You have just returned from the vacation of a life time and downloaded your pictures to your computer, typed up the diary you kept while vacationing and drafted many emails to your friends about the trip, now it is all gone, thanks to some incomprehensible computer glitch. Understandably, losing documents that meant time and significance is quite frustrating. However, occasionally not all is lost.
Start at the Recycle Bin of your computer. If your file is there, the recovery will be easy. If not, try a tool that will undelete a file. Although this may find your file, it may not find every part of the file. In this case the file will be corrupt and not likely much use to you. If your file is large, the chance of corruption is higher than that of a small file, simply because more information groups have the chance to get lost. For example, photos are often larger files than text documents, thus lost photos can be difficult to find.
Losing a photo can be slightly more traumatizing because often a photo is more valuable than words, and secondly, photos can be more difficult to recover. Once the deleted photo file is used more than once, a recovery program often does not know what it is supposed to be looking for. Since the program will not help you right away, you need to know what it is you want to find. Do you know what kind of file it was? JPG, TIFF, GIF? The more you know about the deleted image, the higher your chances are of finding the image. Even if you find the image, it is likely to be corrupt. At this point it is difficult to put together your image.
E-mails function in a way not like photos or text files. The chances of getting back a deleted e mail depends on the type of e mail program you have. Most programs have a Trash or Deleted folder. Typically you set how frequently the e mail service deletes everything in these folders. If you have a habit of deleting e mails accidentally, set this option for the greatest length of time possible. It is very simple to recover a deleted e mail from the Deleted folder; a click of the mouse will usually suffice. However, if the Deleted folder has been emptied by your e mail service, it is unlikely you will be able to find and recover the deleted e mail.
Beyond these options are special programs and offered services to assist you with recovering files. Recovery programs exist especially for photos, Microsoft Word and Excel files, e mails and other file types. You also have the option of hiring a human specialist to find your files. You often get what you pay for with all these services. A human specialist can be costly and recommended only for use with extremely valuable files.
After you have spent much time, and possibly money on this project, be sure to save your file and save again. Save on disks, USBs, hard drives and servers if these options are available to you. If this file is changed often, remember to resave the file in all the original locations to ensure you can always access a recent version of your work.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as data backup at http://www.fastcomputerrepair.com.
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