Data rescue for interviews
Deleting important files by mistake is annoying. No matter, if it was an important interview, the written transcript or any other data – once deleted, one can be sure of a good adrenalin level.
Fortunately, there is a freeware tool that is quite helpful in such a situation: Recuva.
We have created this little (video) tutorial for you, which explains how you can save you data.
Recently, I accidently deleted an audio file from my USB flash drive. With Recuva, it was really easy to restore it.
Recovering files with Recuva
1. If possible, do not store any files in the directory where the files were deleted since this may overwrite the deleted files (so that Recuva cannot find them anymore).
2. Download Recuva and install the software. (http://www.piriform.com/recuva)
3. Open Recuva and use the assistent. To be on the safe side, you can search for all files (tick „Other“).
4. Next, activate the „deep scan“. This may take longer than the superficial search, but it will also ensure that Recuva will find most data.
5. The search may take only a few minutes or several hours (it takes about 6 hours to search my 400GB hard disk).
6. The search is listed in a tabular form. You can select one or more files and save them in a DIFFERENT directory.
If you are looking for an extensive manual, visit:
Once more, the whole process in an illustrated version:
Important to take into account - substantial conclusion
After we were happy about the results and the recovered data, we noticed a significant fact. With Recuva, it is possible to retrieve almost all data. And not only the data that was deleted about an hour ago, but also the files that were once stored on a recently formatted hard disk.
Not problematic? Actually, it is! Just imagine the following situation: You sell your notebook or you external hard disk or simply your USB flash drive. With Recuva, the buyer has the possibility to recover files that actually were not meant for him.
As another example, a company rents recording devices. Here, any person that rents the device can retrieve at least parts of the deleted audio files (e.g. interviews) and can listen to it.
After consulting computer specialists, it remains unclear whether a deleted and formatted
storage medium is really empty. Even if it has been over-written 20 times, it is still possible to find deleted data. With regard to really sensitive information - like interviews (that are subject to the protection of data privacy), analyses, visual material and much more - it is actually out of question that the data medium is passed on.
One is left with only two alternatives:
1) Either use a tool for a safe deletion of all data (we have not tested one yet) - this costs money and takes multiple hours or
2) „safe destruction“ (drilling it with a drill ) :-)
Additional note: (04.07.2011): A reader informed us that it is totally sufficient to completely over-write the data medium with useless data (for one time).
(an article on this topic from c't: www.heise.de/artikel-archiv/ct/11/05/092/)
Have a look at www.heise.de/software/download/o0g0s3l11k307 to find freeware tools that are able to do that.
Thanks a lot for the useful hint, Mr Martens!