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Which disk recovery software is the best?

Posted on 2006-10-19
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Hi. I realize that it is probably impossible to say which one out of what seems like hundreds. I have used some before and had problems with most, although I was trying to recover files from a crashed hard drive.

Currently, I had an Acronis image and some Norton Ghost images on my D: partition which I believe were deleted when it accidentally was reformmated.

What would be the recommendation for recovery software for files lost by formatting and/or lost by simple deletion?

The data isn't important enough to send to a company to recover the data. Thanks.

Windows XP SP2  (NTFS)
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Question by:Bert2005
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by:war1
war1 earned 250 total points
ID: 17771185
Greetings, Bert2005 !

GetBackData is the best
http://www.runtime.org/      

It not only to undelete accidentally deleted files or partitions but also recover your data with GetDataBack after fdisk, formatting your drive, power failure, virus attack, software failure, or after deleting files, folders or partitions.

Best wishes!
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17771245
Thanks. I will try it now.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17771760
Well, I tried and, so far, no luck.

A little more info:

Two separate drives. OS on C:\ with files and folders. Mostly backup images on D:\  (Again, not a partition but two 120GB EIDE hard drives. The backups were Ghost images and Acronis images with a few other files.

When I ran the scan, I could see a few individual files as it ran, maybe 100 or so named files, which weren't showing up after the scan was over. The scan was of D:\  

I haven't scanned C:\ yet, because I would have to make it a slave, and I didn't want to do that yet. It would have been a lot easier to do a complete format of the D:\ drive since the intention was to wipe out all of the backups. My C:\ drive still has most of the files on it, although all the individual files in the My Documents folder were deleted and none of the files in any of the folders were deleted.

They did delete one folder. I am only saying this to let you know that they didn't just wipe out everything but the system files, etc.

I left my where I worked yesterday, so I called my employer a couple of hours ago, and he said they had their IT guy do it. So, I suppose it is very possible that he used some low level DoD method to erase the files. I am a little unhappy, because these were fairly important files backed up many times and to DVDs weekly, but they destroyed those.

I don't know if you have heard of www.mirra.com. Do you know if it is possible to recover files from its 120GB hard drive? It can be set up with USB or Ethernet. Maybe it is a little harder to DoD a Mirra server.

This isn't some big important office, and my own computer in my own office mostly had my own files. The frustrating thing is the IT guy is a good friend of mine who I would work with a lot in the office with troubleshooting and networking, etc. but he was hired by the company to destroy my data. I know he was just doing his job, but wow.

Any help appreciated.
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by:war1
ID: 17771828
If an IT person purposely deleted your files, then he probably overwrote them several times.  You cannot recover such file without take your hard drive to a clean lab and let them recover the files. That's an expensive proposition. Sorry!

Ontrack may be able to do that
http://www.ontrack.com/

Or find a local data recovery center.
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nobus earned 175 total points
ID: 17772077
you can try any of these : the best one is the one that does the job ! and sure try Stellar too :
http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/collection/0,collid,1295,00.asp            Free Recovery
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm                  pc Inspector
http://www.runtime.org/                                    GetDataBack
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                                    Stellar
http://www.recovermyfiles.com/                              RecoverMyFiles
http://www.bitmart.net/                                    Restorer 2000
http://www.ontrack.com/easyrecoveryprofessional/                  Easy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/restoration.html                        Restoration
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/activeundelete.html                  Active undelete
http://www.handyrecovery.com/download.shtml                        Handy Recovery
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/smartrecovery.html                  flash recovery
http://www.ontrack.com/                                    ontrack
http://www.cgsecurity.org                                    Test Disk + utils
http://www.z-a-recovery.com/setup.exe                        zero assumption
http://www.stompsoft.com/recoverlostdata.html                        Recover Lost Data
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-1051391.html#            Disk Commander
http://us.mcafee.com/root/package.asp?pkgid=105                  EasyRecovery
http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/10031                        VirtualLab Data Recover

and here a cheap data recovery Cy :
http://www.gillware.com/                                    data recovery Company
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17773971
Hi war1 and nobus...

Wow, nobus, that is a lot of work, unless you keep a copy to paste for people like me who don't bring backups home, lol. I remember once looking for some Excel files and using multiple applications only to find many files but unable to recover them. The whole process, where you can see the file but then must pay for the software to actually recover them ended up costing me quite a bit. So, I am a bit gun shy about it now. I will look at a few. Thanks very much.

Could someone please take a look at the Mirra backup at www.mirra.com. The reason being is that it automatically backs up files. You CAN'T actually write to it as you would a regular hard drive. I guess what I am is wondering is, although you can reformat it, can you write over the data purposely?

Thanks
Bert
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by:war1
ID: 17774632
Bert,

Mirra backup requires a log in.

Yes, you can write over the data purposely.  Here are some delete programs.

Eraser            http://www.tolvanen.com/eraser
KillDisk            http://www.killdisk.com/
Chaos Shredder      http://www.safechaos.com/cs.htm

I am sure your IT Professional friend has a good file shredder program.
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by:nobus
ID: 17774851
well, most recovery softs work like that; you see if they claim to be able to recover what you want , and if satisfacotry, you pay.
But in my experience, some programs work when others don't - i guess depending on the way it's programmed.
That's why i posted you the bunch
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17776090
@ Nobus, I see your point. Either way it's a lot of work and don't get me wrong, I appreciate very much your time to post them. I will still take a look at them.

@ war1 It's hard to see him as a friend now. I mean I am trying to keep an open mind. I guess an analogy would be if one had a good friend for seven or eight years whose job it was to repossess cars. Then one day, his company was hired to repossess your car, and your friend got the honors. Sure, on one hand one would understand he was doing his job, but on the other hand it would be easy to see how it may be difficult to go out and buy him a beer... lol

It didn't really need to get this way. I have taken the high road throughout the process. For instance, I happen to be the registrar and owner of the domain name for the company. I had started to initiate the transfer of that domain to them for free for website and email purposes. I probably still will since the high road has a better view than the low road, but......it's tempting.

You don't need to read below; it's just rambling but slightly interesting:

This has nothing to do with the above, only to add a little insight at to why I am so frustrated. I remember a question about the network at the office which ran from 11/17/05 to 11/27/05 and 1/1/06 to 1/11/06 : (and these were constant comments on each day)

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21635300.html
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Q_21680714.html

RobWill, Carl_Legere and Gary helped tremendously. After 20 days of E-E and more than two months, Gary finally realized it was the Cisco PIX's licensing issue. This is why I think Experts-Exchange is the best website on the Internet. Because of Rob and Carl and Gary and war1 and nobus who probably don't need the points, but are willing to help just to help.

I only include this, because it is just one of many examples of how much time I spent trying to maintain the LAN over and above my actual salaried position. In fact, I would say almost all of my 44 questions related to that. Plus, they are good questions : )

Sorry, for the addendum and thanks for all your help.

PS I guess I could trade the domain name for my files?
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by:keslan
keslan earned 75 total points
ID: 17777835
Hi Bert,


i have a similar problem like you and i solved it by using Media Tools if you know the file names to be rescued it will help you i think Here is the link:
 http://www.atldatarecovery.com/
and also you can try Easy Recover Pro. It is simple but working :)
http://www.ontrack.com/
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17778113
Keslan,

I will give it a shot. I got a little carried away in my last post, lol. I am working on trying to recover my files from my Mirra server (Seagate). It should be interesting. I guess it's always easier to permanently erase files than to recover them.

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by:Bert2005
ID: 17785024
Hi everyone,

Just wanted to catch you up. I want to be careful, because I spent a ton of money trying to recover files from a crashed hard drive in the past using a few of these.

Currently, when I ran Get Data Back on the D: drive, (it is a separate drive, not a partition), it found nothing. So, I assume he just completely wiped it clean and overwrote it, etc.

When I ran it on the C: drive where there were only certain folders and files deleted, it did show all of the deleted files and folders. BUT, I was not able to open them in their native application as GetDataBack states you should be able to prior to purchasing a license key and actually recovering them.

So, since I continue to get error messages or gobblygook when I try to open them, would paying for the license to "recover" them make any sense?

Thanks
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by:war1
ID: 17785813
Try recovering the files with PC Inspector. It is free.
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm
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by:nobus
ID: 17786772
>>  since I continue to get error messages or gobblygook when I try to open them, would paying for the license to "recover" them make any sense?  <<  imho, no.
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by:nobus
ID: 17786775
...but you can try the others for free, and see what they report.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17790287
I think I got the accepted answer mixed up. Was supposed to be for war1. Everyone was helpful. I can ask them to let me change it if you like.

I did not get many files. Fortunately, the office is going to give them to me in exchange for a domain name.

Bert
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by:war1
ID: 17790375
Bert, it's OK the way it is. Nobus provided a lot of good info also.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17790446
Thanks
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by:redlighttraitor
ID: 17801553
GetDataBack for NTFS or Fat32 is the best software out there. Very thorough scans..... worst comes to worst, perform a RAW recovery. All other software is either the same thing or less. Goodluck.
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17806762
OK we have a new development. The files above were deleted from a PC using multiple overwrites. They were saved to second PC. At that point, the files were deleted by right-clicking and choosing delete, thereby entering the recycle bin. The recycle bin was then emptied. The computer has been used for about a week, but I doubt that many things were written to it, if anything. This should be a completely different scenario and relatively easy to recover, am I right? Should I still use GetDataBack or a simple lost file softare program -- or would you consider them the same? I know the whole scenario sounds weird, but that is what happened.

Also, how long would a file have to be on a hard drive and erased before it would still be recoverable. I am guessing pretty much only for a instant.
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by:nobus
ID: 17809834
if they are overwritten, the files are difficult to recover.
if not overwrittten, any program does the recovery
but do not install anything on the disk, do not even boot from it !
Just take the disk out , slave it to a working PC, and do the recovering from here.

>>   how long would a file have to be on a hard drive and erased before it would still be recoverable.  << i don't understand what you mean
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17815124
Nobus,

I was able to retrieve them. I guess what I meant by my question is say you get an email with an attachment and save it to your hard drive. And, three seconds after that you delete it. Is it just as recoverable as if it had been there for days? My guess is yes. But, just wondering.
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by:nobus
ID: 17817613
from the moment you write a file to disk, it is there forever.
it would take the magnetic field of the disk to deteriorate before it became unreadable.
now, deleting a file does NOT remove the file, it only changes the first letter of it, the rest stays as is.
however, when it is overwritten, then it is  changed
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by:Bert2005
ID: 17823881
Thanks
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