Love it or hate it, Microsoft Windows is standard on the majority of servers and desktops. This is convenient because most people are familiar with the omnipresent operating system, but it does mean that a lot of people experience the same problems that lead to data loss and the need for expert Microsoft Windows data recovery services.
For example, Windows is considered more susceptible to viruses than many other operating systems. The disparity of file systems also complicates data recovery procedures.
Windows File Systems
Windows uses two main file systems: FAT32 and NTFS.
File Allocation Table – FAT32
FAT was originally developed for MS-DOS and is the file system for Microsoft Windows up to Windows ME. The FAT file system is relatively uncomplicated and offers simple and convenient data sharing across different operating systems in a common environment. The biggest problem with Windows FAT32 is that it’s slowed down by fragmentation, which can make data recovery delicate.
FAT32 is a stronger file system than previous versions of FAT. It can relocate the root directory and employ a backup of the File Allocation Table instead of the default copy. FAT32 also supports up to 2TB of data, but the limits of the BIOS INT13 interface restrict individual drives to 7.8GB. The root directory is in a cluster chain that can be located anywhere on the drive, making any number of root directories possible. FAT32 organises data in smaller clusters than, say, FAT16, which allows it to operate more efficiently and waste less disk space.
FAT32 is recommended for drives that are larger than 1.2GB.
Despite the advantages, FAT32 doesn’t support some older applications and operating systems, such as Windows NT version 3.51 or 4.0, so it is important to make sure that compatibility issues are resolved before formatting your drive.
New Technology File System – NTFS
NTFS replaced FAT as the standard file system for Microsoft Windows, coming in from Windows 2000 and extending though to Vista. It has several advantages over FAT32, including enhanced data structures that improve performance, as well as reliability, security, and disk space organization. NTFS supports larger volumes of data, as well as RAID configurations, and also encrypts files and folders to protect sensitive data.
NTFS ensures that complete transactions appear on the drive. During data recovery, NTFS reprocesses each transaction in the log file and finds any transactions that were not committed at the time of the system failure. It then disallows incomplete modifications on the volume, so that it can undo incomplete or erroneous transactions.
Windows Hard Drive Data Recovery
When your hard drive crashes or you accidentally delete files, the most important thing to do is stop using the drive immediate. Don’t copy anything to the drive because the new data will overwrite your old files, which might otherwise have still been recoverable. Any action at all could result in even more catastrophic, perhaps permanent, data loss.
We’ve developed a range of proprietary tools and software that we use to provide data recovery solutions for Windows FAT and NTFS systems. So, contact us when your Windows OS fails and you need data recovery ASAP.