Data Recovery Tips

Data recovery is easy if you�re the perfect anal retentive geek who backs up his files on an hourly basis 24/7 every 365. Unfortunately, that only describes less than 1 % of the population. If you�re part of the other 99% here are techniques you can use to make sure you don�t lose any of your precious data.

If you are working on a modern word processor such as Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer, there is one button you really need to know about. It�s very easily if you�re using a touchpad on a laptop to accidently erase any number of words that you have typed since last saving the document. There is a special tool to help out all of us clumsy people, it�s called Undo. Located in both Word and Writer in the top left hand corner next to the Save icon, Undo can recover text that you have accidently deleted.

If you would like to recover a file you have deleted, it�s simple in Windows-based systems. When you delete an item, Windows first moves it to the Recycle Bin. Here it will stay until you direct the system to empty it. Recovering an item from the Recycle Bin is as simple as one click of your mouse. Simply click Restore All Items, and they will be moved back to their original location on your computer.

If you have emptied the Recycle Bin, and still want to recover a file, all is not lost. Windows does not actually erase a file at delete; it merely flips a bit switch signaling to the system that this space is available. If your hard drive has plenty of empty space, it will probably remain intact for some time, which means it can be recovered. While Windows itself does not have a utility to retrieve a file lost in this manner, there are several 3rd party software vendors who offer products that can perform this service. There are also a number of freeware vendors who claim their product can do the job, but it�s best to view all freeware claims with a fair measure of scepticism.

Of course the best way to recover lost files is to use the Windows back-up utility on at least a weekly basis. If you accidently delete file and erase it from the Recycle Bin, you can recover the file from your backup, if you always remember to include your entire Documents folder in your weekly backups. The best way never to lose a file you want is to completely understand how the file delete process in Windows works.

James Long is a data recovery expert at Advanced Computers in Auckland. Visit Advanced Computers for data recovery in Auckland.