Data recovery question

By Paranoid
Aug 16, 2007
  1. Hello,

    I used to have some pictures on my NTFS file system hard drive which about 6 months ago i deleted.Ive been hearing about data recovery softwares and read abt few of them too, but i dont know how they work or do they even work.
    I'll be really glad if anyone cud direct me towards a nice easy software to recover old mostly.

    Thanks alot in advance
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    They usually work by locating the file which has its first letter deleted. When you delete files, most software just removes the first letter of the named file. That then allows the file to be overwritten by succeeding files.
    There are 87 different file recovery software programs that will find all these "deleted" files and recover them using a sequential letter to replace the missing first one. They will often recover what is left of a file that has been overwritten.
    There are very few free versions, but you will find some on labeled as Recovery software. The versions that cost $25 to $50 are all worth it, as they all work pretty well. They do have trial copies of some.
    You do have to know or guess at the original name of the file.
  3. Paranoid

    Paranoid TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for replying,
    I dont remember the names of the files, but i know they were all .bmp format files and also they had no alphabets, they were all long numbers :/. So isnt there any software which recovers using format rather then name ?

    thanks again
  4. CJ-real

    CJ-real TS Rookie Posts: 56

    Search on

    Sometimes when you delete files from the recycle bin, they go in a special folder, which you access, but NEVER see anything inside.

    But, if programs/virii has deleted it then you can't get it back. Sorry.
  5. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    When programs are deleted, the file space is marked in the directory by the os as available for use. It is not actually gone until overwritten or the file data is elminated (permanent deletion). Software recovery programs look for these markers and/or a series of data that makes logical sense and tries to reconstruct it. Provided the data isn't overwritten, you should be able to retrieve it.
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    I have used Easy Recovery Pro which works a treat. Not cheap, though.
    By removing the first letter of the filename and replacing it with a ~ (I think!) the system can re-use the space allocated to that file. Easy Recovery lists all the files by file type and will recover each one as requested.
    Go to or .com for more info.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Ok, I'll re-word it... they remove the first digit, replacing it with a generic or code digit... so you know a digit has been changed... when they know for sure, they will usually rename the entire file as they recover it.
  8. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,311   +617

    >which about 6 months ago i deleted

    forget it -- it's been over written and clobbered by now.
  9. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    You would be amazed at what you can recover. I recovered a load of porn for a divorce case when the drive had been reformatted twice.
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    if you don't do a secure wipe (like a government wipe), then data can be recovered even if overwritten sometimes with sophisitcated software.

    rule of thumb, WIPE your hard drive or physically destroy it if getting rid of it.
  11. papermate

    papermate TS Rookie

    can you suggest any softwares that can do a "secure wipe"
  12. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    The Windows format does not render files unrecoverable but I have never been able to get files back from a drive that has been formatted using the manufacturer's low level format tool. There are however risks associated with this as it can trash a drive altogether.
  13. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,311   +617

    Convert from Fat32 to NTFS does not lose data.
    However EVERY true formatting of a partition, or the delete, redefine of a partition
    (which then forces a reformat) certainly destroys the data.
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