5 FAQs About How to Recover Lost Files


Everyone has done it. You need space on your hard drive or removable memory stick and delete the wrong files. Maybe you get confused about which versions of a file you are deleting. Maybe you misinterpret the file names. Maybe you think you have backups. But after you delete the files, you realize that you need them back.

Here are five FAQs about how to recover lost files:

Is the file gone?

It depends on the type of drive. On a traditional magnetic hard drive, data is stored at a logical address on the hard drive. When a file is “deleted,” the 1s and 0s that make up the file are not actually disturbed. Rather, the logical address of the file is freed up for new data. The deleted file does not actually disappear from the hard drive until the operating system writes over the deleted file using the free logical address.

As a result, the deleted file can be recovered until it is overwritten. Unfortunately, if you do not have file recovery software like Undelete 11 installed on your computer or server, your attempts to recover the lost file may hit some obstacles:

  • Any disk writes could overwrite the deleted file. The longer your computer is running, the more likely you will lose the fileĀ even if you stop working on it.
  • Most computer users are not able to recover files without installing special software and the very installation of recovery software could overwrite the deleted file.
  • Since recovery requires special skills or special software, it can be costly in time, money, and lost productivity when you are without your computer or server.

Are deleted files the cause of fragmented drives?

Yes. When you hear about a “fragmented” hard drive, this is how fragmenting occurs. The new file that is written to the free logical address is usually not exactly the same size as the deleted file. As a result, either a fragment of the deleted file remains or a fragment of the new file must be broken off from the rest of the file and put into another logical address. Either way, discontinuities develop in the files stored on the hard drive. In this way, “how to defragment a hard drive” is related to “how to recover lost files.”

What is the benefit of having recovery software pre-installed?

Recovery software like Undelete 11 that is pre-installed on your drive provides many benefits:

  • You will not risk overwriting deleted files by installing recovery software after the files have already been deleted.
  • The recovery software can hold “deleted” files in real-time in a Recovery Bin so that they can be recovered from the Recovery Bin rather than hunting down their logical address.
  • Files deleted from removable drives or removable media can be recovered using real-time recovery software using the Recovery Bin technique.

Can you explain how to recover lost files from an SSD?

Files deleted from solid state drives (SSDs) usually cannot be recovered. Specifically, because of the way SSDs are controlled, the logical address technique discussed above cannot be used. The reason is that deleted files on SSDs are truly deleted rather than having their logical address released.

However, if files deleted from SSDs are held in a Recovery Bin, they can be recovered from the Recovery Bin even though they have been wiped from the SSD. Thus, the Recovery Bin method is the only way to recover deleted files from SSDs.

Does Undelete 11 slow my computer/server/network down?

No. In computer parlance, delays between a command and a response are referred to as latency. These issues can degrade performance by 50% or more.

Some real-time file recovery software can have an effect on storage performance because the files moving into the Recovery Bin create storage and memory latency issues. Undelete 11, on the other hand, runs with no overhead. This means that you should not have any latency issues with network speeds, memory speeds, or storage speeds.

Forward looking IT administrators should consider pre-installed, real-time file recovery software. When recovery software, like Undelete 11, is running prior to an accidental deletion, you and your employees will not need any special knowledge in how to recover lost files. Rather, you will be able to move the “deleted” file from the Recovery Bin back to the directory.

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