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Undelete: Restoring Your Deleted Files

Feb 29, 2008
Needing to undelete a file means you have joined the ranks of millions of people, who have had that moment where a voice within calls out, 'Oh no, where is that file.' Then, the search begins...and eventually ends in failure. Fortunately, undelete solutions exist to get your data back; and better yet, they are quick, effective, and cheap enough that the recovery is worth the time and effort in doing it.

No matter how careful you are in using and saving your data, the day will come when you accidentally delete important data, and will need a file undelete solution. Fortunately, they are quick, effective, and cheap enough that the recovery is worth the time and effort in doing it.

Undelete Defined

Undelete is the process of recovering deleted files that still exists on your data storage drive, but is not recognized by the operating system (Windows, MAC, Linux, etc.). In other words, although you have deleted a file, does not mean that it ceases to exist. In fact, the file will remain intact on the drive until the particular space that file occupies is overwritten by other data.

How Files Become Inaccessible

There are two primary reasons why files cannot be accessed. First, which has been mentioned, files have been deleted. An undelete utility allows a you to resurrect deleted files, which are still remain somewhere on the drive, despite the fact that you cannot find them due to the deletion.

The second reason: Part of the file system has been altered. This means, that when one or more of the components have been changed, undelete software cannot recover data. In this case, a more advanced data recovery software is required to rebuild the file structure, before the recovery process can take place.

How To Undelete

A couple of free undelete solutions are pre-built into your computer. The Recycle Bin on your desktop allows you to find some previously deleted files, and then restore them to the original saved location. The Search function through the Start Menu also lets you locate and undelete Windows files that have been thrown away.

Next, you can download software when your computer built-in functions fails. The good news is that some are free, and they occasionally work, although you may have to use multiple products before a successful attempt.

The more reliable and widely used products are not for free, but all are try before you buy. This allows you to view the recovered files before having to pay, or at least know which files can be restored. You will find that these programs are inexpensive, which usually makes the recovery worth doing, considering what it requires to recreate the files.

What All This Means

However frustrating the undelete process may sound, you would be hard pressed in locating a long-time computer user who has not experienced it. The fact that file deletion is a common situation, and that there are many products available, means you in good luck. As long as your files still physically exists on your drive, undelete file software can probably help you rectify what otherwise could become a serious problem.
About the Author
Ken Roberts, founder of ACR Data Recovery, writes regularly about undelete and more advanced file recovery solutions. If have a data recovery situation and are not sure what to do, give him a call at 1-800-444-3225.
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