Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Guide To Recover Lost Files on Your Computer

Computers are a blessing, until you get the infamous blue screen of death, or perhaps less dramatic, you accidentally erase a file. In many cases of deleted files, the file can be retrieved.

If you recently deleted the file, look through the Recycle Bin (or Trash for Macintosh users). In the Recycle Bin you can browse through a list of deleted items, or search for a specific item. Restoring the file from the Recycle Bin is simple. You can restore it directly from the Recycle Bin, move the file to the desktop for restoration, or open the file and resave it.

If the Recycle Bin or Trash does not have your file, look throughout the computer for a back up. The back up could have been manually created by you, or automatically created by your computer. If you are in a network, look through the server's files for your missing file. If you find a backup, be thankful and resave the file.

If at this point you still have not been able to find the file, you will likely need to start spending some money. Be sure to consider how much time and money the lost file is worth. If it is not much, now would be a good time to cut your losses and recreate the file. If the file was one of a kind, not redo able, find a file recovery system program or hire a human recovery specialist. These specialists understand the ways of a computer and where it puts things; but will not be inexpensive.

If you lost your entire hard drive (this may or may not have activated the blue screen of death), first take a deep breathe and let it out. Secondly, use the disk repair program included with Microsoft and Macintosh software. If the software disk does not help, move onto a disk repair program purchased from another company. Your last choice is to have a specialist come in, or bring the hard drive in to try and recover as much information as possible. This option will be costly with no guarantee of success. Once you go through this process once, there is the guarantee that you will not want to do it again.

To avoid losing every file you have made, back up every file you have made to a location other than the hard drive. Disks, USBs, CDs or servers are all good options. After each major change to your file, remember to save the file to both, or all, locations.

When installing a file recovery program, use the program from its installation device to avoid accidentally rewriting any of your files. Lastly, try to install this program before you have lost files. The likelihood of recovering lost files greatly increases if the program is installed ahead of time.
By: Gregg Hall

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