Undelete Plus

Although I have covered this subject before in the past, I am still getting a large number of people regularly e-mailing me asking how they can undelete a specific file so thought it might be time for a quick recap.

The Windows recycle bin is a godsend for many users as in the majority of circumstances a deleted file will be transferred to the recycle bin so it can be quickly recovered if necessary.There are some instances however when a deleted file won’t go via the recycle bin or alternatively the bin will be emptied before the mistake has been discovered. However fortunately there is usually still a way to retrieve the data.

In order to understand how this is possible, we need to understand a little more about how your computer manages deleted files.When you request that Windows deletes a file, rather than actually physically removing it from the hard disk it simply marks the space where that particular file was stored as being free.It’s not until the computer tries to save another file in the same space that the file is then truly erased; it is for this same reason you should always be careful to fully erase your data with a specialist application when selling your computer so no data can be recovered.

There is no way of telling when Windows will choose to start reusing the space where your deleted file was once stored and as such the use of an undelete program won’t always guarantee that you will retrieve your data.A good analogy I heard recently is that recovering a deleted file is a similar experience to losing a contact lens at a party.The process of the lens falling out of your eye and dropping on the floor is unlikely to damage it so if you were to immediately yell “nobody move” and retrieve your lens then you would probably be able to recover it.If, however you were to allow the party to continue for 15 minutes then chances are that with the general movement around the room that your lens would be destroyed.Using your computer even for simple tasks such as browsing the Internet involves a certain amount of data being shifting around the hard disk and as such increasing the probability of data los.

In order to minimise the amount of disruption caused when you do accidentally delete a file it would be best to download and install an undelete utility such as the fantastic free of charge application Undelete Plus (www.undelete-plus.com) BEFORE you actually have the need to use it.

You can choose to do a general search for all recoverable files however the sheer number of files that are created and deleted by your computer on a daily basis without your knowledge means that you will almost certainly be presented with several tens of thousands of files that can be undeleted.Fortunately the program allows you to sort these in to categories (applications, music files, pictures etc) as well as filtering the results by name, size or modification date of the file. Once you have located the file(s) simply tick the appropriate checkbox and then the ‘Start Undelete’ button and the program will restore it to the original location; simple!


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