Data Loss and Recovery

Computers, and hard drives in particular, can suffer from faults and accidents. It can be a blunder on your part or the machine itself is acting up. Oftentimes, when files are lost, they can still be recovered. Sometimes you can fix it yourself, sometimes you’ll need to take it to a specialist, and sometimes the drive is just not recoverable. Here are some of the issues that can cause data loss and how to go about recovering it.



Data Loss and Recovery Issue #1: Your computer isn’t booting up

If your computer isn’t booting up, it can be a pretty scary prospect. Have you lost all your files? Read on to see whether your drive is recoverable.

Delving deeper…


Was your computer making strange sounds before it stopped working?
Strange sounds indicate something has gone wrong in the mechanics or your computer, whether it’s the hard drive or other components. To see whether it’s the drive, remove the hard drive from the case, plug it in to another computer of the same type (Windows or Mac), and then check if the drive itself is making strange noises when plugged in to another device. If so, unplug immediately. You’ll need to take the drive to a repair person to see if it’s salvageable. If the drive appears on your new computer, it is the machine that you will need to bring for repairs.


Was it scrambling files or doing strange things such as the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD)?
This is likely a file logic error. It may require a new operating system version, a format, or a replacement drive. Remove the hard drive and plug it into a different computer. Check to see if you can view the drive and its contents. If you can, open the files on the drive and check if they are correct. If not, it’s time to visit the repairs shop to see if they can help.


Was it working super slowly?
Your hard drive can be the problem. Remove it from your computer and connect it up to another computer. Can you see the drive in the file system? If not, it might be dead. You can take it to the repair person but your files may be gone. If you can see the drive and can grab the files, transfer them to the other computer immediately.


None of the above?
It’s best to hook up your hard drive to a different computer and run a file retrieval program to see if the files can be recovered.



Data Loss and Recovery Issue #2: You’ve accidentally deleted a partition

You will need to use a good data recovery tool to fix this issue. It is the best option.



Data Loss and Recovery Issue #3: You’ve deleted files or folder that you now need



Were the files or folders in an iCloud directory (Mac users)?
You can access and restore these files by visiting, log in, and choosing Advanced under your Settings menu. Click Restore Files to browse all deleted files in the past 30 days, select the ones you want back, and press Done.


Do you have Time Machine backing up to an external drive (Mac users)?
Open Time Machine and scroll along the timeline to the time before you deleted the files/folders. Select the ones that you need and then click Restore.


Were the files or folders in a OneDrive directory (Windows users)?
Go to and login. Choose the recycle bin on the left, select the files that you want to retrieve (all deletions in the past 30 days are saved), and then click Restore.


Do you have File History switched on (Windows users)?
Access your Settings and head to Update & Security > File History > Restore personal files. Browse to find the files you need and press the green button down the bottom.


Or none of the above?
You will likely need to use a file retrieval software to find the deleted file/s that you are now missing.



The Data Recovery Tool



Wondershare has a great data recovery software program for both Windows and Mac users. It can be used to retrieve missing, deleted, or corrupted files from your hard disk. It has a clean interface making it simple to use and easy to navigate. Do try running a free scan to check if your precious files are still recoverable.


About Mac Data Recovery HQ

MacDataRecoverHQ is a website that provides advice on how to recover data on your Mac computer or device. This includes data that has been permanently deleted, lost, or missing. Check back periodically for updates and news.