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The basics of storing and recovering data

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Checking device connection before starting data recovery

First and foremost, it is important to check the connection between the storage device and your computer before you start the recovery process.

Regardless of the logical structure of a storage, data is always stored on a physical device, therefore, while performing data recovery the program will work with the physical device in any case. Thus, before starting to retrieve the lost files, remember to make sure that the physical medium is connected properly.

Internally connected hard drives

If the operating system doesn’t display your disk in the Windows Disk Management, you need to check whether this disk is properly attached to the computer: examine the data connector and the power supply cable (ensure that they are both firmly connected to the hard drive and have no breaks). If everything seems to be in order, but the disk is still missing, your drive probably has physical damages, therefore, you should turn to a data recovery center to have it physically repaired.

Externally attached hard drives

Whereas hard disk drives attached externally via an ordinary USB cable are unlikely to cause you any troubles (provided that the cable is intact and all the necessary system drivers are installed), the ones attached via a SATA/USB adapter may present a problem, especially the disks which have the capacity of above 2 TB (2.5, 3, 4, 6 TB and so on).

The adapter may be incapable of transferring data addressed with big numbers because of its data transmission capacity. In order to access data on large disks, the adapter needs to indicate big numbers for data addresses. Old adapters are unable to work with such big numbers. For this reason, when displayed in Recovery Explorer, the information regarding the size of a big disk connected via an old adapter can differ from the real one. The same problem may also arise with internal drives in case of their poor design or an older motherboard.

USB flash drives

USB flash drives can be easily connected to the computer via a USB port. If your USB flash drive is not detected by the operating system, one of the problems may be that, for some reason, the operating system doesn’t have the necessary drivers. The system will ask you to install the drivers, which can be freely downloaded from the retailer's website.

Another reason for an undetected USB flash drive may be a faulty USB port. In this case, the system will neither show you any messages nor react to your inserting the drive, or will just detect it as an "Unknown device". Please try a neighboring USB slot to find out whether this is the case. If the system still cannot detect the flash drive, the reason may lie in the flash drive itself. That being so, you need to bring the drive to a data recovery center to regain access to your data.

If the operating system recognizes your USB flash drive, but the program doesn’t display it among the listed storages, press “Refresh drives” to update the information about the connected storage devices. Use this button for every new connection.

Memory cards

To connect a memory card to your computer you need a functioning card reader with an intact cable (if applicable) and undamaged slots to insert the memory card. If the system doesn’t show your memory card, the problem may also be in the USB port itself. Find another port on the front or back panel of your computer and try to use that one.

Working with Recovery Explorer you may come across a non-displayed memory card. In such a case, press “Refresh drives” to re-detect all the attached storages.

Network Attached Storages (NAS)

A Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a stand-alone data storage device which provides multiple users with remote access to files. It needs a local area network to establish communication with your computer and special software to access it over the network. Obviously, such software does not include data recovery utilities. For this reason, to start data recovery from a NAS you need to take all the NAS disks out of the box and connect NAS disks them to a computer.

Recovery Explorer recognizes the disks separately. Furthermore, it assembles them into a RAID, if the metadata inside each of the disks remains intact and thus enables such an assembly.