Theory of Data Recovery | Why Some Files Can Be Restored While Others Cannot?

How Does Data Recovery Work?

Can you recover all your lost data? It depends on the data recovery theory. This article will describe the workable principle and convey a practical data recovery insight.

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Nov 13, 2020 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

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Have you ever thought that recovering all your deleted files is a myth? Yes, you can indeed get your lost files back under certain circumstances. On the contrary, you might permanently lose it at your wits' end. Hopping on Google, you’ll see scores of software that promise to get all your deleted data back. But here’s one question you should ask yourself: How does data recovery software work? Is it magic? This simple guide has the answer to all your confusion.


What Happens When You Delete A File?

Deleted files can be quite sneaky. Even if you delete them from your hard drive, they are still stored somewhere in the drive. For example, even if you empty your Recycle Bin, the files don’t go anywhere because they are still not physically erased from the hard drive.

Look at your computer. Do you see all those files? Well, they’re all made up of infinite, tiny pieces of digits. When you perform the deletion, those bits aren’t erased along with the file. They are still kept intact on your personal computer.

Hard disk partsDelete File

Completely deleting files is a process that takes a significantly longer period to execute. The "0" and "1" that make up the file will hide until they are overwritten with another file. And you need to know that when you delete a file, your operating system will simply mark the deleted files as free or blank space.

  • OS(Windows, macOS, Ubuntu) gives the files a pointer to identify the location.
  • Users delete a file, OS removes the pointer and marks it as free space.
  • OS leaves the file content untouched until new files cover the free space.


How to Recover Deleted Files from Your Hard Drives?

So, do you understand how data recovery software or service work? Your operating system just marks them as free space, which makes it possible to recover them. And you will need third-party data recovery software or tools, which were developed to find the deleted data on your hard drives and then relocate their pointers.

And Wondershare Recoverit is one of the most advanced software that can help you to recover your important files on Windows or Mac in just 3 steps. And you can click the following link to download the application for a trial. And here I clearly list the data recovery process for your reference.

Step 1 Select A Hard Drive

From the location selection interface, you can see all your internal and external hard drives. And it also shows a frequent-use location for users' convenience. Just select the site where you lose your files.

select the location

Step 2 Scan The Hard Disk

When Recoverit scans the storage partition, you can use filter tools to narrow the range. For example, choose file size and file type will help reduce scanning time.

scan computer hard drive

Step 3 Preview And Recover Your Files

During the scanning process, you can preview to check whether it is your lost files or not. If yes, just stop or pause the scanning process to get the photo, video, or audio back in one second!

preview and recover hard drive data

If you want to check the infographic of Recoverit work theory, please kindly click How Does Data Recovery Software Work [Infographic].


Why Some Deleted Files Can Be Recovered While Others Cannot

Hard disk partsDelete File

Sometimes, even the most efficient software can’t recover your files because it’s simply NOT POSSIBLE. If your Windows or Mac OS writes new data to the space that a deleted file once occupied, you can’t do anything but say "farewell" to the original file because it can’t be restored anymore. Why? The content of the original file doesn’t exist anymore because it has been overwritten by the new information.

Watch the video to Understand Data Recovery Failure.
  • Why can files be recovered?
  • Why they get corrupted sometimes after recovery?
  • Why can't files have their original names after recovery?

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Important Tips on Recovering Deleted Files

Have these three things at your mind when you are attempting to recover deleted files:

1. Avoid using the hard drive or partition where the files were deleted.

2. Recover the files as soon as you can, do not wait till they are overwritten.

3. Should not install the recovery software on the hard disk, which is going to be scanned for the deleted files.

4. If your recovered data is corrupted, please turn to Stella File Repair for help.


You’ve learned something today? You now must know every time you delete a file, it is still on your hard disk, but other files will cover it. The good thing is as long as the space for the deleted files is intact, data recovery software can restore all your files.

If you still have questions on how data recovery works, please don’t hesitate to contact the Wondershare Recoverit team for help. We’re always ready to answer your questions. Just use the comments section below and we’ll promptly answer your queries.

Recoverit author

David Darlington

staff Editor

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