By PowerBuy // 4 November 2013 // Related Categories: Tips

It happens to everyone sooner or later – your computer crashes, a file is erased or your email is accidentally deleted. It’s a frustrating scenario, and even if you do regular backups you are never completely immune. All may not be lost, however.

Here are four tips on how to recover your data when disaster strikes:

1. Recover your working files

Many modern applications like Microsoft Word will automatically save versions of your files as you work. Even if your computer crashes, you may find Word still able to recover a quite recent version of the document for you, so first check to see if the software application has recovery options.

For example in Microsoft Office 2010 you can recover unsaved files by clicking File | Recent | Recover Unsaved Documents (these are files with *.asd extensions). You can also look for Temporary Files by clicking on the Start button (Windows 7) then typing .tmp in the Start Search box and then pressing ENTER.

2. File recovery software

There are many file recovery programs available on the Internet. Be sure to research any app online before downloading and scan it for viruses first. These applications can scan your hard disk for orphaned or deleted files and give you the option to restore them to their original state. A list of free recovery software is available here (http://www.techradar.com/au/news/software/applications/best-free-recovery-software-1141256).

3. Low-level recovery

If you dropped a hard disk or it has simply failed then you may not be completely out of luck. An application called SpinRite (https://www.grc.com/sr/themovie.htm) is an old faithful that should be your first recourse, but you may need some technical help to make it work. You can buy it online, download it to a disc and the program will do a low-level scan of your hard disk, often recovering it from all kinds of problems.

Low-level recovery can be tricky so if you have experienced a hardware failure then you should drop us a line as soon as possible.

4. Email recovery

Some email servers will also store backups of email or keep them on the server after you delete them. Check first that the email isn’t simply hiding in your “Trash” bin and then contact us and we will see if there is a way we can recover it for you.

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