Today, Microsoft Excel clearly possesses dominant market share in the spreadsheet product market.
Its proprietary XLS format is compatible throughout the range of Microsoft Excel versions, and is a de facto standard at home and in the office.
It is hard to overestimate the number of spreadsheets and the amount of important data stored in XLS files all over the world.
But what if your computer’s hard drive fails and you lose access to all spreadsheets? Or what if you simply delete an XLS spreadsheet on which you’ve spent hours of work?
Everything may not be lost just yet, and you may be able to recover all information without a sweat. To maximize your chances of successful recovery, minimize your activity on the computer where the lost files were.
While you cannot be completely sure that Windows does not write anything on the disk that stores your lost files, the goal is essentially to limit disk write operations until you get back all important data from that disk.
Any data that’s written on a disk that contains deleted or inaccessible data on it can, and probably will, overwrite the deleted files on the disk and destroy information that was stored in them.
Anecdotally, one of the worst things you can do is looking for a tool that will undelete or recover your XLS files, installing and trying out such tools in action.
On a typical PC, any Web page you open in a browser will cause several file writes to a hard drive, reducing your chances of successful data recovery.
Any program that you download or install is also written to your hard disk.
Finally, as not all products are equal, running a wrong type of data recovery application bears an unacceptably high risk of losing your lost Excel spreadsheets forever.