File Recovery Central

What are AAE files?
Many iPhone and Windows owners sorting through photo libraries have probably noticed the appearance of AAE files, but what are their purpose, how do you open them and can you delete them?

How-to: Free Photo Recovery
While moving through the numerous menus on a digital camera or juggling a host of memory cards, it is surprisingly easy to accidentally delete or lose important photos. This short and free tutorial will show you how to use photo recovery software to rescue, or undelete, your lost photos. In-depth photo recovery tutorial

iPhone data recovery tutorial and software
It's all too common: a lost or broken your iphone, or maybe hitting the wrong option deleted something important that you want to recover. Here's how to get back those files such including photos, videos and SMS contact files.

What is the purpose of a .ctg file and the MSCANON directory?
You've probably plugged your memory card into your computer and noticed .ctg files lurking there. Are these friend or foe and can you delete them?

What are THM files?
After connecting your camera's memory card into your computer, there's a chance you've seen files ending in .THM. These can seem like unwanted pests clogging up your memory card. In this how-to guide we answer the questions: are THM files useful and what should you do with the files?

What is data recovery?
To understand how data recovery works, it is important to get a grasp on the process that computers follow when a file is deleted. Computers may be logical but that doesn't make them obvious - particularly when it comes to file recovery. Whether it be Windows, a digital camera's memory card or an iPod, they all typically delete data files in the same way, and the file recovery process follows a similar pattern. In short, when you delete a file, the file itself is not deleted. Here's why...

Storing data files has two major components. The first is the file itself. The second is a table that keeps track of where the files are stored on the hard drive (or flash memory card). If a data file needs to be accessed, the software looks up the table and finds the location of the file. A simple analogy is to think of using an atlas or map. You look up the name of a place in an index: here you will be given it's co-ordinates. You use these co-ordinates to find your location - in the case of computers, it is the location of a file. When you delete a file, the data itself is not touched. Only the entry in the index is removed. It's like your hard drive or storage device had a memory lapse and has completely forgotten about the file. The drive now marks the space occupied by the file as free (in other words, when a new file file is added to the drive, it can be placed in the space).

The important first step
Once you have realised that an important data file has been deleted, stop using that device. Whether it is your computer, usb flash drive or camera's memory card - do not use it until you can start the data recovery process. Remember - if your important files get overwritten, they are gone forever.

The next steps
Work out what type of storage media has the file you want to recover (for example: is it a hard drive, CD drive or camera memory card?). Also consider the reason for the lost file. Do you need to run file recovery software because the media may be damaged or is it because you accidentally deleted it. Each of the data recovery programs software listed on the left has an explanation for its inteded use. CD Recovery is ideal for damaged CDs or DVDs, while File Recovery is suited for hard drives and USB drives and Smart Recovery is designed specifically for memory cards and USB flash memory (it can also perform checks to determine if the card or USB flash key are damaged).

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