What happens to Deleted Files?

If you suddenly realize that important files are missing from your computer, or if you have accidentally deleted some of your files, do not despair yet. The first thing you want to check is if they are still in the recycle bin, although you probably wouldn’t be here if that were the case. The very second thing you should do is to STOP using the computer. If you continue using your computer, you risk to accidentally overwrite the deleted files with information that is generated by using your computer.

Deleted files are not really deleted immediately. When a file is deleted, the only thing that this action triggers is the removal of the information of where these files are physically located on your Hard Disk Drive. In other words, your deleted files are still on the Hard Disk Drive but your computer has now lost the important piece of information which allows it to retrieve them. This means that if we can restore the information that points to your “deleted” files, you will then be able to access them again. As long as your computer is unaware of the location of your deleted files, this specific section can and will be reused to store new information. If you continue to use your computer, you risk overwriting those files, which might render them effectively unrecoverable.

How to Recover Lost or Deleted Files

Paid File Recovery Software

WARNING: For the reasons explained above, DO NOT install Data Recovery Software on the same Hard Disk Drive where your missing or deleted files resided.

If you can afford to shell out $79, we really like GetDataBack from Runtime Software. It has a Wizard that guides users through the steps necessary to recover their data, it’s fast in scanning Hard Disk Drives and the company offers free lifetime updates, once you purchase their product. As with all major Data Recovery Software, they offer a free trial version, too. That way you can experience how the software performs on your machine and verify that it can actually find your deleted files first, before spending your hard earned money.

The first step would be to remove the Hard Disk Drive from your computer and connect it to a second computer as a secondary disk drive. Purchasing an enclosure for your Hard Disk Drive would allow you to plug it into the second computer as an External Hard Disk Drive.

GetDataBack for NTFS is a free data recovery software for Windows that allows users to easily recover their deleted data.

You then install GetDatBack on this second computer and allow it to scan the Hard Disk Drive where your missing or deleted files resided. At the end of the scan you will be presented with a list of recoverable files, which you can then ask GetDataBack to restore. You can restore your deleted files to any physical media connected to this second computer, just do not send them to the Hard Disk Drive where you deleted files were originally located.

WARNING: For the reasons explained above, DO NOT install Data Recovery Software on the same Hard Disk Drive where your missing or deleted files resided.

Free Data Recovery Software

If you would like to avoid paying, the next best thing is to use Recuva by Piriform. This is a very good Data Recovery Software with a small disk footprint.

Restore deleted files quickly and for free with Recuva.

Some users might find that recovering deleted files with Recuva can be a slow, painstaking process, as each file must be selected and “undeleted” individually. You must then save them to a different drive as you go, to avoid overwriting the deleted-files-yet-to-be-retrieved, just as you would with GetDataBack. A deep search of a Dard Disk Drive can take take longer than an hour, depending on its size. The deep search option finds all recoverable files on the drive. You can then filter the results by type or location. After completing a search, you can also add additional filters to aid you in finding your files. The performance on memory cards and pen drives is excellent, allowing you to recover numerous files, as long as they have not been overwritten.

The best Data Recovery Solution is the one where you don’t have to use one in the first place! If you have been unlucky enough to have experienced Data Loss, and lucky enough to have been able to recover your files with Data Recovery Software, we hope that this experience has thought you an important lesson and that you will finally start backing up your data. For help in deciding which Backup Software to use, you can refer to the suggestions at this Data Backup page.

If you need help with recovering your deleted files and your Office is located in our service area, we would be happy to pay you a visit to assess the damage and determine the best Data Recovery strategy for your specific case. Although the software mentioned here should be good for most users, we recognize that every case is different and that businesses have different requirements. We would also gladly answer any questions you may have about Data Backup and how it can help you safeguard your precious data. Feel free to reach out, even if only to have some points clarified.