Recovering Office Document Files

Documents such as Word files, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Access databases and a wide range of other titles are among the most valuable to their users. Unlike photographs that can be snapped in an instant, it takes a lot of time to create a document. And it only takes a single moment to lose it.

Recovering Document Files

Undeleting Document Files

Accidentally deleting an important document (*.doc, *.docx, *.pdf), presentation (*.ppt) or spreadsheets (*.xls, *.xlsx) can happen to anyone. End of a working day or a busy week can and do lead to human errors, making people delete documents instead of archiving or sending them.

Fortunately, recovering a deleted file is fairly simple if you act fast. If you deleted a document, Windows will not actually erase its content. Instead, the system will simply mark its record in the file system as “deleted”, allowing you to reverse this operation with a proper tool.

Safety Data Recovery

To undelete a document, download Hetman Uneraser. However, it’s best if you can use another PC do download the product, as writing anything, including the data recovery program, to the disk that contains deleted files may actually overwrite their content, making the files unrecoverable.

After downloading the tool, install it onto a disk other than one that contains the deleted files. If you have no such disk, use a USB flash drive. Run Hetman Uneraser and perform a quick disk scan. More often than not, you’ll see your file in the list after a brief moment. If the file you deleted does not appear in the list, you’ll have to run the full scan. The complete scanning of your hard disk may take a while to complete, as the tool will be analyzing all sectors on your hard drive in order to locate deleted documents even if they no longer appear in the file system.

When you see your file in the list, you can click on it to see a preview. Sometimes you’ll see multiple copies of the same file. The preview will help you pick the least damaged one or the latest copy saved.

Corrupted or Formatted Disk

If your documents are stored on a disk that’s been damaged, corrupted, accidentally formatted or repartitioned, you’ll need a different tool. Download Hetman Partition Recovery from site. This tool will be able to scan the damaged disk in order to locate all document files that are still available.

With formatted, repartitioned and corrupted disks, the quick scan mode is of little use. More often than not you’ll be better served by the slower full scan mode. The rest of the process is very similar to that described for Hetman Uneraser.

A Word on SSD Drives

If your documents were stored on an SSD drive, your chances of getting them back are rather low. SSD’s employ a number of techniques to improve their performance and longevity, basically cleaning up everything that’s been deleted. If you format an SSD drive, it’ll physically erase data, making the files unrecoverable. If you delete a file, the TRIM command will clean up disk space that was used by that file. There’s little hope with SSD drives, but there are important exceptions:

  • Exception 1: if your SSD drive became damaged or corrupted, the garbage collection algorithms will not engage, and the actual content of the disk will remain recoverable. Use Hetman Partition Recovery to scan the disk and recover the documents.

  • Exception 2: if your SSD drive was connected via a USB cable at the time it was formatted or a document was deleted, the TRIM command will not be issued, and your files will remain recoverable. Use Hetman Uneraser or Hetman Partition Recovery to recover the documents.

  • Exception 3: if you were using the SSD drive with a version of Windows older than Windows 7 (e.g. Windows XP or Vista), the TRIM command will not be issued, and the files will remain recoverable.

Author: Michael Miroshnichenko

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