Tuesday, 19 May 2015 00:00

File recovery software products: the best of the best

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The topic of file recovery has been repeatedly taken up on the Internet, including our website. In fact, there is a whole class of universal and well-working software products, which differ from each other only by the category of application - whether you want to restore the old deleted conversation on ICQ or a hard drive erased by high intensity radiated field. All the participants reached the finish line In this race - be sure, each of these software products will cope with the task it has been stated to cope. I'm not giving link references and prices, since being armed with Google (and I'm not promoting Google now), you will quickly find both these very popular software products and their cracks. In the end, I will share my personal impressions and observations with you so that you could choose "the very best out of the very bests."

Data Retrieval for Windows

With Data Retrieval for Windows you can recover more than 300 files of different types including music MIDI-files, audio files, movies, and then some a modern user may meet. As a matter of fact, EasyRecovery consists of DataRecovery module, FileRecovery module, DiskDiagnostics module and a user trying to understand all these.

The Diagnostics part of the software provides: testing the drives and their partitions, detailed information about the disk space, information on drive DIP-switch positions (via Internet), creating the diagnostics disk which loads the version of Caldera DR-DOS.

The disk scanning, especially of high capacity, takes considerable time, as against the previous software. It is not surprising that you can stop the process and remember its state, in order to resume the scanning later. The testing can be of different penetration and take different time, but according to the company even a short test provides the diagnosis dependability of 90%. The software also allows reading the S.M.A.R.T. attributes from the disk controller and warning against potential problems with it (only for modern disks).

Data recovery is possible at all levels, down to the serious damage of the file system. In summary we can conclude that a software with such a rich functionality can be useful for those users who have insulted on their hard drives and were not able to recover the lost data with other, more high-speed tools.

Search and Recover

Let's begin with the list of standard features inherent in most software of this category: support of most file systems, search of old erased files on any ROM device, work on transportable media (you can run the software from CD-DVD and go a failed hard drive through), file recovery after cleaning the recycle bin, from a formatted disk, after reinstalling Windows, immediate recovery of messages in Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, and QUALCOMM Eudora. Restore of contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. in MS Outlook. There is a Preview option, which allows you to view an erased file without restoring it (both in its own view and in hexadecimal code for a culture vulture).

Search and Recover allows working in two modes: "Master" and "Custom". I should note that in this context "master" is the program settings as the "artificial intelligence", where it is supposed to do everything for you. All necessary tools are available in the "Master" mode. The "Custom" mode has some differences. You specify the file types and their location, specify the disk drives. It is worth noting the user interface:of the software: different files are highlighted with different colors (that is, for example, you can see all text files in a specified color). You can also see files that are in good, fair or poor condition.

As a bonus feature, I would note the complete file deletion (by repeated overwrite) and a very high speed of work.

DiskInternals Uneraser

[Recovery of NTFS-compressed and NTFS5-encrypted files, support of long file names, partition with sub recovery]

The software developers have claimed to have a unique technology to recover deleted partitions on FAT32 in Windows 2000/XP, along with their contents. Another difference of the software from other similar utilities is that, when recovering files in operating systems Windows 2000/XP and FAT32, it is not always possible to recover them completely. Therefore, the software recovers the considered files in several different variants, the most suitable for their content so that a user can then decide which one is more appropriate, and can select the necessary information by other means if the file is not fully recovered. (But the utility couldn't recover archive files. It did not show them among the files in the deleted partitions.) For certain files, the specific features of NTFS do not allow determining the partition in which they have previously been. These files are placed in the Lost Files shared folder.

The software also features an option of saving and future working with the disk image. The developers suggest to create of such an image before you begin recovering files (especially if there is a large number of files), and in order to avoid destruction of the disc content due to the user's incorrect actions. It is recommended to create a disk image (file) on other logical or network drives. After being created such image can be simply loaded to the software, and one can work on it just like a real disk.

The software works very well when restoring files from damaged disks. Having found an unreadable cluster, it will not try to retrieve data from it; it will just replace it with zeros and move to the next cluster.


Rather old (there has been no official update for more than a year), but still quite comfortable set of utilities that can automatically detect the drive, even if Boot Sector or file allocation table were deleted or corrupted, and can recover files that are not referenced from the directory. Even after hard drive partitioning and converting a file system to another, you can restore the data and save it to network drives.

The option of file monitoring and protection from accidental erasure appears very useful and necessary (unfortunately, this function was not available in the test version so I could not to check it in practice).

As such, FinalData will help to recover data from damaged CDs, completely remove all unnecessary clutter, clean your OS, cache memory and history, and restore files in MS Office and e-mail messages and so on and so forth.

Memory Stick Data Rescue Service

This software is something out of the ordinary. It allows you to recover photos and data files that had been recorded on the Memory Stick, and were later lost or deleted. File Rescue software is free and can be downloaded from Sony Customer Support website. Before you start downloading file recovering software, the utility will require a user to register the name of the Memory Stick model and its serial number. Simple and handy, MSFR can recover JPG (DCF), MPEG1 and mp4 (MS Video file format) files and in addition can also recover most office files, including PowerPoint and Word documents. Once the Memory Stick is installed in the slot, MSFR helps a user in following seven simple steps, in which files are scanned, restored and rewritten.

Memory Stick File Rescue is compatible with all types of Sony Memory Sticks, sold since 1998. The success of the file recovery depends on the data condition and on whether any data has been written over file being recovered.

Dead Disk Doctor

Program has original "error search and correction" algorithm on partly non-readable media. It allows minimizing the loss of "live" data when it attempts to recover data from the "dead" areas in block reading. The file is read in blocks of 10 KB in size, and when the device (CD-ROM, for example) gives an error message, the block size decreases by 10 times, the attempt is repeated, and this repeats until the data block has been read correctly. If the block size reaches a minimum, the utility skips one byte and starts reading from the next one. After being successfully read, the block size increases 10 times and so on, until it reaches the maximum of 10 KB.

Due to such non-standard solution, in many cases it is possible to recover even the data that other "unerasers" have not been able to restore.


Sufficiently powerful and interesting means of data recover, worthy to participate in our "race". Regardless of what happened to the data, whether it was removed, or the hard drive was damaged, or software failure, or even low-level formatting of HDD, GetDataBack, will likely be able to recover all data recorded on the disc. GetDataBack suggests recovering both on the computer on which the utility is installed or on a remote one, for example, on any computer on the local network; another nice feature - high speed of work.

Finish Line

In my opinion, Search and Recover has torn other utilities to shreds by its scanning and recovery speed, but EasyRecovery has gained the lead by its capabilities and wide scope (I do not know the files that the utility would fail to recover). The rest utilities were too specific and I would like to mark out Dead Disk Doctor which can help in almost hopeless situations.

Contact Data Recovery New Jersey to get more information about the recovering of your data when your hard drive has physical damage.

Last modified on Tuesday, 19 May 2015 22:14
Data Recovery Expert

Viktor S., Ph.D. (Electrical/Computer Engineering), was hired by DataRecoup, the international data recovery corporation, in 2012. Promoted to Engineering Senior Manager in 2010 and then to his current position, as C.I.O. of DataRecoup, in 2014. Responsible for the management of critical, high-priority RAID data recovery cases and the application of his expert, comprehensive knowledge in database data retrieval. He is also responsible for planning and implementing SEO/SEM and other internet-based marketing strategies. Currently, Viktor S., Ph.D., is focusing on the further development and expansion of DataRecoup’s major internet marketing campaign for their already successful proprietary software application “Data Recovery for Windows” (an application which he developed).

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