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If you’ve accidentally lost data from either your computer or an external hard drive, there are a few solutions to help get it back. Applications exist that can recover deleted files, restore partitions, and fix damaged hard drives.
However, not all free data recovery software is created equal. Some offer limited support and an unintuitive user interface, so it’s essential that you do your due diligence before investing in one.
1. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an efficient, user-friendly program for recovering lost or deleted files. It works on a variety of storage devices like hard drives, USB drives, external hard drives and memory cards.
Once downloaded and installed, you can select the drive or external storage device you wish to scan and begin a quick scan. Alternatively, use the “Filter” button to quickly filter specific file types.
Once the initial scan is complete, you can view the results on a preview screen. From there, select any desired files and save them to another secure location.
This software can recover files from formatted partitions or damaged operating system installations, making it a great option for saving valuable information from damaged PCs. Furthermore, it has the capacity to search through bootable media and drives encrypted with Microsoft BitLocker encryption.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard offers a free trial version that allows you to recover up to 2 GB of data. However, if more is required, customers can upgrade to the Pro version and take advantage of unlimited data recovery as well as customer support services.
2. Stellar Data Recovery
Stellar Data Recovery is an efficient yet user-friendly data recovery program. It offers a straightforward 3-step process for recovering deleted files and can be tailored to fit individual requirements – perfect for corporate users!
Its primary advantage over competitors is its high success rate for recovering lost or deleted files. This software can recover a wide range of file types from hard drives, memory cards, and external storage media.
Even if the initial scan doesn’t reveal all your files, the program can still perform a deep scan to locate any hidden or deleted data. This may take hours to complete, but is worth the extra effort if you need to recover files from a formatted or damaged drive.
The free version of Data Recovery Pro allows users to recover up to 1GB of data, but higher subscription tiers offer more sophisticated tools. For instance, the Professional version includes video repair support – an invaluable feature for videographers.
TestDisk is a free, open-source program that assists in fixing and recovering corrupt file systems and lost partitions. It supports more than 550 types of files across various file systems such as FAT, NTFS, exFAT and ext2/3/4.
Additionally, it repairs boot sectors and can undelete deleted files. Furthermore, it recovers damaged partition tables and directories.
TestDisk can be downloaded from its official website and unpacked, then double-clicking the testdisk executable file within. However, be aware that the command-line interface of this software may be confusing for those unfamiliar with its operation.
To use it, begin by selecting a storage device and configuring important scan parameters. This manual step-by-step process may take up to 24 hours before you can begin recovering your data.
Once the scan is complete, you will be presented with a list of lost/deleted files and folders. From here, you can browse to your desired items and copy them; once done, these copies should appear on your computer screen.
4. Puran File Recovery
It is an impressive tool, capable of scanning all types of storage media such as hard drives, USB flash drives, CDs, DVDs and SD cards. Furthermore, the program supports various file systems and formats so you can restore files from any of these media types.
This free data recovery tool boasts an easy-to-use interface and powerful recovery engine. The Quick Scan feature quickly lists deleted files with just a click, while Deep Scan intelligently scans your drive byte by byte for results.
It can also create custom scan lists for a variety of file types. For instance, if you know that a particular file begins and ends with a specific set of bytes, then you can instruct it to search only for files with that exact size.
R-Studio is a data recovery software designed with IT experts, professionals, and computer forensic specialists in mind. However, with some training it can also be utilized by average users with minimal expertise.
One of the most impressive features of this program is its ability to recover deleted files from a hard drive even if they had been sent to the recycle bin – something most other tools lack.
It can be especially helpful if you have accidentally deleted important files or a folder. With this tool, it’s possible to retrieve those items and regain your lost information.
This free download supports various file formats and enables you to preview recovered files before restoring them. Furthermore, its user-friendly interface has been well received by many; many find it intuitive and enjoyable using it.
R-Studio is an ideal solution for those searching to recover files from a hard drive or other storage device. It is user friendly, provides numerous features, and works across various operating systems. Furthermore, R-Studio even comes with a demo version so you can test out its capabilities before buying.
If you need a program to recover deleted files from Windows computers, R-Undelete is your ideal option. It features an intuitive wizard-oriented interface that even novice users will find simple to use.
This program works on most disks and can scan those connected to a network. Additionally, it creates image files of entire hard drives and partitions which you can then copy onto another drive for backup purposes.
It is available in both free and licensed versions, both with a money-back guarantee. With it, you can undelete files ranging from photos and music to documents and emails with ease.
R-Undelete provides comprehensive search capabilities for lost files and estimates how likely it is to successfully restore them. It also features a file shredder to secure sensitive data, along with a log that displays which files were recovered and which weren’t.
7. Kickass Undelete
If you have accidentally deleted a file or had items from your recycle bin emptied, this application can help. It is a free and user-friendly program that will scan your hard drive, flash drive or SD card for all deleted documents.
Once the scan is complete, it will display all files found and provide information about their type, size, date modified and potential recovery prospects. Additionally, it tells you whether they are in excellent condition (with no data loss), good (with no partial overwriting of data) or bad (where some data has been lost).
This free application is lightweight and has a user-friendly interface, making it ideal for new users. It can be used to recover deleted data from USB drives, memory cards and all types of external storage devices including Windows-formatted hard drives.
Once you launch it, you’ll be greeted with a more comprehensive interface than other similar applications. The left column lists all partitions on your hard drive while the central part features an expansive scan button that can be clicked to begin searching for files that may be recoverable.
8. Data Rescue
Data Rescue is an incredibly versatile software program that can help you recover files and folders that have been accidentally deleted, corrupted, or reformatted. It works on both Windows and Mac computers and offers two paid plans to choose from: Basic for those on a budget and Pro for power users alike.
Data Rescue’s Standard version costs $99 and supports up to five drives, offering a Quick Scan, Deep Scan, as well as the capacity for finding duplicate files.
Clone also comes with a feature known as ‘Clone’ which creates an exact replica of the drive being used, improving its search capabilities. This can be invaluable when trying to resolve hardware problems or recover files from drives that are no longer mountable.
Data Rescue’s Professional version costs $299 and provides unlimited devices, faster scanning, and more advanced recovery options. It also enables ‘Quick Scan’ which uses directory info from the drive in case it fails to mount, as well as ‘Deep Scan’ which is more likely to locate any files lost due to hard drive failure or corruption.