Losing data is incredibly frustrating, especially if you've spent hours working on an important document only to find it has mysteriously vanished. Here are three tips to help you recover that valuable lost data with minimum stress.
Avoid using your computer
Try to use your computer as little as possible until such time as your files are found. If you continue using your system, there's a good chance that some or all of your lost data will be written over.
Avoid copying files to the disk or storage device that contains your lost data in case you overwrite it. Don't use the internet until the data is recovered; your web browser saves cache files to your hard drive every time you surf the net, and these could obliterate or partially overwrite your lost data.
Free up space
If you can free up some space on the disk where your lost files are stored, the less chance there is of overwriting them with new ones. Delete altogether any old files that are no longer needed, and move files that you don't use often to another storage device.
Another important action to take is to empty your browser cache. If you use Internet Explorer, select the 'Tools' menu, choose 'Internet Options', click 'General', then select 'Delete Files'. This clears all the stored files in your browser cache. For other browsers, consult the provider's 'Help' facility for instructions on how to perform this action.
Finally, empty your recycle bin. Check first to make sure your lost files haven't accidentally ended up in there.
Install a data recovery programme
It's best not to install any new software after data loss as this could overwrite your lost files. However, prevention is better than cure so you should consider installing a good data recovery programme onto your system via a disk other than that where your lost files are stored.
All recovery programmes work in much the same way. You choose the disk where your lost data is located, and allow the programme to analyse the disk's content. Once this process is complete, choose the file you wish to recover, and save it to a new hard drive or USB flash drive.
Losing data is undoubtedly frustrating but it doesn't necessarily mean that your files are gone for good. Install a good piece of data recovery software just in case the worst should happen and always back up your files before you shut down your computer for the day. For more tips or assistance, consult resources like Tresami Computer Engineering.