One of the lesser-known facts about computers is what happens when you delete a file. Most people think that deleting a file means that it’s gone for good and can’t be recovered. Luckily (or unluckily depending on what files you have), that’s not the case. Files that have been deleted by accident or because of a corrupt drive can be recovered using a variety of means, one of which being the Lazesoft Data Recovery tool. (Read this for a quick explanation of why this is possible) The Lazesoft Data Recovery tool is just one of many useful tools that come pre-installed on Hiren’s Boot CD.
If you need to recover a deleted file or are interested in all of the computer repair tools that Hiren’s Boot CD offers, you can buy a copy of Hiren’s Boot CD here.
A quick preview of what’s to come:
- Boot into Hiren’s Boot CD and start up the Lazesoft Data Recovery tool
- Select the drive to search through
- Find the lost files
- Save them to a different folder
- See that our file is back where it belongs
Step 0: Delete a file
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ve created an example file called saveme.txt and deleted it.
One important distinction is to make is that I’m using the command line to delete the file. If you simply right-click on the file and press “delete,” it will be sent to the Recycling Bin where it can easily be restored. Deleting a file via command line or by pressing shift+delete on a file will bypass the Recycling Bin and you will need to use a tool to recover it.
Step 1: Boot into Hiren’s and Start Up Lazesoft
In the file system, navigate to the Hard Disk Tools/Data Recovery folder, where you will find the Lazesoft Data Recovery tool. This will allow us to search through a drive and find any deleted files that need to be recovered.
Step 2: Choose the drive to look through
When we open up the file, Lazesoft asks us what we want to do. In this case, we want to recover a deleted file, so we choose “undelete.”
Next, it asks us to choose the drive to look through for deleted files. The main drive for a Windows system is the C: drive. If you accidentally deleted a file from your main file system, that’s the drive that you should choose.
Lazesoft will now begin searching through the drive. This might take a while depending on the size of the drive, the amount of data on it, and whether it’s a hard drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD). Once the tool has finished looking, it will allow you to look through the file system and find the files that were lost.
Step 3: Find the lost files
Navigate through the files until you find the one that you want to recover. Check the box next to it and click “Save Files” at the top.
Step 4: Save the file
You need to save the file to a different drive than it came from. Lazesoft will not let you save the file to the drive it was recovered from. Don’t worry, you can copy it back to where it originally was after you save it to another drive.
Keep clicking through the files until you find the file that you want to recover. Make sure you remember where it was when you deleted it. If you don’t, you can also just choose to recover files from the entire drive (but that will take a while).
Click “save files” to save the file to the specified folder.
If you navigate to that folder in Hiren’s, you’ll be able to see the file as it was before it was deleted. Now all you have to do is save the file to wherever you want to.
Step 5: Boot back into Windows and don’t delete the file again
From here, we can remove the Hiren’s USB (removing the USB won’t crash the computer or harm the USB in any way) and boot back into Windows. Now that we’re back in our regular Windows environment, we can look in the folder where we saved the file. We can see that our file is there, completely intact.
Lazesoft and other data recovery tools take advantage of the fact that files are still present on a system even after the user deletes them. (Again, see this article for an explanation on how this works.) It is possible that the file you want to recover has already been overwritten by something else. If that’s the case, the file is truly gone and cannot be recovered by any means.
- We used the Lazesoft Data Recovery tool found in Hiren’s Boot CD to look through a drive for a deleted file.
- We recovered the file and saved it in a safe place, then copied it over to where we wanted it to go.
Recovering files like this is just one of the many useful things that Hiren’s Boot CD can do. If you need to recover lost files or want to have a handy tool on hand that can fix many computer problems, you can buy a copy of Hiren’s Boot CD here.