Data Recovery Software

Data Recovery Basics

Data recovery is the process of retrieving data from a device in a situation where the data may be corrupted or the device containing the data may be having problems.

Data can be lost in various manners. These include hard drive failure, natural causes such as fire or flood or human error such as accidently deleting files or formatting a hard drive. There are also logical failures where the indexing information for the file has been written over or a virus has attacked the system. This may be the easiest type information to recover as the files are usually still intact.

All though not thought of as data recovery software the simplest type of data recovery is a backup application. There is usually a basic backup application included with the operating system or more elaborate backup software applications can be purchased. Other backup solutions that include online backup and remote storage are also available.

Data Recovery Software

If you've lost files and a backup system was not in place or the backup didn't contain the latest version of the file data recovery software may be the solution. The majority of the time a lost file is still on the device but the index information has been corrupted or lost. The information is still there but it's in danger of being overwritten or otherwise destroyed by other operations on the media.

Data recovery software retrieves this lost information by using algorithms to search the media for any recoverable data and then reassembling it into usable information. The software has the ability to recover data from not only hard drives but also DVDs, USB drives, digital cameras and even MP3 players. However if the file is overwritten or destroyed there is little chance of recovery even with the best data recovery software.

Because there's a possibility of the data being overwritten one of the first things to be done is to shutdown the computer or remove the device. This will help eliminate the chance of any overwriting by some automatically scheduled application. Don't install software on the compromised media. Run the recovery software from another drive. If possible remove the media and connect it to another computer to run the recovery software.

High quality data recovery software can recover data from damaged sectors, deleted partitions or any type situation as long as the media is not destroyed or inaccessible. So your chances of recovering the data or partially recovering the data are pretty good.

The main objective in acquiring data recovery software is to find the software that will resolve your problem if you have a damaged hard drive partition or corrupted USB drive be sure the software can handle these situations. But if you're in the market for recovery software which is usually a onetime emergency investment make the purchase based on software that will give you the most recovery device options for the future it will be well worth it.

When searching for data recovery software there are some basic features that should be taken into account.

Device Capability

There is a wide variety of devices that can store data to include hard drives, USB drives, CDs, DVDs, digital cameras, mp3 players and more. Hard drives can have damaged sectors, damaged or repartitioned areas. Just about all data recovery software can handle recovering deleted files but good software should be able to handle basic devices as well as the other common types of media mentioned.

Recovery Options and Features

Select software that is capable of recovering data from within the operating system of can be launched from outside the operating system. The latter case being an instance of only being able to check the drive on the computer and the operating system has failed.

Some of the data recovery software packaged offer disk imaging which can be a very valuable option. Imaging will allow you to capture an image of the data on the problem device and copy it to another device. The recovery process then can be performed on the imaged device which may prevent further damage to the original device or allow several attempts at recovery.

The software should offer several options on how the data is viewed or recovered making the recovery process more manageable as there may be thousand of files on the device. There should be filtering, listing and viewing options. The software should be able to filter the data so that it can be viewed by name, file extension or time of creation. Being able to preview recovered data in a filtered, sorted or otherwise organized manner will help in quickly locating particular files.

Technical Support

Technical support options should include telephone, chat, email or other means of instant contact. Support should also include software maintenance and upgrades.

Although it may be an emergency situation taking time to look for these features in data recovery software will save dollars when future catastrophes occur.