Introduction: Ways to Restore Lost Data

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This video tutorial shows you ways of restoring files four different ways. I do not claim this video to be the ultimate way to restore files. These are just suggestions, so if you know of better methods, please leave a comment with the suggested method. Listed below are the four different ways and the programs needed.


Step 1: Restoring Files That Have Been Deleted From the Recycle Bin

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A great program for doing this is called Restoration. Download it and install it. The program installs itself to a folder in c:/restoration. Double click on the ".exe" file in that folder. Once the program launches, it will allow you to search the specified drive. Once the results are pulled up, highlight any files that you intend to restore and click the "Restore By Copying" button.

Step 2: Restoring Files From Damaged CD/DVD's

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This method is for restoring files off of scuffed CD's/DVD's, where it often says that it cannot copy the source file or it gives a "cyclic redundancy" error. The program for this method is called CD Recovery Toolbox. Download and install that program and, once installed, it should create a shortcut on your desktop.
-Go ahead and run the program.
-The first window will have you select the drive that you want to restore (the corrupted media should already be in it at this point). Then click next
-Select a folder where you want to restore the files to. Default is "c:\_CDRestored". Then click Next.
-Select the files on the CD that you wish to restore and click "Save"
-When it's through, it should open up the folder in which it saved the files to.

Step 3: Restoring Files From Formatted Hard Drives

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This method is to restore files from hard drives after they have been re-formatted. For instance, this would come in handy if you have reinstalled windows on a drive and then want to see if you can restore a file that was on it before you reinstalled windows. A great program to do this is called PhotoRec. Download, install, and run the program.

-Open up the program (it will open up in a DOS window)
-First you will need to select which hard drive you want to restore (using the arrow keys) and then hit enter to Proceed.
-Second, you will need to select how your hard drive is partitioned, whether it's a PC,MAC, Linux, etc.
-Then select the file system. If it's a Mac/XP/Vista, it will be HPFS or NTFS. If it's pre-XP, then it will be FAT32. If it's linux, then you should know which one it is :-)
-Select where you want to restore the files to. The default is "C:\Phtotrec". It's recommended not to restore the files to the same drive that you are restoring from.
-Then just let it restore the files and select which ones you want to keep.

Step 4: Restoring Files From Unbotable Hard Drives.

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This method can be used when you can't even get your computer to boot to the hard drive. The method is by booting to what's called a "Live CD". You can download Linux Live CD's from almost anywhere. Ubuntu is probably the most popular and will serve the purpose. However, if you want a Windows LIve CD, we can make one of these by using a WindowsXP cd and a program called "BartPE".

-Download, install, and run the program
- Put in your XP cd, and use it as the source path. You can also select alternate paths for things to include with the CD. Under Output, you can select the name of the folder that it will put the working information in.
-Then select, under Media Output, "Create ISO image". And click "Build"
-Once it's finished, you can use a program such as Deep Burner to burn it to a CD.
-Then just boot to the CD once the computer is starting up.

Comments

whitakener (author)2015-11-04

Android Data Recovery 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. Upon start, you can scan for all files that may be recovered and also limit the results by entering a search term or extension.Restoration also provides the option to wipe the found files beyond simple recovery. The program is small and standalone, it does not require installation. Restoration works with FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards.

tonyohare2014 (author)2014-09-09

Awesome information posted will offer a great amount of
service for my Mac recovery which is
kind of bothering me from past a week now.

http://www.manchester-datarecovery.co.uk/mac-recovery/

cdorno (author)2014-03-26

If you have lost data from mac OS then use an advance and safe Kernel Recovery For Macintosh software to recover lost files, folders, images, videos and many more. It is user-friendly and ease to use software.

carlos-felo (author)2009-02-16

It`s good for people what their data is "lost"... Sorry, but my English is very bad... I'm a Chilean...

Just because we are from Chile, it doesn't mean we don't speak (orwrite) proper english.

He probably meant that he was living in Chile!

jaketeater (author)2011-01-07

This guide goes through a few different recovery methods:
 The Hard Drive Recovery Guide for Non-Geeks 
 All of the tutorials are written in plain language and use free software.  It has worked for me a couple of times 

Punkguyta (author)2009-07-05

Unbootable! Not unbotable.

amithav (author)2008-09-11

You ..LIfe saver...Thanks

woofboy111 (author)2008-01-11

Maybe somebody could give me some hints on what to do to get some files off of a computer that I'm having trouble with. Its a HP computer running windows 2000. When I start up the computer, I get the message that the computer didn't shut down properly, and I get the option to start normally, in safe mode, etc. Whatever I select here, what happens next is the same. The normal windows startup screen comes up for about 5 seconds, and then a blue screen comes up telling me: "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME It gives some other instructions that don't help much after that. Does anyone know how I could get my files off of the computer? I tried the last step of this instuctable, but I don't have the startup cd that came with the computer, so that didn't work? Thanks!

ikem (author)woofboy1112008-05-21

I had the same problem with the pc of my mom. Here is the solution: *boot from the windows xp cd into the system recovery console *in this console type: 'chkdsk /r c:' *after this task has finished type: 'exit' Now, your system should normally start. :)

DamionLee (author)woofboy1112008-02-10

It may be too late for this particular issue, but I have sent an e-mail with details of how to get that data back, and other solutions/preventative measures. I will write a detailed Instructable on the same issues soon for other people who experience this problem or similar issues.

we had a similer problem with a hp runing xp home sp0 first i triede formating and installing xp pro sp2 but the problem came back after a week we gave up and bought a new custom built comp from a guy in the next town over

ikem (author)2008-05-21

@'Restore deleted files':
My favorite freeware for windows is:

Recuva
http://www.recuva.com/

It is active developed and works like a charme.

kekelka (author)2008-02-27

i like to use Screen VidShot! i found this prog more useful,helpful and very simple! i advice you to try this perfect tool)

bart430 (author)2008-02-20

If you download a file and extract it on the same drive you lost your data on, you could be overwriting the file you are looking for.

Kent (author)2008-01-05

If it is a Mac, the format will almost always be HFS or HFS Plus. These are not readable on Windows, but a Mac can read NTFS and FAT32 formats. That is a good way to deal with a Windows drive that has problems. The Mac will ignore Windows security, boot sectors, viruses, etc. If it is a Mac drive, there are some great utilities to recover it, but none are free. Disk Utility (part of the OS install) will not solve very serious problems, but it a good first step. Disk Warrior has never failed me if the drive is mountable. TechTool Pro is also good. Be sure you are using the latest versions of these utilities if there is any chance the drive has been used with recent version of the OS. There have been subtle changes to the HFS Plus format that can confuse older versions of the utilities, and then they can destroy what is left of your data.

DamionLee (author)Kent2008-02-11

This is not entirely accurate. There are many software solutions (such as Transmac, Mac Disk and Mac Drive) which allow the reading from and writing to HFS and HFS+ drives on Windows machines.

Kent (author)DamionLee2008-02-11

Being a Mac guy, I was not familiar with those. Still, those Mac utilities are my favorites for Mac format drives. There are a few others, but I have had poor results from them.

Tailslvr7_7 (author)2008-02-06

OMG NOW I CAN COPY THOSE GH2 FILES WITHOUT THAT DUMB CYCLIC RTEDUNCANCY CHECK CRAP! THANK YOU!!! P.S. I SAID THIS COMMENT ENTIRLY IN CAPS

gmoon (author)2008-01-06

If you're going the 'live' linux route, then SystemRescue is specifically designed for data recovery.

boldinvest (author)2008-01-05

@kent You could also use linux to recover the windows files. And you can use some distros of linux to read the mac file system.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-05

Great Instructable! Easy to read and follow steps/ pictures, I like it!

Sergeant Crayon (author)2008-01-05

Good, well organized Instructable! One question, however, Whats with that mouse in the video? (4:21 to 4:40)

gigafide (author)Sergeant Crayon2008-01-05

So that I could screen capture the CD startup, I used Microsoft Virtual PC to boot to the CD and then just recorded it using CamStudio. So the computer isn't acutally booting up to the CD, it's actually just booting up in a window on my desktop...and the screen capture program I have follows the mouse, so I couldn't hide it :-)

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