How Does Data Recovery Software Work (2021)


So, let’s first answer the question of how does data recovery software work? Information, or rather, the data that we store on digital media is the most valuable and important thing in the modern digital world. Virus attacks, unsuccessful formatting, or PC malfunction may cause important data to disappear. These are text documents, photographs, and videos. Sometimes users lose important files due to their carelessness or accidental actions. They are removed from the Trash and can’t be restored using standard recovery.

When you need to recover lost data, it is best not to postpone this operation since repeated records to the drive will make it harder to recover files. Therefore, we advise you to immediately use special programs that allow you to accomplish the task.

So, there are many data recovery software tools that scan your hard drive. So, files can be restored. Also, Software scans can find several old versions of the same file, and you can compare them before restoring. Therefore, if you have changed a file many times and you need an older saved version, it may still exist!

The special software makes this process very easy. You can even preview images or video files before restoring them to make sure that these are exactly the files you are looking for. If your computer crashes completely and can’t be booted, the software can create a bootable USB drive and then restore your files!  So, what programs are there for data recovery, and is it possible to recover it without special software?

How Are Files Stored on a Hard Drive?

It is generally accepted that after a file is deleted from a computer, it completely disappears from it. This is not true. The deleted file doesn’t disappear anywhere but receives a certain mark, which indicates that this file can be recorded with any other information, if necessary. This mechanism of the operation of files gives a chance to restore them after deletion.

But don’t think that any deleted file can be recovered at any time. If the file is recorded with new information, it will not be possible to return it at all, or it will be possible to return only some of its parts.

What Are the Chances of Successful Data Recovery?

It all depends on:

  • What information was deleted
  • How much time has passed since the information was deleted

Thus, if the information has been deleted from the hard drive, then the probability of its recovery is higher than recovery from a USB-media. Regarding time, there is the following rule: the less time after deleting data you worked on a PC, the higher the chances of success.

If the cause of data loss is a mechanical failure, then data recovery will be very problematic. But you can return it only with the help of special software tools.

Recover Data Using Disk Drills

Disk Drill is a tool for recovering deleted files. The program has existed for the Mac OS operating system for many years. But a version for Windows has also been released recently. Importantly, the Windows version is completely free.

Disk Drill tries to gain user trust even before it starts working. Upon launching the tool, users see rich and attractive information about the intricacies of file recovery and clear instruction on the Disk Drill interface. Even if you decide to skip this step directly in the application, you can find more information on the secure deletion and a lot of other useful information on the Disk Drill website.

Disk Drill offers a data recovery solution that is quite interesting. It has a unique technology presented by the developers —Recovery Vault. The CleverFiles company that created Disk Drill writes about it this way:

“In addition to the basic data recovery function, Disk Drill offers a unique protection technology — Recovery Vault. Thanks to it, you can significantly increase the chances of recovering deleted information. When the Recovery Vault option is enabled, file system service records and attributes of deleted files are saved in special program storage. That is why it is possible to recover deleted data then.

If the hard drive is protected by Recovery Vault technology, Disk Drill will track changes and preserve HFS meta information. So, if you ever accidentally delete a document or picture, Recovery Vault will provide you with a much safer and faster way before it is too late”.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? However, there are still some cases where file recovery is not possible, but with Recovery Vault, you have a much better chance of success.

Disk Drill supports file recovery from NTFS, FAT, ExFAT, EXT 2/3/4, and HFS file systems. It looks simple and affordable. You just need to start the scanning process and the program will display a list of files that you can try to recover. There are several scanning modes (from shallow and fast to deep and long, which, by the way, can “eat up” a lot of system resources), functions for sorting detected files by type, size, date, and a few more useful functions. Despite its simplicity, it is a powerful enough tool that can do a good job.

If you didn’t get enough information about it, then follow this link to read an exhaustive Disk Drill review.

Can I Recover Deleted Files by Myself?

The question of how to recover files deleted from the Trash on your own is of interest to everyone. It is quite possible to do this, but a successful result is not always achieved and depends on several factors. To increase the likelihood of a successful recovery, there are a few rules to follow:

  1. The most important thing is to start recovering accidentally deleted and lost files as quickly as possible (ideally, immediately after deleting the file). Although, in practice, there are cases of recovering even long-lost data. However, there is no guarantee that the document you need will be among such invisible “centenarians”. So, don’t hesitate a minute!
  2. To begin with, you need to stop any computer activity since the operating system can record other data instead of deleted or lost files (even if you yourself didn’t record anything at all), run the utility installed on the computer to restore lost files, and conduct a scan in it.

The situation becomes more complicated when it comes to restoring data on the system disk when the system records something all the time. In this case, it is optimal to remove the hard drive with the deleted files and connect it to another computer, and only then start the recovery process.

  1. As a rule, a quick scan is performed by default by analyzing file records. If the file you are looking for can’t be found during such analysis (this happens if the disk has been formatted, the partition has been deleted, etc.), then it makes sense to resort to advanced analysis. With this analysis, a deep scan of the disk is performed with a full scan of all sectors. It takes more time, but it may be more efficient. To speed up the process, you can resort to limiting the search area by data type (images, documents, etc.), file name, etc.
  2. Never restore data to a scanned disk. This way, the recovered data is usually saved to another hard disk, another hard disk partition, or a flash drive.
  3. Before starting any data recovery actions, consider the possibility that the loss of files could also be caused by a physical malfunction of the device. Most of the solutions considered in this article will not be able to help in this case. And the process of recovering information in such situations requires certain professional knowledge and experience.

In addition, further work with a faulty device may lead to the complete impossibility of recovering important folders and files from it. Therefore, in case of loss of critical information, it is wiser to abandon independent experiments and immediately use professional tools like Disk Drill.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know the answer to the questions of how does data recovery work and what tools to use to recover it? Nowadays you don’t need to turn to professionals to restore lost files and pay a lot of money for this.

There are many fairly easy-to-use utilities on the market that allow you to recover files that were accidentally deleted or lost as a result of a computer failure, virus attack, or other computer errors. Some tools are offered at a reasonable price for home users or are free for non-commercial use. Therefore, in simple situations, when it comes to accidental deletion or loss of files, for example, as a result of quick formatting, it makes sense to recover the data yourself. But if the reason for the loss of files is damage to the hard drive at a mechanical or electronic level, then you shouldn’t experiment. It is better to entrust the data recovery operation to experts who will do everything professionally.

When restoring information on your own, you should act competently and take care in advance that such things don’t catch you by surprise. In other words, it is worth keeping at hand (that is, on the disk in the installed form) a couple of suitable utilities. And resort to information recovery as soon as possible, observing all the mandatory rules (exclude the possibility of recording other data to the data storage, etc.). In addition, if you have failed with one utility, be sure to give a chance to another. They have different media scanning algorithms. So, the second utility may be more useful in your case.


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