Forensic Hard Drive Recovery-How to Retrieve Lost Files for Legal Purposes

How to retrieve lost files for legal purposes? Perform forensic hard drive recovery with the effective methods in this post.


By Lora / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What is forensic data recovery?

Computers are reliable for data saving, but sometimes they will result in important data loss due to accidental deletion, system crash, physical damage, etc. If users want to recover lost data, they may need to find available data backups or professional data recovery software.

Forensic data recovery is more serious and difficult than other common hard drive data recovery. It is used for legal purposes. Usually, it needs to retrieve data that has been deleted, damaged, or corrupted intentionally.

Forensic data recovery needs reliable data recovery tools to help investigators in evidence collection. Digital evidence becomes popular in all types of court cases. So how exactly does forensic data recovery operate? What to do with different data recovery types? This post will walk you through different data loss situations and solutions for forensic hard drive recovery.

Physical recovery VS logical recovery

Before performing forensic hard drive recovery, it’s important to know the different types of data recovery: physical recovery and logical recovery. As its name suggests, physical recovery and logical recovery show different causes of data loss.

If your hard drive gets physical damage, like a stalled spindle, water damage, or scratched plates, physical recovery is necessary. In those situations, physical recovery requires specialists to get data from storage devices with advanced techniques. Usually, it will cost lots of money and time.

Logical recovery means your data are lost due to some logical reasons, like accidental deletion, disk formatting, or system errors. In those cases, you will need reliable data recovery software to get lost data back. High-quality file recovery tools are an essential part of the data recovery process.

How do forensics recover deleted files logically?

Forensic hard drive recovery aims to recover deleted files from storage devices. Forensic data recovery software can recover deleted files (on Windows/NTFS) by searching the file table for non-overwritten entries. If the entries remain, they will display the locations where the file was stored.

If you want to restore lost data from hard drives for legal purposes, picking a professional file recovery tool is important. However, most data recovery software is unqualified for highly confidential file recovery.

Forensic data recovery software

Forensic data recovery is challenging but not impossible. Normal computing methods can cause critical data to be deleted or corrupted. It’s strongly recommended to use MyRecover, a professional Windows data recovery utility. It can retrieve deleted files from hard drives, external hard drives, SD cards, etc. on Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server.

This data recovery software can handle kinds of data loss scenarios. MyRecover can complete digital evidence recovery successfully with a high recovery rate and simple operations.

Easy. MyRecover has an intuitive user interface that applies to all users without professional computer knowledge.
Efficient. Supports 200+ types of file recovery, such as images, videos, word documents, Excel, PPT, ZIP files, etc.
Comprehensive. Supports different data loss situations, deletion, formatting, emptied Recycle Bin, system crash, etc.
Compatible. It supports most Windows operating systems Windows 11/10/8/7/Server.

Download MyRecover to perform forensic hard drive recovery quickly.

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Step 1. Install the software on your computer. Hover the mouse over the partition where deleted files were saved before. Click Scan.


Step 2. The software will scan the partition quickly and deeply. You can check the files in the scanning list. If you find the files you want, you can recover them directly.

Tips: Do not save the recovered files to the original partition. Otherwise, the files may become corrupted.


Step 3. After the scanning process completes, select the desired files and click “Recover XX files” to save them to another location. You can search the file names in the search bar or use Filter to quickly find the files.


Extending reading: Can data be permanently deleted?

After knowing how to make data recovery for forensic evidence. You may wonder whether data can be permanently deleted. Unfortunately, these technological wizards aren't actually magical. They can recover lost files in a sea of data, but some files are hard to recover than others.

Rewriting over the original data is the key to permanently deleting data. If you format a partition or hard drive, you can choose low-level formatting. When you delete files, your operating system frequently deletes only the link to the data. The file's content is still present, and data recovery specialists can easily recover it.


The main difference between digital forensics recovery and common data recovery is that digital forensics involves obtaining accessible data in legal computer systems, while data recovery involves getting data that has been deleted or lost. Forensic hard drive recovery is difficult.

Deleted data recovery and formatted data recovery are currently crucial in ensuring the integrity and authenticity of electronic evidence. As a result, users need reliable and effective data recovery software to restore lost digital evidence. Hopefully, you can get the wanted files with MyRecover.

The recovery success rate can be 100% even using the best data recovery software. To prevent data loss, it’s recommended to make a regular backup via Windows backup freeware-AOMEI Backupper to copy vital files in hard drives or partitions.

Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.