WHAT IS DATA RECOVERY
Despite the constantly growing reliability of storage devices, the loss of digital information remains quite commonplace. The frequent causes of lost files include human errors, software malfunctions (such as computer viruses), power outages as well as hardware failures. Luckily, the information stored on a digital medium is almost always recoverable. The following article explains what data recovery is, describes the most common data loss problems and ways of addressing them.
What is data recovery?
Data recovery can be defined as a process of obtaining the information located on a storage device that cannot be accessed by the standard means due to its previous deletion or certain damage to the digital medium. Different approaches are used to regain the missing files, yet, only on the condition that their content is present somewhere within the storage. For instance, data recovery doesn’t cover the situations when a file has never been written to a persistent storage, like documents that were created but could not be eventually saved to the hard disk drive due to a power failure. Also, none of the existing restore methods can cope with the cases of permanent erasure which occurs when some other information occupies its storage space – under such circumstances, the lost files can only be retrieved from an external backup.
In general, data recovery techniques are divided into two types: software-based and ones involving the repair or replacement of the damaged hardware components in a laboratory setting. A software-based approach is employed in the majority of cases and involves the use of specialized utilities able to interpret the logical structure of the problem storage, read out the required data and deliver it to the user in a usable form for further copying. Physical repairs are conducted by specialists in the most severe instances, for example, when some mechanical or electrical parts of the drive no longer work properly – in this case, all the measures are directed towards a one-time extraction of the critical content, without the possibility of continued usage of the affected device.
In computing, data recovery is a process of salvaging deleted, inaccessible, lost, corrupted, damaged or formatted data from secondary storage, removable media or files, when the data stored in them cannot be accessed in a usual way
The typical cases of data loss
By and large, the overall success of a data rescue procedure depends heavily on the choice of the right method for retrieval and its timely application. That is why it is highly important to understand the nature of the particular loss instance and know what can be done in each specific scenario. In contrast, the wrong actions can lead to the irreversible destruction of the information.
The most common causes of data loss include:
- Accidental deletion of files or foldersEach file system acts differently when deleting a file. For instance, in Windows the FAT file system marks file directory entries as “unused” and destroys the information about the allocation of the file (except for the beginning of the file), in NTFS only the file entry is marked as “unused”, the record is deleted from the directory and the disk space is also marked as “unused”; most Linux/Unix file systems destroy the file descriptor (information about the file location, file type, file size, etc.) and mark the disk space as “free”.Hint: To learn more about file systems and their types, The main purpose of file deletion is to release storage space used by the file for storing a new file. For performance reasons storage space is not wiped immediately which makes the actual file content remain on the disk until this storage space is reused for saving a new file.Hint: Please rely on the following guide if you need to recover deleted files.
- File system formattingFile system formatting can be started by mistake, for example, as a result of specifying a wrong disk partition or on account of mishandling a storage (e.g. NAS devices usually format the internal storage after an attempt to reconfigure RAID).The formatting procedure creates empty file system structures on the storage and overwrites any information after that. If the types of the new and the former file systems coincide, it destroys the existing file system structures by overwriting them with new ones; if the types of the file systems differ, the structures are written to different locations and may wipe the user’s content.
- Logical damage to the file systemModern file systems have a high level of protection against internal errors, yet, they often remain helpless against hardware or software malfunctions. Even a small piece of wrong content written to a wrong location on the storage can cause the destruction of file system structures, breaking file system object links and making the file system non-readable. Sometimes, this issue may occur due to blackouts or hardware failures.
- Loss of information about a partitionThis failure may occur because of a failed “fdisk” operation or user’s errors, which usually result in the loss of information about the location and size of a partition.
- Storage failureIf you suspect any physical issues with the storage (e.g. the device doesn’t boot, makes unusual noises, overheats, faces problems with reading, etc.), it is not recommended to perform any data recovery attempts on your own. You should take the storage to a specialized.If a failure has occurred to a RAID system (failure of one drive in RAID 1 or RAID 5, failure of maximum two drives in RAID 6, etc.), restoration is possible without the missing drive, as the redundancy of RAID allows recreating the content of a failed component.
WHAT ARE DATA RECOVERY SOFTWARES
Data recovery softwares are types of softwares that enables the recovery of corrupted, deleted or inaccessible data from a storage device.
This software reviews, scans, identifies, extracts and copies data from deleted, corrupted and formatted sectors or in a user-defined location within the storage device.
Data recovery software is primarily used by IT support staff and service providers. Data recovery software generally has access to the core architecture of a hard disk. It can extract data from corrupt storage devices or deleted files/folders by referring and accessing the file structure records/entries. Having access and control over file systems and structure, it can also un-format and repair hard drive partitions.
It can be used for both recovering user-stored and system-created data, files and folders. It can recover data from virtually any storage device including hard disks, flash drives, external storage cards, tape drives and more. Most data recovery software can perform data recovery on common file systems.
How does data recovery software work?
The information remaining on an intact storage can usually be recovered without professional help by means of data specialized software. However, it is important to keep in mind that no information is recoverable after being overwritten. For this reason, nothing should be written to the storage until the last file from it is rescued.
Most data recovery utilities operate using the algorithms of metadata analysis, the method of raw recovery based on the known content of files or a combination of the two approaches.
Metadata is hidden service information contained within the file system. Its analysis allows the software to locate the principal structures on the storage that keep record of the placement of files content, their properties and directory hierarchy. After that, this information is processed and used to restore the damaged file system. This method is preferred over the raw recovery as it allows obtaining files with their original names, folders, date and time stamps. If the metadata wasn’t seriously corrupted, it may be possible to reconstruct the entire folder structure, depending on the specifics of the mechanisms employed by the file system to get rid of “unnecessary” items. Yet, such analysis cannot be performed successfully when the crucial parts of metadata are missing. That is why it is extremely important to refrain from using file system repair tools or initiating operations that may result in its modification until the data is restored completely.
As a rule, when the desired result wasn’t achieved with the help of metadata analysis, the search for files by their known content it performed. In this case, the “known content” doesn’t imply the entire raw content of a file, only particular patterns that are typical for the files of the given format and may indicate the beginning or the end of the file. These patterns are referred to as “file signatures” and can be used to determine whether a piece of data on the storage belongs to a file of a recognized type. Files recovered with this method receive an extension based on the found signature, new names and get assigned to new folders, usually created for files of different types. The main limitation of this approach is that some files may lack identifiable signatures or have only a signature denoting the start of a file, making it hard to predict where it ends, especially when its parts are not stored consequently.
To get the lost files back with maximum efficiency, data recovery software may use the described techniques concurrently during a single scan launched on storage
TOP 7 DATA RECOVERY SOFTWARES
1) Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery
Best for high data recovery rates and data security.
Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery is a tool for data recovery on Windows & Mac devices. It can recover data in various data loss scenarios such as formatting and deletion. It scans quickly and provides the preview for free.
4DDiG Windows Data Recovery solution can recover data from an unbootable/crashed Windows OS. It supports recovering various types of files such as photos and videos. It can recover the permanently deleted files.
4DDiG Mac Data Recovery solution provides complete & 100% secure data recovery. Recovering data with Tenorshare 4DDiG is just a 3 click process.
It is easy to use. It can recover data instantly in any scenario such as emptied trash, accidental deletion, system crash, update failure, disk corruption, partition loss, CPU failure, broken screen, virus attack, disk format, etc.
- Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery makes use of patented technology to recover the data completely and retain its original format & size.
- It supports all the mediums for data recovery such as Flash Drives, Hard Drives, Memory Cards, Digital Cameras, etc.
- More than 1000 types of files and file systems are supported by Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery.
Verdict: Tenorshare 4DDiG Data Recovery is a one-stop solution for recovering lost data and that too without tech knowledge. Its patented technology makes it a reliable data recovery tool.
Price: 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery is available with three licensing options, 1 Month ($45.95), 1 Year ($49.95), and Lifetime ($59.95). 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery licensing options are 1 Month ($55.95), 1 Year ($59.95), and Lifetime ($69.95). All of these prices are for one device. It offers a 30-days money-back guarantee.=> Visit 4DDiG Windows Data Recovery or 4DDiG Mac Data Recovery
#2) iBeesoft Data Recovery
Download iBeesoft Data Recovery to find all the recoverable files.
iBeesoft data recovery has separate versions for Windows, Mac, and iPhone to recover files from computer (PC&Mac) internal hard drives, external hard drives, and iPhone respectively.
No matter how you lost the files, like deletion, factory reset of the device, system crash, virus attack, format or any data loss scenarios, the data recovery is ready to rescue your data.
Suggested read =>> Top Android Recovery Apps for Smartphones
- iBeesoft Free Data Recovery enables users to recover up to 2GB of files for totally free.
- iBeesoft data recovery comes with a very simple interface to display all recoverable files, including deleted files and existing but hidden files.
- Data recovery lets you preview videos, photos, documents, and more before recovery.
- It has a filter for categorizing the scanned results according to the path, time, and type.
- Supported storage devices are Mac & PC internal hard drives, Memory Cards, Digital Cameras, External Hard drives, USB Flash Drives, etc.
- Supported file types for recovery are pictures, audio, videos, documents, archives, etc.
Price: iBeesoft offers data recovery solutions with different licensing options.
|Data Recovery for Windows||Basic: Free to recover up to 2GB files,
Personal License: $45.95,
Family License: $69.95,
Company License: $299.95
|Data Recovery for Mac||Free trial: Free to show recoverable files,
Personal License: $55.95,
Family License: $69.95,
Company License: $299.95.
|iPhone Data Recovery for Windows||Free trial: Free to show recoverable files,
Personal License: $39.95.
|iPhone Data Recovery for Mac||Free trial: Free to show recoverable files,
Personal License: $39.95.
Verdict: If you want to recover files from a computer or external hard drive, try iBeesoft Free Data Recovery. It’s free to recover up to 2GB files, which is seldom offered by any other developers.
Also, iBeesoft is a powerful solution for data recovery with functions for recovering deleted files, unformatted drives, RAW drive recovery, etc. Anyway, a great data recovery software to find the recoverable files you need.=> Visit iBeesoft Website
#3) Wondershare Recoverit
Recoverit by Wondershare is a comprehensive and professional solution to recover lost data from computer disk, flash drive, SD card, etc. It provides a preview before recovery.
With Recoverit, it is only a 3-step data recovery process, Select, Scan, and Preview the recovered files to get them back. Its technical support is available for free, 24*7.
Wondershare Recoverit can recover deleted files like photos, videos, audio, emails, etc. It supports more than 1000 file formats. It can recover data from your PC, Mac, hard drive, USB, SD card, etc.
- Wondershare Recoverit makes use of patent technology to recover deeply hidden videos.
- It can repair different formats of video files.
- It can repair multiple videos at the same time.
- It can rescue the data from a crashed PC.
System Requirements: Windows and Mac.
Price: Recoverit offers pricing plans for Individuals, Teams & Businesses, and Students & Teachers. For the small teams (less than 5 PCs), it will cost $139.95 per year. Medium to large size organizations can get a quote. Plans for individuals start at $59.95 per year.
Wondershare Recoverit offers a 7-days money-back guarantee. It also offers a free version to recover data.
Verdict: Wondershare Recoverit is providing service since 2003. It is trusted by more than 5 million users. This comprehensive and professional solution can recover all lost data from computer disk, flash drive, SD card, etc.=> Visit Wondershare Recoverit Website
#4) Stellar Data Recovery
=> Download your free copy of the Stellar Data Recovery Tool to check what you can recover.
Stellar Data Recovery is best for consumers and businesses. It can work with desktop, laptop, mobile, server, flash drive, memory card, and other external storage. It provides 24*5 support. It has Data Recovery Software, Photo Recovery Software, iPhone Recovery Software, and Video Repair Software.
- For video repair, it works with DSLR, drone, digicam, surveillance camera, & Mobile Phone.
- Photos, Videos, and audio files can be recovered from an SD card, CF Card, USB Sticks, or from any other media.
- It can work with your iPhone and iPad to recover deleted photos, videos, contacts, messages, calendars, and call histories.
Price: The table below will show you the details of the pricing plans for various software. It offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for licensed products. Free download is also available for the product.
|Data Recovery||Professional: $79.99
|Photo Recovery||Standard: $39.99
|iPhone Recovery Software||Standard: $39.99
Standard Plus: $59.99
|Video Repair||Standard: $49.99
Verdict: It is an easy-to-use, future-ready solution. It will also help you to create software for Email Repair, Data Recovery, Database Repair, and File repair.=> Visit Stellar Data Recovery Website
#5) Disk Drill (Free) Mac and Windows
Disk Drill can recover files on Windows and Mac. Pandora Recovery is now converted to Disk Drill with additional features. It will give you improved quality and will allow you to recover archived, hidden, compressed, or encrypted files.
- It can recover all file formats.
- It supports all file systems.
- It can recover any undamaged storage device.
- It provides full support for FAT, NTFS, HFS+, EXT4.
- It can recover documents, videos, archives, music, or photos.
System Requirements: Windows XP and above and 16 MB of disk space.
For Mac and Windows OS, Disk Drill offers three pricing plans as shown below.
Disk Drill for Windows allows recovery of 500MB for free.
The table below will show you the details of the pricing plans:
|Mac OS||Windows OS|
|Basic: Free||Basic: Free|
|Pro: $89||Pro: $89|
|Enterprise: $399||Enterprise: $199|
DISCOUNT: 10% OFF coupon code for the Disk Drill Pro to your article: SOFTWARETESTING
Verdict: As per the user reviews, it is easy to use and fast. It performs scanning at a fast rate. It has features of full partition recovery, surface scan, easy preview, and support for all file types.=> Visit the Disk Drill Website
#6) System Mechanic Ultimate Defense
System Mechanic can be used to easily recover files on your Windows PC or digital device, regardless of what caused the data loss scenario. With System Mechanic, you’ll get all the tools you need to search and recover deleted documents or multimedia files from hard drives, CDs, cameras, flash players, mp3s, etc.
You can search for lost data with regards to a specific location or throughout the entire system. You can also customize your search, choosing which hard-drives or folders to focus on. You can also perform sector-level searches to find more deleted data. If you do find your missing data, it will only take you one click to restore it to its original destination.
- Custom Search for missing data
- Retrieve data from distressed devices.
- Recover data from multiple digital devices and drives
- One-click restoration.
System Requirements: Windows XP and Above, Minimum 270MB of hard disk space and 512 MB RAM required.
Price: $63.94 annual license.
Verdict: System Mechanic can help you recover any document or multimedia file in no time. It works well with most digital devices and drives. Restoration will only take you one click. You can even recover data from a damaged device, which is why this software makes it to the top of our list.=> Visit System Mechanic Ultimate Defense Website
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