The main reason for invention of personal computers is to process data. As times have evolved in the field of technology, new challenges have sprung up as far as storing, removing, manipulating, and optimizing data is concerned. Besides managing data and tackling the storage problems there is even another issue of accidental deletion of data in the form of files. This is a major obstacle for people who are used to working on personal computers, be it technologists, office staff and home users.

Loosing files by deletion cause loss of productivity and recovering lost files need knowledge, skills and specialized tools.

The most important thing any computer user must do is to create a backup of important files. Backup is an important operation, which avoids any data loss in case a file deletion takes place accidentally. To some extent, system restore utility in operating systems for example Windows, may recover some system files and settings. However, when recovery process too fails, the best way forward is to take help of some useful software tools for recovering the deleted files.

The following steps are essential in the process of recovering lost and deleted files:

1. Before using any of the below mentioned tools to recover data, check whether the missing or deleted file is there in the recycle bin.

2. Next, before starting using the tools it is necessary to stop working on the partition from where the file deletion happened. If a write operation has been performed on the drive after the file has been deleted, it may not be possible to recover the deleted file. The reason behind this is that the block on the hard drive from where the file was deleted might be overwritten by another file. Therefore, it erases every trace of data, which was earlier present on it.

After careful check on the process to recover the lost file, any one of the following software utility tools may be used:

1. Undeleted Plus – It recovers data from flash drives with search criteria.

This is a freeware utility, which helps a user to recover deleted files. It is simple to use and supports all windows file systems like FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and NTFS5. One can set search criteria and add filter. It is useful to recover data from flash drives.

2. Restoration - Recovers data from flash drives and SD cards without search criteria.

It is also a freeware utility, which helps a user to recover deleted files. The advantage of using this utility is that it is light on the computer system. It supports the FAT and NTFS file systems. It is useful to get data back from flash drives and SD cards as well. Disadvantage of this application is that it does not allow the user to set filters or search criteria. In addition, user cannot scan two or more drives at a time and the search results are not segregated according to the file types.

3. Handy Recovery - Recovers data with deferred recovery feature and search criteria.

This is another file recovery utility. It comes with a simple wizard. It supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and HFS. It also allows users to create an image of a partition for deferred recovery as well as set filters for better search results.

All the three software utility tools to recover deleted files can be downloaded free from utility tool developer's web site.

Similar to backing up files and folders, backing up system's settings and drivers is also important. System restore utility of Windows is the best tool to backup Windows settings and drivers.