERGENCY data recovery services for hard drive, backup tapes and all configurations of RAID5 servers
  • DataNumen Data Recovery
    Data recovery software and service for Microsoft Office files, email recovery, archives, backup files, databases, documents and image files. Also offers software development kit for developers.
  • MjM Data Recovery Ltd
    Data recovery from hard disks, laptop drives and memory cards. Free diagnosis and a no recovery no fee service.
  • Flashback Data
    Data recovery and digital forensics firm with same crime lab rating as the FBI.
  • Data Clinic Ltd
    UK data recovery services from hard disks, servers & RAID arrays. Partnered with UMIST, our R&D provides unique methods of recovering data from drives pronounced unrecoverable by other companies.
  • Data and Disaster Recovery Forum
    Portal for discussion of data recovery and disaster recovery matters. Emphasis on planning for the worst scenario.
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