It is an unfortunate rite of passage, but if you are a computer user, the odds are very likely that you have accidentally deleted one or more files from your system. In some cases, this is only a minor inconvenience; in others, however, it can be a major disaster of epic proportions. Amidst all of the panic and emotion an accidental deletion can bring is an essential question: When is “gone” really “gone” and when is data recovery possible?
The Recycle Bin captures files that are deleted from Windows NT Explorer only. Files deleted through other programs such as File Manager, or from within applications, are not sent to the Recycle Bin. Files deleted at the DOS prompt bypass the Recycle Bin and get instantly deleted; any files that are deleted from removable media, such as floppies, or Zip disks or files deleted from compressed folders, meet the same fate. For these files, file recovery is a lot more difficult. In addition, files that are deleted across a Windows NT network from one computer to another also bypass the Recycle Bin and are permanently deleted.
And files that are accidentally “saved over” are also a primary source of accidental deletions — and the Recycle Bin plays no part in that type of data recovery — files that are “saved over” are definitely GONE for good.
Most of us, of course, have no idea about the liabilities of the Recycle Bin, and thus, extremely important files constantly get deleted.
The estimated cost to the U.S. economy due to accidental deletions runs into the tens of billions
In order to prevent disaster, the best solution is to have a file recovery system in place that will do the job, so that one never has to worry about whether or not an accidental deletion can be recovered.
There are several great file recovery products out there. Undelete, from Diskeeper Corporation, is a good example of a dependable product.
Undelete uses a Recovery Bin to replace the Windows Recycle Bin, and thus makes an accidental deletion virtually impossible. Additionally, the Undelete product even has a “Version Control” which allows the recovery of Windows Office “save overs.”
One impressive aspect of Undelete is its Emergency Undelete module. Remarkably, this particular function will do data recovery on files that have been deleted even prior to the installation of the Undelete product.
So when is “gone” really “gone?” It really depends on whether or not you rely on the Recycle Bin, or get a good data recovery product to protect yourself. If your data is important to you, it’s best not to take chances.