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How data recovery works?

How data recovery works?

When the unthinkable happens and you lose crucial data due to a hard drive failure, accidental deletion, or a virus attack, the feeling of panic is immediate. However, even when data seems lost, there’s hope through the data recovery process. In this article, I’ll walk you through the entire data recovery process, focusing on my personal experience using a powerful tool called Disk Drill. We’ll explore different scenarios, methods, and essential tips along the way. If you ever need to dive deeper or seek advice from a community of experts, visiting Data recovery on Reddit can be a great resource.


Common Scenarios:

Accidental Deletion 🗑

  • Scenario: You’ve unintentionally deleted files or emptied your Recycle Bin, losing important documents or photos.
  • First Reaction: Immediately check for backups or try using the ‘Restore Previous Versions’ feature on Windows, but to no avail.
  • Solution: Turn to data recovery software like Disk Drill, which can scan your drive for recoverable data.

Drive formatting 🛠

  • Scenario: You’ve formatted a drive without realizing there were essential files on it.
  • First Reaction: After cursing your luck, try to recollect if any cloud backups exist.
  • Solution: Use a data recovery tool to attempt to salvage files from the formatted drive.

Corrupted Files 💥

  • Scenario: Files have become corrupted due to a software glitch or a virus, making them inaccessible.
  • First Reaction: Attempt to open the file with alternative software or check for file integrity.
  • Solution: Employ data recovery software to restore the corrupted files.

Step-by-Step Guide. Data Recovery Process:

Method 1: Disk Drill Data Recovery Software 🧰

  • Download and install Disk Drill from CleverFiles.
  • Launch the software, select the drive where your lost data resided, and click ‘Recover’.
  • Review the list of recoverable files and select those you wish to retrieve.
  • Choose a recovery destination that’s different from the source to prevent overwriting data.
  • Click ‘Recover’ to initiate the restoration of your selected files.

Note: Remember to save the recovered data on a different drive to avoid further data loss.

Conclusion: Disk Drill’s simple interface and powerful scanning algorithms make it a go-to solution for many recovery scenarios.

Method 2: Using File History in Windows 📚

  • Open the folder where the deleted files were originally located.
  • Right-click the folder, select ‘Restore previous versions’.
  • From the list of folder backups, choose the most relevant one and click ‘Restore’.

Note: File History must be enabled beforehand for this method to work.

Conclusion: The File History feature is a convenient built-in tool in Windows for restoring previous versions of files.

Method 3: Using macOS Time Machine 🕒

  • Connect your Time Machine backup drive to your Mac.
  • Open the folder where the lost files used to reside.
  • Launch Time Machine from the menu bar or through system preferences.
  • Use the timeline on the edge of the screen to find the backup with your files.
  • Select the files and click ‘Restore’ to recover them.

Note: Time Machine should have been set up and regularly backing up to successfully restore files.

Conclusion: Time Machine is a lifesaver for Mac users, offering a streamlined way to go back in time and recover lost data.

Method 4: Using Linux TestDisk 🐧

  • Install TestDisk on your Linux distribution via the terminal or software center.
  • Launch TestDisk in a terminal window and follow the step-by-step instructions.
  • Select the disk that contains the lost data and choose the file types to search for.
  • Navigate through the file system to select the files to recover.
  • Save the recovered files to a safe location.

Note: TestDisk is a more technical tool that requires familiarity with terminal commands.

Conclusion: For those comfortable with Linux, TestDisk offers a powerful, free method for data recovery.

Method 5: Professional Data Recovery Services 💼

  • Contact a reputable data recovery service like DriveSavers or Secure Data Recovery.
  • Send your affected storage device to their lab following their shipping guidelines.
  • Wait for the diagnostic report to learn what data can be recovered.
  • Approve the recovery process and associated costs.
  • Receive your data on a new storage device or via a secure download link.

Note: Professional services can be costly but are often worth it for complex or severe data loss situations.

Conclusion: When software solutions fail, professional data recovery services step in as the ultimate remedy.


Youtube video to watch


Precautions and Tips:

Secure Your Data 🛡

  • Create Regular Backups: Implement a robust backup strategy using external drives, cloud services, or NAS solutions.
  • Use Disk Imaging: Create complete disk images periodically, allowing for straightforward restoration of your system.
  • Avoid Data Overwriting: Once data loss occurs, stop using the affected drive to prevent irrecoverable damage.

Maintaining Data Integrity

Amidst the relief that comes with successful data recovery, it’s crucial to focus on maintaining data integrity moving forward. Data integrity ensures that your files stay accurate, consistent, and reliable over their lifecycle. But how do you secure the digital longevity of your data? Start by familiarizing yourself with different file systems like NTFS, APFS, or EXT4, and choosing the one that best fits your needs. Employ file validation techniques and checksum tools regularly to detect any corruption or unauthorized changes.

Understanding the threat landscape is another critical step. Protect your data from malware and ransomware attacks by using reputable antivirus software and staying vigilant about phishing schemes. Moreover, invest in UPS systems or surge protectors to shield your hardware from power surges, which can lead to data corruption.

Lastly, consider the role of encryption in protecting sensitive information. Tools like VeraCrypt can secure your data, ensuring that even if physical access to your storage media is compromised, the integrity of your data remains intact.


In conclusion, while data loss can be stressful, the recovery process offers several avenues to retrieve your valuable files. By understanding and employing the appropriate methods like Disk Drill, built-in system features, and professional services, you can often restore what was lost. Pair these recovery strategies with preventive measures such as regular backups, data imaging, and understanding threats to mitigate future risks. Always remember, the safety of your data starts with proactive steps to safeguard it against unforeseen events.


Initially, assess the damage or failure mode to understand the potential recovery methods and the likelihood of success.

It's critical to immediately halt usage to prevent overwriting the lost data, which can complicate or ruin the recovery chances.

Services range from software recovery and hardware repair to specialized cleanroom recovery for physically damaged media.

Yes, using a specialized cleanroom environment, professionals can often recover data from physically damaged drives.

Yes, specialized tools and techniques exist to retrieve lost data from various types of mobile devices.

Data recovery software can scan storage media for recoverable files and facilitate their restoration without physical repairs.

Unskilled attempts can lead to further data loss or permanent data destruction. Professional assistance is often recommended.

Often, corrupted files can be recovered or repaired, depending on the extent of the corruption and the data recovery method used.

A cleanroom is a controlled, dust-free environment to prevent further damage during the recovery of sensitive electronic components.

While useful for simple issues, free tools often lack the advanced capabilities and safety of professional data recovery services. For additional information and assistance on data recovery, consider visiting professional services like Ontrack ( or DriveSavers (