Data recovery software can be used to refer to any software that is used for the purpose of restoring lost or corrupted data and can be used on any device, whether it is a personal computer, Smartphone, or solid-state storage device. While not all data can ever be fully restored, data recovery software significantly improves your chances of regaining deleted files or files that have been lost due to system corruption. Because system failures and file corruptions can often occur when the computer or device becomes infected with malicious software, it is important that everyone understands the basics of data recovery software and have a go-to program in mind in case an unfortunate scenario takes place.
How Computers Store Data
Most computers store data by creating a file system that keeps track of every piece of data on the computer. The file system consists of one column for file names and one column for which sector each file is stored in. When a new file is saved, the computer finds the next available row in the file system to label the file. When a file is deleted, the computer marks that file’s row as available for being overwritten with new data. As the computer’s file system is usually quite large, it can take a while for a lost file’s row in the file system to become overwritten, even though it has been marked as available. Until the row is actually overwritten, there is a chance that the file can be restored.
How Data Recovery Software Works
While you could technically scan through the file system by yourself, it is a very time consuming task to do so. Data recovery software works by using known hexadecimal strings that identify file types in order to find potentially recoverable data. Data recovery software may also simply recall all files that have recently been marked as available for being overwritten. The software will then display a full list of potential candidates for your missing files and allow you to choose which ones you want to keep. Once you have marked those files as the ones you want to keep, the data recovery software will essentially tell the computer to save them as new files. Although data recovery software is not perfect, it can help you to recover the vast majority of your missing data.
Unfortunately, data recovery software will usually not be able to recover all of your missing files simply because it can’t find them. Additionally, some of the recovered files you obtain via data recovery software may have already been partially overwritten or corrupted by your computer system, making them unreadable or, at least, scrambled. While documents can usually be repaired manually or with the use of third party software, other files may not be, including pictures, audio files, videos, and programs. This is why it is essential that you stop saving new files until you have a chance to recover your missing data.
Brandon has written this article for E-Provided, leaders in digital image recovery and various advanced data recovery solutions.