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A Beginner's Tech Guide: How To Recover Lost Data

Updated on January 27, 2008

Computer Crash? Unstoppable Virus?

Everyone has files on their computer that they want saved. Whether it's family pictures, or a large collection of music, nobody wants to lose it all to something as stupid as a virus or a computer crash. There are some good measures you can take to not only save your data if Windows crashes, but also preemptively prevent your files from ever getting lost in the first place.

How to Prevent Data From Ever Getting Lost

There is one simple way to do this: Get an external hard drive. You can find them all around the internet (there are some direct links through here). Attach it to your computer. Then it's as easy as copy and pasting your hard drive once a week or so, from your C:\ drive to your External drive. Leave your computer on through a night and you won't even lose any time while it's copying information.

This is known as the Blue Screen of Death.  Generally, if it shows up repeatedly something is seriously wrong with your computer
This is known as the Blue Screen of Death. Generally, if it shows up repeatedly something is seriously wrong with your computer

Help! Windows is Corrupt!!

Don't worry. There is an easy enough way to fix this, though you'll need another computer and an external hard drive or USB Flash drive to use to recover your data to. You'll also need:

1x Blank CD

1x CD-ROM drive w/CD Burning

1x Knoppix (Free Download)

1x Active ISO Burner (Free Download)

Now that you have all this, insert the blank CD. Install Active ISO Burner and use it to burn Knoppix onto the blank CD. Then,restart the computer. If nothing special happens (same old corrupt windows), restart the computer again. This time, you'll need to enter the BIOS. On most computers, to do this you'll need to press "Del" a few times while its just starting to boot.

You'll get to a BIOS screen. There are many different BIOS, but all of them have a "Boot Sequence" option. Go into it, and make sure the CD drive is the 1st Boot device. After that, save your settings and restart the computer again. This time, Knoppix will load. It will finish loading and look a little bit like Windows. Use it like you would use Windows. Find your files in whatever folder they're in, and copy and paste them to your external hard drive.

After this, your data will be saved. To make your computer work again, try to find your original Windows installation disk. Insert it, and reinstall it, wiping the entire hard drive clean. Then you can put your data back on since it's saved on an external hard drive.


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    • save my system profile image

      save my system 7 years ago from United Kingdom - London

      Virus attack is the most common cause behind the hard disc corruption. Mainly due to virus tends to attack on system file and leave it corrupted. Installing good quality anti virus system can be one effective solution to get rid from this problem.