Thread: Data Recovery
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Old November 30, 2008, 06:18 PM
tzetsin tzetsin is offline
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Data recovery varies hugely depending on how the data was lost. If you want to recover files from a botched operating system, the procedure is relitively easy, however if you've formated the drive or are trying to recover deleted files its somewhat harder. Then there are files that misteriously disappear, and finally data that is on a damaged hard disk.

Formated and deleted files typically require specialized software and are only really viable if you immediatly stop any writes on the hard drive, as after a file is deleted there is a chance of another file being writen overtop it. after that, its impossible to get the data back. Trying to get files back in this state is very unreliable and normally take a huge amount of time. Success is very dependant on the time between the loss and recovery, the software the users skill and the time the user is willing to put into recovering the files. Sometimes recovering deleted files works like a charm, most other times... not so good.

Botched operating system file recovery is reletivly easy as the file system is still intact and there is little danger of loosing the data inadvertantly. you could think of this problem as having your data in a storage room, but the door is busted an you cant get in... the data is there, and safe, but you have to find another way in. There are many different ways to get this data, my favourite is a "live" operating system, what this is, is an operating system for example, Linux, which does NOT need to be installed, and is run exclusivly from your dvd rom. this is safest because there is no actual writing to disk, thus, no possible data loss.

Another way, if your not so knowlagable with the live operating systems, and dont care to learn, is to remove the hard drive from the computer, and install it as a secondary drive on another computer. the drive will show up as a storage drive, and since the file system is intact, getting the data is as simple as drag/drop to the other hard drive, or burn to dvd... this is assuming the data is NOT in a protected folder. if it is... well try an fix the other operating system.

data that misteriously dissapears... this is very very rare, but sometimes occures. Most often, if you think the data dissapeared, its not gone, but moved. Do a thorough search of your pc and storage drives. If it still doesnt show up, find a program called "spacemonger" This utility is not ment for data recovery, but to give you a "visual" portrait of the contents of your hard drive (very handy for finding out where all your hard drive space went when you run out) It also is the only piece of software that i've found that will also find lost directories; since the hard drive is visual, you just click on the lost files, copy paste them to a correct directory and delete the lost one. (what i mean by lost is that it no longer shows up in windows.)

Physically damaged hard drives are often impossible for the average dude to recover files from. Experts can get the files, so long as the actual platters the data is on is not damaged. If the drive is corrupt, there are verious utilites that can scan the disk and mark off bad sectors, do little things that may get the drive to work long enough to remove the data, but again, it really depends on the state of the drive.

I commend you on your desire to learn, data recovery is very very rewarding when your good at it. Its ALWAYS a challange. However... if your still a total newb, dont try and recover "very important" data yourself, the chances of you botching the recovery are very high. Untill youve got some experience recovering data, leave the important stuff to the professionals. I dont mean you shouldnt learn, but learn on stuff that doesnt matter if you get it or not. Or of course you cant afford the professionals, so the data is lost weather you try or not.

There are many different techniques to data recovery because of the many different ways to loose it. Are there any perticular situations you want to learn about the most?
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Last edited by tzetsin; November 30, 2008 at 06:52 PM.
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