When you decide to recover any data from a patient laptop, the first thing to consider is the type of damage you have done to your laptop’s hard disk.
If you have accidentally deleted the data and have forgotten to take its backup before formatting your hard disk or lost the data because of some virus, then you are probably quite lucky. But, if you have lost your data because of hardware damage on the hard disk itself, then you are in for some trouble.
When recovering data because of accidental deletion, formatting, or virus problems, remember, that your data can still be in its recoverable state, unless you are some tech geek, who has taken enough trouble to intentionally shred your data and not simply delete it. Data is stored in the hard disk in patterns of 0s and 1s. Once you delete the data, that portion of your hard disk, where your data was stored becomes free to store some new data, but the pattern continues to remain, until it is reused. So let’s come down to the three golden rules you need to follow, once you realize that you have lost data.
* Avoid using your laptop as much as you can.
* If you have to, then do not use the drive, from which you have lost your data.
* Do not save any new data in your laptop.
Data recovery tips for laptops without hardware damage
If the hardware of your laptop has not been damaged, there are various softwares and tools that are available for free download, with which you can retrieve your data, even after formatting your laptop’s hard disk, more than once. But before trying to do so, please be sure about the importance of your data. In case of extremely crucial data, its better that you do not experiment with it. Rather, try enlisting the help of one of the various data recovery services, who have proper expertise on laptops. If you want to continue with the process, then you need to download one of the free data recovery softwares from the Internet. Please download the software on some other computer and not on the laptop from which you intend to recover your data. When downloading, do read the guidelines given along with the recovery software. If you have an NTFS file system and you download a recovery software written for FAT 32, then it’s not going to work out for you. ‘PC Inspector’, ‘NTFS Boot Disk’, ‘Recuva Data Recovery’ and ‘TOKIWA Data Recovery’ are some of the data recovery softwares that are available for free download. As I have already mentioned, PC Inspector will work for NTFS as well as FAT 12/16/32, but NTFS boot disk will work only for the NTFS file system.
Some softwares may require you to install them into the system. In such cases, install the software into a USB hard disk or pen drive and connect it to your laptop’s USB port. Execute your software directly from the USB pen drive. Follow the instructions as the software starts recovering. The software that you are using, will ask basic questions like the location from which you wish to retrieve your data. You will have to mention the drive location, in such cases. Some softwares also provide you with options, like entering in, the type of file you wish to recover. This is an advanced, very useful feature. For example, if you have done a complete format of your laptop and you have taken the backup of all your important data, but you forgot to take backup of your pictures, then you can simply select the extensions like .jpg, .bmp etc. and get back only those files. Data recovery softwares are relatively simple to use and recover almost all types of files, if the hard disk has not been tampered with, after losing the data. There are data recovery softwares with limitations to the type of data they can retrieve, but most of them recover all types of data, provided the data has not been shred using some data shredding software.
Data recovery tips for laptops with hardware damage
Supposing that you are unable to switch on your laptop, but you are quite sure that the hard disk has not been damaged. In this case, you need to detach the hard disk from your laptop. The process of detaching is not simple and you need to follow the instruction manual that comes along with your laptop. If the procedure is not mentioned, then visit your laptop vendor’s website and search for it. In case, you do not have much knowledge about the hardware, please do not try to go along with the hardware disintegration process yourself. After detaching your hard disk connect it to a desktop computer using a connector, as your laptop’s connector will not match in the number of pins to your desktop’s hard disk connector. Install your laptop’s hard disk as the slave, while your desktop’s hard disk should function as the master. Then, simply copy your files from the hard disk of your laptop to one of the drives in your desktop. If some of the data is corrupted, then use softwares like ‘Total Copy’, that skip the data with errors and copy the remaining data to your destination drive.
Hope above tips can be a little help for you to recover your data from your laptop, one thing is worth repeating that for any crucial data, please do not play around with your laptop. Rather contact one of the agencies that have a specialization in doing this task. Also bear it in mind, that detaching a laptop’s hard disk is a very complicated procedure and please do not try it, if you have never dealt with hardware before.
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