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What You Can Do to Recover Lost Files

Aug 2, 2008
When faced with data that has suddenly gone missing, take comfort in the knowledge that you can still recover lost files and other critical data on your PC. Files do not just vanish into thin air.

Oftentimes, they are still there, completely retrievable. But in case you have looked everywhere and you managed to come up empty, there is still one other solution - it is called a data recovery software program. With it, you can recover important files and return your life to the way it was pre-data loss.

How to Recover Lost Files

Sometimes, what is lost can still be "re-found." That is what data recovery software is for. If you are ever in a situation wherein the files you have been working on suddenly disappear, the first order of business is to avoid going into panic mode. You will only drive yourself crazier if you do so. Below are other steps you can take to get out of your data loss crisis and recover important files.

* Make sure the files are really not there anymore. In Windows, open the Recycle Bin. On a Mac PC, check the Trash.
* If your files are still there, drag them toward the desktop. To return them to their original location in a Windows-based computer, click on the files and then choose Restore from the list or dropdown menu that appears.
* If the files are not in the Trash or Recycle Bin, look for backups. For PCs that are part of a network that employs a regular backup system, check with the network system administrator to find out if there is a chance at retrieving saved copies of the lost files.
* A commercial data recovery utility can also be used to recover lost files. These programs scan the disk for traces of recognizable or readable data. Typical data recovery software is usually available for under $100. When users delete files, the PC system will most likely not wipe out actual data bits from the system disk until it requires them for some other purpose. Thus, it is entirely possible that you will get your lost data back.
* In case you opt to utilize data recovery software, AVOID installing it on the same computer disk that you wish to recover the files from. You might wind up overwriting the data that you have been attempting to recover. Recover lost files by launching the data recovery utility from a floppy disk or CD-ROM. If downloading the software directly from the Net, DO NOT download the thing onto the same disk from which you made the accidental deletion.

The bottom line is: it is possible to recover lost files through various data recovery utilities. If the hard disk appears beyond repair and if the missing files are too critical, you can always bring the entire hard disk to some specialty hard drive recovery service center. The data recovery experts there will disassemble the drive and recover important files - or as much of it as they can. But do not expect this to be cheap. Avoid being stuck in this same situation again - make it a point to back up files regularly.
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