I have files stored on a USB storage device. I had the device inside the port when I started my computer, and I got a message that said the files were being scanned, and then it said "error deleting files". When I opened the folder, I saw that most of my files were deleted. Is there a way for me to retrieve those files?
Low-cost options are limited in this context. Assuming that you do not have a backup of the files and that the USB storage device is a magnetic storage media, there are a few software packages available (look for data retrieval software on the Web). Otherwise, there are data retrieval services that can help you recover lost files using sophisticated technology. However, this option can come at an equally sophisticated price.
As with most data recovery efforts, the cost is usually justified by the value of the data. If the data can be relatively easily recreated, it might not be worth the cost of retrieving it. On the other hand, if the data is business critical, a higher retrieval cost might be justified.
This was first published in April 2005