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April 15, 2010 by admin 

DIY Recovery Software and Over-writing of Lost Data

This can be quite a distressing situation for you if the files that went missing were quite important and needed urgently. So the question arises – what to do in such cases?

Sending your hard drive to a professional data-recovery company will consume time – perhaps even weeks – and ultimately come out to be quite expensive. This is also not the option if you lost data in the morning but need it by the evening because an important meeting is coming up. The good news is that there are quite a few self-help (“Do It Yourself” or DIY) data-recovery software widely available online that you can use to recover the missing files.

These software are usually manufactured by companies which already are in professional data-recovery business. There are quite a few competing products out there. Choosing the right one is important. For this, you should get advice from your friends or people who have already used such software for feedback. Reading reviews by technology trade magazines can give you a very good idea about who the leading players are in the market. You should also use a search engine such as Google and Yahoo! to come across some DIY recovery software online.

Once you have made a list of about four or five products, you should search for the websites of their manufacturers. Each of these has details about the price, features and capabilities of the product. You should go through these in detail and finally make a decision about which one to go for. Ideally, you should choose one which allows you to recover data from a variety of situations so that it can be used by you for a long time in future as other data-recovery problems crop up.

Before paying for such software online and downloading it, you should be very sure that the data loss problem you have relates to a software error such as file corruption, virus attack, accidental deletion of a file and emptying of the Recycle Bin or a file simply refusing to open. DIY software will be absolutely of no help in cases of data loss due to hardware errors such as some mechanical or electrical defect in the hard-disk components or physical damage of data-recording surface. In these instances, it would be much better to contact a computer technician than a data-recovery company.

DIY software is specially created for ease of use. Anyone can download it onto their computer, go through the ‘help’ pages as well as follow the easy-to-understand instructions and start using the software right away with a minimum of delay and fuss. For all their benefits though, DIY software do present one terrible danger – over-writing.

Most DIY software are not bought at shops but downloaded from the Internet. Their files get stored on any random location on the hard disk that has been marked as “available” by the operating system. The biggest risk in this case is that due to your bad luck, this location may turn out to be the very same place where your missing data has been stored. Storing some data on an already existing piece of data in a storage device is called over-writing.

Over-writing is actually a sure way of deleting previous data permanently. Once a data has been over-written, it is very difficult to recover it. Even professional data-recovery companies may find it impossible to extract the over-written files. There are many commercially available data-erasing software that use the over-writing method to permanently delete data. They not only remove the original data but also over-write multiple times with garbage the space where it was residing.

What should be done to obviate this risk? As long as you download the DIY software onto your hard drive, the problem will remain. The only solution is to steer clear of your hard drive and instead of downloading the software, you should just order its installation CD. Running the software from the CD drive will not harm your lost data in anyway. If you do not want to do that, you can download the software to your laptop or any other computer, connect it to the computer where the lost data resides and carry recovery operations from there.

Running the software from the CD drive or from another networked computer are the only sure ways to recover your lost data without the danger of it being overwritten by the files of DIY software package.

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