As long as I have been using computers, since 1983, I have faced this problem: Suddenly your file is gone. You need it back and have no way of doing so. Either you deleted it by accident, forgot to save it, or you just can’t find it no matter what search terms you use. Either way, it’s gone.
I learned long ago that these files aren’t really gone. It was once explained to me that our hard drives are like old record albums. When we save a file it spins around and finds space on the record album. When we delete files, they aren’t really deleted even though they say they are. They’re really still on that record album but are hidden. They stay there until they are overwritten by new files. That’s what makes it possible to recover lost files, as long as they haven’t been overwritten.
Recently I had the opportunity to try Wondershare Data Recovery a software that makes itself useful by recovering those files you think are gone but really aren’t.
Download and Install
Not only does Wondershare save your life by providing you a way to get back what you thought you had lost, it’s incredibly easy to use. The version I used is for Mac, although it also works on Windows as well.
After you purchase Wondershare, you’ll be sent an email that will contain the download link as well as a registration code. Go to the link, provide your email and the code, and your download will start.
Opening the file that is downloaded, it will provide you a dialog box with icons for the software and your Applications folder. Simply drag the software icon into the Applications icon. You can now access the software in Launcher.
When you first open Wondershare Data Recovery, you receive a dialog box asking you to sign into your hard drive since it is making changes to it. It will ask you to do this every time you open it.
You will then be presented with a screen to direct you towards where you want to go. Listed are four choices:
- Lost Partition Recovery – Recovery files that were deleted, emptied from your trash, or lost through formatting or a corrupted partition.
- Raw Recovery A thorough in-depth search that delves deep into your device but doesn’t include original names or the folder structure.
- Partition Recovery – After searching a partition, use this to recover lost files.
- Resume Recovery – Resume a previous recovery session.
Lost File Recovery Attempt
I’ve been looking for an old draft of a book I was working on on a computer I had before my current Mac Mini. I don’t think it ever made it onto this hard drive, but I thought it was worth a try. So I clicked on “Lost File Recovery”.
You then need to select the drive or device you wish to search. In my case I only had my hard drive available to me at this point.
You can also select what types of files you want to search: Image, Video, Audio, Document, Archive, and Email. I just selected Document.
Additionally, there is an option to enable a deep scan which allows you to go much deeper into the archives: Enable “Deep Scan”. For my first attempt I didn’t select it, knowing it would take longer.
The program takes you to another screen where it scans your hard drive and then presents you with the results.
Deep Scan Attempt
I didn’t get very many results at all other than very recent files, so I chose to repeat the process with the deep scan.
Without a doubt, Wondershare does what it says it will. Wondershare Data Recovery actually found files that I had been looking for for years, files that were long deleted off a computer and off a flash drive.
If you are searching for files that were long ago deleted or even recently deleted, Wondershare Data Recovery is a worthwhile option for retrieving them. Although, if you have to resort to Raw Recovery, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it or not, as it could take you a long time to go through all the files one by one. But if it’s something easily found with Lost File Recovery, it would definitely be worth the price, time, and effort put into it.
Wondershare Data Recovery