The data recovery is a process of retrieving inaccessible data from corrupted or damaged storage devices when the data they store cannot be accessed in a normal way.
Deleted files can be recovered from the computer's corrupted or damaged storage devices (external or internal) connected to the system. If you deleted a file on a magnetic hard drive and you're still using that computer, the safest thing to do is shut down the computer immediately. If you continue using the computer — even if you're just installing any file-recovery software — it's possible that a program on your computer could write to the disk and that data could overwrite the deleted file's data on your hard drive.
The following are some useful solutions to recover deleted files from hard drive:
Retrieve from Recycle Bin
When you delete a file from your computer, it's actually just moved to the Recycle Bin, where it's temporarily stored until the Recycle Bin is emptied. You can search the Recycle Bin using the search box at the top-right corner of the window, which may help if you have a lot of files in your Recycle Bin. You can also right-click in the window, point to Sort By, and select Date Deleted to view files that were recently deleted. This gives you an opportunity to recover accidentally deleted files and restore them to their original locations.
If your files are not found in the Recycle Bin, don't save or delete anything from your computer. Your chances of recovering the file are much higher if you don’t save anything new in the system. This is because when a file is deleted, it is actually just set to be overwritten. If no new data has overwritten the original file, then it can usually be recovered.
Retrieve from your backup
You can restore backed-up versions of files that are lost, damaged, or changed accidentally. You should be making regular backups of your most important files so you won't lose too much critical data if they ever vanish on you. If you back up your hard drive—or at least your libraries—on a regular basis, your files are probably preserved there. The following instruction will help you to backup and restore files from windows :
Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore.
To restore your files, click Restore my files. To restore the files of all users, click Restore all users' files. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Using data recovery software
There are lots of programs for recovering files from storage devices. A good free one is Pandora Recovery, which you can download from pandorarecovery.com. It is very specifically recovers deleted files on drives formatted with the NTFS file system, not the older FAT or FAT32 file systems. Its built-in image preview can help you find the right file. This free utility will make a nice addition to your system's arsenal of protection. Pandora Recovery is ideal for basic recovery process free of cost. Goto : Pandora Recovery FREE DOWNLOAD
TestDisk is a free and open-source data recovery utility. It lets you perform low-level disk repair and file recovery - from a command prompt or DOS box. You don't install TestDisk instead you simply unzip the archive to the location from which you want to run it. This may be a bit confusing for users used to installing, but it makes the apps portable, which is far more important to the techier types who are the intended audience. Simply drag the files around on your flash drive and run them from there. Being portable also makes these utilities suitable for inclusion on boot discs. Goto : TestDisk Download
Puran File Recovery
Puran File Recovery is a free file recovery program. The interface is simple and straightforward, simply select the drive letter or physical drive you want to recover from and start the scanning process. A perfect combination of speed, accuracy and simplicity. Its Quick Scan that lists deleted files in a click and few seconds. Also it supports FAT12/16/32 and NTFS. A Deep Scan that can intelligently scan a drive byte by byte resulting in high speed listing of many more deleted and lost files. An easier way to view and restore files is to select Tree View at the bottom left of the Puran File Recovery program. This view shows the original path of the deleted files in an easy format. It looks as if you're looking at actual files on your computer because you can browse through the folders and see exactly where the deleted files came from. This is the best way of looking for specific files to recover. Goto : Puran File Recovery Download
Recuva is a creation of a famous software company called Piriform which is also known as an owner of very popular programs such as CCleaner, Defraggler, and Speccy. It recovers data from corrupted, damaged, and reformatted discs. The main advantage of Recuva is that its search results tell you the condition of the file before you try recovering. Recuva is effortless to use, with an attractive interface that you can navigate easily even when you're distracted by the fear that you've lost precious data forever. You just select a drive, and Recuva will scan for deleted files that have been deleted, including files that you've emptied from your recycle bin. If the file is recoverable, Recuva will tell you. Recuva is an excellent choice for your small devices such as cameras, MP3 players, USB flash drives and SD cards, but it feels a little underpowered on a desktop PC. Goto : Recuva - Free Download
Glary Undelete supports multiple file system ie NTFS + EFS, FAT , NTFS . Moreover, it is able to recover files that the user has compressed or fragmented or even encrypted on NTFS file system. Glary Undelete has a clean, logical interface that makes it an excellent file undelete solution for novices and experts alike. This powerful application can search for all the deleted files/folders on our hard disks. After the scan is completed, we are given the option to restore all the items, a complete folder, or just a single file. Goto : Download Free Glary Undelete
PhotoRec is a free and open source data recovery software tool designed to recover lost files from digital camera memory, hard disks, CD-ROMs etc.. It also retrieves documents and archives from various storage locations. But perhaps the most valuable trick PhotoRec does is undo deleted volumes on hard drives and fix trashed partition tables. It recovers most common photo formats, including JPEG, and also recovers audio files including MP3, document formats such as OpenDocument, Microsoft Office, PDF and HTML, and archive formats including ZIP. When a file is recovered successfully, PhotoRec checks the previous data blocks to see if a file signature was found but the file was not able to be successfully recovered , and it tries again. This way, some fragmented files can be successfully recovered. Goto : PhotoRec - Digital Picture and File Recovery
Restoration is an easy to use and straight forward tool to undelete files that were removed from the recycle bin or directly deleted from within Windows. It doesn't have a traditional installation process, you simply click the EXE file, and the program pops up. There are no cryptic buttons or complicated file recovery procedures - everything you need is on one, easy to understand program window. Goto : Restoration - Download
Undelete Plus (Windows)
Restoring the files is easy—just a few clicks required—and the application offers helpful hints on how to recover files most effectively. It can scan devices for files which appear to have been deleted but in reality remain on the drive. Until that space has been reused by new data, it is likely the old data can be recovered using Undelete Plus. It supports FAT, FAT32, NTFS and NTFS5. The software is capable of recovering entire folders and preserve the structure, this way you can retrieve the files in the exact order they were stored. Additional information tell you about the size of the file, format, path, date of its creation and modification. Goto : UndeletePlus - Download
When data cannot be recovered
Zero filling is a low level hard disk management technique. Running a low-level format or another utility that overwrites all deleted files with zeros or other garbage is the only method of making sure files cannot be recovered. Zero filling is the way to think of zero filling is setting every single byte of a storage device (RAM, HDD, whatever it may be), to null (character code 0). This effectively cleans the device of any data. When the deleted file space is overwritten by zeroes or any other data, it is no longer able to be recovered.