In the modern technology age, it seems like there is data floating around everywhere. However, even with the growing popularity of virtualization and cloud computing, there are certain points where data can (and will) disappear – for good.
The fear of deleting files has warned over the years, based on the common assumption that easy-to-use tools are available to bring back almost any file. Many “tools” seem more capable than they actually are.
Find below 10 common myths about recovering deleted files:
Myth #1: The Microsoft Windows Recycle Bin saves every deleted file and folder
What the Recycle Bin actually does is take files or folders that are deleted within Windows Explorer and, rather than delete them, puts them into the Recycle Bin. However, large files, files that have been deleted from a command line or remotely, and earlier versions of modified files, aren’t saved in the Recycle Bin for later data recovery.
Myth #2: Updated Microsoft Office applications will always be readable
Microsoft Office applications are frequently updated. However, the new programs often require new data formats, and the documents created with earlier versions of an Office program will be saved in the new format. The Recycle Bin doesn’t save these earlier, overwritten versions of Office documents in its data backup.
Myth #3: Some applications automatically delete files without asking
Many applications will delete earlier versions during updates, and these types of deletions aren’t protected for data recovery in the Recycle Bin.
Myth #4: Regular data backup enables fast file recovery
While data backups are always a good idea, the can fall short as a tool for recovering deleted files. This is true for two reasons:
1.) Files that are created, edited, or deleted after the last backup aren’t actually on the backup media, and
2.) For the files that were on the data backup device, restoring the file would involve reading the index of the backup, locating the file on the backup media, and copying it to a target location. This could be carried out quickly, or it could take several hours.
Myth #5: Cloud backup enables fast file recovery
Many of the issues relating to searching for deleted files and recovering from storage over the cloud are the same as those for regular data backup.
Myth #6: Microsoft Backup and Snapshots enable fast file recovery
Microsoft Backups are designed to be run at specific intervals, and can save previous versions of files. However, the data recovery doesn’t address files that were changed after the backup was made.
Snapshots, on the other hand, capture the system state and the changes made at pre-set intervals or when certain events occur. But recovering files from Snapshots may be time-consuming and may involve rebuilding files from multiple, earlier snapshots.
Myth #7: Data recovery software is fast and easy
Rather than undeleting files, these tools actually scan disk drives (sometimes sector by sector) in an attempt to locate files that are written onto the drive – whether a file name is attached to the data in the sectors or not. This can be very time-consuming, however, and success will be limited.
Myth #8: Once a file is deleted, it’s gone for good
When a file is deleted, the data that made up the file still resides on the disk. What is “deleted” is the locations where the data resides, which are now marked free for other files to overwrite data onto. However, the data for these deleted files may still reside on the disk – whether the file has been overwritten or not.
Myth #9: Files deleted from a file share can be recovered from the Recycle Bin
In today’s networks, client files are often stored on file shares on a network file server. Although it may look to the user as if a file is stored on a local drive, this “drive” is actually a virtual drive that is physically located elsewhere. A file that is deleted from such a “local” drive is actually removed from a file share – and is not stored in the Recycle Bin or available for data recovery.
Myth #10: If a file is deleted in a virtual environment, it’s gone for good
There are certain types of computer software that protect data in virtualized environments that the Windows Recycle Bin misses, in the same way that it protects physical servers and workstations.
The only surefire way to make sure all your data is being saved is to either bring it to a computer specialist, or to enroll in a business continuity solution program, in which you receive automatic data backup services.