Help! I Have Lost My Data, What Should I Do?
Losing something important can be stressful and the actions that you take immediately after can dictate the likelihood that you get it back.
It might sound like an easy thing to say but… …DON’T PANIC!!
In our experience, most loss of important data is followed immediately by the kind of panic that often leads to bad decisions.
So what SHOULD you do?
- Stop using your computer. Just for a moment stop everything. Do not save files, do not create new files, do not browse the internet, do not pass go…
- Assess the situation before doing anything else, assess the value of what you have lost. Can the data be easily recreated? Do you have a recent copy of the data anywhere? The likelihood is that (as you are here), the data was important, so let’s move on…
- Save anything else that you have been working on (but only if it is also important). DO NOT save it to the place where your lost data was, save it to an external device such as a memory stick – DO NOT save it to the media that you have lost data from as it might overwrite your lost file.
- Shut your machine down or remove the device that the data was stored to at the earliest opportunity.
- Contact a specialist immediately, here at TRC we will offer you advice if we can. Normally your situation will require expert intervention at this stage however, we can sometimes help you over the phone.
By shutting down or detaching the storage media you minimise the risks of overwriting an important file.
Saving files is not the only potential problem either, if the media that your data was saved to is a computer that is connected to the internet, it could be downloading updates. Believe it or not, just visiting a web page downloads many files to your computer, even things like looking at photos, watching movies or moving data around writes more data to your computer’s storage than you would think.
Caution against using data recovery software
There are some great data recovery tools available online, there really is. That said there are a number of golden rules that people in a panic often forget to follow, these are:
Never install the recovery software to the device you want to recover from. This application will have a file size, the download, installer, application and associated files will all be written to your computer, as will the temporary files from all of the websites that you visited prior to making your choice of software.
NEVER – This one is REALLY
…Just emphasising the importance a little…
…Recover files using any software to the same media that the files were lost from. This causes countless problems and, whilst most applications strongly warn against this, many do not. Doing so is a great way to ensure that you NEVER get your data back.
If it is important, always get professional device at the earliest opportunity. Access your free download
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