When you delete files from your computer, the data isn’t actually gone forever. Those bits and bytes still exist, just in a different place than you likely expect. Instead of being gone for good, deleted data is just invisible to the average user. Thanks to metadata and storage locations like the Windows registry and the unallocated space on your hard drive, deleted data can easily be recovered.
However, that’s not always a good thing. If someone who shouldn’t have access to your computer discovers that deleted files are recoverable with only a few clicks, they could potentially uncover information that was meant to stay hidden forever.
Erase the Data
The first step toward effective data recovery from an external device is to erase the data. You don’t want the deleted data sitting around on the device waiting to be discovered and recovered after you’ve moved it to another location. If you’re attempting to recover data from an HDD or SSD drive, the best way to erase it is by securely formatting the drive. Formatting can be done by right-clicking the drive in Windows Explorer, selecting “Format”, and choosing a file system (FAT32, NTFS, etc.).
If you’re trying to recover data from a USB flash drive, you can erase it by reformatting the drive in Windows. Right-click the flash drive in Windows Explorer, select “Format”, and choose “FAT32” from the “File System” drop-down menu. If you’re trying to recover data from an SD card or another type of external storage, formatting or reformatting won’t do much. The best way to erase data from these devices is to overwrite it with new information.
Install a Data Recovery Tool
Once you’ve ensured that the data on the external device is gone and you’ve moved it to a new location, you’re ready to install the data recovery software tool. While some data recovery software is designed for use with internal devices, there are several that can be installed on external devices like flash drives, SD cards, and external hard drives.
By installing the iTop data recovery tool on an external device, you give yourself the best chance of recovering deleted data. Some data recovery tools are free to use, but you’ll typically have to pay a small amount to unlock all features. However, even the most expensive data recovery tools are worth their price if you’re attempting to recover data from an external device.
Run a Scan and Keep Track of Changes
As you begin to recover deleted files, be sure to keep a record of all changes you make to the device. This will help you avoid accidentally overwriting or altering important data that was mistakenly recovered. You can do this by installing the data recovery tool on a different device.
Or, if you’re attempting to recover data from a flash drive, install the tool on a computer and save all recovered data to the flash drive itself for data recovery You can also try to use a virtual machine, but it’s important to keep in mind that virtual machines can’t be trusted 100% and it may be possible for hackers to access the data. Once you’ve installed the data recovery tool on a different device or saved the recovered data to the flash drive, you can scan the device for deleted files.
If you’re attempting to recover data from an external device, don’t forget to follow the steps above. As long as you follow these steps, you should be able to recover most lost data. And if you want to recover your lost data quickly and securely, you can try the service offered by iTop.