Deleted File Restoration & Retrieving Lost Computer Files

By: Michael Porteous

While computers have become an essential tool for business and personal life new technologies always come with some problems and risks no matter what other good they give to society. The sheer amount of files and documentation we manage to accumulate on our computers can be staggering and With many of them being effectively junk that can be deleted we find yourself sorting, storing and deleting files constantly often when we are not paying an awful lot of attention and then it happens; You delete a really important file! To restore a deleted file you rush to the recycling bin only to find you have emptied it and now it is gone forever! Or is it?

Retrieving a lost file can seem like impossibility, none of the operating systems have any real way of getting them back. Some have rollback systems that can go back to earlier versions of the computer but this can often undo new information you need as well making this a poor solution. Many will simply say this is just bad luck, the file is gone; this is not completely true however.

You see files are stored differently than you might think on a computer, the data for a file is written on a hard drive and the operating system only knows it is there because it has a reference to where it is stored on the hard disk. This pointer is essential for the operating system to be able to locate the file and subsequently be able to show it as an icon on your screen for you to manipulate into folder, open, move and so on. This is just a graphical representation of your file in a way that we find easy to use. When you permanently delete a file what you actually do is remove the pointer to this file from your operating system which effectively means it does not exist as it cannot be found. However the data is still there on the hard disk it is just lost! The data will remain on the hard disk in the same location until it is overwritten by another file or program. This means that most space on a hard disk is random files and files parts that have been dereferenced and also means it is possible to get a lost file back if you know how to do it!

However to restore a deleted file you need to have a program that knows how to scan your hard disk and find a file without a pointer and then assign it one for the operating system so it can once again be used. So we see retrieving a lost file is possible with the right tools, if you have an important file sitting on your hard disk somewhere you can get it back ... see below for more information!

Data Recovery
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