Did you know that when you delete a file from your computer, it is still on your hard drive?
Accidental file deletion
Computers don’t actually throw things away, they flag them as able to be overwritten, so when you empty the recycle bin on your computer, you are telling it that the space being taken by the file can be used for something else.
That’s good news if you have accidentally deleted a file, but it’s a race against time because the longer you leave it, the more chance there is that the file may be overwitten as your computer searches for space to write new files to.
If you discover that you have deleted an important file, we recommend that you:
1. Switch your computer off – this will prevent the computer writing more files to your hard drive
2. Write down the name of the file you need, or even part of it if you can’t remember the whole file name – e.g. My_Important_File.docx
3. Get in touch – we understand how stressful it can be to lose a critical file and will help you to recover your lost data as quickly as possible.
Operating system failure
When your computer crashes, it can trap files on your hard drive which may end up being deleted when re-installing your computer’s operating system.
The best option with any computer is to keep your data on a separate drive to your operating system, or better still a network or cloud drive.
The hard drive which comes with most computers contains the operating system (Windows or iOS), and if these run into problems, it will prevent you from being able to use the computer so you won’t be able to copy your data onto another device, and if the operating system has become corrupt or is unable to be recovered using a restore, then the next step is to wipe the whole drive and re-install a fresh operating system.
In an ideal world, you will have backups of all the personal photo’s, music, videos and documents stored on your computer, but when computers break down without warning it’s easy to find that backups may not be up to date.
At Devon Digital Services, we place a great deal of importance on recovering computers with data intact. Our usual method in this situation will be to remove the drive containing the data and replace it with a new drive upon which we will re-install the operating system. Once the computer has been restored, we then re-attach the original drive, mounting it as a secondary drive. All your old folders, will then become accessible once again.
Our advice would be to leave the secondary drive in place, if possible, and treat it as a data drive. That way, your data will be safe should the operating system crash again in the future.
Previously used hard drives
Removing hard drives from old computers before recycling them is always a good idea to ensure your data doesn’t end up in the hands of someone else, and over time you can end up with a few old drives which you may want to recover without the inconvenience of opening your computer up and installing them. At Devon Digital Services we have a range of tools to mount your old drives as external USB drives, clone or recover data to your current hard drives and even recover lost disk partitions which can then be accessed to recover your old data.
If you have an old hard drive which may contain old photos, videos, music or even (if especially lucky) an old bitcoin wallet with a balance, get in touch and we will help you to get that data back!