One of the very important questions I ask people when we are trying to do a raw file extraction on their drive is how long it has been since they defragged their hard drive. On most occasions they can’t remember.
The reason that it is important to defrag, is first of all it makes your computer run faster, second you will have less of a chance of a Windows crash, and lastly if for some reason you need to do data recovery on the hard drive you will have a higher recovery rate if you have recently defragged. The reason for this is that when we talk about a “Raw File Scan” what that means is a sector scanner that is looking for header files.
These programs all work generally in the same way, all files whether it be a JPG or a DOC have their own unique header files. File Recovery Programs like Digital Picture Recovery and software that Undelete Files scan down the drive looking for this header information. Now if your hard drive had been defragged when the program gets to the next header and ends the other file then it is likely that the file is all there, but if it had been a long time since the defrag then you run into a situation where we are only going to see part of a file because the rest of the file is strewn across the hard drive.
Please see the image below for an eyes on to the problem.
For more info visit our hard drive recovery or data recovery software pages.