File and data loss can easily occur on re-recordable devices such as disk drives, floppy disks, memory sticks and memory cards. For example, a user may delete a file accidentally, or change their mind on the merits of the file after having deleted it. They might even delete all their data from a hard drive by misuse of reformat command etc.
Whether you can perform file and data recovery successfully to recover a deleted file depends on the type of device where the data was held, what happened to cause the file and data loss and what has happened to the device in the meantime.
Here we look at some of the more common scenarios where file and data recovery may be required.
File and Data Recovery on a PC or Laptop Hard Drive
Most often a PC (or laptop) will have a single hard disk installed. This is often divided into partitions, typically a system hard drive partition and possibly one or more data hard drive partitions.
In order to recover deleted file(s) most effectively, it is crucial to verify if the drive from which data has been lost is a system hard drive partition or a data hard drive partition.
If you are looking to recover a deleted file from a system partition, you must take extra precautions to maintain the chances of a successful file or data recovery operation. Not only must you not write any new files to the disk, but you must also ensure that neither does the operating system or any applications such as Internet Explorer, email etc.
Remember, any disk activity on the drive partition from which data has been lost makes it more difficult to recover deleted file(s).
If you need to recover a deleted file from a system partition on the same computer on which you are reading this page, do nothing further on this computer. Do not close this internet browser window. Use another computer and visit www.GetDeletedFilesBack.com from there instead.
More specific information on how to recover a deleted file on a PC system partition can be found at File and Data Recovery on a PC.
Alternatively, you may have lost files from a data hard drive partition. This is a drive partition that only contains data and/or possibly program files.
In this case, you only need to ensure that no applications will write any new files to the data hard drive partition concerned.
Further information on how to recover deleted file(s) on a PC data hard drive partition can be found at File and Data Recovery on a PC.
File and Data Recovery from a USB Device
Such plug-in USB devices are normally used for additional or temporary data storage and not for running applications.
There are many types of device that can be connected to a PC via USB or Firewire connection. Some, such as USB data hard drives, contain traditional disk technology where data is stored on a rotating magnetic disk. Some, such as the iPod Mini for example, contain microdrives, extremely small drives about the size of a Compact Flash card. Most memory sticks and cards store data on an in-built memory chip. In general terms, the devices are seen in much the same way by the operating system for storing data, and therefore the same principles apply for file and data recovery.
In order to have the best chance of a successful file or data recovery, do not save or update any data to the USB device. For example, say you want to recover a deleted file from a USB attached data hard drive, however, you also happen to use this device as a backup disk for your main PC. Therefore, ensure that no backups will be made to it for the time being. To recover a deleted file most effectively requires that nothing overwrites where the lost data was stored on the device.
Further information on file and data recovery from an iPod is provided at Lost iPod Files.
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