Tuesday, 24 March 2015

How to Recover Data from Deleted Windows 7 Partitions using Software?

As I discussed in my previous article, all your Windows data is stored in a partition. A partition is simply a logical  division of the system hard disk. The stored data is susceptible to corruption or loss due to various reasons such as:  partition formatting or deletion, partition file system corruption,  missing or inaccessible partitions, partition crash, data loss due to partitioning errors, Master Boot record corruption, OS re-installation,Bad sectors in hard disk, System errors, OS failures, corrupt system registries etc. 

The data stored within a partition isn't deleted after partition deletion in Windows OS. The data is still present in the hard drive, only the OS cannot recognize it.
In order to recover the lost data, you need to use “Windows Partition Recovery “software.

Here, I am going to discuss one such Windows Partition Recovery software entitled Stellar Phoenix Partition Recovery – Professional. The software is globally trusted and known as one of the best Windows partition recovery software in aspects of reliability and efficiency.

Some accentuating features of the software are:

1. Efficient ‘Windows Drive Recovery': Using the tool, you can recover lost data from corrupt/ formatted/ inaccessible partitions on Windows drive. 
The supported file systems are FAT, NTFS, and ExFAT. 

2. Raw Partition Recovery: This is an advanced feature for signature based recovery. This feature can be used if the initial recovery fails or if the corruption level is too high. 

This feature also let you perform recovery of user-defined file formats by adding new file headers to the existing list of files.

3. It lets you recover data from damaged CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD and DVD-RW discs. The supported media are: discs (CDs, DVDs, HD DVDs, Blu-ray) burnt on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Mac systems.

4 Preview of the recoverable data: It let you preview the recoverable data in Classic tree, File Type tree, and Filtered tree views.

5 Recover completely lost/missing partitions: Using the tool, you can search the missing volumes that were totally inaccessible. You can use ‘Search Lost Volume' feature to find the missing volumes on your drive and then recover the lost data. 

6 It let you recover photos, videos, movies, and other multimedia files from digital cameras, laptop/desktop hard drives, memory cards, and external media devices.

7 It let you Perform mail recovery for MS Outlook and Outlook Express.

8 It let you save the recovered data in a compressed 'zip' folder

9 Along with the startling Windows drive recovery features, it also offers various advanced tools: SMART, Image Your Hard Disk, System startup disc, Hard Drive Cloning.

How to perform Deleted Windows Partition Recovery? 

First download and Install the software from here. 

The main interface of the software offers options for Data Recovery (Drive Recovery, Photo Recovery, CD DVD Recovery, and Email Recovery), Advance Option (Create Image, Clone Drive, and Drive Status), and Recovery from Image. 

Working of the software is given as below:

To perform Drive Recovery:

1.Click 'Drive Recovery’, the Drive recovery module will be opened. 
2.All the volumes in the system will get listed in the flying pane. From the listed volumes, select the desired volume to recover data from. 
3.At the right of the pane, you are given data recovery options (Quick Recovery, Deleted Recovery, Advanced Recovery, and Raw Recovery). 
4.Select the desired option and start scanning. 
5.After clicking start scanning, the scan process will begin.
6.Once it’s completed, you can preview the recoverable files in the left pane. Software also facilitates flying preview pane which lets you see the preview of recoverable files and folders even when the scanning is in progress. 
7.Select the destination for saving the recovered data. Click OK. 
8.Select the desired items to be saved. 
9.Click ‘Recover'

To perform Photo Recovery:

1.Click 'Photo Recovery' to open the Photo Recovery module. 
2.Select the desired volumes/drive/media location that is to be searched for photos. 
3.If you are looking for any specific file type to recover, you can do so by using 'File Type' option. Click 'Scan Now’ to begin scanning the problem media.
4.After completion of scan, select the destination to save the recovered data and then 'Recover. 

To perform CD DVD Recovery:

1.Under 'Data Recovery' tab, CD DVD Recovery module is listed, click on it. 
2.Select your optical drive and click 'Scan Now'.
3.After completion of scan, select the destination to save the recovered data and then 'Recover. 

To perform Email Recovery: 

1.Click 'Email Recovery' to open the Email Recovery module. 
2.Select appropriate mail client' box (Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express) then 'Select PST' or 'Select OST' accordingly. You can manually choose the problem PST files or let the software scans for any particular PST files (Helpful if you forget the location of your desired PST file).
3.Then click 'Start Recovery’. 
4.After completion of scan, select the 'Save as' option and 'Destination Path to save the recovered file.’ 

To perform Recovery from Image: 

This tool facilitate convenient option to create image of failing or dying hard drive so you can perform recovery at any time in future even the drive completely fails. Follow below mentioned steps to create image and recover your files:

1.Click 'Recovery from Image'. 
2.Select the .IMG file from which you want to recover your data. Make sure that you’ve already created an image for recovery. Any image created previously using the tool will be automatically listed under this option. 
3.After choosing the IMG file, click 'Scan Image' to recover data from it. 

Advance option:

Here, you’ll find three options Create Image, Clone Drive, Drive Status that becomes really useful in critical circumstances. 

  • Click ' Create Image' option to create an .IMG backup of your selected volume or hard disk. 
  • Click 'Clone Drive' option to clone the selected disk (source) at your desired location (destination). 
  • Click ' Drive Status' option to know about the hard disk status, volume information and avail the SMART features. 

Hopefully, the above article will be beneficial for those who are looking for Windows partition recovery methods. 

What causes Deleted Windows 7 Partitions?

A partition is simply a logical division of the system hard disk. All your data and information is stored in these partitions. The stored data can get lost/ damaged due to several reasons such as:  partition formatting or deletion, partition file system corruption (corrupt, missing or inaccessible partitions), partition crash, data loss due to partitioning errors etc.

Windows 7 provides “Disk Management Tool” for performing various partitioning operations on the hard drive. Using the tool, partitions can be created, deleted, merged or extracted.

Once a partition is deleted, the OS doesn't recognize it anymore. But the data is still there on the hard drive that can be recovered using a Windows 7 partition recovery software. Same is the case with a missing/inaccessible partition (it may happen due to file system corruption or some other reason). You just cannot view the partition but the data can be retrieved using a recovery program.

Sometimes, you may be unable to view a partition because of virus infection. As a primitive solution, scan and fix your system issues using a third party antivirus software. 

You can back up the windows partition data using backup archive creator tool. This backup file can turn life savior in case of data loss or you can restore the original data after reformatting or replacement of the hard disk. If your hard drive is suffering from bad sectors then, it’s a wise choice to copy the unaffected data to a different device before formatting it.

Windows partition can get deleted/lost/inaccessible/corrupt due to any of the below reasons:
  • Partition deletion while OS re-installation. 
  • Partition deletion while  re-partitioning(re-sizing, shrinking or merging the partitions)
  • Partition deletion due to boot sector record (MBR-Master Boot record) corruption. 
  • Overwriting the MBR code with some application data
  • Using third party tools for new partition creation 
  •  MFT(NTFS Master File Table) or FAT(File Allocation Table) table corruption
  • Accidental partition deletion /accidental hard disk formatting
  • Incorrect procedure used while partition creation, disk formatting or reformatting. 
  • Errors while partitioning hard drive
  • Incorrect manipulation or  incorrect hard drive partitioning 
  • Virus/spyware infection
  • Corruption in the logical structure of the hard drive, partition file system corruption,  partition header Corruption,  partition table corruption
  • System malfunction
  • Bad sectors in hard disk
  • Frequently changing the files system of partition drive 
  • While converting the partition from dynamic to basic disk.
  • Sudden or improper system shutdown
  • Repeated power outages  or fluctuations
  • Hardware issues can lead to partition corruption 
  • System errors, OS failures, corrupt system registries etc. 

We must keep in mind all of the above factors that can cause loss to our hard drive partition data. As an obstructive measure, you should try to avoid the actions that can lead to such problems. But, what if accidentally, you have lost access to your partition data? Don't worry! Stellar Phoenix Partition Recovery – Professional is here to help you out. 

Stellar Phoenix Partition Recovery – Professional is a powerful partition recovery software that let  you recover lost, deleted, or inaccessible  Windows partition. Using the tool you can also recover all files, documents and multimedia data from an optical media or any Windows based external media. The 'Raw recovery' feature of the software let you perform an efficient data recovery even in case of severe corruption. The tool supports recovery of deleted Emails of Outlook and Outlook Express. Along with these features the tool offers advanced features such as: SMART, System Startup Disc, Image Your Hard Disk and Hard Drive Cloning.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Tips for Handling Your Memory Card Effectively

In this article, I am going to focus on some camera memory management and handling tips that can prevent your memory card from being corrupted or being lost.

What if your data is lost due to accidental deletion or formatting of the card? 
Is there any possibility to get your photos back? The answer is YES! 

First let’s have a look what’s card formatting exactly. If you want to remove stored images from your camera’s memory card you can do it either by deleting the images from the memory card or simply by formatting the card. 

Using the erase/delete option, you can delete the selected images or all images from their directories on the card. When you erase a memory card, the protected images will not be removed. But if you format the card, all data will be removed (protected images too) and the directories and folders in the file system will be recreated.

Benefits of formatting:

  • It helps in fixing the extraneous card issues and improves the card performance.  
  • If you delete images from the card, it actually doesn't delete them. It only allows you to write new images over them i.e. removes the reference to their position. By formatting, all traces of data will be removed.  So, delete the images whenever the memory card is full or you require more space, format the card if you want to improve its performance.                        

Note: Before erasing images from your memory card, you should create a backup copy of them on your system or some other external devices. Once your data is erased from the card, you cannot get it back. To recover data from a formatted memory card, you will have to look for any efficient memory card recovery programs that is able to retrieve all the desired files from such instances of photo loss.

Sometimes, the images may get severely corrupt and even the photo recovery software fails to get your data back. 

Your cards may get corrupt when some invalid operations are performed or cards aren’t handled properly. Here are some memory card handling tips that can rescue you from being a victim of memory card data corruption.

Memory card handling (Some 'Do' and 'Do not') tips:

You should do the following things:

  • Format the newly purchased memory card while using it for the first time.
  • Before using the SD or SDHC card, first unlock it by sliding the write-protection switch (left side on top of the card) downwards.
  • Using multiple small cards instead of using a huge one is a wiser choice. 
  • Format your card on regular time intervals to maintain its performance and fix other data processing issues.
  • Format the memory card in camera not in computer. Instead of formatting the camera memory card into a computer, it is advisable to format the memory card in camera. Otherwise it can lead to compatibility issues, performance/operational problems or slower data processing. 
  • Check card specifications: Check the compatibility of your camera and the memory card before purchasing. Also check that the card is compatible with the card reader or not. The other things you need to check is the maximum card capacity accepted by your camera. The card should not exceed that maximum capacity that the supported device capacity; also it should match the specifications of your card reader.
  • Do remove the memory card after turning off your camera. Also avoid removing the memory card or turning off the camera while transferring images to another camera/device/computer.
  • You must safely eject the card from the system by using correct procedure.
  • The reader used must be of good quality. It is preferable if the card and card reader are from same manufacturer. 
  • Faulty camera/card reader can also lead to card corruption/image corruption. If several memory cards get corrupt in your camera then there can be some fault of the camera.
  • Camera batteries should be adequately charged while taking shots, saving photos or transferring data to another system.
  • All Memory cards have a limited lifespan. You should discard the memory card if its finite lifespan has almost finished or you have used it frequently for many years. Destroy the memory card if you want to discard it. 

You should not do the following things:

  • Don't use the memory card into another camera or device as they can have different file system requirements or architecture that can lead to data damage. If you want to use it then first format it into the new device then bring it back to work.
  • Don't delete the camera memory card using the computer system. Instead use the camera controls/menu system/photo management program to delete the images. 
  • Don’t keep taking photos/shots when your card is about to be full. As if you keep on taking shots it may overwrite the card headers. 
  • Don’t remove the memory card image saving process is going on. If you want to remove the card, first let the process complete. Then turn off your camera completely and removing the card.
  • Don’t turn off the camera while images are being saved.
  • Don't remove the card while its contents are still open on the computer system. 
  • Don’t perform open, delete rename or move files operations on the card while its file/folders are still open somewhere else (computer/another device).
  • Don’t take one shot after another rapidly. Let the camera write and save the first image properly then go for next. Also avoid continuous shoot-delete, shoot-delete, and shoot-delete operations. 
  • Don’t use cheap off-brand memory cards. Try using good quality memory cards such as SanDisk, Panasonic, Sony, Kingston, Lexar and Olympus etc.

The above mentioned precautions, reduces chances of your memory card corruption. But still unluckily, you get trapped in a photo loss situation then don't panic. Safely remove the memory card and use one of the recommended photo recovery tools. Select the suitable one and perform recovery immediately after situation strikes as you permanently lose access to stored memory card files if it’s failing or dying. If you are lucky enough, you can get 100% of your data back. 

Monday, 9 March 2015

FSCK command to recover corrupt Linux file system:

A file system is basically a way to organize data. All the tasks of efficient data storage, memory management, data retrieval, data updation are handled by the file system procedures. A Linux system is similar to directory storage. A Linux file system manages all the data in an ordered tree-like structure on the hard disk. A Linux file can be a Program, service, text, image, device and so forth. Common Linux file systems are Ext4, Ext3, Ext2; FAT32, FAT16, and FAT12 file system.

General LINUX file organization can be shown as below:

Like other file systems, the Linux file system is also prone to corruption. 

Common reasons for file system corruption are:

  • improper shutdown (hard reset)
  • improper start-up 
  • kernel errors 
  • mounting damaged file system
  • overlapping partitions
  • Hardware failures, Hard disk errors, bad block on disk, bad disk controller etc.

Any inconsistency/damage/corruption to the file system can make your data inaccessible from the Linux volumes. Luckily Linux provided the FSCK tool for recovering your data from such data loss situations. 

What is FSCK Basically? It’s a consistency checker for LINUX file system. The command performs the file system check for corruption or other related issues and later on performs repair of the damaged or corrupt file system.

Note: The fsck command should not be used on a mounted device. This can lead to serious data loss situations as it might be possible that the deleted files are still in use that may cause damage to the file system. 

The FSCK command is written as below:

fsck [ -sACVRTNP ] [ -t fstype ] [filesys ... ] [--] [ fs-specific-options ] 

Here, filesys can be a device name, a mount point, an ext2 label or UUID specifier.

You can use the fsck command to run on multiple Linux file system on different hard disks simultaneously. Thus it will take smaller time span to scan and repair multiple file systems parallely. 

If you specify the -As options in the command line then the fsck utility will check the file systems in /etc/fstab serial. Otherwise, if you skip to mention any file systems and -A option in the command line then by default the /etc/fstab file systems will be checked.  fsck acts like a front-end for the various file system checkers (fsck.fstype).

After execution of fsck command, check on multiple file systems a single collective exit code is returned. This code is the bit-wise OR of all the exit codes for individual file system.
The exit code returned by fsck is the sum of the following conditions: 

0 - No errors 
1 - File system errors corrected 
2 - System should be rebooted 
4 - File system errors left uncorrected 
8 - Operational error 
16 - Usage or syntax error 
32 - Fsck cancelled by user request 
128 - Shared library error 

Some common options used with the fsck command are:

While you are running fsck check over multiple systems then you need to use this option to serialize the operations and run the checkers in interactive mode. 

-t fslist 

Here, you can specify the list of file systems that are to be checked. You specify the file system names separated by comma. You can use the -A flag to make the checker to check only the file systems that match fslist. 
Along with the file systems you can also specify the options specifiers in the fslist parameter. Option specifiers have the format   opts=fs-option
IF the list is prefixed by a negation operator 'no' or '!', then the checker will check all the file systems excluding the listed ones. If you don’t apply this operator the file systems listed in fs list will be checked. 
If you prefix the options specifier with a negation operator, then the checker will only check file systems not containing the fs-option in the /etc/fstab mount options field.

This option makes the fsck to check all /etc/fstab file systems in one run.  

 Most of the sys admins use the -P option with -A flag to prevent their root file system from   re-partitioning. 

This option is used with the -A option. This option makes the fsck skip the root file system while checking the file systems with the -A flag

This option is used to display the completion/progress bars for those file systems checkers which support them. At a time, only single progress bar will be shown.

Using fsck command with -N only displays the whole process that would be done, it doesn't execute. 

Using fsck command with -T option will skip the title on start-up. 

This option enlists all file system-specific commands to be executed as verbose output.


The file system-specific options and arguments are followed with a --. Such options are handled by the file system-specific checkers (fsck.fstype). 

Common file system-specific options are:

This option is used to perform an automatic file system repair without promoting or asking you for any permission/confirmations. This can be extremely dangerous in the case of extensive file system damage.

This option is used to perform interactive system repairs. This option first asks you for confirmation to perform file system repair. Then only it begins the repair process. 
If the FSCK fails to help out you for data recovery then you need to look for alternative Linux recovery software. Such Linux recovery software are easily available with free demo like Stellar Phoenix Linux Recovery Software that can recover Linux partitions in Windows. You just need to make an ample search and selection among the various Linux recovery software(s).

Friday, 23 January 2015

CHKDSK - How to Use This Evergreen Disk Repair Command in Windows 8

Often times, we need to repair hard disks to overcome from various errors and problem that we might face almost every day. Check Disk utility in Windows is still a winner among various other free utilities provided from Microsoft that we use to check hard disk errors and repair them, even in Windows 8.

Previously, Disk Check utility comes with slight differences and limitations that may have lifted in Windows 8. Checking your hard disk in Windows 8 through CHKDSK command every once in a while will ensures healthy performance of your PC. You can use it anytime to deal with various problems such as improper shutdown, third party hefty software, file system corruption, disk structure corruption etc.

How to run CHKDSK in Windows 8
Microsoft has completely redesigned Check Disk utility in Windows 8 to meet the growing needs of user who found themselves incapable to deal with various hard disk issues such as bad sectors and blocks, freezing issues, automatic restart etc. Microsoft has also introduced Automatic Maintenance to run in the background and repair errors if it founds any. However, if you want to run check disk command at any particular instant or to address any particular issues, you can do so by following the steps below:
  • Simply right click on any drive listed under ‘This PC’ window and choose ‘Properties’
  • Navigate to ‘Tools’ tab and click on ‘Check’ button listed under ‘Error Checking’ rectangular box.

  • System error checking process will begin immediately and will report any errors that it founds. In case, check disk utility don’t found any errors you will get a confirmation dialog box stating ‘You Don’t need to scan this drive’. Still not satisfied, you can proceed to perform disk error check by clicking on ‘Scan Drive’ button. 

  • Disk scanning for errors and corruption is faster than ever. The whole system check can be performed in minutes.

  • Once the Scanning is completed, you’ll get a confirmation dialog box stating ‘Your Drive was successfully scanned. Now Errors were found. ’

  • You can also choose an option to scan and repair drive together. This option is limited to Window default bootable drive containing your system files.

  • You can also chose to repair the problem drive on next restart. Additionally, if the drive you’re trying to repair is default windows drive, Windows will ask to repair this drive on the next restart to make sure that nothing bad will happen.

  • That’s it. Check disk utility perform well and helps you deal with any minor or major disk related errors or problems.

Steps to deal with disk related errors and problems

There are number of Disk related errors exist and one can happen anytime on your system. Some error sounds not that typical and can be dealt and fixed easily. However, most of the time not. Below mentioned are few particular type of disk related problems that may occur on your system:

A disk read error occurred
Disk Read or write error
A disk read error occurred. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart.

Once such error strikes to your system, you’ll face freezing, interrupted shutdowns, slow system processing while accessing any files etc. Besides number of reasons that could cause this, first things you’ll need to do is to perform disk check. Follow the steps described above to check hard disk for errors and problem on your Windows 8 PC. In case you are using older version of PCs i.e. Windows 7, Vista, XP etc., you can still use the same operations except #1 (This PC was entitled as ‘My Computer’ previously).

To deal with such hard disk related problems, you’ll need to perform few others troubleshooting steps like testing your memory, replacing the problem drive, resetting or updating the BIOS etc.

If the above problems continue to exist even after following all the above troubleshooting steps, you’ll need to proceed with installing a fresh copy of Windows or even worse, have to format the drive completely. This could permanently delete files that you’ve stored on the problem drive or volume and will found no way back to restore it other using standard hard disk recovery tools provided by various software vendors across the globe, see some disk recovery tools here. It is specifically designed to handle data loss situations carefully and restore files with their actual names.

Benefits of using Disk Check Utility against various other disk repair tools

You may find number of tools designed to address disk related issues. These tools can check your hard disk for possible causes and may repair them immediately. However, you’ve to use such tools with caution as it may harm your computer and make the situation worse.

Running disk check utility provide no harms to your system whatsoever is completely safe. It’ll do no harm if no good. It’s also recommended that running check disk operations once in a while will make your PC functioning smoothly and avoid crashes or sudden system restarts.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

How to remove a Flashback Mac virus

Mac and PC are equally affected by the virus these days. One of the most dominating Trojan virus called Flashback has hit more than thousands of users. These Trojan viruses injected into our Mac through downloads, attachment etc. This is a destructive virus which gets into the computer even without first gaining an administrative password. To get it eradicate completely, let us first see that how to diagnose a virus and then what is the best way to remove it.

How to find a virus?

To find the virus in Mac, let us first determine whether the CPU has virus or not. For this you should be aware of the 'Universally Unique Identifier' (UUID) of the Mac. To know the UUID of the Mac, first go to Finder and choose the menu item 'About this Mac', reveal the 'More Info' option and choose that. Then you will see the Hardware UUID. Just then locate and copy the Hardware UUID which is a series of 32 numerals and letters. Then you need to check that number on a particular website i.e. Flashbackcheck.com. At this point, follow the prompts and enter the UUID when prompts. At last after certain steps of this procedure, you get to know that whether your system has virus or not.

How to remove it?

To remove this Flashback virus manually, just follow the below steps to do so:

1) First open the Terminal and type the following command on Terminal:defaults read
/Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironment

2) After typing the command successfully, note down the value of DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES

3) If you get the error message The domain/default pair of the command mentioned in step 1 does not exist, then move on to step 8 i.e. run the following command:

4) If you didnt get any error, run the command in Terminal:
grep -a -o ‘__ldpath__[ -~]*’ %path_obtained_in_step2%.

5) Now again note down the value after '_Idpath_'

6) Now, before running the next commands in terminal, make sure that there is only one step after Step 2. After checking run the below commands: sudo defaults delete
/Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info LSEnvironmentsudo chmod 644 /Applications/Safari.app/Contents/Info.plist

7) Now just delete the files obtained in step 2.

8) Now run the following command in terminal: defaults read

9) If after running this command, you get an error that the domain/default pair of (/Users/joe/.MacOSX/environment, DYLD_INSERT_LIBRARIES) does not exist, then it means that the system is clean of this variant. If not, then run the below command on the terminal,
grep -a -o ‘__ldpath__[ -~]*’ %path_obtained_in_step9%
Again take note of the value of '_idpath_'.

10) Now after following the above command, again run the below command

11) At last, delete the files obtained in step 9.

Points to remember which will help you to protect Mac from these attacks:

  • Use non-admin account for the daily purpose activities like surging on internet, chatting, mail check etc.
  • Google chrome is considered to be secure for surfing on internet as it comes with the inbuilt feature of sanboxed flash player i.e. Its own functionality. Also, it is recommended that always use a secure browser to be on the safer side.
  • Uninstalling java and flash player is considered to be the good security features to get safe from these virus attacks. And remember that Apple do not regularly update these features.
  • Installing good antivirus and updating the latest program is considered the good practice.
  • Try to install the good firewall software which will show you the exact network usage and will also prompt you to block or allow the application to connect to that network or not.

Thus follow these points to be on the safer side which will definitely save you from these virus attacks. If still not able to solve the problem, then use Sophos antivirus utility, a free antivirus solution for Mac.