21 July 2012

How to recover deleted or formatted files easily for free

It is inevitable that your or someone you know will delete files they need. That is delete and then decide that they also need to empty the recycle bin right away.  Flash drives also are often formatted accidentally.  If you are a IT tech you will also inevitable need to try and pull data from a windows machine that will no boot or that had been formatted.

I was introduce to a nice utility for doing just this.  Piriform make a tool called Recuver.  What makes this one very nice is that it is wizard driven so it is very easy to use.

It allows you to also specify "Deep Scan" which will read all sectors of the disk picking up discarded file fragments.

Once the scan is complete it present you with the result window which give you quite a bit of information regarding the deleted files it has found.  A nice touch is the preview option that allows you to see the contents without needing to recover first.

The State column is an interesting one as it show you the viability of recovering the file.  Excellent indicates that it is 100% in tact where Unrecoverable indicates that too much of the file fragments have been overwritten.  This will also explain why it is best to recover files sooner rather than later.

Once you have found and selected the file(s) hit the recover button and you are able to select a restore location.  ideally you should be recovering data to another drive, but it is not essential.

A nice add on feature is that you can also use this tool to complete erase a file form the system in such a manner that it is not recoverable again.  It does this by using multiple overwrites on all the sectors containing the file fragments.

The utility is free to use, but there are paid for versions that comes with support.  My take is if it has bailed you out with lost data you would probably want to give them the $25 asking price.

There is also a portable version of the app that allows you to run the app without needing to install anything.  This is very handy for that once off recovery or if you want to run it form a recover boot disk.  That version is available for download form here http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/portable

1 comment:

Meluso said...

I have been using this product for years and still count on it from time to time. Good recommendation.

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