Oct 6, 2013

Recuva Recovery Tool

Undelete files and folders Recuva is a file recovery tool that enables you to scan your hard drive(s) or media cards for files that have been deleted or formatted. It presents you with a list of files that were found, along with an assessment of their recovery potential, a preview option and a hex viewer to inspect the content. You can limit your search to files of a certain type (e.g images, audio etc.) and choose between a fast and a deep scan approach.

The program also includes a secure deletion option that allows you to permanently delete files that were found during the scan, in order to prevent any future recoveries.

Recuva (pronounced "recover")-- which is exactly what this snappy little program does, and in a highly automated way. The free version of Recuva is full-featured but doesn't include any type of support. Piriform sells support to home users for $24.95, and it offers a business-support license for $34.95.

There is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players. It will even bring back files that have been deleted from your iPod, or by bugs, crashes and viruses!
  • Simple to use interface - just click 'Scan' and choose the files you want to recover
  • Easy to use filter for results based on file name/type
  • Simple Windows like interface with List and Tree view
  • Can be run from a USB thumb drive
  • Restores all types of files, office documents, images, video, music, email, anything.
  • Supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, NTFS5 , NTFS + EFS file systems
  • Restores files from removable media (SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MemoryStick, Digital cameras, Floppy disks, Jaz Disks, Sony Memory Sticks, Compact Flash cards, Smart Media Cards, Secure Digital Cards, etc.)
  • Restores files from external ZIP drives , Firewire and USB Hard drives
  • It's fast, tiny and takes seconds to run!
When first launched, Recuva starts in wizard mode, which prompts you with basic questions about what you're trying to restore -- a specific type of file, a specific drive, or even a specific type of drive -- and then gets to work. It took about 10 minutes to scan my 8GB card and I was able to run the scan unobtrusively in the background.

After the scan, Recuva presents you with a very detailed breakdown of what files were found. Click on any file and you'll be given detailed information about it -- how healthy the file was (i.e., whether or not it was partly overwritten), a hex dump of its header information, and even a preview for certain supported file types such as JPGs. Files to be recovered can also be browsed as thumbnails, which is handy if you're looking for one image among many. Note that file names are generally not recovered; the resulting files are given arbitrary names and have to be renamed manually.

Advanced options allow you to recover files that haven't been deleted -- e.g., from damaged drives -- or to try to restore the original folder structure of the source media. Recuva can also securely erase files found during a recovery operation, a handy way to make sure a given file has been properly destroyed if you're concerned about security.

All the test files I looked for were recovered, although Recuva interpreted my CR2 files as TIF images. It still recovered them properly, though, and they were fine once renamed.

Bottom line

The wizard-guided interface for Recuva makes the recovery process a snap. The quality of the program's file recovery and the price (free) make it a solid choice for the average Windows user.


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