A lot of text has been produced around the subject of data loss and recovery solutions. Many people are still perfecting effective means to reverse data damaging events to 100% initial state with the click of a button at best, much like you would if you deleted a file and now need it out of the recycle bin. A lot of situations and happenings can lead to loss of data and luck enough there are numerous options and procedures to reverse the loss of data. Detailed within this article are actionable steps that should help you recover data as well as background information to keep your brain firing as you carry them out.
How did I lose my data?
There are a couple of ways data gets inaccessible from its location.
1. The most obvious is you deleted it – you could have pressed the button to delete data and not registered what you just did. If the delete button is all you pressed then the deleted object should be recoverable from your computer’s recycle bin. A simple right click and selection of ‘restore’ option will solve the issue.
2. Permanent deletion – once an object is in the recycle bin after the process in 1 above transpires, a further deletion of all or just it from the recycle bin will permanently remove it from your computer memory.
3. Your computer suffered physical damage – if your computer’s circuits get fried from maybe spilling a liquid on the keyboard (by mistake or otherwise), you immediately don’t have access to your data. However this is not final and your data can be restored, read on and you might end up with your data and smiling.
4. Your pc’s drives crashed – your drive can crash as a result of bad usage habits. Leaving very little space (red drive icon on ‘my computer’ window) can eventually lead to fragmentation of data and eventual corruption of the drive itself.
5. Flash discs files disappearing – this is a common case of small malicious programs hidden from the computer’s explorer operation that turns all files into links that you can’t follow to your files. This is frustrating, but can be reversed.
Above are just a few cases we want to resolve so that you don’t throw away your storage devices or even entire computer’s without at least scavenging some data off them. While some of the methods will be straightforward like the case where restoration from the recycle bin works to the case where you may end up running DOS commands, clear guidance will be provided to make your lives easier.
How do I recover my lost data?
The solution to the first instance has been provided and here comes the other solutions to recovering data from loss situations.
“Permanent deletion” – notice how we placed the process into quotes, this is because while you cannot see the data any more, you cannot actually remove it from the storage drive until you perform data scrubbing using some complex software. That said, there is still hope and you can look up data recovery software that will recover data gone past the recycle bin. To clear up on any misunderstandings, the data is either overwritten or simply had its pointers to the residing locations removed from the layers on the computer that are visible to us, logical repair and reversal procedures can be taken and the data restored as though nothing was done to it.
If your computer suffered physical damage – you fried the circuitry and such and such but your hard drive is intact, you can remove the hard drive from the scorched computer and follow the procedures to follow.
a. Clean the drive of any dust it could have accumulated,
b. Get a connector cable that plugs into your drive and extends to a working pc computer (usually this would be SATA cable)
c. With the computer off, open the case and plug the connector from your drive to the storage devices slot on the pc’s motherboard.
d. Connect a power cable from the pc’s power supply unit to the drive
you have mounted.
e. You can now boot the pc from its original boot location,
f. Watch for an additional drive on the drives list and confirm it is the one from the damaged computer.
g. You can now copy data from it and use to your leisure.
If the hard drive crashed – you will have to use another disc to boot the computer up temporarily while giving you access to the drive and options to save your data. What is important here is to avoid formatting any originally existing partitions as they contain the data we want to recover. Load the new operating system on space that you can turn into the primary partition using boot disc’s partition management wizard. Once the loading of the operating system is done you can boot the computer without the disc this time and access the data, be advised to repair that partition using fragmentation resolving tools that come as stock features in any Windows operating system.hard drives can also crash if dust enters the crevices they have between spinning discs causing damage to the actual storage surfaces of data. In this case, you would have to be needing the data as a matter of life and death as the only option would be to communicate with the labs that seal hard drives off on creation to try and pull your data out. This is because the plates that store data are sensitive and opening them even in a well cleaned house or workshop is dirty enough to render the drive irreparable.
For files that disappear on portable flash sticks – a simple command run with the drive’s letter will repair it and replace the links with original contents. This can be done by opening the command prompt window of your computer, typing the drive letter (G,H,I…) that corresponds with the sub device on the ‘my computer’ window and writing the command : attrib -s -h -r /s /d *.* the. Let it run.
These methods have been tried and tested to make sure they provide conclusive solutions to data loss cases described in part and others where the solutions apply.