How to do a deleted file recovery

Working with huge quantities of information? You know the desperate moment when you realize that you need something that you deleted a long time ago. This is the subject of this post : Recover deleted files which were deleted long time ago. First lets start with some general data recovery advices, valid for all type of data devices, PC’s, Mac’s, phones.

Don’t buy cheap storage devices. eBay is filled with SD cards, hard drives, and thumb drives that cost merely a fraction of their brand-name counterparts. They may seem like a great deal, but they rarely are. Manufacturers of these cheap storage devices often use discarded components that failed to pass strict quality-control requirements of renowned manufacturers. Unless you like playing with fire, avoid them at all cost.

If the computer with these files is working, but you’ve deleted something you need again, start by making sure that document or photo isn’t lurking somewhere. Seriously. We’ve done this before. Check the Recycle Bin/Trash, and do a system-wide search. For both Macs and PCs, you can open any folder and go into the Search field on the upper right. (This also applies to Cloud storage services like Google Drive and Dropbox, which make it difficult to truly delete a file.)

Is the drive making clicking noises on connecting or accessing? As mentioned earlier, this is a job for the data recovery service center or professionals. Is the drive detected by the computer and spinning but hangs on accessing? Such a scenario is an indication of a large amount of bad sectors. This usually happens to hard drive with years of continued usage. Either use free BIOS accessing utilities that can skip bad sectors to read the data or send the drive to a data recovery service center if you’re not sure, but want the data recovered.

If you want to replace the PCB then you’ll need to fine a matching replacement and have the ROM chip moved. There are many online providers that will sell you a matching PCB. Some of them even offer to move the ROM chip for you, saving you the hassle of soldering and possibly damaging the chip. If the PCB was the only damaged component and the drive’s internals are OK, then after the replacement and ROM swap, your drive should be up and running again. Another PCB-related item to check are the head contacts. Sometimes they corrode with time, but are easily cleaned with a rubber eraser.

Older laptops that were constructed with traditional hard drives were fairly simple to pop open and fix. You could unscrew a few screws holding the case together, and then plug into the drive via a universal SATA port to retrieve the data. Opening the actual drive itself is not without risk, or advisable, as dust could and will enter the drive, causing contamination and potentially additional damage during the process. For example, older drives would be subject to something called stiction, and sometimes became ‘stuck’, whereby the head and actuator were locked or stuck and the motor failed to spin, causing the hard drive platters to spin improperly. One trick that had some reported success involved placing a hard drive in the freezer, which would cause the metal to contract and become unstuck, at least long enough to offload the data.

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