How to ‘undelete’ your files

How often have you hit shift+del/shift+command+del and immediately had that sinking feeling that you’ve permanently deleted the wrong file?

This has happened to the best of us. It is in that moment of panic that you realise ‘I should have backed that up!’ And it’s not just home users that have experienced this, but businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Fortunately there are a number of solutions available to sufferers of ‘deletion trigger-finger’. In severe cases of data loss there is always the option of getting the data recovered by a reputable data recovery provider, either by sending the drive in to the lab or, for data recovery companies that provide the service, remotely via a secure internet connection. However, in cases of data loss where the drive is in working order, there is the option of file recovery software.

Kroll Ontrack, the provider of Ontrack Data Recovery services, a data recovery company, has a simple guide for determining whether you need the assistance of a reputable data recovery service provider, or whether file recovery software is suitable to your data loss situation. The question to ask: ‘Is my computer system and hardware working properly and as expected?

  • If no, then stop! In order to properly preserve your hardware for the best chance of data recovery, then speak to a reputable data recovery company immediately. Ontrack Data Recovery, by Kroll Ontrack, is one such company and they even offer free advice over the phone.

Remember: if you think your data loss incident requires the services of a data recovery company then it is vital that you select a reputable provider as recovery attempts by less skilled providers can lead to further damage to the storage media rendering the data either much more expensive to recover or completely unrecoverable.

  • If yes, then data & file recovery software may be a suitable option to recover the data from your files.

What to look for in file recovery software

There are a few simple rules to look for when assessing different file recovery software packages:

  • The most reputable file recovery software packages will be sold by providers who also provide in-house data recovery services. Make sure the software package you chose is supplied by such a company.
  • Look for a file recovery software package with a trial version. Trial versions are exactly that – they give you enough of the software for you to make an educated decision on whether the package is right for you.
  • Avoid the ‘free’ recovery options. ‘Free’ doesn’t always mean ‘no cost’ and doesn’t always mean you will receive a full recovery. Remember to read the fine print! Ask: how much is my data worth? If it is worth more than nothing then don’t risk it with a ‘free’ package.


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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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