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How Data Lost? What Is Data Recovery? And How It Works?

August 20, 2014 / Posted By - Kiran Patil

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Sometime many of us gone through the situation of data lost. We lost data due to several reasons like accidentally deleted, virus, damaged, corrupted or inaccessible storage from desktop, laptop, server or external storage. This post describes most common data loss situations and gives information as to data recovery perspectives.

Data Recovery:

In simple term, data recovery is the process of restoring data that has been lost. The data recovery process may vary, depending on the circumstances of the data loss.

Let’s see one by one.

1. Accidentally delete of File or folder:

When you delete files, then these files are not removed immediately from the drive, but mark as deleted and stays on your drive until it’s overwritten with another file. In the meantime the original file contents remain, often in a number of disconnected fragments, and may be recoverable.

In this case you can easily recover your data with some good data recovery software, if you start recovery process before new data is written on this place.  These software scan the entire drive to find deleted entries in Master File Table (MFT) then for the particular deleted entry, defining clusters chain to be recovered and then copying contents of these clusters to the newly created file.

Data recovery chances after file deletion is dependent on the file system. For Windows NTFS file system, data recovery chances are quite high, FAT systems chances are average. You must know the file system in your pc while using data recovery software.

2. Damage File system format:

File system is the methods and data structures that an operating system uses to keep track of files on a disk or partition. It can damage by virus or incorrect instructions. Windows OS has two file systems NTFS and FAT. If you format the drives, then it creates empty file system structures on the storage and overwrites with the new one.

Efficient Data recovery softwares are able to restore data from damaged partitions with crashed file system depends on the allocation information available and extent of the damage. Sometimes recovery chances are higher if the file system is formatted with the same file system type.

3. Corrupt partitions:

In some cases, data on a hard drive can be unreadable due to damage to the partition table. This happens due to  conversion of a partition from one file system to another, virus infection or while using third party tools for creating new partition.

In many cases it is possible to recover data from deleted and damaged logical drives and partitions with the help of recovery software.

4. Overwritten data:

When data have been physically overwritten over a previous data, you lost old data.

Unfortunately Data that has been overwritten, even just once, is no longer possible to recover.

5. Physical damage:

A hard drive can fail in many ways, caused by various reasons like hardware overheating, power surges, moisture etc.

In this case you should bring the storage to a specialized data recovery laboratory.

Share your experience when you lost your data.