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Best Free Data Recovery Software for Windows

Data recovery in computing is the process of retrieving or saving files that were accidentally deleted, formatted, corrupted or damaged and cannot be accessible by the usual route. The data are usually stored on an internal drive or external hard drive, USB flash drive and other electronic storage devices. When the data stored in these devices get erased or damaged and recovery is required, this can be done using a data recovery software program. While the same can be said for Mac devices, this article will focus on Windows PCs as they tend to be the most widely used computers.

Instances where data recovery is required

  • The first and most common is when there is a system failure or storage device malfunction and, deletion and damage caused to the system’s hard disk. In this case, data recovery is quite easy and it is done by copying and transferring all data from one hard disk to another.
  • The second instance is when the failure is directly from the hard disk and the data cannot be read from the device. This kind of problem can be resolved by repairing the hard disk, updating the firmware or retrieving the data using the software.
  • The third instance is when a file is deleted from its storage device by mistake. Usually, the file is not removed from the system; just the path to access it is no longer available. This can be recovered using a file or data recovery software for windows.

Data recovery techniques

In some situation where data are lost or damaged, simply repairing the hard drive can’t retrieve them, instead, a paid or free data recovery software program is required. This type of damage is mostly referred to as logical damage. Examples of some logical damages that require the best file recovery program to fix are:

  • Corrupt system file and media errors: sometimes files on a hard drive cannot be read due to damaged files or media errors.
  • Lost, deleted and formatted data: data that has been deleted, lost or formatted due to virus attack or incidental deletion, can be restored or recovered using some of the best software to recover deleted files. In cases such as this, suitable programs can perform a wide range of tasks in addition to retrieving deleted files.
  • Bad logical sector: the major problem here is that the data cannot be accessed from a specific sector of the hard drive.

How data recovery software works

When a file is accidentally deleted from a computer, the first place it goes to is the recycle bin where it can be retrieved easily. However, when the recycle bin has already been emptied, the file can no longer be accessed normally. What isn’t obvious to the user, in this case, is that when a file is deleted, it is the path with which it can be accessed normally that is removed from the system. This path or space is then reassigned to another file later on.

Consequently, the actual file will remain on the system at least until it is overwritten. All hope is not lost though, as in most cases the file can actually be recovered when the need arises using effective recovery software. With the best data recovery software to recover deleted files, not only will the lost file of any type and size be recovered, the file organization will also be maintained.


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