Most people are wary of the basics of CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. We have a general knowledge of emergency medical measures, and may be able to rescue a human life if put to task. But when our hard drives crash, we’re left helplessly stymied and weeping.
Every day, your computer faces many threats that can potentially decrease the availability of your data. In can be as simple as deleting the wrong data, or as catastrophic as a hard disk failure. Whatever the cause, your primary concern needs to be finding a way to recover your hard drive. This is the basic step in recovering any lost data.
Accidental File Deletion
If, in your panic to jump-start your system, you happen to accidentally erase some files, stop right there. Do not write anything more to the hard drive. This is a key rule that must be obeyed when attempting to recover your hard drive. If you erase a partition, do not create another and leave it blank instead. If you happen to send files to the recycle bin, and then realize that they’re perhaps important files, don’t save anything further to the drive.
This suggestion may seem puzzling, but it’s simply because your hard drive will not erase anything, whether data or partition. When you delete a file, the information is still saved in the hard drive. Your operating system actually marks the physical area of the disc for future use, leaving the original file in place. The computer hides the file, and you can no longer extract it. The file will still be there until new information is written over it. So if you save other data to the drive, it will consider those files marked ‘deleted’ as empty spaces, and will save over them. When that happens, the deleted data is in trouble, and the hard drive recovery process can be affected.
The same rule goes true to the accidental deletion of partitions. When there is no partition information, the operating system cannot read any file; but that does not mean that the data is not there. It’s there, but you can’t read it. If you have just one partition and the operating system will not perform, your best option is to transfer the drive to another computer.
Transferring the drive to another computer prevents the drive from being accidentally written over, and allows you potential access to the files, making it possible to perform a hard drive recovery using Windows Explorer. If you have deleted essential operating system files, the drive will still be readable from another operating system. If you are not able to transfer the hard disk, fight the temptation of re-installing the operating system.
The simplest process to recover your hard drive recovery with single partition in a damaged operating system is to boot your computer using a DOS boot disk. Then, try with the use of a DOS compatible file recovery program.
Installing your hard drive into another computer, or putting a new drive with a separate operating system into your present machine, will enable you to attempt access to your data via Windows File Explorer. You can safely attempt to recover your hard drive, as you now have a completely separate hard drive. Freeware hard drive recovery programs are also accessible, allowing manual hard drive recovery. Ask about various software options available at your electronics or computer store.
These tools and tips and are meant to aid in your attempts to recover your hard drive. When all else fails, or if you’re not comfortable in taking on the job yourself, you may need to hire a hard drive recovery service. While more expensive, the information that you’ll save can be well worth the price.
Facing the demise of your computer, and the files within, can be a frustrating and even terrifying experience. Your best defense is to make yourself ready for the worst. Educate yourself on the procedures to recovering your hard drive, and invest in good quality recover software to keep on hand, just in case.
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Filed under: Data Recovery