Help I lost my Files!
Have you accidentally deleted a file, or just out of the blue while working on your computer things disappeared. Well you’re not alone; I think it has happened to anyone that works with a computer. And that is why you’re here, to learn how to recover data from a hard drive, OK, OK, I accidentally deleted some files to free up space on my computer. Or better yet my spouse or even my kids did it, so yes how do you do it! 🙂
Well don’t panic just yet, I will go over some ways to retrieve those lost items, and most of them won’t cost you a dime. The first thing is to not use your PC to download or work on any new documents, pictures or anything that requires writing data to the hard drive. It’s alright to be surfing the net to find solutions, but the sooner we find those files the better.
Why do I say this, well windows will start writing over deleted files when it needs space, once it does that, your files are lost. So unless you have extra space available on your hard drive you may want to limit your use of your computer to be on the safe side.
The easiest solution to try first.
OK so the first thing we are going to try will be to open up the garbage can icon that you see in the upper left corner of your screen. This file is called the recycle bin; it’s where Windows will store things when you selected to delete them, and sometimes when they get misplaced and wind up there.
All you have to do is double click the icon and look through the files that appear on your screen, if you see your lost file, great because all you have to do now is to right click on the file and select Restore. Super, you now have retrieved you lost file.
But what if I don’t find my file there?
Don’t panic yet, we still have a few more things to try. Let’s look at your backup files; if you have been backing them up like you’re supposed to be doing, (see Backing up my files) you have a great chance of finding it in there. So if you have been using a backup software or a Windows utility, all you have to do is open up the program and find where it says something like recovery, click on that and follow the instructions.
Now if you’re running Windows 8 or higher and using the file history to do your backups, (which I highly recommend) all you have to do is open up file history by typing in File History in the search bar, and proceed to the restore section and follow the instructions from there.
If you where just working on something new it was more than likely never backed up, so follow along and we will go over some more methods in retrieving your lost files.
Still can’t find my file!
After this I’m sure you will be backing things up regularly from now on. 🙂 Here we are going to look at Windows Recovery; in this utility you will be able to restore your system back to an earlier time, before you lost the files. To do this open up your control pane, if you don’t know where that is just type in “control panel” in your search bar and follow the link. Once there find Recovery and click on it, next click on Open System Restore and follow the instructions, if the last date windows made a restore point is way back you may not want to proceed because everything you did after that point will be LOST, so chose wisely.
Well that didn’t work, now what?
Now we download a software program (yea, yea I know I told you not to), but we will do it anyway. Now if you have another computer use that one to download a program called Recuva-Portable (this is a Free program), if you don’t then download it on the one you’re using and we will keep our fingers crossed (no really, if you have a lot of empty space on your hard drive you should be safe). This is a zip file so after it has downloaded you will want to extract it to a flash drive, not on your current drive. Once that is done, open up that file from your flash drive and follow the instruction.
Still no file? Time to get the wallet out.
OK now if none of the above methods worked in retrieving your lost file and the files are really important then you’re going to have to spend a few dollars. One thing you can do is call a local computer shop that repairs computers and ask what they charge; most of them will give you a guarantee if your situation meets certain criteria’s.
Now if there price is way over 50 dollars you may want to purchase your own software, here is one for only $29.95 (Auslogics File Recovery) I have not used it myself, but this one had the best reviews out of the five that I researched, and is comparable in price, but the down side is that there is no guarantee that will work.
Now if the price quoted from a responsible computer repair place isn’t too high and they guarantee that they can retrieve your files, well then you may want to go that route, all depending on just how important those files are of course.
Well I hope this has helped out in how to recover data from a hard dirve, and if you have any question, what’s so ever, don’t hesitate to leave them below. If you happened to know of any other methods that have worked for you, why not share them with the rest of us in the comment section below.
Oh hey, one last thing if you know of anyone that would benefit from this article why not share this with them. 🙂
Have a wonderful day and thank you for stopping by.