10 Best Open Source Data Recovery Tools
At a point in our lives, we have all accidentally deleted a file at least once, either deleted files from a card of our digital camera, deleted data from a pen drive by accident or lost important files from a USB memory card. At that moment we simply ask ourselves that how can I recover those deleted files?
You have to know that when you delete a file, what you really do is “mark it as a reusable space”, so it’s relatively easy to recover it (as long as you have not written it over). Hence, in this article, we will make a selection of 10 totally free programs to recover deleted files from our discs or memories.
But, do you know that files that have been deleted often are still present on the hard drive (or USB drive, a multimedia card, smartphones, etc.), hence, they can be recovered easily simply by using all these free data recovery software that we have mentioned below in this list.
Where do the files go when they are deleted?
Before you start it is important that you understand a couple of things about this process. First, the reason that deleted files can be recovered when it comes to a normal hard drive, is because the operating system does not actually remove them entirely from the sectors they occupy on the device (even when you empty the recycle bin), but something similar happens to that they are marked as not important and it is considered that the space they occupied can be overwritten.
When the system needs space for new files and simply overwrites those where the files were deleted, that is when they will be permanently lost. While this does not happen, a data recovery program can scan the disk and find anything that has not yet been overwritten to recover it.
With that detail in mind, it would make sense that when you want to recover files from a hard drive, stop using the device immediately, to avoid overwriting the space by adding new files. That is why it is advisable to install the recovery tools in a portable way on a USB drive, or if possible, remove the hard drive from your computer and connect it to another where you have installed the software you are going to use.
The guys from Piriform have made a great program to recover deleted files called Recuva. The program allows performing a quick or deep search, both on hard drives and external drives. And not only that even it also allow to recover all the files like emails in applications such as Outlook or Thunderbird that were accidentally deleted.
It also has a portable version, which we recommend to run from a different disk to the one you want to recover, to simply avoid overwriting this data.
Pandora is an excellent data recovery software that allows you to recover deleted files from FAT, NTFS and NTFS/EFS partitions. It is very simple to use and has a very user-friendly interface.
Moreover, in Pandora Recovery, a more advanced “Surface Scan” is available that must recover more files than the standard search, as long as they are of a popular format. Pandora Recovery recovers files from hard drives, memory cards, etc. Almost anything that stores files that can also be connected to your PC must be supported.
Now if we talk about the support then let me clarify that Pandora Recovery supports Windows Vista, XP, Server 2003 and 2000, but works perfectly well on Windows 10, 8 and 7 as well.
If you are looking for a complete and more advanced application, then you have a perfect choice, yes, I am talking about the well-known TestDisk & PhotoRec, a GPL license pack that will allow you to use the disks to observe all types of information and recover or repair partitions, make copies of security, and even recover files from FAT, NTFS or even EXT2/EXT3 partitions.
It is available for DOS, Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, SunOS, and Mac. Recently they have included a graphical interface, apart from its very powerful command line version, for which it is recommended to have advanced knowledge.
The Stellar Phoenix brand stands today as one of the most reputable IT software brands thanks to a wide range of data services designed to rescue users from difficult situations. Stellar Data Recovery can be used to restore files that you have deleted accidentally. It can also be used to recover data from damaged or corrupt hard drives or unmounted partitions.
The advantages that we love is that it includes the ability to recover data from external hard drives, USB flash drives, and damaged CDs or DVDs. The tool also supports cloning, which can be used to copy the entire file system or a volume to a new hard disk in the event that yours is failing.
5. Undelete 360
It is freeware application to recover files, available in installable and portable version. The interface is very evocative of the new style of the tech giant Microsoft applications and has several types of search filters.
The MiniTool Power Data Recovery is one of the well-known recovery tools available in the market and the free edition simply allows you to recover deleted files, damaged partitions, partitions with lost data or USB drives from digital cameras, auxiliary memories, pen drives or optical media (CD or DVD).
Glary Undelete is an excellent free file recovery program. It is very easy to use and has one of the best user interfaces ever I’ve seen.
However, the biggest advantages of Glary Undelete is that it includes the easy view of “folders”, a view of Windows Explorer-style recoverable files, and a prominent indication of “Status” for each file, suggesting if file recoverable or not (success rate).
A disadvantage of Glary Undelete is that the installation is required before it can be used and it simply asks you to install a toolbar, which you can of course decline. Apart from these facts, Glary Undelete is one of the best tools in its segment class.
Moreover, the well-known recovery tool, of course, I am talking about the Glary Undelete can recover files from hard drives and any removable media including the memory cards, USB drives, etc.
This well-known recovery tool, of course, SoftPerfect File Recovery simply allows recovering deleted files in a very simple way from the hard drives, USB drives, Compact Flash or SD cards, etc. And not only that even it also supports FAT and NTFS partitions with compression and encryption. Wile, the most interesting thing about this awesome tool is that it does not need any installation.
Wise Data Recovery is a free recovery program that is really simple to use. As the program installs very quickly and simply start its scanning process very fast. Wise Data Recovery can simply scan various USB devices, such as memory cards and other removal devices.
An instant search function makes it very easy and quick to search for deleted files that Wise Data Recovery features. A Recoverability column shows the probability that a file will recover with good, bad, very bad, or lost and simply right-click on the file that you want to restore.
10. Disk Drill
Disk Drill is an excellent free data recovery program, not only for its features but also because of its very simple design, which makes it almost impossible to get confused. The Disk Drill website says it can recover data (up to 500 MB) from “virtually any storage device,” such as internal and external hard drives, USB devices, memory cards, and the iPod.
Disk Drill can also preview image files before recovering them, stopping scans and resumes later, performing partition recovery, backing up the entire disk, filtering files by date or size, running a quick scan in comparison With a full scan for faster results and saves scanning of the results so you can easily import back to the recovery of deleted files at a later time.
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