Data File Recovery: First Steps
If you need data or file recovery, first of all remember the following:
- If you lost data because of accidental deletion you can unerase (undelete) the data on your own with the help of undelete software.
- If you experience problems with the hard disk, never try to recover the data on your own if you really want to get your files back! Hard drives should be handled only by data recovery experts at specialized facilities.
The most important thing in the situation when you need data or file recovery is to avoid mistakes that will make your data gone forever.
- The first recommendation for all cases of data or file loss: don’t panic because your next steps are critical for successful data or file recovery.
- Second, don’t assume that data file recovery is impossible in your case, no matter how bad it seems. Even in seemingly hopeless cases data recovery experts have been able to regain the lost information.
If you have never had to deal with data / file recovery before, read what you SHOULD NOT do in each case immediately after data loss. Avoiding destructive steps from the very beginning maximizes the chance of complete data / file recovery.
Let’s define the cause of your problem first. You may need data / file recovery because of accidental deletion or hard drive problems.
This group of data loss incidents includes shift-deleting, emptying the recycle bin, formatting the disk, reinstalling the system, software failure, deletion of partition, etc. while the hard drive is intact and working. Use the disk containing the lost data as little as possible. The more you use the disk the more the chance to overwrite the lost information and make data file recovery impossible.
- Don’t use your system if it is installed on the hard drive with lost data, or use it as little as you can until the data file recovery is complete.
- Don’t defrag the storage device!
- Don’t copy any new files to the hard drive, USB flash card or memory card with your lost data.
- Don’t start any programs without necessity.
- Don’t restart your computer unless it is really necessary.
- Don’t browse the Internet without necessity because browsers save cache on the hard disk, so the deleted data may be overwritten;
- Don’t install new software except data / file recovery programs.
- If you have accidentally deleted a partition, don’t create a new one.
In this case good data / file recovery software will restore the lost information or reconstruct as much of the lost data as possible (if it was partially overwritten) and you will be able to continue using the rebuilt file.
Hard Drive Problems (applies to other storage devices)
This group includes data loss caused by mechanical, water or electirc damage of the hard drive, hard drive failure caused by wear or another cause you are not even aware of.
- Shut down immediately and unpower the hard drive. The longer you leave the damaged hard drive running, the less the chance of data file recovery.
- Don’t remove the cover from the HDD to avoid damage that may result in permanent data loss.
- Don’t power up your computer if the hard drive had a water or fire damage.
- Don’t expose the hard drive to shaking or vibrating, that may cause more damage.
- Don’t expose the hard drive to extreme temperatures, hot or cold.
- Don’t try to use any data file recovery software.
- Don’t try to handle the problem yourself. Contact a data file recovery expert if you really need that data!
If you are not sure about the cause of your problem, look through the information on this resource. Pay attention to data loss prevention tips. Our simple guides may help you prevent many unpleasant incidents in future.
Data File Recovery Tip:
ALways install undelete software on your computer in advance, before data loss occurs! That will maximize the chance of complete data or file recovery. Accordingly, if you have lost data, install data / file recovery software on another hard drive.