Hands Off the Keyboard! How Managed IT Can Recover Your Deleted Files

Can you recover deleted files?

One wrong click, a blink, then panic sets in.

That file you just deleted is vital to a current project or contains records necessary to your business.

Instead of letting your heart rate skyrocket, catastrophizing about what you’ve just lost, read this guide on basic data recovery.

When What’s Gone Isn’t Really Gone

Once you realize the deletion error, stop what you’re doing.  A few simple steps may prevent further loss and help you discover the scope of your situation.

  1. Check the Recycle Bin. It’s easy to forget in the post-deletion panic that if you haven’t emptied the desktop folder known as the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac) your file may still be there, safe and sound, if it was saved locally. Think there’s no way that your file is still there? Check anyway. It only takes a moment, and many times, that check will solve everything.
  2. Search the File Directory. No luck in the Recycle Bin? All is not lost. Use your computer’s search function (usually in the task menu at the bottom or top of the screen) to search your computer’s file directory for the deleted file. Depending on how many files live on your computer, this may take a while. Here are detailed instructions for searching on Windows 10 and Mac OS X.
  3. Check backups. Okay, so the file doesn’t seem to be on your computer. Was it on the server? Do you have backups configured? These days there are many options, such as Windows Backup, Cloud 365, Dropbox, SugarSync, or OneDrive. Many of these services keep deleted files for 30 days or may have a slightly older version of the file you can restore to your computer. Important Note: If you are unfamiliar with these services, but have them in place, don’t hesitate to call a managed IT services provider for help. Choosing the wrong file or transferring it the wrong way can do more damage than good.

Still no luck? Time to call a managed IT services provider. Further poking around like attempting a Windows restore, volume shadow copy, downloading recovery software, or even just continuing to use the computer to stream or download can rewrite the hard drive—reducing or even eliminating the possibility that professionals can rescue the file.

Bringing in an IT team to recover your files does cost money, but the price of repairing well-intentioned “fixes” can grow exponentially. The deleted file is valuable. If you can’t afford to lose it, you can afford to call the professionals.

What to Expect from a Managed IT Services File Recovery

First, your managed IT services team will check the steps above to determine just how difficult recovery of your vital files will be. If the deletion was caught early enough, or if you have backup services in place, most files can be recovered remotely in under five minutes! Luke Bragg, Senior Systems Administrator at Anderson Technologies, recalled a time when he was able to calm the panic of a client and locate the deleted file in just 20 seconds! It was easy—for a professional.

According to a Clutch report on cloud computing, almost one-third of consumers who use cloud-based backups don’t know they are using the cloud. A managed IT services team can detect this and restore those backed-up files!

Widespread Loss: Data Recovery from Destruction

What if your office or workspace has been struck by natural disaster?

Flood, fire, and quake can obliterate technological systems, leaving your small business without records, client data, or even operating systems. This is far bigger than an accidentally deleted file and, unfortunately, recovery after a disaster isn’t as easy to tackle on your own.

  1. Shut off power and step away from the electronics. The safety of you and your team is paramount. You may be thinking of everything you have lost, but don’t let that desperation put anyone in danger.
  2. Consult the authorities. Exposed wires, spilled chemicals, or other dangers may affect your recovery. Local authorities have guidelines regarding tech in disaster—be sure to follow them!
  3. Assess the damage. Even though a piece of technology may appear to be undamaged, it is important to employ experts to help you assess damage, loss, and potential recovery.

In these cases, managed IT services experts will be a huge asset to your recovery.

IT experts will help you determine if technology is damaged and set up a provisionary network so that you can resume business as soon as possible.  A managed IT services team will hold your hand through the disaster and ensure the safety of you and your equipment.

Your managed services team will work with you to identify and restore vital files and records. In fact, even businesses without off-site or cloud backup services have a chance of data recovery. Disc forensics —the science of extracting information from hardware—is a last resort, but many managed IT services teams are prepared to tackle it in these extreme cases.

Chances for recovery of systems or files with a managed IT services partner increases exponentially, but the bottom line is, without backups already in place, data recovery is never guaranteed. Read the fine print when dealing with a recovery vendor to know what you’re paying for.

Prepare for the Worst

Anyone who has lost files from human error or natural disaster knows that the best practice is to avoid loss in the first place. If you are reading this before losing files, take this opportunity to engage a managed IT services provider to set up regular off-site or cloud backup services, and prepare a disaster plan designed to keep your equipment and data safe.

Call Anderson Technologies today for help! Whether you are in a panic, recovering from a disaster, or wanting to prepare for the future, our managed IT services team is prepared to get you—and keep you—in business. Check out our page on data recovery services, or call 314.394.3001 for more information.