Can I Recover Data for Free at Home?

Due to the sheer amount of data we store, it’s inevitable that some will get lost. That’s where free data recovery software can help.

Your first instinct when faced with data loss - whether in the form of a physical fault or accidental file deletion – will probably be to search online for a free data recovery solution. The internet can be a bottomless pit of bad advice, and a wrong step could render your data completely unrecoverable. The general rule is that data recovery software can help in the event of accidental file/partition deletion, or other logical problems, but physical data recovery should not be attempted at home whatsoever.

Data is stored on a hard drive as a string of numbers, which are then converted to binary numbers. Conventional numbers go from 0-9, while all numbers are represented as binary numbers with two digitals, 0 and 1. A simple example of this would be a document containing just words, with each letter represented by a number. Photos are a bit more complex, as each pixel needs to be assigned things like colour and brightness. Videos are made up of a series of photos and also contain sound. When you delete a file, what’s actually being deleted is the master file table reference, which acts as a map to where the data is stored on your drive. The space is then marked as free, ready for new data to be written to it.  Data recovery software scans for file signatures that identify potentially lost files, allowing for them to be recovered – but only if they haven’t already been overwritten.

Data recovery software almost always has to be purchased in order to access the full features, but most offer free versions that can be used to recover a small amount of data with no upfront cost. It’s typically less than 1GB, so it’s fine for a few photos and documents, but for larger files such as videos, you’ll probably need to pay for a full license.

Physical data recovery should never be carried out at home, and only undertaken by a professional in a controlled environment. Hard drives are not designed to be opened, as even a small particle of dust can make whatever problem you’re facing much worse, potentially rendering your lost data permanently unrecoverable. If your hard drive or other storage device has suffered from a physical fault, consult with a professional data recovery specialist immediately. There is so much misinformation regarding data recovery out there – leave physical data recovery to the professionals.

Free Data Recovery