Retrieving Deleted Files from Hard Drive – Methods and Precautions

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Alas! My PC ate my precious files” – You all come across such situations at least once in your lifetime. Sometimes you accidentally delete an important file, or at times realize that you need to backup some files before cleaning up the Recycle Bin, or sometimes you mistakenly press shift + delete keys. Whatever be the reason, you lose your crucial files at the end. However, there is nothing to lose hope, you should search the files in your hard drive and all you need to know is how to find those.

[Read also: Steps to Fix Corrupted or Inaccessible Hard Drive and Recover Data]

retrieving deleted files from hard drive

  • Search your deleted file(s) in the Recycle Bin: Stop panicking! Before you click your big panic button, search your deleted files in the Recycle Bin once more. In case you have not pressed Shift + delete or performed a hard delete, you can easily find them in the Recycle Bin.
  • Use Valid Backup: Backup is always one of the best ways to recover your deleted or lost files. Therefore, if you have a valid backup of your deleted files, then you can always use it to restore lost data.
  • Use Professional Hard Drive Recovery Software: The deletion only deletes the indexes of deleted files from the hard drive and the file still remains at its location intact. However, absence of the index entry of files make them inaccessible by Operating System (OS). Thus you can no longer see a deleted file. In such a situation, a professional hard drive recovery tool works as a boon. It scans your hard drive for all files without any indexes, and then extracts them. So you can use an efficient hard drive recovery software to recover your lost files.
  • Note: Choosing hard drive recovery tools won’t guarantee that all your data will be recovered. You have to avoid using the problematic devices until the deleted data has been recovered.
  • See at Different Location: Sometimes, we just move our files from one place to another and later, we tried to search it at the wrong location. So make sure that you haven’t change the location of any of your files and if yes, use search features of your computer. Therefore, it is always a good idea to name your files properly for the ease of searching.

[Recommended reading: 6 Common Ways Modern Data is Lost]

It is always recommended to use an appropriate method to recover your deleted files. However, in order to perform a successful recovery, you have to follow certain precautions, such as:

  • Use secondary data storage device for saving backup: It is always advised to create and maintain the backup of your hard drive data on some secondary data storage devices, like pen drives, CDs/DVDs, external hard drives, and many others, so that you can restore your data even after your hard drive crashes.
  • Stop using your computer: As you know the deleted files do not get out of your hard drive instead their entries get deleted, thus the OS marks the space occupied by them as free to use. In this way, despite the presence of your files on your hard drive, your computer feels free to use this free space and writes new file on top of the already saved file. This causes complications for recovery software, and thus recovery of your deleted files becomes difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to stop using your computer or its hard drive completely until the recovery software performs its job.
  • Do not install recovery software on hard drive of affected computer: Installing recovery software on hard drive of affected computer can generate high chances of data overwriting on hard drive. So you may download the data recovery software on any other system and attach your affected hard drive as secondary drive to this computer.

By following the precautions and using aforementioned steps, you can easily overcome the loss of your precious files.

[Read more: How to Recover Windows Data Using Data Recovery Software]

About the author : Abhay Jeet is an enthusiastic writer and professional blogger, occasionally write articles on tips to recover hard drive data and steps to prevent HD failure.

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