Anyone with a computer has experienced the panic that sets in when you realize that a file you need is not where you expect it to be. You may have accidentally deleted an important document, or a sudden crash may have wreaked havoc with your work.
Whatever the cause, upon discovering a missing file he only thing that’s likely to occupy your mind is just how you’re going to be able to get it back. As you can probably guess from the name, this is something that Wise Data Recovery can help you with.
Losing some types of files can be a pain. If you accidentally delete a letter you’ve written to someone or some other kind of document, it may be irritating to do so, but with a little time and effort you can re-do the necessary work. But there are plenty of different files – such as digital photos – that are completely irreplaceable.
Data recovery tools are fairly plentiful these days, but they do tend to be a little expensive – although they will almost certainly be cheaper than having to send your hard drive off to a team of data recovery experts. Wise Data Recovery is a free tool that should be your first port of call the moment you discover missing files – it may well be able to get them back for you.
Before you get started it is important to keep something in mind. Files that have been deleted from your hard drive are still actually present – it is just the markers that Windows uses to locate them that have been removed. Providing the area of your hard drive that contains such data is not overwritten by anything else, you stand an excellent chance of getting your files back.
This is important to remember because if you jump in an install a new program, you could well overwrite recoverable data. Thankfully, there is a portable version of Wise Data Recovery that you can download from the program web site and run from a USB drive.
With the download complete, extract the contents of the compressed zip file and then copy the folder to a USB drive – it’s best to do all of this on a computer other than the one you want to recover data from.
Launch the program and use the drop down menu to the upper right of the window to choose which of your hard drive or partitions you would like to check for recoverable files. Click the Scan button and there will be a slight delay while the necessary analysis is carried out.
A list of files will be displayed, with a simple traffic light system being used to give an easy to understand guide to the likelihood of being able to recover any given file. A red icon means that the file is lost as that it is too corrupt to be recovered, a yellow icon means that it has been at least partially overwritten but you may still be able to recover some useful information, while a green icon means that file can be restored without problems.
Recovering files that have been found is a simple matter of working through the folder structure and ticking the boxes next to any file you are interested in. you can then either click the green Recover button to the lower right of the screen, or you can right click a selected file and select the Recover this item option from the context menu.
You can then use the Explorer window that opens to choose where your files should be copied to. This is another point at which it is possible to overwrite files; do not choose to recover files to a drive which contain other files that you might want to recover or you might overwrite important data.
Wise Data Recovery is the type of program that requires no configuration – there are no advanced preferences to configure or complicated settings to concern yourself with. But if you are finding it difficult to locate a particular file you are trying to recover, there are a couple of things you can try.
It may well be the case that the name of the original folder has been overwritten or corrupt, so you may not be able to see anything immediately familiar in the left hand tree structure. If you click the AllFiles option at the top of this pane, you can see a complete alphabetical list of every file that has been detected and you can then use the column headings to sort them by name, file size, date of modification or state of health.
By default the, Wise Data Recovery searches your hard drive for any files, and this can result in a very lengthy list to work through. To help you to home in what you are looking for, you can enter search terms in the box to the upper right labelled Input Keywords and the results will be filtered. Relatedly, there is a drop down menu here that can be used to limit search results to particular types of file – just make your selection and click Scan.
This is a great free tool that can save a great deal of heartache. The importance of backing up data can never be stressed too much, but for times when you lose files and you do not have a duplicate copy anywhere, this could offer you a lifeline.
Are there any other great alternatives that we’ve overlook? Let us know in the comments and thank you so much for reading!