How Data Recovery Software can help you

It won’t work 100% of the time, but data recovery software may just be able to help you out of a tight situation – but there are caveats.

The first and most important thing to mention about data recovery software is that it isn’t a magic bullet, and there is no software that can fix a physically damaged hard drive. So, if your drive is physically damaged, do not attempt to use data recovery software on it; you’ll only make the situation worse.

Signs of physical damage to look out for are strange noises such as beeping, ticking or scratching, which could suggest one of the internal mechanical components, such as the read/write heads or spindle motor, are damaged. In this instance, immediately power down your hard drive and consult a professional data recovery specialist.

So how can data recovery software help you, and in what circumstances should it be used? Essentially, anything non-physical such as accidental file deletion, an accidental partition deletion, or file corruption. In these instances, data recovery software may be able to help you.

But if a file is deleted, and the Recycle Bin is emptied, surely it is then lost forever? Not exactly. When you delete a file, the data itself is still present, as a series of 0s and 1s. However, the master file table reference – which is essentially a map to where the data is stored – is deleted. This tells the operating system that there is space on the drive for new data to be written to, marking it as free. When you run data recovery software, it will scan your drive for file signatures, any many data recovery tools allow you to filter down to certain file types.

However, if the portion of the drive where the data was stored has had new data written to it, then data recovery will be impossible, as the data physically doesn’t exist anymore. That’s why, when you accidentally delete a file, you should use data recovery software as soon as possible to prevent your data from being permanently deleted. It is also important to have data recovery software pre-installed in case of an emergency. If you lose a file, and install data recovery software, you may end up ironically overwriting your lost file.

Data Recovery