A number of software tools, including UndeletePlus for Windows 8 and 7, Recuva for Windows 7, or Data Rescue 3 for Mac, let users recover deleted files from a storage volume. Depending on the capacity and speed of your storage drive and the amount data to be recovered, it may take anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours to scan and recover the deleted files. (Note that original file names may not be recoverable in many cases, and portions of a file may be corrupted or otherwise unrecoverable.)
Due to the dangers of overwriting, a recovery attempt should never be done on the boot volume or by installing the data recovery software on the affected drive. In most cases, it is probably necessary to remove the affected drive and attach it to another computer that's running the data recovery software.
In addition, it may be a good idea to clone the data from the affected disk drive and work off the cloned copy; this is a standard practice among competent data recovery vendors. If any of this sounds too daunting, you may want to do a reality check on whether you have sufficient technical expertise to perform data recovery yourself.
Finally, remember that self-recovery of data is possible only for accidentally deleted files. It doesn't work for mechanical or component damage. Even then, attempt this only for nonessential files whose loss won't impact the company's bottom-line. Never try to recover business-critical data using off-the-shelf data recovery software on the original storage drive.
Recovering Data From an Encrypted Volume
The portability offered by laptops necessitates the use of data encryption to prevent sensitive information from being leaked from misplaced or stolen devices. This may be implemented using full-disk encryption software such as Windows BitLocker, file-level encryption tools or a self-encrypting disk.
But is the use of encryption a barrier to successful data recovery?