Monday, September 13, 2010

How to recover your deleted files

Did you accidentally format your SD card, USB drive or External Harddrive? Or did they get infected with virus and suddenly all your files were gone? Yes I experienced the was so painful losing all your valuable files  especially if you don't have any back up of your important data. But don't worry, because those deleted files  can be recovered now with some powerful tools as long as you did not overwrite them yet.  I  had used 5 recovery software so far and I will share to you the results of the recovery.
 Test 1 - Deleted a folder in my desktop named Recovery test.
 Test 2 - Formatted my Memory Stick which I used with my Sony digital camera.

  TEST 1
version 3.2.13
Restoration - is a free recovery software developed by Brian Kato.  It is a small, easy to use and straight forward tool capable to recover files which was already removed in the recycle bin. It can even recover pictures from formatted media devices.

Pros : Free,  can run without installation
Cons : Lack of interface, Limited capalities
Test 1 result - not recovered
Test 2 result - recovered

Recuva - is another free program developed by Piriform.
version 1.38.504
This is my favorite recovery software because 
it's easy to use. Recovery process is also faster compare to other tools I tested.
It can recover deleted data from your hard drive such as emails, documents and pictures.
It can also restore deleted music from your ipod.

Pros : Free, Good interface
Cons : Cannot preserve files location
Test 1 result - not recovered
Test 2 result - recovered

File Scavenger - will charge you around $49. You can try the trial version but it won't let you recover the files, it will just let you view them. 

Pros : Fast Scan
Cons: Cannot customize the search in folder level
TEST 1: unable to search the file (trial-version only)
TEST 2: was able to find the deleted files (trial-version only)

GET DATA BACK is more expensive rather than File Scavenger and Recover my Files. There are 2 versions of Get data back software: GET DATA BACK NTFS  which you can buy at $79 and GET DATA BACK FAT which costs $69. You cannot use the NTFS version to recover files in media devices like USB, SD and Memory Stick.

Pros : Has indicator for deleted files
Cons: Slow Scan, Expensive
TEST 1: unable to search the file (trial-version only)
TEST 2: was able to find the deleted files (trial-version only)

Recover My Files  - has a very good interface and is very user-friendly. It automatically detects number of files deleted in specific folder. You can also customize the search options in folder level, and not to scan the whole drive every time you want to recover a file. This costs $69.95.

Pros : Fast scan and effective
Cons: Expensive
TEST 1: was able to find the deleted files (trial-version only)
TEST 2: was able to find the deleted files (trial-version only)

Conclusion: In my personal experience, Recover my Files was the only one that passed both tests. However, in recovering your data after deletion, there is no guarantee that you will be able recover them all. You can try the software listed above but there's always a 50/50 chance. It is still recommended to always have a back up of your data to prevent data loss in case of media failures and accidental deletion.

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