Top 5 Misconceptions About Recovery of Deleted Files

Last Updated: December 14, 2013

Many of us have faced the situation when we accidentally deleted a file or even an entire folder and then tore our hair out, and looked for a way of fixing it. The solution does exist which is recovery of deleted items with the help of various software(s) available online. However, let’s have a look at the common myths about recovery of deleted files.

Top 5 Misconceptions About Recovery of Deleted Files

1. All file systems are the same

It is not so, because each file system stores and deletes the data in a different way. That’s why some file systems are more recoverable while with the others, in the best case, you just cannot say in advance what the recovery brings, and in the worst case, – nothing is recovered. The example of the most recoverable file systems is NTFS available on Windows PCs and on the other hand the award for most unrecoverable file systems goes to HFS on MacOS.

2. SSD and rotational hard drives delete data in the same way

Many of us think that nothing depends on the device storing data. However, it is not true. Modern solid state drives (SSD) have a built-in capability (so called TRIM command) to erase blocks holding the deleted data to increase write performance. For a user, deleted data turns into a complete loss within a few minutes after deletion.

Rotational hard drives do not do that allowing us to recover data even some time after deletion.

3. Data recovery labs use some magic software to recover deleted files

People think that data recovery labs are equipped with special un-delete software for more thorough data recovery. I’m afraid to disappoint you but as far as the software goes, everyone uses the same data recovery software as you may download, say at any software archive. The only difference is that they have some experience with these tools, and therefore the knowledge to identify which software is better suited for a particular case.

4. Overwritten files are still recoverable

Although this myth is often discussed,  FBI, criminologists, or the police still can recover overwritten data. Of course not. On rotational hard drives, where the data is stored through magnetization (magnetized means 1, non-magnetized means 0), in theory a new write does not always “kill” the earlier data, but the researches show that there is no practical value in this.

On a SSD, where storage of data takes place through voltage in the memory cells there is no memory about the previous state at all, meaning that being overwritten once, the data cannot be recovered.

5. Deleted data always goes to the Recycle Bin first

There is a perception that all the deleted data first goes to the Recycle Bin and stays there for a while. Actually, this is not always true. For example if the size of deleted file is more than the maximum size of Recycle Bin, It is deleted bypassing the Recycle Bin. Also, It is important to know that when you delete data from the removable devices (memory card, thumb drive, and so on), It does not get to the Recycle Bin at all.

If you still have any doubts about recovering of deleted files feel free to ask in comments below the post.

SEE ALSO: How To Download Your Entire Data From Google, Facebook and Twitter

Author Bio: Written by Elena Pakhomova of developing simple undelete software.

Image Courtesy: FFBJEUM6R3SH


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