Monday, 17 October 2011

How to recover deleted file

Have you accidentally deleted a file, a photo, a video, document or anything that you want it back? If you have not emptied your recycle bin, you are fine, but what if you have just emptied it? Recovery softwares are there but might cost you something, and if you get somebody to recover it for you doubles or triples the cost.

This tutorial will show you that it is possible to recover digital files, deleted and emptied from the recycle bin with a FREE software, without experts help. To understand why it is possible, we need to know how digital files are deleted.

What happens when we delete a file?

When a file is deleted from the computer it is  not really deleted, but  is simply removed from the directory in the folder, just like tearing off a part of the telephone directory of your name and telephone number, this doesn't mean your telephone number is no longer active and exists. Although you cannot see the file in the folder, contents of the file are still intact at this point, the same with your phone number, even your name is teared and gone from the directory, your number still exist. On Windows system, the file will have been moved to the Recycle Bin if you deleted the file using Windows Explorer. Just like what we do when we put that part of the directory book we've teared into and bin it!.

Even if you emptied the Recycle Bin, the file is still not actually deleted from the system. For the operating system's viewpoint, the deleted file is no longer exists, (just like somebody looking at that directory where your entry is teared, he has the impression that you are not allocated a phone number), and the space it occupied will become available for reuse by other files soon. But the disk space won't get reused immediately, thus the data contained in the deleted files will stay on the hard disk drive for some time.

Is it still recoverable?

The answer is MAYBE! A deleted file can be undeleted right after it has been deleted and for some time afterwards, because the operating system will not reuse space from the deleted files immediately. But the chances of perfect data recovery will decrease the longer you leave the situation, as some or all of the space allocated with the deleted file will be reused by the system eventually. The chances of data recovery will also depend on how full the hard drive is. Windows operating system will try to avoid reusing disk space that has been recently freed, in order to give recovery software a better chance of performing its task. But as the drive gets near to its full capacity, there will be better chance of free space gets reused by other files sooner. If you happen to defragment the hard drive since the file was deleted, then this will seriously affect the chances of a file recovery process. The free space left by deleted files will be occupied by current files due to fragmentation process, making it much less likely that undelete software could find anything useful.

What Free Software To Use Then?

I blogged about the Glarysoft software, click here to see the previous post, for computer maintenance before and discovered another Glarysoft Utility software than can undelete files which I experimented.

1. Download the utility at

2. After installation, start the software and click MODULES, PRIVACY AND SECURITY, FILE UNDELETE

3. A window will pop out and starts scanning


4. Scanned deleted result will give  you a description of whether the file is already overwritten or still on good condition. But even when it says good condition, the file might still be unrecoverable, just cross your fingers for luck!

 5. You can filter the type of file you want to recover from the result by typing * plus . plus file extension, in this case I am trying to recover an icon, that's with ico extension. So I typed *.ico to show all files with ico extensions. Pictures has jpg, png, gif, tiff , bmp extensions, the most common is jpg on windows and png on a mac.

6. I've choosen to recover rotate.ico and clicked restore, I've put desktop as my target directory.

7. The undeleted file is now in the desktop and in good condition when opened with a photo viewer!

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