Basics of Computer Data Recovery and Ways to Recover Lost Files

By Sony T
10 Min Read
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Losing important files such as photos, audio files, videos, raw-images, text documents, Office files, etc. is common now due to various data loss scenarios. Some of the most common data loss scenarios are missing files after updating Windows or reinstalling Windows operating system, lost files while moving to another device, corruption, formatting, accidental deletion, etc.


In this article, you will learn the basics of computer data recovery, different reliable methods to recover lost data along with the proven tips to avoid data loss scenarios.

Basics of Losing Files | Your Lost Data is Recoverable

Losing or deleting files from your computer doesn’t mean that you have lost them permanently.

The hard drive on a computer is a storage device, which uses magnetism to store tons of files or folders. However, the magnetic disk in the computer is getting replaced with flash memory technology, which is a non-volatile memory card used to store and erase files electronically on a PC.

If you ever encounter a data loss scenario on your computer or external storage drive, remember the lost or deleted files are not permanently deleted or lost, but they are just invisible to you only because of their missing index in the hard drive. However, by making use of the below reliable methods you can easily restore your lost data.

Once you encounter a data loss scenario, it recommended to you stop using your computer or external storage drive from which you lost or deleted files. Adding any new files or updating the existing data on the same device on which you lost your important files may result in a permanent data loss scenario.

How computer stores your information?

If you consider a hard drive, it has thousands of sectors that are formed using millions of bits. And these bits store minute information in a binary language i.e., 0 and 1. Be it photos, videos, or audios files, your computer basically converts the data into 0’s and 1’s. And the binary data again get converted to its original form when you want to access them.

A magnetic hard drive consists of platters that are nothing but iron nails to store your data in their millions of tiny spaces. And each space in the platter can be magnetized and demagnetized as Store 1 and Store 0 respectively to store your data on a PC even if there is no power supply.

Below are the 3 proven methods to recover lost files from your computer or any external device like external HDD, SSD, memory card, USB flash drive, etc.

Ways to Recover Lost Files from your Computer or External storage Device

In case if you are looking to recover lost files using a data recovery software, then you can directly move on to the third method to recover your lost files using the SFWare Data Recovery tool.

1.   Recover lost files using Backup data

If you have lost data due to various reasons like files lost while transferring or due to corruption, etc. then the easiest way of recovering them is with the help of your backup data. If you have taken a backup of your important files on your external hard drive or USB flash drive, then you can easily make use of it.

In case, if you have not taken a backup of your important photos or videos then, move on to the next method.

2. Recover lost files using File History

Windows File History works in the same way as Time Machine Backup does on Mac. Using File History, you can go back to the previous versions of files on your Windows computer to recover them easily. The File History on your Windows PC automatically creates a copy of various folders like Documents, Music, Photos, and Videos. It also copies the files from your desktop. In case of any data loss scenario, you can easily make use of it to get back your lost files.

However, to recover your lost files using File History, one must have activated it on Windows before losing the files. In case, if you activated the File History before losing the files, then follow the below steps to get them back for free.

Note: In case, if you have not activated File History, then you can move down to the third method to restore lost or deleted files using the reliable data recovery software.

Steps to Get Back lost files using Windows File History

  1. Go to the folder where your lost files were previously saved on Windows (for example D drive, E drive, etc.).
  2. Right-click within the folder and choose Properties.
  3. Click on the Previous Versions tab.
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  4. Now, select the previous version of your lost files that you want to get back.
  5. Hit the Restore button.
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3.   Download SFWare Data Recovery software

Make use of SFWare Data Recovery software to recover more than 300 file formats like photos, videos, audio files, Microsoft Office files, PDFs, etc. from various data loss scenarios like files missing or lost after updating Windows, lost files during transferring, permanent deletion, formatting, corruption, etc. with ease.

Steps to Recover Lost Files using SFWare Data Recovery software

(Note: In case, if you want to recover files from an external storage device like an external hard drive, SSD, pen drive, etc. then connect it to your Windows or Mac computer and then, start with the following steps)

  1. Download and install the SFWare Data Recovery tool on your Windows and Mac.
  2. Launch the software and click on the Recover Files option.
  3. Now select the Lost File Recovery option and then choose the drive from which you want to recover your lost files.
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  4. Now click the Next button to start the scanning operation, once the lost data recovery process completes, all your lost files will be displayed to you in File Type View and Data View.
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  5. Select the lost files which you want to get back and click the Next button to save them at any location of your choice.
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Additional Method: Recover lost files from a corrupt drive using CMD

Data loss can also happen if your external storage drive becomes unreadable due to various reasons. However, if you want to access your important files from a corrupt external hard drive, pen drive, memory card, etc. then you can make use of the following steps:

  1. Connect your external hard drive/ SD card or USB drive to your Windows PC.
  2. Type command prompt or cmd in the Windows search box.
  3. Open Command Prompt as Run as administrator.
  4. Type chkdsk F: /f in Command Prompt and hit Enter.
    Note: Replace F with your drive letter.

Once the CMD operation completes, you can access all your lost files. However, if your drive is severely corrupt then, you should make use of a data recovery tool like SFWare Data Recovery software.

Tips to Avoid data loss from your Computer | Must Read

  1. Always take a regular backup of your important files to avoid various data loss scenarios.
  2. It is recommended to make use of ctrl + c (copy and paste method) keys rather than using ctrl + x keys (cut and paste method) while transferring files to other devices.
  3. Do not insert corrupt external storage devices like USB, memory card to avoid data loss on your computer.
  4. Activate or run anti-virus software to avoid data loss or data corruption from your computer.
  5. In case, if you are looking to fix a corrupt storage device, it is always suggested to first take a backup of your important files and then fix them using reliable methods.
  6. Do not make use of unreliable data recovery software to recover your lost data, since it can lead to a permanent data loss scenario.
  7. Utilize SFWare Data Recovery software to recover your lost files during various data loss scenarios effortlessly.
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By Sony T
Sony is a passionate bloggers writes on Futuristic technologies ...
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