How to get back deleted or lost files

[This post is a work in progress, but the basic GOLDEN RULE of file recovery is so important I have posted it before it’s finished. I’ll update with more information when I have the opportunity.]

There are many reasons why files get lost, and the flippant and unsympathetic response of many companies of “Do you have a backup?” is normally followed by an even less helpful look of scorn when the reply is “I’ve been meaning to but never got round to it”. This is not helpful in the slightest, and just adds to the despair of losing those photos documenting your child’s first months, your last 10 years email, or any other irreplaceable files.

The saddest aspect of this response to a cry for help is that in a great many situations, the files are simply hidden, not lost. A small amount of effort can often restore most if not all of the files, but an understanding of what’s needed to maximise the chance of success is very important. Without doing anything that seems dangerous, a user can reduce or remove entirely any prospect of successful file recovery.

Before I go any further, it’s time to introduce the golden rule. As soon as you discover that you’ve lost files that you need, STOP USING THE STORAGE MEDIA! I’ll go through the reasons for this later in this article, but it’s the most important thing to remember.

Next page – Why should I stop using the disk?…

How to install Ubuntu 12.04

Many customers are surprised at the cost of a Windows licence, and ask whether there’s a cheaper alternative. My answer is yes, there is, and it’s perfectly usable.

Linux is often thought of as a “techy” operating system which can only really be used by computer experts. This isn’t true, although it can be a little harder to get used to than the ubiquitous Windows operating systems. As long as you’re prepared to hunt a little bit further for instructions on how to do things, and put up with the fact you’re going to have to experiment, and learn a different way to do things, many Linux operating systems can give you everything that Windows can. Beware though, when you ask for help online you often don’t get simple to follow instructions as you do with Windows problems, but much more technical responses that assume a much higher degree of knowledge on your part. The learning curve can be steep if you want to do more than the basics.

NB – At this point I should head off comments about how Macs are the real alternative to Windows from Apple fans. This article is in response to the question of whether there’s a cheaper¬†alternative to Windows, not a better one.

Of all the Linux OS alternatives out there, perhaps the most popular is Ubuntu. At the time of writing, the latest version of the Desktop version is 12.04. So how do we go about installing it?

Next page – Before we get started…