Data recovery is a nightmare for anyone. It is stressful and involves loss. That loss can be in terms of money, photos, videos, important documents, financials, contacts, etc. Data recovery software allows you to try data recovery on your own. There are host of companies out there vying for your business in this market. There are also a quiet contingent of free solutions, though most, if not all, of these are linux based solutions. Let’s take a look at these.
Why would you pay for data recovery software? This is a question that I hear a lot. There are two main reasons that you would pay for data recovery software. The first is that the programs are almost always much more user friendly. If you are not a tech person and are trying to recover files, would user friendliness be important to you? Of course it would. Linux and freeware programs can be notoriously hard to use for the typical user. Sure, they are usually more powerful and highly customizeable, but do you care about that? My intuition tells me “No!” If that’s true, exactly how much can you expect to pay for recovery software? Well, of course, that depends. Software can cost anywhere between $50-$1000. The cost depends on functionality, licenses, etc.
Why would you go with free data recovery software? If you are an advanced computer user, you will be able to save yourself some money. But is that worth your time? You alone can answer that question. Whatever you choose to do, let me give you a head start by listing some commercial, and then some free data recovery software.
Commercial Data Recovery Software:
Free Data Recovery Software:
ADRC Data Recovery Software Tools v1.0 – This tool can undelete files, copy files, do raw copies of drives (similar to ghost), do image backups and restorations, and import or export the boot sectors of drives.
PC Inspector – This tool supports FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. It finds partitions automatically for you and allows you to save files to network drives. This is a very helpful program.
And here are a few linux alternatives:
R-Linux – This is a cool Linux tool that has a standard “Windows Explorer” interface. That kind of made me laugh. Most linux users will hate that. Anyway, it supports the Ext2FS file system. It can create image files for the disk and recover files, even if the partition has been formatted with a different file system.
TestDisk – This is a great multi file system utility. It supports BeOS, BSD, CramFS, FAT 12/16/32, HFS, JFS, Ext2, Ext3, Linux RAID 1/4/5/6, Linux Swap, LVM, LVM2, Mac partition map, Novell NSS, NTFS, ReiserFS 3.5/3.6/4, Sun Solaris i386, Unix UFS UFS2, XFS. Whew, catch your breath. The website has good instruction on using the program.
Just remember, if you are dealing with a very complex system or infrastructure, you may want to consider hiring a data recovery service to help you. It is much better to be safe than sorry in a situation like this, especially if your business is depending on it.