You can lose important files by inadvertently reformatting a memory card or an external hard drive. The data storage media can even become corrupted, thus erasing your files. There are ways to recover deleted files. This article discusses file-recovery options provided by memory card manufacturers, as well as Recuva, the free desktop file recovery software.
Deleted Files Recovery
Accidents happen. Your memory cards or removable drives can become corrupted. You could even end up accidentally reformatting them, thus erasing your files. So, how do you recover the files you inadvertently deleted from your memory card, USB key, or other external hard drive? There are two ways to successfully undelete those files.
Manufacturer-based Options for Your Memory Card
Some memory card manufacturers provide online services to help their users restore accidentally deleted files. Search online to check whether or not the vendor you are using offers a file recovery service. SanDisk and Lexar, for example, offer their file recovery tools at lc-tech.com/rescuepro and lexarphotorecovery.com, respectively. Download and install the application on your computer, and then run it with the memory card inserted in the memory card reader.
Desktop File Recovery Suite for Windows Users: Recuva
The moment you realize that you accidentally deleted your files, remove the memory card from your mobile device or digital camera. Don’t introduce any more files or documents to it. To salvage the lost files, get hold of a reliable file recovery suite. Consider using Recuva if your computer runs on Windows OS.
The free version of Piriform’s Recuva is strongly recommended, because it enables you to easily and effectively recover all types of files from any rewritable storage media. Recuva can restore lost directories, email messages on your Windows Live Mail, Microsoft Outlook, and Mozilla Thunderbird, music files from your MP3 player or iPod, as well as MS Word documents you failed to save because the Microsoft application crashed. The versatile Recuva can also rename files automatically if you are attempting to retrieve two different files bearing the same file name.
Download Recuva from its developer’s website here. As of this writing, the paid version of Recuva is priced at $24.95, and it comes with technical support, which is not available in the free version. The memory card or the external hard drive should have already been connected to your computer while you’re running Recuva. The Recuva Wizard will prompt you to select the types of files you want to recover, so click accordingly. You’ll then get to the screen prompting you about the location where you want the file recovery software to look. Recuva will scan for deleted files, and then display a searchable and filterable list or thumbnails of all the recovered files.