Beginner’s data recovery guide : Get back your lost files

Data Recovery guide

Getting deleted data back can sometimes be a very expensive process. Sometimes It can hundreds and thousands of dollars. But if the data you want to get back is not extremely valuable or if you are confident enough to try and get them back without professional help, here is a data recovery guide for beginners. Let’s get started, shall we?

Data recovery guide.

Data recovery guide: The basics

First of all, you need to identify just how severe the damage is. Check out this post called “Data recovery levels of hard disk: Understanding how it works“. You can also check this post titled ” Deleting files in a hard disk: What happens on the inside?” for a more in-depth understanding of deleting process.

If your level of data recovery is Level 2 or higher, it is highly recommended to seek professional help. This data recovery guide can only be used for cases falling under level 1 data recovery.

Level 1 recovery

So you accidentally deleted your project files or your favorite collection of music albums. Let’s try and get those files back. 

Don’t write anything into the Hard disk

From the article “Data recovery levels of hard disk: Understanding how it works“, we know that writing data into the hard disk can hinder data recovery. So its best not to add or move data around in the hard disk. The more data gets written, the harder it is to recover data. It also decreases the chances of recovering the lost data.

Make A Backup

There are always risks when attempting data recovery. And since we are beginners, the risks can be slightly higher. Sometimes we may not get back the data we were looking for. So its always a good idea to back up important files before you proceed.

Photo by Chris Yates on Unsplash
( Make a backup – Photo by Chris Yates on Unsplash )

Never make the back up on the same drive you are trying to recover from.

Prepare a storage device to keep recovered Data

You should have a fairly good idea of how much data you are trying to recover. Prepare a storage device with sufficient free space to store recovered files into. You should never save recovered files into the same hard disk during recovery. There is a possibility of losing un-recovered data if you do that.

So always start by having a free storage device, like another hard disk with you. CD’s and DVD’s are not suitable for storage devices in this case. but USB flash drives and SD cards can also be considered.

Run a data recovery program of your choice

Install your data recovery software of a different drive than the one you want to recover data from. 

There are plenty of data recovery software’s out in the market. You can get free ones and paid versions. Sometimes it can be good to invest in a paid recovery software since they will offer additional support for you.

Most recovery software’s work in the same manner. Run the application and scan the drive you want to recover data from. You will be shown a list of files inside the drive, you can filter to see only deleted files. Now you can recover these files from the software and set your new drive as the location to which the recovered data is to be stored. It’s that easy. but depending on the size of the drive you are attempting to recover, this can take a lot of time.

That’s basically it. This is all there is to it for the basic data recovery guide. Next time we will talk a little more in-depth about the data recovery process and some terms you may need to know.

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