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When deleting a folder or some files, you should be careful, because it is easy to delete important files by mistake. It is a real pain when that happens, especially when the file you deleted is something which cannot be replaced. Say for example, a photo from a vacation, or from memorable days gone by.
What do you do when such an incident occurs? The first thing to do is not to panic of course, but mote importantly, do not defrag your hard drive or continue using the storage device. Why? Because you could possibly overwrite the sector on the hard drive where the lost data was stored.
The next step is simple, use a good file recovery software, such as Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Home. The program lives up to its namesake, it is stellar as can be seen by the fact it has a modern and user friendly interface. The main screen of the program is the selection screen, which you can use to pick which type of data you want to recover. There are 7 options to choose from here.
Everything or All Data, as the name suggests can be used to scan your hard drive for all files and folders. Selecting this option enables all the other search options on the screen, but you can disable whichever ones you want to. If you know which type of format a deleted file was, you can use one of the six options to scan only for such file types. The first option “Office Documents” only finds Word, Excel and PowerPoint files.
The Folders option will search for data inside all folders, while the “Emails” option will search for emails stored in Microsoft Outlook and other email clients (database formats like PST, DBX, EDB, NSF etc.) which you have installed on your computer.
The Photos option in Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Home, allows you to search for popular image formats like PNG, JPG, BMP, etc. The Audio option can be used to find MP3, WAV, WMA, etc while the Videos option finds MPEG, MOV, FLV and other movie formats.
When you are done selecting the type of content which you want to recover, click on the next button. This will take you to the select location screen, which allows you to select a hard drive or a partition on the drive, or even external storage devices like a USB Flash Drive, or a portable hard drive. You can also connect your phone or your memory card to your PC and scan for deleted files and folders.
You can also select the Desktop or My Documents folders, or even a custom location, i.e., a specific folder which you wish to be scanned. You can also select multiple sources to be scanned for deleted content. You can enable the deep scan button in the bottom left corner, and the scan button to begin the process.
Notice the toolbar on top of the program’s window. The arrow icon can be used to go back to the previous screen, and the home button takes you to the main screen of Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Home.
The gear icon lets you configure the advanced settings, which includes enabling a preview function, which lets you see the file during a scan, at the cost of delaying the scan completion time. You can disable preview of corrupt photos in safe mode, which also impacts the processing time. You can pause a scan or save a scan any time you want to, and the program allows you to resume the scan at a later time, which is a real time saver. To resume a saved recovery, select the resume icon from the toolbar, and choose the one which you wish to select, and click on the resume recovery button.
Now, back to the scanning process, once the scan completes, you will see a pop up window with details about how many files were found by the program. The recovery screen is divided in to 3 panes. The one on the left has 3 tabs:
The File Type tab allows you to view the files belonging to specific types such as text, archive, photos, audio, etc., regardless of the folder the content is located in. The Tree View tab can be used for finding files and folders in their exact location. The Deleted list is where you can see the folders and files which were deleted from the hard drive, or the folder which you chose.
The bottom half of the right pane is where you can select the files and folders to be recovered. You can preview the content which you have selected, in the top half of the right pane. There is a search bar on the top right pane, which you can use to search the scan results for the file name. You can use the bottom right pane to sort the results by name, size, type, created or modified date to narrow down on the file you wanted to find.
The total size and number of files and folders which you selected is displayed. If you don’t find the content which you were searching for, you can use the deep scan option. The Deep Scan is used for scanning formatted or corrupted hard drives. Click on the recover button, and select a folder where you want the deleted files to be saved in.
The scans are speedy and the results accurate. But more importantly, the recovery was reliable and the software was easy to use. The program supports all major file systems such as: NTFS, FAT32, FAT16 and exFAT. You can try the free version of Windows Data Recovery, which has the same features of the paid version, but only allows you to recover up to 1GB of data.
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