Data loss can have disastrous consequences; it can lead to financial losses and cause chaos. One may lose their data due to software or hardware failure, accidental deletion, formatting, drive corruption, or physical and mechanical damage to the drive.
In this guide, you will learn all possible ways to recover lost, deleted, or formatted data from any Windows PC or supported storage media, including corrupt volumes, such as hard drives, USB thumb drives, SD cards, SSD drives, etc.
How to Recover Lost Data for Windows PC
A data loss expert has the following advice for users: Stop using the Windows PC or affected storage media immediately to prevent further data loss. Continued usage of the device after data loss can cause overwriting, which leads to permanent data loss beyond recovery.
Related Article: How To Recover Deleted Photos From SD Cards
Restore from Backup
To restore from backup, connect your backup drive to your Windows PC and then follow these steps:
- Open ‘Control Panel and go to ‘System Security.’
- Under ‘Backup and Restore (Windows 7)’, click ‘Restore files from backup’ and follow the wizard to restore files
Restore Files from Previous Versions
This option works if you enabled the “File History” option on your PC before the file was lost or deleted. You can use “File History” to restore lost or deleted files and folders. To do this, follow these steps:
- Go to the drive or folder location from where data was lost or deleted
- Right-click on the folder or drive volume that is missing files and clicks ‘Restore previous versions
- Choose a previous version of the folder or drive volume dated when the file existed in the folder or drive
- Click ‘Restore’ or drag and drop the version to any location on your system
Pro Tip: To avoid overwriting, drag a previous version of a file or folder from the list and drop it on an external or different volume.
Restore Lost Files from Corrupt (RAW) Storage Media Volume
If your Windows drive volume or external media is inaccessible or RAW, you can follow these steps to fix the corruption and get your lost files back.
- Open Command Prompt as administrator
- Type chkdsk /r /f X:
Here X is the drive volume letter that is corrupt or inaccessible
- Press ‘Enter’
- Post chkdsk scan, restart PC, and check if the drive is now accessible
Quick Tips to Prevent Data Loss in Windows 10
- Maintain at least two regular backup copies of all your important files
- Edit Recycle Bin properties
- Never use ‘Shift+Delete,’ unless you are confident, to delete files in Windows
- System cleaner apps, such as CCleaner, wipe data from the Recycle Bin. Always check the Recycle Bin folder and restore accidentally deleted files that you may need
- Keep reliable data recovery software installed on your Windows PC to cope with data loss situations.
To prevent data loss, keep regular backups of all important files and documents. Ensure at least two backup copies of your data on two different media and locations. For example, you can use a local hard drive and upload the same files to cloud storage. You may also enable auto-backup via cloud backup utilities.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.