The hard drive of your Windows PC stores and retrieves data. Hard drives are electro-mechanical storage devices that keep data in blocks and sectors on a rotating platter with a magnetic material surface. The data is randomly retrieved through the read-write magnetic head. Knowing how to recover files from a hard drive is critical to preventing unwanted loss of pertinent data.
Read on below to learn the different methods of retrieving data from your hard drive:
Use the Built-in Recovery Feature of the App
Different applications like Microsoft Outlook can store deleted emails on the hard drive in its Deleted Items folder. If you have deleted an important email message by accident on Outlook, all you have to do is press the Control + Z keys right away to undo the accidental deletion.
You can also proceed to the folder for Deleted Items from Outlook’s left pane and then drag and drop the message or file to the Inbox folder. If the message is deleted even from the Deleted Items folder, you can open the folder for Deleted Items, proceed to the Home tab, and click on Recover Deleted Items from Server.
Choose the deleted email message then click OK for the deleted message to be retrieved on the Deleted Items folder.
Take Advantage of a Data Recovery Service
A reliable data recovery service can be very helpful if the hard drive fails because of situations where physical data is lost. If the hard drive has been exposed to physical damage, avoid trying your hand at any unreliable method of data recovery.
Instead, make sure you look for the best and most reliable service to help you recover files from your hard drives. A dependable service should have the following qualities:
- Ensures data recovery after analysis
- Has an ISO-certified service centre
- Implements a policy on no recovery no charge
- Offers complete data confidentiality
- Provides free shipping of hard drive
- Provides reliable and secure service
- Uses Class 100 clean room
Harness the Power of File History Backup Drive
If you have already backed up the hard drive of your PC with the help of File History before the data loss occurred, you can try restoring the deleted files using the File History backup drive. Just remember that File History will not work for external hard drives.
In such cases, data recovery software, a backup of critical files to a different external hard drive, or a clone of the external hard drive will all help you retrieve the lost data from an external hard drive.
If the important folders on the hard drive of your PC have been synced to OneDrive, Microsoft’s proprietary drive for cloud storage, you can simply use your account in OneDrive to regain access to the synced data using the internet no matter where you are or whatever time of the day or night it might be.
Proceed to the Recycle Bin
Recycle Bin is responsible for storing or keeping temporary records of all your deleted files. This means that if you have deleted a file on your PC with the Delete key, all you have to do is press the Control + Z key combination immediately to help undo this operation.
However, if the file was deleted earlier, you will no longer be able to undo it. When this happens, you just need to proceed to the Recycle Bin folder where you can try searching for the deleted file. Once you have found the deleted file, you just need to right-click on it and then click on Restore so that the file will return to its original location before it was deleted.
Take note, however, that this particular method will not work if you used the combination of Shift + Delete keys, deleted a file from the external hard drive, or emptied your Recycle Bin since the record of the file has already been removed right away and has not been transferred to the Recycle Bin. If this is the case, data recovery or backup software will help you recover files from the hard drives.
Seek Help from Windows Data Recovery Software
Last but definitely not least, Windows data recovery software will help you retrieve data from your external or internal hard drive that has been subjected to deletion, software failure, corruption, or formatting.
Common Reasons for Data Loss
Files or data can be lost because of different reasons, and some of them are the following:
- Data loss may occur if the hard drive is corrupted. Once an internal hard drive is corrupted, the PC will no longer boot because of damage to the boot configuration data or master boot record.
- Crashing is another common culprit behind data loss. When the system software experiences a crash, Windows will throw BSOD or a blue screen of death, making the internal hard drive data inaccessible.
- Deletion is no doubt the most common reason for data loss. Pressing the Delete key will delete files, even more so if the Recycle Bin is emptied without checking its content. It also happens if you use the Shift + Delete keys to delete a file from the PC only to realize later on that you still need it.
- A hard drive will automatically fail after its expected lifespan. However, a failure can also occur earlier because of an electric surge, mishandling, water, or fire that leads to damages to the internal parts, bad sectors, and total death of the drive.
- Formatting may also result in data loss that occurs if you didn’t have a backup after the hard drive is purposefully or accidentally formatted. This is why before formatting your PC, always keep a backup first before you proceed.
The Bottom Line
You can recover files from hard drives, whether external or internal, on your Windows 10 PC by searching for the deleted files in the Recycle Bin, the built-in recovery feature of the application, OneDrive, or File History backup, depending on what applies in your specific case.