The other day, I deleted all the music off my computer after I reformatted my computer, but of course, I made sure I had a backup on my external hard drive.

When I went to restore the files from my external back to my laptop hard drive, I discovered the “computer ghosts” were at it again and some how my music files off the external hard drive were erased!

After freaking out for around 12 seconds, I remember how a hard drive worked and that it would be very possible to recover what I had lost.? If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, try these steps and you should find yourself recovering everything that you’ve lost.

When your hard drive ‘deletes’ a file- it really only marks the space as deleted but it never truly gets rid of the files unless you write something over it.? That means when you delete a file (even from your recycle bin) it never is truly removed from your computer until a new piece of data (something downloaded from the internet maybe) uses the old space on the hard drive to put itself there.

Where this helps when you lose a file and need to recover it is that so long as you do not rewrite the existing space with new stuff, your old stuff is technically still there.

In my case with my music, since I did not move more files back onto my external hard drive or make any changes- when my music was deleted, it was still there!

Windows users really have it easy when it comes to choosing software to ‘unwipe’ the deleted stuff, with programs like Undelete Plus, PC Inspector File Recovery and Restoration.? These programs are all free and easy to use with high success rates at recovering what you need.

If you’re on a Mac, you’re a bit up a creek with the free options, but Data Rescue III offers a GREAT program which costs $99.? Although its not breaking the bank, you still have to assess if that data or files you are trying to recover is worth the price!

Note: These programs will take more than a couple hours to run (some take at least a day depending on how big the hard drive is) as they will run through each ‘byte’ of the hard drive to see if there was data on there.? After that, its your job to sift and sort through the results…have fun!