How to Recover Deleted Files:
Are you one of the unlucky ones that lost some or all of your files due to the latest Windows 10 update? Or are you someone (a lot of us have done this) that deleted or formatted a drive and realized that you just lost some important files.
If you are, don’t panic just yet, and hopefully not at all. There is a very good chance that you can retrieve those lost files.
The first thing you want to do is stop using your computer, well not totally stop using it. Because after all, you need it to read this article. What you don’t want to do is download anything new to your hard drive, such as new software, photos, documents, music, etc.
Nothing at all, because what could happen is that you could overwrite those lost files with whatever you are loading onto your drive. So yes, your files are still there, they just won’t show up in your “File Explorer”. Now Microsoft is saying that you should not use your computer at all, even if you are not adding any new files to it the OS could still possible overwrite some of those files.
Usually, if your hard drive still has plenty of room left on it the OS should not overwrite any of these files, but the safe option is to limit the use.
Now for some bad news, if your drive is an SSD (solid state drive) the chances of not being able to recover those files has increased greatly due to the fact that Windows 7 and later has now been enabling the “Trim” feature for SSD’s. This feature will immediately erase the files to free up space and ensure that the SSD can be written to right away.
But you may be lucky and your SSD does not have Trim enabled, just as mine is not, which is a fairly new drive and I’m running the latest Windows 10 version, so you could still be in luck.
How do I know if the Trim feature is enabled?
Really simple once you know where to look, first open “Windows PowerShell (Adm)” by right-clicking on the window’s icon in the lower-left corner of your screen, and selecting it from the dropdown list. Now at the command prompt, you will want to type in “fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify”, and hit return. You will now get one of two messages “DisableDeletNotify = 0 (Disabled)”or “DisableDeletNotify -1 (Enabled)”.
So, if you get a 0 you should be good, but if you get a 1, well not so good. But it still might not hurt to follow through with the next instructions on how to restore lost files.
How to Restore your Deleted Files:
As I mentioned above, you want to limit your use of the drive that you lost your files on, and the best way to do this would be to remove the drive and install it on another computer as a backup drive. Now if you don’t have another computer to do this on or you are not up to the task, (most people are not up to this task) not to fret, there is an easy way around this!
The steps I outline below will cover how to do this and still limit the use of your drive. Which I will be performing on my own computer to verify that it can be done and all goes well for you. 🙂
To get started you will need an external drive connected to your computer such as a flash drive which you can get for a pretty cheap price if you don’t have one already. After you have the drive connected you will want to download “EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition” this is one of the best free recovery tools around, and easy to use.
Downloading Program to an External Drive:
Now, this is where you will want to take extra care in doing this. What we are going to do is install this program on your external drive to prevent further use of your lost data drive.
So go ahead and click on the link above which will open your browser to the download page. Click on the “Free Download” button, when your computer prompts you to save the file you will want to change the download location to your external drive (make sure it is not your current drive) and then click confirm.
When it’s done downloading run the setup program, this will run the program from your external drive. In the setup window Click “Next” > “Accept”. In the next window is where you want to make sure you select the right destination.
So you will want to click on the “Browse” button, you will then have to scroll down to find your external drive. Click on it to highlight and then click “OK”. In the next window make sure it displays the right drive and click “Confirm”.
Running the Scan:
Next window “Select Additional Tasks” you can let it create a desktop icon if you want, I did. Go ahead and click “Install”. On the next window, you can uncheck or leave the boxes checked if you’re ready to run the application now, then click “Finish”.
Once your program starts, select the drive where you lost the files and click “Scan”. It will now launch a quick scan which will search all the lost and existing files on your drive. Once completed it will then launch a “Deep Scan” which will find more files for you. Why the two steps, good question. I’m not sure why they just don’t run both scans at the same time, oh well, it gets the job done.
The deep scan can take up to 30 plush minutes to run, mine took 25 minutes to run. So, if you have a lot of files to go through, just be patient and let it do its thing :). Once done take your time and go through all the files to locate the ones you lost. You can double click on them to open the file to make sure it is the ones you want.
Recovering your Files:
When you have selected all the files you want to recover click on the “Recover” box in the lower right corner. This is another important step, you will want to restore them to a different drive, like the one your using to run this program. Anywhere other than the same drive you lost your files in the first place.
Why, well if something should go wrong in copying the lost files to there destination they could possibly overwrite your lost files and you would lose them permanently. ☹ That would be bad after all this work you did to recover them.
So, if all goes well you should now have a copy of them in your recovery drive. When I did this I found some old photos that I had deleted some time ago and restored them to the flash drive that I used in the recovery process with success.
Actually, I was surprised at how many files this utility was able to find and locate, so I would think you should have a good chance to recover yours. Now the free version of the Data Recovery Wizard will only retrieve 2 GB of data, so if you lost more than that you will have to upgrade to the pro version which will allow you unlimited files to restore.
All for the price of $69.95, after all, they need to make money somehow, and how do you put a price to your lost files, this is far cheaper than paying someone to restore them for you.
How to prevent this from happening again:
We have all come across a time when we lose important files due to a number of things, just like what has happened to the latest update from Windows. Sometimes the operating system gets so screwed up that we have to reinstall it and in the process, we forget to save our files. Or we accidentally delete a file or format a drive that contained some important files. So what do we do so we’re not in the position of trying to recover them? Yep your right, make backups and then make more backups. (oh what a hassle though 🙂 )
Well, you’re in luck there are a lot of ways to do this with little effort, in fact, one of the easiest ways is built right into Windows operating system called “File HIstory” (you’ve probably heard of this) and once you set it up, you’re done. With just a couple of clicks of the mouse, you’ll be all set up and ready to go about your work no more worrying about your files. So don’t procrastinate any longer click this link “Do I back up my files” which will take you to a post I did on ways to back up your files. When you reach the page scroll down about half way and that’s where I explain how to set up File History. Hurry up now!
How to Recover Deleted Files:
Well, with a little work and time hopefully you will be able to recover those lost files, whether you lost them in the latest update or by an accidental deletion. If your one of the those that have an SSD drive with the Trim feature enabled, my heart goes out to you for your lose. But as I said above it won’t hurt to try this, you never know. And by all means set up some way to back up your files, Today before it happens again.
Comeback and Let Me Know How it Went!
When you get done trying this out to recover your files, how about stopping back here and let me know how it went, did you have success, run into problems, or maybe a complete failure? I enjoy hearing from my readers, so I would find it an honor to hear back from and Thank you!