Recovering Data from Hard Drives

It happens to everyone. You’ve accidentally deleted a file, emptied the Recycle bin, and now you don’t have a backup and want the file back. The good news is that a recovery is possible. The bad news is that you shouldn’t get your hopes up. Once data is deleted it can usually be recovered by using any number of undelete utilities, but only if other data has not already overwritten those clusters.

This is another excellent reason to consider saving data to a different partition – the partition with the OS installed is usually written lots of data to disk behind the scenes such as temporary files, which may end up making your data unrecoverable. You best bet is to install an undelete application (like Undelete), before you need to worry about data recovery – installing the undelete utility might actually be what makes the file you just lost unrecoverable if it uses the same disk space.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.