Data recovery services attempt to restore information on a computer system that has been lost or corrupted. Specific methods used by these services to retrieve data will depend on how the data was lost.
Sometimes data that is lost has just been deleted. When a file is deleted on a computer, it no longer shows up in the computer's listings of files, but has not actually been erased from the computer's hard drive. Instead, the file is designated as space that can be written over when something new is saved to the computer.
Files that have been deleted can often be retrieved through the use of special software programs. The information retrieval programs that data recovery services use are not usually available to the average consumer. These programs perform an in-depth scan of the computer to retrieve data that has been deleted but not completely erased from the computer's hard drive.
When the cause of lost data is a damaged hard drive, data recovery services will attempt to repair the hard drive enough to retrieve the information contained on the drive. Virtual reconstruction software may also be used by data recovery specialists to piece together information and reconstruct missing parts in order to rebuild corrupted files.