Now more than ever, people are becoming more and more independent on digital storage to keep records of their important files. Data can be as innocent as family pictures or movie files, and can be as crucial as financial information or company records. The nature of data that can be stored is much diversified and voluminous that typical storage capacities nowadays are in the range from 160 to 320 GB with server capacities reaching thousands of terabytes. Losing this amount of data is like losing a house in fire. The amount of time and effort put on in acquiring, organizing, or creating the information is tantamount to building something that can be worth thousands or even millions of dollars. Fortunately for the digital information, data can be recovered by using the best file recovery software.
How data is lost
Stored information can be lost in one of two ways: physical damage or logical damage. The former refers to physically impairing the storage device of its function because of physical contact. The latter, on the other hand, occurs when the logical file system fails to be read by the operating system running the machine. Physical damage can be restored by physical repair, while logical damage is one that can be solved using file recovery applications.
Understanding the different logical damage scenarios
OS failure, disk-level failure, and accidental deletion of files are the three major scenarios in which files are lost. The first of these can simply be alleviated by transferring a copy of the hard disk drive to another storage medium. Disk-level failure, on the other hand, is a more serious scenario in which file systems are compromised because of corrupt logical partitions and other related media errors. To solve this type of damage, technicians resort to file recovery software. The same software application can also be used to recover accidentally deleted files.
File recovery applications
Dozens of applications promise file recovery in an instant and most of these applications have been very effective in salvaging lost files due to logical errors. One of the most comprehensive applications in its feature set is Digital Rescue Premium 3.1. The application is able to recover compressed files, encrypted files, emails, network-related information, and even create image files from the recovered information. Digital Rescue salvages files lost from the recycle bin, virus or power failure, disks with bad sectors, accidental formatting, and even from unbootable hard drive. Damaged files and corrupted partitions are even included. Digital Rescue also supports a wide range of drives such as IDE, SCSI, Serial ATA, and RAID. Removable media such as USB flash drives and external hard drives are also fully supported.
Costing about $10 less than Digital Rescue, Advanced Disk Recovery is yet another effective file recovery application that carries a price tag of just $39.95. This application is praised for being able to locate more files for restoration than other programs, but has a limited scope in terms of the type of data than can be recovered. Only compressed and encrypted files can be included in the inventory which can be limiting.
Other applications such as Recover My Files and Data Recovery Wizard are as comprehensive as Digital Rescue but are $20 more expensive. A perfect balance for the best file recovery software, therefore, in terms of price and feature set, is Digital Rescue.