Readers suggestions Part 2

Once again I’ll take the time off this week to help one of my readers take care of their computer woes.

I wonder if you could help, I am looking for some free software which “undeletes” pictures from an SD media card.I accidentally (believe it or not) deleted my holiday pictures by cutting the file from the camera card and then thinking I had copied them I deleted them off my PC!

Paul Wright, via e-mail

I should start this article by briefly explaining exactly what we mean when we use the term undelete.Many people think that what happens when they delete a file from their computer is that it is physically removed from the hard disk or media device you are using never to be seen again.What actually happens is that the Operating System simply marks the area of space that was once used by that file as being available to use and hides the file from the view of the user – it doesn’t physically disappear from the disc until the computer decides to write data to that area.This explains why in legal cases involving data being used as evidence the computer of the accused is given to forensics to analyse so that they can try and recover data from the hard drive that may been purposefully deleted.

A SD (Secure Digital) card is a memory card that is primarily used in digital cameras for storing pictures.I had always assumed that as a static memory device that a SD card would be a different kettle of fish and that once a file had been removed from the card that it would be lost forever however on closer investigation it would appear that they work on the same principle when it comes to recovering lost files.

After spending half an hour searching the Internet for an appropriate program I discovered the PC Inspector site (www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm) which would appear to do the job you require perfectly.To test the application I filled an SD card up with pictures then deleted them and PC Inspector then managed to recover them all.Additionally the site includes a version of this program to recover files that you may have lost on a floppy or hard disk and best of all these utilities are completely free of charge.It is worth bearing in mind that if since deletion the space that your files once occupied has since become filled that these undelete programs will be essentially useless.

The site also includes several other helpful pieces of software such as a utility to permanently delete files that you don’t want to ever be recovered, a hard drive cloning utility and several other useful programs that are free if charge.

An undelete program is something that most people should have on their computer as it is certainly something that you’ll use once in your lifetime; I know I have.Whether you require to recover a file from floppy disc, static memory card or your computers hard drive there is a utility out there that can help you.If you try PC Inspector and don’t find it to your liking then do check out http://www.snapfiles.com/freeware/system/fwdatarecovery.html where you will find a dozen or alternative free utilities.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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