How Data Recovery Software Works

How Data Recovery Software Works

By Mitchel Jordon | Tech Contributor on December 18, 2018
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The field of data recovery is a complex one. Modern operating systems typically provide a rudimentary means of restoring some lost files – Microsoft Windows’ Recycle Bin and Mac OS’ Trash folder are two examples. However, the functionality of the Recycle Bin is extremely limited. Once a file is deleted from here, or if it never winds up here, it’s gone for good – or is it?

Common Forms of Data Loss

To properly understand how data recovery software works, it’s important to first understand the different types of data loss. Several forms of data loss are prevalent in the 21st century, including:

File deletion – Files that have been accidentally or purposely deleted fall into this category. Windows users system can typically recover such files via the Recycle Bin while users with Mac OS can refer to their Trash folder.

Data corruption – This is an umbrella term that encompasses all other forms of data loss. Whether a disk is physically damaged or even if the data is attacked through malicious software, it’s considered to be corrupted. Depending on the severity of the situation, this data might be unrecoverable – but there’s always a chance for restoration.

As you’ll find out, data that has been deleted or corrupted isn’t usually gone for good. It’s only when files are overwritten, reformatted or re-partitioned that complications begin to arise.

What Happens to Data Once It’s Been Deleted or Corrupted?

The average computer user is under the impression that deleting a file from their hard drive erases it from all existence. In reality, most deleted and corrupted files aren’t actually erased from your hard drive’s master records. This is what makes the fields of data recovery and data forensics possible. It’s also how most data recovery utilities work.

R-Studio’s IntelligentScan technology is a stellar example of modern data recovery software in action. Whereas most software options focus one area of your hard drive, or one master record, IntelligentScan actually examines more than 10 different records, including:

  • Master boot record (MBR)
  • NFTS boot record
  • NFTS folder record
  • FAT boot record
  • FAT folder record
  • Ext2 / Ext 3 / Ext 4 / FS SuperBlocks records
  • UFS / FFS SuperBlocks records
  • HFS / HFS+ volume headers
  • HFS / HFS+ BTree+ nodes
  • MFT record

Because all of these areas contain different datasets, this approach lets our technology recover nearly any type of lost data. The technology can even be used after a drive has been re-partitioned or reformatted, which gives us the best possible chance of recovering your lost or corrupted data.

Borrowing From Past Solutions

R-Studio’s IntelligentScan technology isn’t necessarily doing anything differently than past solutions – it just does them better and more thoroughly. With the ability to reach nearly every nook and cranny of your hard drive, no files are beyond the reach of the IntelligentScan system. If there’s still a possibility of recovering a file or dataset, no how small it is, IntelligentScan technology will root it out and bring it back to its last usable state.

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