I can picture it now, you were sitting at your laptop pounding away on the keyboard trying to finish up that term paper that should have been written two weeks ago, then suddenly the power goes out and your files are lost. Your computer resets and your word processing software has lost all your progress. Or maybe you were babysitting and the kid jumped on the computer to fix up a quick homework assignment and deleted all your hard work. No matter the situation we are going to end up at the same place–we’ve lost some files on our personal computer and we want them back; however, the best option will always be prevention, so let’s start there.
If possible, always keep a “hard copy” of any printable file. A “hard copy” is a printed file which is the physical product of what is intended to be an electronic document. There are some cases where this may not be possible. For example, any website work or graphic design work may be nearly impossible to capture in another format, especially if you have any other hidden features that may be electronically stored within the image.
If you can’t keep a “hard copy” then the best thing that you can do is back the file up on any other possible storage media that will stand alone without the use of the personal computer that you initially intended to store the file on. I recommend using a second household computer, if you have one. If you don’t there are many other possible alternatives for storing files electronically. Another great storage resource is an email account, if the document is a relatively large document then the email account probably wouldn’t be a suitable option; however, you could always sign up for an online storage service.
Now that we have discussed possible ways to prevent the situation from happening–or happening again if you’re one of the unfortunate that this has already happened to (I am assuming you are, you are here after all)–it’s time we discuss ways of solving the problem.
Your first option probably would be to make a trip down to the local computer repair shop in your area and seeing if one of the “techies” there can help you out, and this is a common route many people will take. Another option would require searching through lists of data recovery companies and trying to select one company that looks reputable enough to go with.
Personally, I’m closer to being the local “techie” than most people and I do tend to catch the D.I.Y. bug quite often too, so I probably would take the last option which I’m going to spout out right now. I would go through looking for a piece of software that would allow me to do the job myself. In some situations this may be the very thing you need to do, especially if you’re working with sensitive documents. After all, many of us have a lot of information sitting around on a hard disk drive that we wouldn’t want just any data recovery company to be snooping through (Think: bank statements, email addresses, personal accounting files, general private messages, and in some cases for the public figure…internet history).
So, I would suggest backing up all your files first and then having your own set of data recovery tools. If you’re still interested in learning more then click this link and read more about it here!
Hope this helps!