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Recovery of deleted files from Microsoft Windows

Having deleted files on a computer that runs on Windows OS by mistake, a user still has fair chances to restore them with the help of special software. Data recovery from Windows implies data retrieval from the file systems of Windows which define the principles of storing and deleting data. However, none of them can guarantee easy restoring of accidentally deleted files.

Note: Like in any other data loss case, recovery of deleted files is possible as long as the deleted files are not overwritten with some other information. For this reason, it is highly recommended to stop all operations with the storage you have accidentally deleted data from and immediately start data recovery.

The chances of successful recovery depend on the file system applied on a particular storage. Windows currently employs two file systems: FAT and NTFS. They are commonly used on internal hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, digital cameras, mobile phones and other portable devices.

Note: If you are interested in the mechanism used by FAT and NTFS to store information, have a look at the article Understanding file systems.

To restore files deleted from FAT or NTFS, SysDev Laboratories offers UFS Explorer Standard Recovery. Even though FAT and NTFS manage and delete files in different ways, the steps you should perform to recover deleted files from them are the same.

  1. Download, install and launch UFS Explorer.

    Note: For successful recovery never download anything (including data recovery software) to the disk that contains the files you want to recover. Otherwise, the files will be overwritten, which will lead to permanent data loss. In case of data loss from a system partition, it is strongly recommended to shut down the system and consider using UFS Explorer Emergency Recovery CD.

  2. Choose a particular partition or a local disk if you are not sure which partition you have lost data from.
    UFS Explorer automatically detects the file system of a partition and shows it in the list. If a user chooses a logical disk, UFS performs data recovery of one file system at a time – only FAT or only NTFS.

  3. Press Recover to start scanning. Specify general scan parameters if needed and press Start.

  4. After the scanning process is over, browse through the found files and folders, choose the needed ones and save them to a secure storage.

Note: never save the recovered data to the storage you lost it from, this can lead to irreversible data loss.

Another Windows file system – lately released ReFS can be used in Windows 8 Server and Windows 10. Its architecture is completely different from FAT and NTFS and requires a more advanced software tool for data recovery. SysDev Laboratories offers UFS Explorer Professional Recovery for restoration of files deleted from ReFS.

The process of recovering data from ReFS is similar to data recovery from any other file system.

  1. Download, install and launch UFS Explorer.

  2. Choose a ReFS partition or a local disk containing this file system.

  3. Press Recover to start scanning.

  4. After the scanning process is over, browse through the found files and folders, choose the needed ones and save them to a secure storage.

Note: never save the recovered data to the storage you lost it from, this can lead to irreversible data loss.

Last update: 05.07.2018