How to recover deleted or lost files

It’s a sickening feeling, the moment you realise that some important document, or irreplaceable photos have vanished from your computer. But that is no reason to despair. The chances are that the data is still present, even if you know you deleted it. Your computer operating system just does not know how to find it any more.

The four most common reasons for data loss are:

* Deletion. You deleted the file by accident during a disk cleanup, or because you thought it was no longer required. It is not in the Recycle Bin. However, the data will still exist until the space it occupied on the disk is are-used by another file. 
* Overwriting. You saved a new file over the top of the old one. However, the old data may still exist, and be recoverable.
* File system corruption. The disk suddenly appears empty, or the file and folder names contain gibberish. The files probably still exist, but the pointers to them have been lost or corrupted and the operating system cannot find them.
* Physical damage or hardware failure. You receive error messages when you try to read the disk, or it is not recognised by the computer at all. The data is still likely to be present on the disk itself, but the drive is incapable of accessing it. 

In each case, there is a good chance that the data still exists. The computer operating system isn’t able to see it, but data recovery software may be able to. If the problem is a hardware failure then a data recovery service may be able to get back the data using special equipment.

Prepare for data recovery

There is one cardinal rule of data recovery: for the best chance of recovering the files you must not write any new data to the disk they were stored on. The old data will only remain on the disk until the space it occupied is used by another file. If the disk is your computer’s main drive, then the drive is being written to all the time. You should turn off the computer immediately, and use another computer to search for a solution to recover your data. You should put your computer’s hard disk in another computer to do the data recovery, or use data recovery that runs from a CD or floppy disk, because installing the data recovery software on the drive could overwrite the very data you want to recover.

Choosing the data recovery method

Data recovery tools use different methods to try to recover data. Some tools are designed for recovering deleted files, others are better at restoring overwritten files, or recovering files from disks that are physically damaged. Some data recovery software products have been developed specifically for recovering photo images, or Microsoft Word or Excel document files. Such products may succeed where others fail because they understand what these files look like, and can recognise their data when other clues to its existence have vanished.

It can be difficult to choose the most appropriate data recovery method. Tech-Pro has created a website called Get Data Back. It has a Data Recovery Wizard that asks questions about the data you have lost and how it was lost, and then recommends the product that is most likely to be successful. It will also advise you if it would be better to use a professional data recovery service. Give the Get Data Back data recovery site (http://www.get-data-back.com) a try if you need to recover lost files.

Data Recovery Tips

Data recovery becomes necessary when your hard drive, memory card or USB flash card fail, and you have no backup available. This article gives an idea on the necessary steps and precautions during the data recovery process.

Before attempting the recovery, you must be aware that the data cannot always be retrieved. In case of a physical failure of a hard disk such as the infamous “click of death” situation, you won’t be able to do much good to the hard drive except bring it to the recovery experts. Modern hard drives, however, are complex yet reliable pieces of electronics. They rarely fail for no reason, at least on a physical level.

Logical corruption prevails with the complex operating systems, buggy software, malicious or careless acts of the end-users, malware and viruses. Power failures and computer hardware malfunctions also account for many cases of corrupted hard drives and lost data.

The logical corruption can be dealt with at home. Provided that you have the right data recovery tools, you’ll be able to do it yourself without any special skills.

Be aware that the data recovery process is a lengthy one. You’ll need plenty of time and enough space on a working, non-corrupted hard disk to facilitate the recovery. Before you begin, make sure that you restrict any write operations onto the damaged disk. If you don’t have data recovery already installed on your computer, don’t save or install the data recovery product onto the corrupted drive. Instead, use a different drive letter, a flash memory card or a USB drive. Even a flash card from your digital camera can be able to store the data recovery tool!

The choice of a proper data recovery tool is a very important one. If you have no previous experience in recovering data, choose one that offers maximum level of automation for an inexperienced uses. It’s a good idea to make sure that the tool you pick allows saving a copy of the damaged disk onto a healthy one in order to work on a backup copy instead of operating the live disk. Mareew Data Recovery by http://mareew.com is a good choice for the inexperienced user.

Further data recovery steps depend on the data recovery software that you choose for the job. If you settle with Mareew Data Recovery, there’s not much to talk about. Mareew Data Recovery can optionally create a backup copy of the damaged disk (I highly recommend that you do so), and performs all recovery operations on the copy instead of the original. If something goes wrong, you still have the source hard disk in its original condition; just make another copy and try again.

The data recovery process is pretty straightforward with Mareew Data Recovery. You get a step-by-step wizard that guides you through the recovery process. Even if you don’t read the prompts except the choice of the damaged disk if you have more than one in your system, and simply click the ‘Next’ button several times, you will be able to recover the damaged disk!

Mareew Data Recovery is able to fix the most complex issues with modern hard disks. Corrupted file systems, bad partition tables, FAT or NTFS failures are not a problem. Most importantly, Mareew Data Recovery values your data more than the integrity of the system structures. You’ll have a chance to save your documents, digital pictures and archives from the damaged drive before attempting the recovery. All in all, a highly recommended tool.

When Do You Need to Use a Professional Data Recovery Service?

There are a number of data recovery software programs intended to help you when an emergency calls for data recovery, however it is important to determine when you can do the job by yourself, and when you need to use a professional data recovery service.

Data recovery is a time consuming process that most of the time requires some level of technical knowledge in order to keep the integrity of the destroyed data destroyed no matter what the cause. Hard drive data recovery, when performed the wrong way, can lead to permanent data loss and even damage the surface.

Therefore, when it comes to deciding on data recovery software or professional data recovery service, stop for a while and think about it twice. How much do you know about the recovery processes? Are your computer skills enough to perform the operation by yourself? Is the software comprehensible and easy to use? Are there any warranties of full data recovery?

To all those questions, add the most important:
How critical is it for you or your business to recover the data that was lost?

Keep in mind that a professional service can recover all types of files, because they have the full versions of the most advanced data recovery software. Furthermore, they can also preview the files before recovering them so you will be provided with a data recovery from where you can choose which selected files to be retrieved or ask for all of them back.

Even when the hard drive data recovery is exposed to severe recovery situations, professional data recovery services can include additional support for over 300 specific file types and uncommon file types such as FLV and flash files, MIDI music files, digital media files, voice files, and many others.

Another service that professionals can offer and you probably will not be able to implement, except if you are an IT technician, is the emergency boot media, which allows you to recover data from systems that cannot boot Windows due to data loss, hard drive damage or virus attack.

Sometimes you can have the knowledge and skills, the data recovery software, but not the time. Professional services can perform the recovery because of time constraints, offering a solution for almost any hard drive situation or the critical nature of the data recovery.

Such hard drive data recovery solutions may include the most advanced data recovery software, including disk diagnostic and file repair, the best disk diagnostic tools, improved file type searching capabilities, and the confidence that your most important information is in good hands to be rescued.

The Solution To Finding Your Lost Files – Data Recovery Companies

When the worst happens to your computer and all your files disappear, never worry! There are a number of quality data recovery companies that are able to restore your critical files quickly and easily.

Instead of tearing out your hair over a stubborn computer that is holding that essential file hostage, let the worries slide away and send off your hard drive to a data recovery company. These companies work their magic and recover files of all sizes in a remarkably quick turn around time. This service is essential for any individual or business that has fallen onto hard times with their computer.

Most data recovery companies operate over the internet and occupy cyberspace as they would a store front. If you find yourself in need of a quality company to find your files, look no further than the World Wide Web.

A simple search of search engines will produce hundreds of quality companies eager to solve your every problem. Before you send off your hard drive, carefully evaluate the chosen company to ensure it is legitimate and reputable. Using an incorrect company may result in further headaches and a loss of money for services not rendered.

Upon your search for a data recovery company, investigate their capabilities and services. Choosing a company that will best serve your needs will ensure the greater success in the end. You may need to compare services versus charges for these data recovery companies.

The old adage, “you get what you pay for” could not be truer when it comes to regaining your lost files. If you are taking the trouble to send off your hard drive in an attempt to reclaim critical files for business or personal reasons, then you should be prepared to spend the appropriate amount of money to get the job done. However, just because one data recovery is more expensive than another one does not mean the pricier company is more successful.

When choosing a data recovery company to reclaim your files, consider contacting individuals who has used their services in the past. This recommendation to use or to avoid the company may be an excellent method to choosing a company.

Also, contact the company directly and explain your specific situation. A representative for the company will be able to discuss the possibility of the recovery of your files and the estimated cost of their services. You should be sure to inquire the expense if the company is unable to recover the lost files. Many companies offer to return your hard drive without charging for their services if they are unable to deliver your compromised files.

Whichever data recovery company you entrust to regain your lost files, be sure to keep the company’s contact information if you are pleased with the services rendered. Having this resource can be invaluable if a similar fate befalls your files in the future and you need a reputable source to recover these files as quickly as possible. If you are pleased with the data recovery company, be sure to tell other individuals in your predicament.

Professional Data Recovery Services

Even though hard drives are built to last and endure a lot of things, crashes are something that hard drives don’t handle well. Although the loss of data is something to be expected – data recovery ensures that your hard drive doesn’t fail you when you need it the most. No matter how great a hard drive is built, failure is bound to happen one day.

When your hard drive crashes or you lose all of your information, there are things you can do to get back your data. The best way to get back your data, is to take your hard drive to a specialist in your area or send it off to a company. This way, tests can be ran on it and the specialists there can recover your data, which may require rebuilding your hard drive.

If this happens, and you lose all of your data, you should never try to fix the hard drive yourself unless you know exactly what to do. At this stage, professional data recovery services aren’t just a luxury – they are something you must have. The process for data recovery is time consuming, and requires both tools and a clean work environment.

Even though you may know quite a bit about computers and hard drives, data recovery is something that is best left to professionals. They have all the equipment and knowledge to recover files, without bringing more damage to the hard drive. They can also recover any type of file that was on your hard drive, even preview the files before they recover them.

Professional services can also offer you the emergency boot media. This methods allows you to recover any data from computers that cannot boot Windows due to a failure, virus, damage to the hard drive, or loss of data. Normally, this method can bring everything back to your hard drive, in a matter of minutes.

Professional data recovery specialists offer a variety of services and skills to help you recover any data that you have lost. They work with hard drives on a daily basis, and know everything that they can and can’t do. Professional services have the time to put into the recovery process, as they do it for a living.

Anytime your hard drive crashes or you experience a loss of data, you can always count on professional data recovery services to retrieve your data. Even though it may appear there is no hope for your lost files – professional data recovery services can make it happen.

Although data recovery can fix your hard drive and restore your data and information in most cases, you should still create a backup of your information. It isn’t hard to create a backup, and you should always backup your data at least once a week. With the proper data backup, you can keep on going with your operations while your crashed hard drive is being repaired – which won’t slow you down a bit.

Little-known Strategies to Maximize the Life of Your Hard Drive

Maximizing the life of your hard drive

If I asked you the question: which part of your computer is the most fragile, what would you say? What if I asked: which part is most important to you?
Often, the answer to both of these questions is your Hard Drive.


Your hard drive is likely one the most important things you own. It contains work data, school data, emails, photos, music, movies, tax information, etc… Incidentally, the hard drive is also one of only two moving components in your computer (the other being your optical drive). The following is a list of important maintenance and monitoring techniques you can use to maximize the life of your hard drive and prevent data loss.



Hard drives are physically fragile – handle with care
Statistics show that 25% of lost data is due to a failure of a portable drive. (Source: 2001 Cost of Downtime Survey Results)
Contrary to its seemingly rugged appearance, your hard disk is a very delicate device that writes and reads data using microscopic magnetic particles. Any vibration, shock, and other careless operation may damage your drive and cause or contribute to the possibility of a failure. This is especially relevant for notebook users, as they are most at risk of drive failure due to physical damage, theft, and other causes beyond their control. That’s why we recommend regular backup of notebook hard drives, as often as possible.
Possible solutions include external USB or Firewire drives (although these are prone to the same risks), desktop synchronization, or backup at a data center through the web.

Hard drives write data in a non-linear way forcing it to become fragmented.

When files accumulate on your hard drive, they do not just get written in a linear fashion. A hard drive writes files in small pieces and scatters them over the surface. The fuller your hard drive becomes and the more files you save and delete the worse file fragmentation can be. Hard drive access times increase with fragmentation since your drive must work harder to find all the pieces of the files. The more fragmented your data is, the harder the actuator arm has to work to find each piece of a file.

A case in point: Disk fragmentation is a common problem for users of Outlook Express and database software. Each time outlook saves new mail, it does so in a different physical location from the previous time. This results in extreme fragmentation, causing longer hard drive access times and forcing more strain on the heads. This strain can eventually lead to a head crash, and often that means a virtually unrecoverable drive.Finally, in the event of a total crash, a fragmented drive is much more difficult to recover then a healthy defragged drive.

Luckily, Windows makes it remarkably easy to defrag your hard drive, simply launch the Disk Defragmenter utility (Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools), choose which disk or partition you’d like to defragment and set it to work overnight or while you are not actively using your computer. Defragmentation will speed up your computer and ensure a longer life for your hard drive.

A very small power surge can fry a hard drive – use a UPS and turn off your computer when you can

Another little-known fact about the fragility of your hard drive is its susceptibility to electrical failure. An electrical failure can be caused by a power surge, lightening strikes, power brown-outs, incorrect wiring, a faulty or old power supply, and many other factors. If a power surge enters your computer, it may do an unpredictable amount of damage, including destroying your hard drive’s electronics or crashing the heads and possibly resulting in total data loss.
The best way to protect your computer from such dangers is to use a highly rated protected power bar or an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Although these devices won’t eliminate the chances of a crash, they will serve as effective protection in most cases. Also, you can minimize the danger of an electrical problem and reduce wear of your hard drive by turning off your computer or using power-save modes whenever possible. It’s a known fact that 100% of drives fail, the question is when will it happen and will you be prepared? Make sure to check out the knowledgebase section of our website for more detailed information on how electrical power affects your computer.



Be SMART, monitor the health of your drive to prevent unexpected crashes

All modern hard drives have a self-monitoring technology called SMART (Self Monitoring Analysis & Reporting Technology). What most people don’t realize is that the majority of hard drive failures do not have to be unexpected. Most failures occur as a result of long-term problems which can be predicted. By regularly monitoring disk health and performance, you can know about potential hard drive problems before you lose any of your data.

Several excellent utilities are available, including DiskView and Stellar SMART for standard IDE and SATA desktop drives. Also available are tools that monitor the health of SCSI drives and full RAID Array systems. Ariolic Software offers a great utility called ActiveSMART.

The only fool-proof way to prevent data loss is… Backup!

If you only take one of the suggestions here to heart, let it be this one: always back up your important data. After all the monitoring and all the prevention measures are in place, one fact still remains: all hard drives fail. Backing up regularly will ensure that you’re never caught without your critical data. For individuals, the simplest solutions include external portable hard drives, dvd’s, and online storage. For businesses, we recommend renting space at a secure data centre and implementing a disaster recovery plan, regardless of the size of your business.

I hope that the above techniques give you some idea of the importance of hard drive maintenance and provide some insights in how you can protect yourself from data loss.

Incorporate a disaster recovery plan

Nordural ehf’s backup system needed to incorporate a Disaster Recovery plan that would reduce the backup window from ten hours to two-three hours.
A Disaster Recovery Plan is a coordinated activity to enable the recovery of IT/business systems due to a disruption. Disaster Recovery can be achieved by restoring IT/business operations at an alternate location, recovering IT/business operations using alternate equipment, and/or performing some or all of the affected business processes using manual methods.
It was essential that Nordural’s backup system incorporate a trustworthy Disaster Recovery plan that would reduce its backup window from ten hours to two-three hours. In addition to this, Nordural wanted a Disaster Recovery plan that restored the company’s most critical servers to bare metal restore in less than two hours.

Nordural’s decision to select the SecurStore Remote Backup Service highlights the strength and flexibility of managed services.
Remote backup (sometimes also referred to as online backup) is a service that provides users with an online system for backing up and storing computer files. Remote backup service providers are companies that provide a software program and space on a server that their client’s data is stored on. The software program will run on a client’s computer and (typically) once a day; compress, encrypt and then send the client’s data to the remote backup service providers’ servers to be stored
With SecurStore, Nordural had the assurance that all their requirements would be met – from a fast critical restore, to remote backup at multiple locations, to a simple and effective interface for the
IT people at Nordural.
“We chose the SecurStore Remote Backup Service because it gives us all round backup and recovery services for our needs, with 24x7x365 support” said Emil Hilmarsson, IT Manager Nordural. SecurStore also provided Nordural with the option of assigning which data is ‘critical; and which is ‘important’ data by using Long Term Storage with the use of Backup Lifecycle Management system that manages data during all backing up and archiving processes.
Backup Lifecycle Management differentiates data into varying levels of protected data: current critical data, which is stored on-line for fast recovery; and archivable data that may be needed at a later time but is not likely to be accessed in the near future.
Alexander Eiríksson, President of SecurStore, confirmed, “The agentless architecture of SecurStore Remote Backup Service allows us to implement the service with minimal interference to Nordural’s existing computer systems. Moreover, because the service is pivoted around providing backup and recovery for geographically dispersed locations, it perfectly compliments Nordural’s multi-site locations, remote or otherwise. This provisioning enables Nordural to remotely back up laptops even when workers are away.”
At each customer site, a single client discovers all servers, desktops and laptops connected to the local network, and automates the backup of all local data assets.

How to recover lost photos

It happens all too often. You’re downloading your latest snaps from your digital camera, and the computer freezes. After you restart and try again, there appear to be no pictures in the camera. Or perhaps the photos were on your hard drive and you deleted them accidentally, or you didn’t have a backup and your hard drive failed.

Whatever the cause, there is no reason to panic. The computer may no longer be able to find your pictures, but it’s unusual for a fault to completely wipe them from the storage card or disk. With the aid of some inexpensive data recovery software, you’re almost certain to be able to get your photos back.

There are many data recovery programs on the market, but for photo recovery I strongly advise using software specifically designed to recover digital images. This kind of software has several benefits, not least the ability to show a preview of every recovered image. Often, data recovery tools find files that look like they might have been a digital image, but aren’t. The preview feature saves you wasting time recovering files that turn out to be junk.

Another advantage of specialised photo recovery software is that it looks only for photo image file types. It knows what JPEG and other image files look like on disk. This improves the chances of a successful recovery, and reduces the number of junk files that are found.

Modern data recovery software is easy enough to use that anyone can do it. You just start the software and tell the program where the drive containing the missing images is. The software scans the drive looking for the patterns that it recognizes as photo image files. When it has finished, it will display a list of files, with thumbnail images showing the content. All you have to do is select the photos you want to recover, and safe them to a safe place on your hard disk.

Data Recovery Software: Your Options for Successfully Recovering Disks, Files and Data

Today’s computers are much more reliable in general than the older generations. Modern hard drives fail less frequently, and they warn you well in advance about upcoming failures with the recently adopted SMART monitoring.

Modern hard disks have greater storage capacities than their predecessors. Retaining the same physical size, they feature a much higher storage density, allowing storing more files on the same space of their surface. And hence the big problem: if your hard drive fails, you have a lot to lose. Much more than you would just a few years ago, with much less chances to get your data back without precision tools and clean labs.

While there’s little you can do about a physically damaged hard drive except send it to a dedicated data recovery service, there’s still hope if hard drive failure didn’t cause it to stop spinning. Even if your disk is not accessible from Windows you can still access it with dedicated data recovery tools such as The Undelete NTFS Partition Recovery http://the-undelete.com/ntfs_partition_recovery.php or other FAT and NTFS partition recovery tools such as http://www.softinstitute.com/partition-recovery.html

These tools used by non-professionals can often recover damaged partitions and restore the hard drive to its original condition. Is it safe to use the same drive after it failed once? Maybe, depending on the reason of the failure. If data corruption occurred because of a system crash or a power failure, your hard drive is probably unaffected and should be used without a trouble. If a badly written application caused system instability and data corruption, it’s not your drive’s fault, and you should not be concerned about its reliability.

If, however, the instability was caused by the hard drive failure, exercise extreme caution. Have a look at the drive’s SMART logs accessible from Windows Administrative Tools, save your data onto another disk and replace the faulty one. And remember, even if your hard drive is completely inaccessible, you still have a strong chance of getting your data back with data recovery tools from http://the-undelete.com/

Data Recovery and Your Computer

Have you ever wondered if what you know about data recovery is accurate? Consider the following paragraphs and compare what you know to the latest info on data recovery.

Sooner or later your company could become the victim of a natural disaster, or something much more common like a lightning storm or downed power lines.

Just because your company may be a small business doesn’t mean it’s immune to data disasters. If a small business does not have a good and tested disaster recovery plan in place when disaster hits they may never fully recuperate and it may even cause them to go out of business. Sometimes even a data recovery service is unable to be of any help.

Following are some questions that should be answered in order to give you some idea of what you need to do to that will help you if you do have a data disaster situation.

Do you know where your company’s most important data files are located?

Are these files being backed up and by what means?

How often do you run these data backups and are they verified and tested?

Do you have automated controls that correctly and on a consistent basis do the backups?

Do your data backup tapes go off-site and how often?

Do you have some kind of security against tampering or theft of your data backups?

Do you keep your servers, routers, hubs, and phone system controllers in locked areas to keep them more secure?

Does just anyone have access to your servers and your other technology assets or do you limit access to at least two, but no more than four people?

Do you run a locally securable operating system, such as Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional, Microsoft Windows XP, or Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4,on the company’s desktop PCs and notebooks?

Do you have any confidential data stored locally on any desktop PCs or notebooks? Are any of these systems running an inherently in-secure operating system, such as Microsoft Windows 9x or Microsoft Windows Me?

Do you prevent unauthorized boot-ups or tampering with BIOS configuration settings by using power-on passwords?

On your desktop PCs and notebooks, how are main updates, service packs and releases kept current?

The bottom line is that you can’t plan when a data disaster may strike but taking a few steps beforehand may help with your company’s survival in the days and weeks following a disaster.