You will probably need the help of file recovery products at some point if you regularly use a computer or notebook. After all, just about everyone has made the honest mistake of deleting a file. But when you lose your data and your backup program fails, you need a file recovery solution to help you correct the situation fast.
4 data loss situations that software can address are...
- deleted, lost, damaged and corrupt files. Let's see what they mean and what you can do about your situation:
Recovering a deleted file
It's so easy to unintentionally delete a file. This recovery issue is one of the most common and is the easiest to resolve most of the time. Focus on the Undelete data recovery products - there are a lot to choose from, particularly in the Windows data recovery field.
Finding a lost file
A lost file could still exist even though you can't find it. A file could be deleted or lost due to a power outage, software application crash, virus attack, partition problem or an accidental format; a software crash; partition table problems; and the world-famous accidental format. There are several solutions to choose from, depending on what actually caused the problem. I'll explain...
File recovery products are more capable of solving your recovery problems than a basic undelete utility. However, both undelete and file recovery software are unable to recover data in cases where the file system has been altered. But data recovery software can. Most people think all of these products are the same because they address a similar issue, but they are not. The state of your file system will decide which data restore program you will need.
To makes matters more confusing: Even though a file recovery tool is limited in what it can accomplish as a stand alone product, when it is included as an operation in data recovery software, it recovers both problems (when the file system is ok or where it has been altered). So when you aren't sure which to use, go with the data recovery utility because it covers the whole gamut.
An added twist: If you still don't understand how to determine one software solution from the other, just remember that a file recovery tool is limited to what it can accomplish on its own. If it still feels like information overload or a lot of extra work, just work with data recovery software because it is the more powerful tool.
Could it be this simple?
Checking prices is the absolute simplest way to tell the difference between the different software programs. File recovery software and its sibling undelete programs will cost less than seventy-five dollars, while a full-on data recovery utility runs upward of eighty bucks - and sometimes in the hundreds.
A corrupt file refers to a file that can be located, but it cannot or does not open correctly; as you open the file the content is unreadable. If you need to retrieve data from a corrupt file, you can start with any file recovery tool: if the file system is unchanged, any file recovery utility can get the job done. If that doesn't work, try a data recovery software program just like with lost files.
Repairing damaged files
You can open a damaged file, but you may not be able to read it well. Part of the text may be clear, but the rest of the file will not be legible. A situation like this needs a file repair utility to reconstruct the data. Make sure the software you are using state that it can actually repair a file, because file repair works differently than file recovery functions. Note that file repair programs are normally sold separately from file recovery utilities.
File recovery experts
Data recovery tools are not always the answer. There are some situations that just can't be repaired using the programs available on the market. If you experience a situation beyond the recovery abilities of an automated tool, you may need the services of a hard drive data recovery expert as the final way to recover your data. This is a more expensive option - however, even this file recovery solution is easier and cost-effective than recreating all the data.
Ken Roberts, co-founder at ACR Data Recovery, Inc., writes about and develops file recovery tools. When you need data recovery help, please contact him +1.800.444.3225.
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