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I Deleted A File - It Happens To Everyone
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If I had a penny every time my less technical friends or family members told me “oops, I accidentally deleted a file” I’d certainly be richer by a few thousand pennies. Accidental file deletion is usually attributed to computer novices, but saying they are the only ones it can happen to would be an utter lie. Accidental file deletion and data loss happened to everyone at some point, regardless of their technical prowess. Sure, an 8-year old learning to ride a bike will fall down more often, but that doesn’t mean Louis Armstrong doesn’t take forced landings every now and then!

Anyway, hopefully now you’re less embarrassed by the fact that you accidentally deleted a file, knowing that you’re not alone out there. What you need to know next is:

A. That your file is not lost

B. That it can be easily recovered

C. That you should backup your important data in the future

Let’s start with point A and see how exactly the file is not lost, since, after all, you don’t see it in your directory structure and you disabled the recycle bin, so it can’t possibly be there. When you delete a file, it doesn’t actually get deleted in the fullest sense of the word. It simply gets removed from your directory structure and put away for safe keeping. You simply won’t see the link pointing to it, but the file is still there, trust me.

This leads us to point B, namely data recovery. You have several data recovery options, including trying to get the data back using your operating system’s standard recovery tools (if any), buying a data recovery program or employing a professional data recovery company, in case you don’t want to take the risk in your own hands. Although each of these methods has different means, a different efficiency and cost, they all rely on the same basic data recovery principles: they will restore the link to your lost file and the initial file structure it was in.

And lastly, point C and the backup issue. The thing is that we don’t really care about backing up our files until something bad happens. Everything is running smoothly, you’re using your computer on a daily basis and nothing seems to be going wrong. Then a sudden power outage, computer virus or an accidental file deletion changes our view on the importance of backup.

Backup has two rules: save your data constantly and make backup for your backup. It’s important that you save your data on a regular basis, but also keep an organized way of storing it or you’ll end up with a mountain of CD’s, each with its own document. Instead, try to have a single DVD or just a few CDs of data that you constantly update the data backup on (when you burn a CD or DVD you can choose not to close the session, which allows you to add additional data over time). When a considerable amount of data has been gathered on the backup disk, make a copy, just in case something happens to the first one. It might seem an exaggeration, but you’ll be surprised how many people rely on their backup disks when they lose all the data on their hard drives, only to find the backup CD scratched and dirty to the point where it’s unusable.

Fraser Wheaton is a data recovery expert and owner of the website.

We can help get back any file you have deleted or lost.

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Posted In Data Recovery. @ 6:04 AM  
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