One of the most important issues of computer use is that of data and how users work with it. A computer owner or a worker on a company’s computer system both face the same problems: What happens to lost data and can it be recovered? Understanding how data is stored on the computer’s hard drive is imperative for determining if it can be recovered.

It is always important to back up data. This helps ensure that if an accident happens, data will not be lost. It is inevitable, however, that at some point data will be lost. Knowing what happens to lost data is key in understanding how to recover it. Since data is never truly lost on a hard drive but only over-written, it is possible to recover some or all of the data.

There are software programs available to help with data recovery. They range in price from freeware and shareware to selections that perform several functions available for sale. Most can be downloaded and installed easily. Some anti-virus software also has a file restore feature that can be of great help. However, it is usually only able to retrieve data lost during the time the specific software has been used.


Data retrieval software usually requires a second hard drive be used when attempting to restore data. This can be an external hard drive or a second internal hard drive. This is necessary because the CPU can possibly overwrite deleted files with recovered files, which can have a negative impact on file recovery if users want to recover multiple files.

Other types of data loss can require more complex types of data recovery. If a hard drive crashes and loses data in some areas, standard recovery can be almost impossible. In instances where a hard drive is rendered useless due to corrupted or damaged data, a recovery expert should be called in. Due to the nature of computers and the delicacy experienced when dealing with recovery, even experts cannot guarantee complete retrieval.

Computer partitioning, usually used when setting up separate user accounts on the same machine, can also experience data failure. Data recovery from a failed partition can usually be easily recovered. The hard drive can still be used, and it isn’t necessary to start over by buying a new computer.

When learning about data recovery, it is important for the computer user to know their machine. While some sounds made by the computer are normal, others are not. Computers which make loud noises such as clicking, scratching or rattling can be showing signs of complete failure. Users should back up all data at this point and prepare for replacement. Not being aware of the situation can result in data loss which may or may not be recoverable as well as incurring potentially large recovery expenses.

Understanding how data is stored on a hard drive can be a huge help in understanding file recovery. Through exploring options and learning recovery processes, users can ensure their data is secure.

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