Data Recovery Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Data Recovery from a VirtualBox Image

Oracle's VirtualBox application, which has existed under numerous monikers throughout its lifespan, is a software suite that is able to provide operating system virtualization for a variety of different platforms, including different versions of Windows, Linux, OS/2, Solaris and more. Supported by an actual operating system, such as various Windows, Linux or Mac architectures, the application has a wide reach across the industry. Despite its versatility, restoring lost or corrupted data from a VirtualBox image is not an easy task.

Thankfully, VirtualBox images rarely fail completely. Instead, a more common scenario involves a crash or freeze, thus requiring a full system reboot. Apart from using expensive third-party software, users really have a limited number of options when attempting to restore a VirtualBox image that has been damaged or corrupted in this fashion.

Restoring Data From a Backup

Ideally, users who face a situation such as the one described above will already have a dedicated disaster recovery plan in place. In this case, one can simply proceed with the restoration process as normal. In the real world however, enterprises and IT officials do not always take the proper precautions and steps to properly backup their data. While this certainly complicates the recovery process, all hope is not lost.

Physical Access

For those that have physical access to the host device, the recovery process can be initiated by adding the virtual hard disk to a separate virtual machine. Once complete, simply boot the secondary virtual machine and copy any data that can be accessed.

Remote Restoration

One of the most popular and efficient means of recovery involves gaining remote access to the virtual desktop in question, which can be done from nearly any device that supports online connectivity. From here, users can copy any data that is still available to a network location of their choice. After that, it's just a matter of copying the data over to a new virtual environment once one has been established.

Recovery Without VirtualBox

Another way of recovering files involved foregoing VirtualBox altogether. Instead of accessing the software, simply mount the hard disk within the operating system itself and begin copying any files that are still available. This method can vary greatly depending on your exact OS, however, and some are rather complex.

Third-Party Software

Finally, there are a number of third-party software solutions that are available for the recovery and restoration of VirtualBox images as well as the data contained within. The success of these applications tend to vary greatly, so users are advised to do their research and, if available, test any potential solutions through a free software trial before committing to a purchase. Not only will this tell you if the software is compatible with your specific system setup, but it also lets you get a feel for the user interface of the application. If it's not to your liking, don't hesitate to move on to the next one. Although some work better than others, there are plenty of options out there to choose from.


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