In the digital age, external memory devices have become an integral part of our lives, serving as repositories for cherished memories, important documents, and essential data. However, the unforeseen can strike, leading to accidental deletions, formatting errors, or even unexpected data corruption. The sinking feeling that accompanies the realization that valuable files have been deleted from your external memory can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the journey doesn’t end there – there are ways to recover those lost files and salvage the fragments of your digital history. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of data recovery, providing a comprehensive guide on how to retrieve deleted files from external memory devices. Whether you’ve accidentally pressed the wrong button or encountered a formatting mishap, understanding the steps to recover your files is crucial. Join us as we navigate the terrain of data recovery, exploring both user-friendly methods and advanced techniques to ensure that your deleted files are not lost forever. Related articleHow to transfer files from Mac to external hard drive? Embarking on this recovery journey requires a combination of patience, technical know-how, and the right tools. As we explore various strategies, we’ll demystify the process, breaking it down into manageable steps that even those with limited technical expertise can follow. From employing user-friendly software solutions to understanding the principles of professional data recovery services, we’ll cover it all. This is a comprehensive guide for external memory file recovery. Let’s embark on this digital rescue mission together, empowering you to recover deleted files from your external memory and breathe life back into the memories and information you thought were lost in the digital abyss. Part 1: Is Retrieving Deleted Files from External Memory Feasible? When data is stored on a storage device, like USB flash drive, external hard drives, SD card, microSD card, external SSD, memory sticks, network attached storage (NAS), the device retains the actual data and maintains a reference to that data in a separate location. For example, Windows utilizes a file allocation table to monitor the location and status of files stored on a drive. When a file is deleted or data is automatically removed from a memory card, the operating system removes the reference to the file in the directory structure and designates the space previously occupied by the deleted file as unused or free. Consequently, the file becomes inaccessible through a standard file manager. However, for performance optimization reasons, the operating system doesn’t immediately erase the storage space occupied by the deleted file. This means that the actual data on the disk remains intact until new data is written over it.
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In practical terms, recovering deleted files from an SD card or USB drive is possible as long as the deleted files haven’t been overwritten by new data. This applies to scenarios such as recovering deleted photos from external memory media. To maximize the chances of successful recovery, it is crucial to refrain from saving new files to the external memory device immediately after deletion. Starting the data recovery process promptly is essential to prevent a portion of the deleted files from becoming irrecoverable. Part 2: Recovering Deleted Files from External Memory without External Tools When exploring methods for recovering deleted files from external memory without using specialized software, you may encounter suggestions involving the use of commands like attrib or chkdsk in Windows Command Prompt and the mv tool in Mac’s Terminal. However, if you read the tutorials more carefully, you’ll discover that:
  1. attrib Command:
Purpose: Display or modify the read/write attributes assigned to files. Limitation: While useful for managing file attributes, it does not have the capability to perform file recovery on external memory devices.
  1. chkdsk Command:
Purpose: Specializes in checking volumes or disks for errors and repairing them. The /r parameter attempts to recover data from disk sectors experiencing errors. Limitation: While it can repair disk errors, it is not a solution for recovering deleted files from external memory. Its focus is on error correction rather than file retrieval.
  1. mv Command:
Purpose: Renames files and relocates them from one directory to another. Limitation: Although it facilitates file movement, it does not serve as a tool for recovering deleted files from external memory devices. Contrary to some claims, none of these commands can effectively execute deleted file recovery on external memory devices. In reality, unless files have been backed up beforehand or are still present in the Trash, the use of dedicated data recovery software becomes necessary. Notably, on Windows, files deleted from external memory are permanently removed without being sent to the Recycle Bin. For specific scenarios such as cameras with a Recycle Bin or external memory used in mobile phones, additional considerations arise. Cameras may have a Recycle Bin feature for file recovery, and if your phone utilizes cloud backup, exploring the cloud service may offer a chance to retrieve deleted files. However, if files are not backed up, resorting to a reliable data recovery tool becomes imperative.
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It’s crucial to highlight that conducting SD or micro SD deleted file recovery on a phone is discouraged. Instead, connecting the SD card to a computer for recovery using full-fledged desktop software is recommended, as it typically provides a higher recovery success rate. Part 3: A Step-by-Step Guide to Successfully Recover Deleted Files from External Memory Is there a foolproof methodology for achieving a 100% success rate in recovering deleted files from external memory? To restore deleted files effectively, a robust data recovery application is indispensable. This software is designed to meticulously search for residual files that persist on the external memory card post-deletion and facilitate their retrieval to a user-defined location. Through empirical evaluations of performance and user-friendliness, it is our assertion that leveraging advanced software tools, such as iBoysoft Data Recovery, emerges as one of the optimal approaches for file recovery on various external memory mediums, including SD cards, external hard drives, USB flash drives, and more. iBoysoft Data Recovery offers dedicated versions for both Windows and macOS platforms, ensuring a comprehensive and versatile data recovery solution. How to execute the recovery of deleted files from external memory on Windows? If you possess a Windows-based system, the optimal tool for this task is iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows. Distinguished by its read-only functionality and widespread endorsement from millions of users and esteemed data recovery service providers, iBoysoft Data Recovery excels in the retrieval of deleted or lost data across a spectrum of over 1000 file formats. This includes images, videos, audio files, documents, and more, originating from memory cards and internal hard drives. It boasts an outstanding recovery rate, supports ExFAT, FAT32, and NTFS file systems, and offers users a complimentary preview feature for files before initiating the recovery process. To initiate the recovery of deleted data from external memory on Windows, follow the steps below: Step 1: Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery. The software can be obtained by clicking the designated button and completing the installation process. Step 2: Connect the external memory device to your computer, either directly or via an internal or external card reader if needed. Step 3: Launch the iBoysoft Data Recovery software and select the “Data Recovery” module, which is the primary module for recovering deleted items from external memory on Windows.
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Three recovery modules are present: Data Recovery Module: Designed for recovering deleted files and restoring lost data from various scenarios, including formatted, inaccessible, RAW, corrupt, lost, or deleted partitions. Partition Recovery Module: Intended for repairing corrupt NTFS/FAT32 file systems when a partition becomes RAW, potentially restoring all data and making the partition accessible. BitLocker Data Recovery Module: Geared towards recovering lost data from failed, corrupt, formatted, or lost BitLocker partitions, requiring a 48-digit password or recovery key for data decryption. Step 4: Scan the external memory for deleted files by choosing it and clicking “Next.” The duration of the scan depends on the volume of data on the external memory.
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Step 5: Right-click to preview the found files, categorized into Photos, Movies, Audio, Documents, Archives, and Others.
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Step 6: Select the files you wish to recover by ticking the corresponding boxes and click the “Recover” button.
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A crucial reminder is to refrain from saving the recovered files directly to the external memory to prevent overwriting existing data. How to perform free data recovery of deleted files from external memory on Mac? Utilizing iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, a secure and risk-free tool, users can restore deleted items from various external memory devices, including SD cards, USB flash drives, camera SD cards, and external hard drives, compatible with Intel, T2, and Apple Silicon (M1 & M2) Macs. This software, available for free download, enables users to conduct a comprehensive scan of deleted files on external memory, categorize the found files, and preview them before recovery. Supporting a variety of file formats, such as photos, videos, emails, audio, and documents, the tool boasts an exceptional recovery rate. Steps for Free External Memory File Recovery on Mac:
  1. Download and install iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac, following the on-screen instructions.
  2. Connect the external device to your Mac and open the data recovery tool from the Applications folder.
  3. Select the external memory to be recovered and initiate the search for lost data.
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  1. Wait for the software to scan the external memory for deleted files, then categorize them by type (Graphics, Documents, Video, Audio, Email, Archive, and Other) for easy location.
  2. Preview selected files by clicking on the Preview button beneath the thumbnail.
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  1. Choose the desired erased files for recovery by ticking the corresponding boxes and click the Recover button.
Important: Avoid restoring deleted files to the affected external memory device to prevent data overwrite.