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How Windows Recover Deleted Data | How Recuva works?

How Windows Recover Deleted Data | How Recuva works? : As my earlier article How to recover deleted files windows xp/7/8/Vista: Solved , I told you How to recover deleted data. Now, I would tell you how it works. It means How is it possible to recover deleted file.

Understanding How Windows stores Data:

When you store data in your hard drive, Window creates an index. It stores the entry of the particular file in the index. This index is known as Master File Table (MFT). When we search for a file, Windows explorer uses this index to show the file name. It creates index entry for every file stored in the hard disk. This makes the process much faster and reliable.

When a file has an index entry (in something called MFT). Windows make sure the used space is not overwritten on the hard disk. But if the file gets deleted, windows is free to allocate that “free space” for other files.

Understanding How Windows Delete Data:

What happens when you delete a file?

In case of Permanent Deletion:

When we permanently delete a file, what windows does is….. erasing entry from the index. Though, the file still remains in the hard drive. The content of the file is preserved. But we cannot access it. Purposely, if you save or add other files in the same hard drive, the contents of the file gets overwritten. This makes it impossible to recover deleted data.

In Case of Recycle Bin:

The recycle bin is a restricted collection of folders that are located in a hidden folder or file. (C:\$Recycle.Bin for Windows Vista). When you normally delete a file, Windows copies the index entry and content of the file to the “Recycle bin” folder. Then, it edits and stores the original name and original location of the file into a hidden index file called info2.

When you view the file from the “Recycle Bin”, Windows displays the file as per the information stored in the info2 index.

Understanding How Windows or RECUVA Recover Deleted Data:

How does the recovery of data takes place?


In Case of Permanent Deletion:

RECUVA scans the index entry of the deleted file. It searches for each cluster of the drive. After searching, RECUVA looks for the MFT entries (when the file was deleted, how big the file was and where the file was stored). Then, RECUVA examines it and help you to recover it.

In Case of Recycle Bin:

When you restore a file from recycle bin, the contents of the file is copied back to its previous location using info2 index. If you delete the file from the recycle bin, the reference of info2 index gets lost. But the content of the file still remains in the hard drive, until it is overwritten by any new file.

On What factors Successful Recovery of Data depends:

The successful recovery of data depends upon a satire – the shorter the life of the file in your hard drive, the harder it will be to recover.

Say you created a file now and deleted it after an hour. The file is most vulnerable to be overwritten by temporary files because Windows appoints lowest index entry to the newest file. As the file gets older, the priority of index number also gets higher. Hence, the chances to recover that file also increases. Also, remember not to fragment your hard drive. It will cause the least chances to recover deleted data in that hard drive.

Since the technology is growing each day, the topic of “How to recover deleted data” will be not a big issue in the future.

Ayan Das is one of the owner and creative head of . He is a part time writer, keen blogger and an occasional website designer. He is pursuing engineering in electronics and communication from GGSIPU University. He is a tech lover and always fond of learning new things.


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