Friday, November 23, 2007

Basics of File Recovery

Data is stored in computers in digital form. This digital representation of information allows for its quick transfer, instant copies and convenient storage. Unlike conventional means of physical transfer of information which requires more time and effort, digital data can reach another destination in seconds. In case more copies are required, innumerable number of them can be made with the press of a button. A whole library can be stored in a small thumb drive as digital files.
The convenience of this digital format goes hand in hand with its volatile nature. It is very easy to steal digital data especially because of the new range of compact storage devices. Also, years and years of carefully stored vital information can be deleted with a single flick of a wrong button.
This deletion of file (intentional or accidental) can take place due to many reasons. They can be broadly divided into two categories: physical errors and logical errors.
Physical errors include cases of hardware failure like hard disk crash, impact trauma, power surge, natural calamities like fire and flood. Hard disk crash is amongst the most frequent reason for data loss on computers and notebooks. This can result from power surge, crashing of read/ write head onto the platter surface and failure of controller card.
Logical data failure is a software glitch. It is responsible for more data losses than physical errors. It can be subdivided into two parts: system error and user error. System error consists of a virus attack which enters the system either through internet download or copying of corrupt CDs, floppy disks. Computers now run anti-virus software as a safeguard against this.
Another cause of system error is deletion of important components or partitions of an operating system due to corruption of files while the computer is midway between reading or writing data on storage media.
User error consists of accidental deletion of files. These files may be lost by emptying the recycle bin or using other deletion actions that bypass the recycle bin altogether. These include shift-delete, command line deletion, deleting excessively large files etc.
When a file is deleted from the recycle bin or if the recycle bin has been bypassed totally, the file can no longer be recovered by the operating system. Contrary to popular belief, the content of the file still remains on the drive, relatively intact, until the section of the drive it occupies is overwritten by another file.
What really happens when a file is deleted is that its name from the table of contents that tells the operating system which file is stored where is erased. This makes the operating system conclude that the data is no longer needed and it marks the place as vacant, to be used up later.
This is the reason when a file is accidentally deleted the user should stop working on the computer immediately lest the deleted file gets overwritten by a new data making it impossible to recover.
The file recovery options include buying DIY software with easy-to-follow instructions. In case this fails or you are not comfortable with the idea, then one should contact a professional data recovery firm.
File recovery software identifies the contents of lost files on the hard drive and allows you to recover them. If a file has been partially overwritten, then it attempts to reconstruct as much of a file as is possible with the remaining contents. While deciding on a DIY recovery software look for the features such as:
1. It should be able to recover files from all types of storage media.
2. It should have a rapid scan engine to scan a typical hard drive within a short period of time.
3. It should be able to scan all the files and directories on selected hard drives simultaneously.
4. It should be able to recover a file using a part of, or its entire file name.
5. It should have a non-destructive, read-only file recovery approach and should make no changes in it at all.
6. It should be able to recover multiple files in one action.
7. It should support all standard hard drives including those larger than 8 GB and also those formatted with different file systems.
Source: Free Articles

1 comment:

sandra said...

When people experience data loss they usually paranoid and get into confusion whom to consult for data recovery and what to do?
The article provides good tips to choose an appropriate Data Recovery Software. Especially the features a data recovery software should have mentioned here are very helpful.