Overview of free software for data recovery

Nowadays important files are missing – an event to say the least, unpleasant. But if you suddenly remember the time, they still might be able to save. There are many programs for logical data recovery, and among them there are many good free products. On them will be discussed in this article.

Main causes of data loss are as follows:

  • physically failed drive or flash drive (usually unreadable defective parts, commonly laquo; bad-blokiraquo ;) ,
  • accidentally delete the files by the user,
  • file system damage (due to power outages and equipment, exposure to the virus or malfunction to the standard software).

Have flash drives and memory cards also often laquo; sletaetraquo, internal translation table, bringing all the data at once become unavailable (stick is defined with zero volume or just hangs when handling).

The first and last cases, will likely have to remove the drive from the computer problem and pass it to a data recovery specialist who possess the necessary set of technology, expertise and experience. Portal recently covered their activities, see.

In other cases (and they are – most of) the files can be restored on the job with the help of special programs. It is faster and cheaper, and confidentiality can not worry.

How recovers files

In Windows data of all the files on the disc are stored in a special table (in the file system is called NTFS MFT, Master File Table). It can be somewhat simplified as the library catalog, which states, where the book with such a title. When a file is deleted, it is not physically deleted from disk (for reasons of cost and performance). Initially, it is modified laquo; kartochkiraquo;: it put a note that the file is deleted before they occupied area of ??the disk is free. In future, this space is used to write new files.

If overwriting the old file is not the case, it is easy to recover. It scans all files, records marked for deletion and offers the user to recover them. Worse, if the file is over written update – then restore it will likely fail. If only part of the overwritten file, you can still recover the surviving laquo; kusokraquo, (for example, part of the image or document).

Other programs operate in the event of damage to the file system (or its complete destruction by formatting the disk), and if necessary file could not think of the first method. Then they have to literally laquo; proschupyvatraquo; drive for possible signs of files.

What are these signs? In various popular file formats (doc, jpg, avi, and the like), there are specific titles for them – a signature. These are the ones looking for the recovery program, scanning the entire disk contents in a row. Each program maintains its own set of signatures that it laquo; znaetraquo;, is able to search and restore. Latitude and otrabotannost this set – one of quality software.

When restoring files in this way information on their location (in what folder they are), as well as on the file name is sometimes lost, so it can only recognize the file by its contents. In this regard, a very useful feature to preview files directly in the program, even before saving it. The more formats which supported laquo; previewraquo;, the better.

It should be noted that the algorithms search for deleted files for each software product on your own. Some heuristics work well in some cases, some – in others. Tell in advance what kind of case in front of you, it’s hard. Often, especially in cases of severe damage, the maximum amount of data recovery is not the program that shows the best result in most laquo; obychnyhraquo; cases.

Hence practical advice: if any one (laquo; lyubimayaraquo ;) utility was unable to save all the files you need, try a few others – perhaps they will be more successful. Combining the results obtained by different methods will result in the best effect.

Of caution: if the files have been removed and need to be restored, and the desired program is not at hand, then download and install it should not on that section from which you want to restore data to inadvertently write new files over remote and thus not worse. Of course, it is necessary to save the recovered files to another disk. Set of proven laquo; remontnyhraquo; utilities makes sense to keep in readiness on the external drive (hard drive or flash drive), the benefit of their volume by today’s standards funny.

What programs should use

Below we look at the main program that is used for laquo; lyubitelskomraquo, restoring data. All are absolutely free (class freeware – not require the purchase of licenses and do not contain functional or time constraints), and support the most common file systems running Windows: FAT16/32 and NTFS. A number of programs has additional functionality that is useful in certain cases.

Recuva 1.40.525

This program has gained significant popularity as one of the first free tools for file recovery. Recuva is the brainchild of the British company Piriform, also known as his other laquo; remontnoyraquo; utility – CCleaner. In addition to the hard drive, the program can work with flash-drives and the iPod, and securely delete files.

By today’s standards

Recuva several primitive and inferior to the capabilities of more recent developments. But if you need only laquo; vytaschitraquo, just removed the file – you can try. At least that much time on it will not go away and will not have to head to break.

Recuva supports two modes for file search: fast and slow surface deep, in which the by-sector analysis of the disk. The program interface is simple and intuitive. Initially starts a wizard that prompts you to select the type of the files and the location at which they were (and you can spend a full search of all deleted files). The wizard can be disabled and act in the main window of the program – for many users, it’s more convenient.

All the files will be displayed in a list, but in the context menu, you can select and view in the tree, which is useful when there are many files.

Recuva displays found files, their parameters, and the chances of recovery (the latter defined laquo; svetofornymraquo, color circle next to the name)

Clicking laquo; Vosstanovitraquo, it asks where to save the tick next to the files. To be safe, they are encouraged to write to a different drive, but often files are successfully restored on its original location.

There is also a

Recuva and laquo; ruchnoyraquo; operation.

laquo; Ruchnoyraquo; operation Recuva

Clicking laquo; Analizraquo, the program will search for or ever deleted files, or those that match the mask and path. In order to choose the method of analysis (deep or shallow), you must go to the settings tab and choose laquo; Deystviyaraquo;.

If the files were not deleted and damaged due to a disk failure, or acts of malicious software, for their laquo; pochinkiraquo, in the settings tab laquo; Deystviyaraquo, select laquo; Search unremoved faylovraquo;.

Besides file recovery, Recuva can and securely erase them. This is useful, for example, if the disk stores important information and you would not want her to hit criminals (or, say, a tax). For this program several times writes that on the drive where the file, restore it so that will not be possible by any means. To select files to delete this, you need to manually analyze, select the file and from the context menu select laquo; Reliable udalenieraquo.; Removal algorithm can be specified in the settings tab laquo; Obschieraquo, (the default is the easiest and fastest one).

Recuva also supports portable operation. To do this, copy the program folder on the external drive, and then create a file inside the folder named laquo; portable.datraquo;.


: http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download

PC Inspector File Recovery 4.0

This tool was created by the German branch of the British company CONVAR. Its authors know about data recovery is not hearsay, because it is one of the main activities of the company. The quality of file recovery in PC Inspector is somewhat higher than that of Recuva. The program will be taken for lost and partitions that are not recognized by the operating system (which happens, for example, after a hardware failure).

Disadvantages include PC Inspector is not too obvious interface. Difficulties arise with restoring highly fragmented (scattered disk space) files, as well as CDs with filesystem corruption.

When starting the program, a window appears where you can specify exactly what happened with your files. On the right are the possible options and further action script. Must choose one of the three labels on the left.

Start screen PC Inspector

Then should specify which drive you just want to recover the data. If it is not listed, click laquo; Find logical diskiraquo.; Selecting the drive, click on the green check mark.

window select the disc

After the scanning process you will see a window with the found files. If they have been accidentally deleted, they need to look in the folder laquo; Udalennyeraquo.; If the reason for their loss was a problem with the drive or format it, the files will be found in a folder laquo; Poteryannyeraquo.; You can also have the option to search for files (the magnifying glass icon on the left).

Once your files or folders are selected, they must be written to the hard disk (item laquo; Sohranitraquo, in the context menu). Recall, it is extremely desirable to a different partition.

window with the found files. You can see their performance and forecast recovery

To restore files from memory cards and camera phones CONVAR developed a special (and also free) utility PC Inspector Smart Recovery 4.5.

It is tuned for different image formats (JPG, TIF, BMP, GIF, RAW-files proprietary major vendors) as well as audio and video files (WAV, AMR, AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP). Utility interface is very simple and will not cause difficulties.


: http://www.pcinspector.de/default.htm?po=1amp; language = 1

R.saver 1.0

This is a very remarkable

Freeware-product. R.saver often cope with the most severe cases of data loss that other free utilities are too tough (serious damage to the file system, the drive does not see the OS, etc.). In many cases, the program displays the results on the level of the best commercial products, so we advise to keep it handy.

R.saver appeared in 2011 as a simplified version of the professional software UFS Explorer, from the collaboration of the Moscow company data recovery R.LAB and Ukrainian companies from Donetsk SysDev Laboratories – Developer UFS Explorer. Noncommercial use is permitted only in the former Soviet Union.

Program interface is simple, informative and does not contain anything extra. Besides, all the tips and detailed guide originally written in Russian. R.saver can find lost partitions that are not recognized by the operating system, and automatically determines their native file system. So if you laquo; sletelraquo, disk and operating system no longer see him, do not run the formatting – the program finds the key and so, and the chances of recovery will be more.

When working

R.saver seeking the traces (header and trailer) of different file formats, as well as all the available information in the remnants of the file system. In fact we have a hybrid described at the beginning of the methods, which determines the higher efficiency of the program – its ability to find and restore files.

In addition to the usual data recovery for Windows file systems FAT and NTFS (including those stored in an image file), R.saver can read files with multiple file systems from other families OS (Mac OS, Linux, Unix, BSD , Novell, CD / DVD). Here’s the full list, taken from the documentation: HFS, HFS + / HFSX, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, ReiserFS, JFS, XFS, UFS, UFS2, NWFS, ISO9660, UDF. Impressive, is not it?

When you run you will see a window with all detected disk partitions. If desired partition is lost and does not light up (you can navigate to the label specified in the properties window on the right, and size), then select the physical disk on which it was, and then click laquo; Find razdelraquo;.

launch window R.saver

Selecting the desired section, click laquo; Skanirovatraquo; (will appear in the upper right corner). After completion of the scan you will see the reconstructed file system (how would it look like if no data loss). Deleted and corrupted files also allegedly stated separately in the relevant sections.

R.saver window with the found files

Use the context menu, you can copy the desired file or folder to another drive. Double-clicking on the file, you can view its contents (the file with the copied to a temporary directory.) There is also a file search (window laquo; Quick poiskraquo, in the upper right corner).

R.saver installations as such is not required – just download and unzip a small file, and then run the executable file. This is also highlighted in the program from the competition.


: http://rlab.ru/tools/rsaver.html

Pandora Recovery 2.1.1

This is another well-established himself a program to recover data (especially in the case of the lost pictures). She finds accidentally deleted files and can also recover data after formatting. Complicated situation with the file system corruption – then the benefits of the program will be a little bit. When you install Pandora Recovery Make sure you remove the check mark from the bonus offered as additional (and unnecessary) utilities.

When will you start first thing in a very detailed and easy to understand wizard that will ask questions about what has happened to your files and has the best mode of the program.

If your files have been accidentally deleted, you will see a window where you can set the desired attributes of the file (the name of the mask, date, size, etc.) and start searching.

search box deleted files

In case of more serious problems when you want to scan the drive, you will see a window with information about the found file, characteristics, and the chances of recovery.

Scanning in Pandora Recovery  

File names in this mode to recover bad, but for the most popular graphics and office formats is the ability to preview the contents of the ability to correctly name the files manually.


: http://www.pandorarecovery.com/download/

MjM Free Photo Recovery 1.0 RC

This small utility intended solely for restoring JPG-files from memory cards, hard drives, it does not work.

This specialized software in recent years has become a mass appear to help photographers. As you know, the pictures from the cards are often lost due to improper eject, power failures (no time laquo; sevshiyraquo, camera battery), accidental deletion or formatting. During shooting, the files as is usually recorded in sequence without fragmentation, so that a simple search of signatures when scanning the drive to determine the boundaries of frames.

Consider the program is quite old (last update was published in 2008), but in some cases does the job better than their more modern counterparts. The interface is very simple and has only two settings: the maximum file size (Maximum File Size, it needs to be sufficiently large) and switch-mode checkbox depth scan (Deep Scan). To start the scanning process must click laquo; Searchraquo;.

launch window MjM Photo Recovery. Here it is, this austerity

After the search you will see a set of photos in the form of icons. Original file names and their relative location (nested folders) are not restored, but it is a great camera does not matter.

preview files found in MjM Photo Recovery

Select the desired files, you can save them to your hard drive.


: http://www.mjm.co.uk/Freephoto_recovery.htm

AnyFound Photo Recovery 5.0

This utility also specializes in recovering image files. She understands the many popular formats to store images (including source files Photoshop), and flash-animation. The program can work with hard drives, and external storage devices, and in its ability to enter and repair damaged file systems that are not recognized by the operating system. The result is obtained quickly and with good quality.

AnyFound Photo Recovery does not support Russian language support is absent (the developers in 2009 stopped the development of the project, so his site is down), but the interface is quite simple and is designed much difficulty with it should arise. The first step is to choose the appropriate mode: recover deleted files (Deleted File Recovery), working with the damaged file system (PC Partition Recovery), or to resume the previous sessions (PC Resume Recovery).

launch window AnyFound Photo Recovery

Mode laquo; PC Partition Recoveryraquo; should run in when the disk partition is not seen by the operating system, or after treatment has not worked laquo; Deleted File Recoveryraquo;. Selecting any of the modes, you’ll see a list of physical or logical drives (they differ on the icon – a check mark in the logical drives Windows). In the list to highlight the disk from which the data were lost. Then in the bottom left corner, click laquo; Recoveryraquo;.

Start the scanning process, after which you will see a window with all the remote files (for the mode laquo; Deleted File Recoveryraquo ;) or a list of all detected partitions with their size (mode laquo; PC Partition Recoveryraquo ;) . In the latter case, the section you want and click laquo; Show Filesraquo;. As a result, a window with all the files found.

program window with the found files

Noting in a given window the desired file (for automatically preview images), click laquo; Save Fileraquo; in the upper right corner to copy them to another drive.


: http://www.brothersoft.com/anyfound-photo-recovery-free-edition-296787.html


We considered a number of free and easy-to-use tools for logical data recovery. All of them have gained a well-deserved popularity, allowing thousands of non-professional users with a minimum of time and effort to recover their lost files. Of course, this is only the first step in the thorny field of Data Recovery. For further promotion already have to pay – and the money and time to develop.

If the drive is physically defective – has multiple defects on the surface, occasionally laquo; otvalivaetsyaraquo, or not defined, knocks, creaks or even silent – in the case enters the heavy artillery in the form of hardware and software specifically designed for the subtraction of data from such laquo; polutrupovraquo.; AIC works with troubled drives in undocumented factory mode, which provides access to the data in the most difficult situations.

Needless to say, such equipment is found only in specialized, professionally engaged in data recovery. Give into the hands of an amateur set of meaningless and even dangerous – a powerful tool is likely just would kill the drive. And the price it does not correspond to the one-off primeneniyuhellip;

So anything that can advise the owner of the failed drive – is to contact one of these organizations, where its data is subtracted as fully and quickly. We wish him all to not get into such a situation, using the great paradigm called backup. Well-organized working backup and archive files insures almost all of the problems with them.

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